BA Linguistics (combined)


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Modern linguistics is the scientific study of all aspects of the world’s languages from their sound systems and grammatical structure through to the interaction of language with culture, the study of meaning in language, and the use of language in modern technology. Linguists try to establish what types of structures are shared by different languages and the extent to which languages may differ from each other.

The list of possible subject combinations for the BA Linguistics and... degree is given in the combinations section. SOAS is unique in the UK for being able to offer a range of subject combinations that include the opportunity to study the languages, literature, and cultures of Africa, Asia and the Near and Middle East. The study of linguistics may also be combined with a range of other disciplines in which the School has proven excellence such as music, law, development studies, economics, politics, religious studies, anthropology, art and archaeology and history. SOAS offers students an unparalleled range of options in choosing their second subject of study.

The linguistics component of the combined subject degree is designed to develop a comprehensive understanding of the way that languages are universally structured and trains students to master all the basic skills necessary for the analysis of different sound systems and semantics (the study of meaning in language). In addition, students may also take modules dealing with language and social communication (focusing on the interaction of language and social groups), morphology (the structure of words), historical linguistics (the historical development of languages), phonetics and the structure of an African or Asian language.

May be combined with:

  • African Studies, TQ51 BA/AFLG
  • African Studies (including a year abroad)
  • Arabic+, QT16 BA/ALG
  • Chinese+, QT11 BA/CHLG
  • Development Studies, LQ93 BA/DVSLG
  • English, QQ31
  • Hebrew+, QQ14 BA/HELG
  • History, QV31 BA/HLG
  • Japanese+, QT12 BA/JLG
  • Japanese Studies, TQ21 BA/JSL
  • Korean+, QTCJ BA/KOLG
  • Korean Studies, TQ14 BA/KOSLG
  • Middle Eastern Studies (including a year abroad)
  • Middle Eastern Studies, TQ61 BA/MESLG
  • Persian+, QTD6 BA/LGP ( + Compulsory Year Abroad which is split between 2 countries)
  • Social Anthropology, LQ61 BA/LGSA
  • South Asian Studies++ (3 Year), TQH1 BA/LGSAS
  • South Asian Studies++ (4 Year), TQ3C BA/SASLiYA
  • South-East Asian Studies, TQJD BA/LGSEA
  • South-East Asian Studies (including a year abroad)
  • Turkish+, QTC6 BA/LGTU

+ 4-year degree with (compulsory) one year spent abroad
++ 3 or 4-year degree with the option of one year abroad


SOAS BA Linguistics students gain the ability to engage in analytical thought, to carry out research-like work on unfamiliar data and to control and understand the use of language. Graduates leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers, both in business and in the public sector. These include written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, analytical and problem-solving skills, and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources.

Studying a combined honours degree gives students to blend a solid grounding in another discipline or subject area which enables them to place the knowledge they gain as part of their degree within a specific regional, cultural or disciplinary context.


Students take 120 credits per year composed of Core, Compulsory and Optional modules.

  • Core modules: A core module is required for the degree programme, so must always be taken and passed before you move on to the next year of your programme.
  • Compulsory modules: A compulsory module is required for the degree programme, so must always be taken, and if necessary can be passed by re-taking it alongside the next year of your programme.
  • Optional modules: These are designed to help students design their own intellectual journey while maintaining a strong grasp of the fundamentals.

Please note that students on the 3-year degree who do not take any language modules as part of their second subject must take modules to the value of at least 15 credits from the list of Strategically Important and Vulnerable Languages (SILs) listed below during their second and/or third year.

Year 1

Core Modules

Core modules must be passed in order to proceed to the following year of study.

Students will take the following core modules:

  • Introduction to Linguistics
  • Languages of the World
  • Sounds, grammar and meaning in language
  • Language, Learning and Writing

Other Subject

Students take 60 credits from their other subject.

Year 2

Core Modules

Students will take the following core module:

  • Intermediate Syntax 152900032 15 Term 1

and one of these two core modules:

  • Intermediate Phonology
  • Meaning and Interpretation

Optional Modules

Choose 15 credits from List A (below), plus 15 credits from either List A or from the list of Strategically Important and Vulnerable Languages (SILs).

Other Subject

Students take 60 credits from their other subject.

Year 3 (or Year 4 for combined degrees with a year abroad)

Core Module

Students will take the following module:

  • Advanced Topics in Linguistics


Students will take modules to the value of 15 credits from List B, plus a further 30 credits from List A and/or List B and/or from the Strategically Important and Vulnerable Languages list.

