Undergraduate 

English Language & Linguistics MA

English Language students

English language and linguistics combines the study of the history, structure and meaning of the English language, to discover what all this tells us about our culture, our society and ourselves.

Over 50 years, we created the world-leading 'Historical Thesaurus of English'. You will also have access to dedicated laboratories for written language.

You will have access to two dedicated laboratories for learning about and analysing spoken and written language.

  • September start: session dates
  • English Language & Linguistics MA (Hons): Q300 4 year degree

What our students say

“I had not originally planned to take English Language & Linguistics but the course content and incredible enthusiasm of the lecturers converted me very quickly to take it to Honours. The course is so broad and with fascinating content that there is something for everybody to get excited about.”

“Being in the English Language & Linguistics department at Glasgow is massively exciting. The opportunity to discover and pursue your interests, taught by such an enthusiastic and inspiring group of academics, is beyond compare.”

Programme structure

You will learn about the structure, meaning and history of the English language: how our language both now and in the past
influences our interactions with each other and with the world.

Year 1

Your first year gives you a taster of the variety of questions that we ask about our language in English Language & Linguistics.

In the first semester, you will learn about how we build meaning out of words and phrases, and then relate that meaning to the world. You will learn how advertisers, politicians, and storytellers can take advantage of the complexity of language to sway listeners to their side. And you will trace the history of English from its earliest roots, as it developed towards its modern form. In the second semester you will learn how pronunciation can be analysed systematically and scientifically, and how our identity shapes what we say and how we are perceived. We will also do a deep dive into the history and current stage of Scots—a particular speciality at Glasgow. Finally, you will trace the second half of our language’s history, from the middle English of Chaucer, through Shakespeare, and into its modern form.

Year 2

Your second year delves more deeply into the study of English Language & Linguistics, focusing especially on our areas of research expertise.

In the first semester you will learn how speakers employ melody and rhythm to give colour to their speech; convey unspoken meaning in conversational interactions; where we get words from and how they are used; and how study of artefacts, texts, and the histories of words themselves can shed light on the earliest stages of the language. In your second semester, you’ll learn what it is that people do in their minds when they are transforming thought into words, and back again; you’ll discover how proper names can reveal the historical influences of society, culture, and religion on the labels we assign to the world; and you’ll see how these patterns in usage and naming affected the shape of English and contributed to the production of its earliest literary forms.

You will also study literary uses of language in your choice of either level 1 Scottish Literature or level 1 English literature, as well as other subjects in years 1 and 2. See Flexible degrees.

Years 3 and 4

If you progress to Honours (years 3 and 4) you can choose from a large variety of advanced courses, including: discourse and conversation, digital humanities, the history of English, narrative and the mind, manuscript studies and book history, medieval literature and drama, name studies, phonetics, meaning, Old Icelandic, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, the language of laws, and the Scots language.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Our international links

We have a well-established exchange programme with opportunities to study for a year at universities including Alcalá, Groningen and Helsinki. Some of our students spend their third year in North America or Australasia, though special arrangements apply in these cases. Recent placements have been in Toronto, Auckland and Montreal.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2020

Applicants to subject-combinations with Psychology must meet the Psychology degree programme entry requirements.

MA

A-levels

  • Standard entry requirements: AAB guaranteed offer if additional requirements met.
  • Minimum entry requirements: BBB considered for offer if meet additional requirements met.
  • Additional requirements: Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes MathematicsStatistics or Computing Science must also meet BSc requirements for those programmes. Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes Music must have Music at Grade B or ABRSM Grade 5 Theory.

Advanced Entry 

Advanced Entry allows highly qualified applicants to start their degree in year two of the four-year MA degree, completing their degree in three years instead of four.  

Choosing Advanced Entry will limit the flexibility of your degree. Certain subjects require Advanced Entry students to take Level 1 and Level 2 courses at the same time. Some degree combinations offered on UCAS might not be available due to timetable clashes between required courses. 

