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Study linguistics abroad

An in-depth guide to studying linguistics as an international student.

Linguistics degrees abroad

Linguistics is the academic study of language. It focuses on how and why language varies in use and meaning between different groups and social settings.

As a linguistics student, you’ll analyze the rules, structure, and context of language, as well as looking at how it has changed over time. You’ll study how people learn to use language, develop accents, and the connection between sound and meaning.

Studying linguistics abroad is one of the best ways to understand how people use language to communicate in different countries and cultures. You’ll be able to spot differences and similarities between language use in your home and host country, giving you a more in-depth understanding of the field.

Linguistics program structure

You can study linguistics as a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. You’ll learn about the core areas of the field by studying a BA over three or four years. An MA and PhD will require you to narrow your focus and concentrate on a specific branch of linguistics. These postgraduate qualifications take roughly one year and five years respectively to complete.

If you decide to attend university in the US, you’ll select linguistics as your major. This means that you’ll spend the first two years of your degree gaining your general education, before concentrating on linguistics modules in your final two years.

Many universities offer the opportunity to study linguistics alongside another subject, like English, psychology, or a foreign language. This is a useful way of tailoring your degree to suit your interests and ambitions.

You’ll be taught mainly through a mixture of lectures, seminars, and tutorials. Assessment will usually take the form of essays, reports, exams, presentations, and group projects. In your final year of study, you’ll probably need to write a dissertation.

It’s difficult to outline exactly what a linguistics program will look like because of variations between universities. However, there are some core areas of study that will appear in most courses, such as:

  • Phonetics and phonology
  • Syntax
  • Semantics
  • Sociolinguistics - gender, ethnicity, class
  • Language variation and change
  • Cognitive linguistics
  • Linguistic theory
Linguistics program structure

You can study linguistics as a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. You’ll learn about the core areas of the field by studying a BA over three or four years. An MA and PhD will require you to narrow your focus and concentrate on a specific branch of linguistics. These postgraduate qualifications take roughly one year and five years respectively to complete.

If you decide to attend university in the US, you’ll select linguistics as your major. This means that you’ll spend the first two years of your degree gaining your general education, before concentrating on linguistics modules in your final two years.

Many universities offer the opportunity to study linguistics alongside another subject, like English, psychology, or a foreign language. This is a useful way of tailoring your degree to suit your interests and ambitions.

You’ll be taught mainly through a mixture of lectures, seminars, and tutorials. Assessment will usually take the form of essays, reports, exams, presentations, and group projects. In your final year of study, you’ll probably need to write a dissertation.

It’s difficult to outline exactly what a linguistics program will look like because of variations between universities. However, there are some core areas of study that will appear in most courses, such as:

  • Phonetics and phonology
  • Syntax
  • Semantics
  • Sociolinguistics - gender, ethnicity, class
  • Language variation and change
  • Cognitive linguistics
  • Linguistic theory

Types of linguistics degrees

How to study linguistics abroad

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Linguistics study abroad programs

Linguistics undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in linguistics

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    American Sign Language: Linguistics and Deaf Cultures - BA California State University, Long Beach, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    16,338 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 16,338 USD

    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about American Sign Language: Linguistics and Deaf Cultures
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    Applied Linguistics - BA Portland State University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    23,709 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 23,709 USD

    Start date
    January, September, March
    Show program overview about Applied Linguistics
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    Educational Linguistics - BA York St John University, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    17,638 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 12,750 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Educational Linguistics
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    Computer Science Linguistics and a Language - BA (Hons) Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    24,693 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 20,609 EUR

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Computer Science Linguistics and a Language
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    English (Linguistics) - BA Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    29,834 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 29,834 USD

    Start date
    January, August, May
    Show program overview about English (Linguistics)
See all bachelor's degrees in linguistics

Linguistics graduate programs

Master's in linguistics

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    Linguistics - MA University of the South Pacific, Fiji

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    14,857 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 14,857 USD

    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about Linguistics
  • false

    Applied Linguistics - MA University of Waikato, New Zealand

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    21,498 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 30,095 NZD

    Start date
    July, February
    Show program overview about Applied Linguistics
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    Applied Linguistics - MA University of Greenwich, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    20,750 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,000 GBP

    Start date
    September, January
    Show program overview about Applied Linguistics
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    Applied Linguistics - MA TESOL University of Portsmouth, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    21,442 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,500 GBP

    Start date
    January
    Show program overview about Applied Linguistics
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    Applied Linguistics (International) - MA University of Limerick, Ireland

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    14,989 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 12,510 EUR

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Applied Linguistics (International)
See all master's degrees in linguistics

Doctorate in linguistics

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    Languages and Applied Linguistics - PhD University of Portsmouth, UK

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    22,549 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 16,300 GBP

    Start date
    February
    Show program overview about Languages and Applied Linguistics
See all doctorates in linguistics

Diploma in linguistics

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    Linguistics - PGDip Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    23,959 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 19,996 EUR

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Linguistics
See all postgraduate diplomas in linguistics

Future linguistics careers

As a linguistics graduate, you’ll have plenty of career pathways open to you. Your detailed knowledge of language use, meaning, and interpretation could help you excel in a number of roles, including:

  • Language consultant
  • Speech and language therapist
  • Lexicographer
  • Languages teacher
  • Publisher
  • Public relations officer
  • Communications officer
  • Copy editor

To pursue some linguistic careers, you’ll need to undertake specialized postgraduate programs. Speak with your university’s careers service about the best way to pursue your dream job.