Second Subject

Students will take 60 credits in their second subject.

List of modules (subject to availability)

  • List A (Year 2 or Year 3)
    • Meaning and Interpretation
    • Intermediate Phonology
    • English in the Global World
    • Language, Society and Communication
    • Introduction to Arabic Dialects
    • Intercultural communication and interaction
    • Extended Essay in Linguistics (A)
    • Extended Essay in Linguistics (B)
    • Introduction to Translation Theory
    • Discourse and Pragmatics: Language in Use
    • Philosophies of Language
    • Fieldwork methods in language and culture
  • List B (Year 3 only)
    • Historical Linguistics
    • Linguistic Typology
    • Independent Study Project in Linguistics
  • List of Strategically Important and Vulnerable Languages (SILs) (Year 2 or 3)
    • Amharic 1 A
    • Amharic 1 B
    • Amharic 2
    • Hausa 1 A
    • Hausa 1 B
    • Hausa 2(a) intermediate
    • Somali 1 A
    • Somali 1 B
    • Somali 2
    • Swahili 1 A
    • Swahili 1 B
    • Swahili 2a Intermediate
    • Yoruba 1 A
    • Yoruba 1 B
    • Yoruba 2
    • Zulu 1 A
    • Zulu 1 B
    • Zulu 2
    • Elementary Written Persian A
    • Elementary Written Persian B
    • Elementary Written Turkish A
    • Elementary Written Turkish B
    • Hebrew 1 A
    • Hebrew 1 B
    • Bengali Language 1 A
    • Bengali Language 1 B
    • Bengali Language 2
    • Hindi Language 1 A
    • Hindi Language 1 B
    • Hindi Language 2
    • Nepali Language 1 A
    • Nepali Language 1 B
    • Nepali Language 2
    • Burmese Language 1 A
    • Burmese Language 1 B
    • Burmese Language 2
    • Sanskrit Language 1 A
    • Sanskrit Language 1 B
    • Sanskrit Language 2
    • Urdu Language 1 A
    • Urdu Language 1 B
    • Urdu Language 2
    • Indonesian Language 1 A
    • Indonesian Language 1 B
    • Indonesian Language 2
    • Thai Language 1 A
    • Thai Language 1 B
    • Thai Language 2
    • Vietnamese Language 1 A
    • Vietnamese Language 1 B
    • Vietnamese Language 2

Learn a language as part of this programme

Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.

Admissions and Applications

To apply for an undergraduate degree at SOAS (including students wishing to transfer from another university) you must apply through the UK's central universities application organization, UCAS. An application form and details of courses can be found on their website. UCAS charges an applicant's fee for handling the application.

You can apply to up to five choices of higher education institutions or course on the UCAS form. How you utilise the choice is up to you. In other words, you could apply to do the same subject, for example, economics, at five different universities, or five different courses at the same university, or any combination of subject and institution. Nor do you have to use up all five choices. Whatever you choose you should list your choices in the order they appear in the UCAS handbook.

Entry Requirements

A language at A-level or equivalent is desirable but not essential.

  • A-Levels: AAB - ABB
    IB: 35 (665 at HL)

Alternative entry requirements

  • Access to HE: Minimum of 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction
  • Scottish Highers: AAABB
  • Scottish Advanced Highers: AAB
  • Irish LC: 340 points from 5 Higher level subjects at grade C1 or above
  • Advanced Placement: 4 5 5 (Two semesters - UCAS Group A) plus US HSGD with GPA 3.0
  • Euro Bacc: 80%
  • French Bacc: 14/20
  • German Abitur: 2.0
  • Italy DES: 80/100
  • Austria Mat: 2.0
  • Polish Mat: Overall 75% including 3 extended level subjects

English Language Entry Requirements

You must be able to show that your English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete your course at SOAS. Please note that we take our English language requirements seriously and failure to meet them exactly may well result in your application to SOAS being rejected. It is not possible to negotiate if your scores are below our required levels, with the expectation that because they are 'close enough' they will be accepted. It is important that you plan appropriately, well in advance, so that your English language test comes in good time and so that you have time to retake the test if necessary. We do not accept reasons of inconvenience or financial hardship for not submitting or retaking an English test.

International students

For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.

If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.

Last updated Oct 2019

About the School

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues. Read less
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