We will check all Advanced Entry applications to make sure your proposed degree can be delivered before we make an offer.  

Indicative Grades for Advanced Entry Consideration (in addition to having met the Standard and Additional Entry Requirements) 

  • A* AA including two subjects from English and Humanities or Modern Languages. See: Entry requirements: A-Levels for subject entry requirement classification.

About A-level entry requirements

The Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades at which any possible offer would be made. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).

The Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades that the University will accept for entry to the degree programme. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).


A-Level qualifications must be achieved at the first attempt.


Highers

  • S5 standard entry requirements: AAAA/AAABB guaranteed offer if additional requirements met.
  • S5 minimum entry requirements: ABBB to be considered for S6 offer.
  • S6 standard entry requirements: AAAAAB cumulative grade requirement for S6 offer holders.
  • Additional requirements: Higher English at Grade A or B and a Higher Humanities or Language subject at Grade A or B. Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes Mathematics, Statistics or Computing Science must also meet BSc requirements for those programmes. Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes Music must have Music at Grade B or ABRSM Grade 5 Theory.

We adjust these entry requirements for eligible applicants who complete one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes: see Access Glasgow

  • Adjusted S5 standard entry requirements: AABB/ABBBB guaranteed offer if additional requirements met.
  • Adjusted S5 minimum entry requirements: No minimum at S5.
  • Adjusted S6 standard entry requirements: AABB/ABBBB cumulative grade requirement for S6 offer holders. Considered for offer at BBBB.
  • Adjusted additional requirements: Higher English at Grade B and a Higher Humanities or Language subject at Grade B. Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes MathematicsStatistics or Computing Science must also meet BSc requirements for those programmes. Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes Music must have Music at Grade B or ABRSM Grade 5 Theory.

    Successful completion and grades in either the Top-Up Programme or Summer School.

Advanced Entry 

Advanced Entry allows highly qualified applicants to start their degree in year two of the four-year MA degree, completing their degree in three years instead of four.  

Choosing Advanced Entry will limit the flexibility of your degree. Certain subjects require Advanced Entry students to take Level 1 and Level 2 courses at the same time. Some degree combinations offered on UCAS might not be available due to timetable clashes between required courses.  

We will check all Advanced Entry applications to make sure your proposed degree can be delivered before we make an offer.  

Indicative Grades for Advanced Entry Consideration (in addition to having met the Standard and Additional Entry Requirements) 

  • Three Advanced Highers at Grades AAA which include two subjects from English and Humanities or Modern Languages. See: Entry requirements: Scottish Highers for subject entry requirement classification.

About Higher entry requirements

SQA Highers

The S5 Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades which, if attained in addition to successfully meeting mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests), will normally result in an offer being made. Students must achieve the standard entry requirements by the end of S5 (cumulative S4 and S5).

The S5 Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades which an applicant must have obtained by the end of S5 (cumulative S4 and S5) in order for them to be considered for a conditional offer based on S6 results. Not all applicants who achieve the Minimum Academic Entry Requirements will be made an offer. This will depend on the number of applications we have received for a degree programme and the number of applicants who have met the Standard Academic Entry Requirements.

Where an applicant is made a conditional offer based on S6 results, the S6 Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the cumulative grades that must be attained by the end of S6, in addition to meeting any mandatory subject and non-academic requirements. All degree programmes allow applicants to “double count” Highers and Advanced Highers in the same subject when calculating cumulative grades. A Grade B in an Advanced Higher will be regarded as another Grade A at Higher Level and a Grade C at Advanced Higher will be regarded as another Grade B at Higher Level. All degree programmes require grades in a minimum of four different subjects.

Advanced Highers

Advanced Highers are a qualification of increased importance to the University, which recognises that applicants with these qualifications find the transition to university easier and perform better in their university exams. Many of our degrees specify Advanced Highers as part of the S6 Entry Requirements.

If a school is unable to offer specific Advanced Higher subjects applicants will be made bespoke offers which will normally require the applicant to attain additional relevant Highers in S6.



