Linguistics, the scientific study of language, lies at the nexus of the natural and physical sciences, humanities, social sciences, maths, and computer science. Linguists seek to understand the structure, behaviour, and evolution of human language and animal communication in all of their forms: spoken, signed, gestured, written, even whistled and drummed. Any language is fair game for linguistic study, from English to Euskara (Basque), Spanish to Sanskrit, Norwegian to Nlaka'pamux.
Number of students
We typically admit around two or three students each year.
The Linguistics Tripos is divided into a one-year Part I and a two-year Part II. Part I, where you follow four lecture series, provides a foundation across a wide range of linguistics taught within the Department of Linguistics. Part II allows you to specialise in the areas which particularly interest you, and in Parts IIA and IIB (years 2 and 3) there is a wide choice of lectures taught within and beyond the Department, the latter including the linguistics of particular languages. Part IIB includes an element of individual research as you write a dissertation on a topic of your choice.
The typical A Level offer for Linguistics is A*AA. The typical IB offer is 40-42 points with 776 at Higher Level. As Linguistics is interdisciplinary we don’t require specific A level (or equivalent) subjects
The admissions process
If you are selected for interview, candidates should normally expect two interviews which should each last no longer than 30 minutes. The interview aims to assess your motivation, enthusiasm and potential.
All applicants are required to take a Linguistics admissions assessment if invited to interview.