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Linguistics at Cambridge

Linguistics is the systematic study of human language. Superficially, there’s huge variation among the world’s languages, and linguists not only describe the diverse characteristics of individual languages but also explore properties which all languages share and which offer insight into the human mind.

The study of linguistics draws on methods and knowledge from a wide range of disciplines. For instance, the study of meaning draws on philosophy, the analysis of the speech signal uses methods from physics and engineering, and the study of language acquisition draws on psychology.

This variety is one of the things that makes linguistics fascinating: one day you might be poring over a medieval text for evidence of how the grammar of a language has changed, and the next, learning about how the larynx creates sound energy for speech, or how we can record brain responses in a categorisation task.

The Department

The Department has internationally acknowledged expertise across an unusually wide range of language-related disciplines, both theoretical and applied. Situated within the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics benefits greatly from colleagues specialising in the linguistics of particular European languages.

Linguistics at Homerton

Homerton College has been taking students for Linguistics since the undergraduate degree began, and we have a fine track record of success in the subject. We take 3 or 4 students per year (the subject has limited space for undergraduates, despite the steength of the field). Our Director of Studies, Dr Jim Blevins, is a fellow of the college. He is also Reader in Morphology and Syntax in th Department of Linguistics. 

Director Of Studies:

Application follows the standard pattern with an early UCAS application (October 15th) and a Supplementary Admissions Questionnaire (SAQ) to follow. There are no essential subjects but English Language, English Literature, a modern or ancient language are potentially useful- but so too might be a more scientific and mathematical oriented route. All applicants to Linguistics will take a test at interview details of which can be found here. There will be two interviews for Homerton applicants, one of which will be a specialist interview conducted by our Director of Studies and colleagues in the department (though no formal knowledge of linguistics as a subject will be presumed). The second will be a more general academic interview.

The offer to thosewho are successful will be A*AA at A level (IB 40-42pts with 776 in HL subjects) or the equivalent.

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