International

International Baccalaureate

  • Standard academic entry requirements: 36 points including three HL subjects at 6,6,5 guaranteed offer if additional requirements met.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: 32 points including three HL subjects at 6,5,5 considered for offer if meet additional requirements met.
  • Additional requirements: Three HL subjects including English AND a Humanities or Language subject (SL6 will be considered for ONE). Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes MathematicsStatistics or Computing Science must also meet BSc requirements for those programmes. Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes Music must have A level Music/Higher Music at Grade B or ABRSM Grade 5 Theory. 

Advanced Entry 

Advanced Entry allows highly qualified applicants to start their degree in year two of the four-year MA degree, completing their degree in three years instead of four.  

Choosing Advanced Entry will limit the flexibility of your degree. Certain subjects require Advanced Entry students to take Level 1 and Level 2 courses at the same time. Some degree combinations offered on UCAS might not be available due to timetable clashes between required courses.  

We will check all Advanced Entry applications to make sure your proposed degree can be delivered before we make an offer.  

Indicative Grades for Advanced Entry Consideration (in addition to having met the Standard and Additional Entry Requirements) 

  • International Baccalaureate: 38 Points including three HL subjects at 6, 6, 6 which include two subjects from English and Humanities or Modern Languages. 
  • Advanced Placement: results of 5, 4, 4 (out of 5) OR two AP scores of 5 plus SAT at 1410 or ACT at 30 OR two SAT2 subjects at 700 plus SAT at 1410 or ACT at 30. 

About International Baccalaureate entry requirements

The Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades at which any possible offer would be made. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).

The Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades that the University will accept for entry to the degree programme. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).


International Baccalureate qualifications must be achieved at the first attempt.

European qualifications


For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

English language requirements

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications:

  • ibTOEFL*: 90; no sub-test less than: Reading: 20; Listening: 19; Speaking: 19; Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • IGCSE: English as a First Language (0500/0522): C in Reading and Writing, plus 1 in Listening, 2 in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • IGCSE: English as a Second Language (0510/0511): A in Reading and Writing, plus A in Listening, 2/B in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

FAQs

What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's School of Modern Languages and Cultures offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact External Relations

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:


Visa requirements and proof of English language level

It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.

For further information about English language, please see School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study.


Career prospects

As a graduate in English Language & Linguistics you will be an expert in language, communication and the rigorous analysis of texts and events in the real world. You will have a broad range of career opportunities; some of our graduates pursue journalism and media studies, marketing, speech therapy and lexicography (dictionary making), and many of our students teach English as a foreign language, often in Europe, Asia or South America.

Degrees and UCAS codes

When applying you will need to know the UCAS code for the subject or subject-combination that you wish to apply to:

MA (Hons)

English Language & Linguistics: Q300
English Language & Linguistics/Archaeology: V4Q3
English Language & Linguistics/Celtic Civilisation: QQM3
English Language & Linguistics/Celtic Studies: QQ3N
English Language & Linguistics/Comparative Literature: QQF3
English Language & Linguistics/Computing Science: GQ4J
English Language & Linguistics/Digital Media & Information Studies: GQ5J
English Language & Linguistics/Economics: LQ1H
English Language & Linguistics/English Literature: Q304
English Language & Linguistics/French: QR3D
English Language & Linguistics/Gaelic: QQ53
English Language & Linguistics/German: QR3G
English Language & Linguistics/Greek: Q3Q7
English Language & Linguistics/History: QV3D
English Language & Linguistics/Italian: QR3J
English Language & Linguistics/Latin: QQ3Q
English Language & Linguistics/Mathematics: QG3D
English Language & Linguistics/Music: QW3J
English Language & Linguistics/Philosophy: QV3N
English Language & Linguistics/Politics: LQ2J
English Language & Linguistics/Portuguese: 4W7V
English Language & Linguistics/Psychology: CQ8J
English Language & Linguistics/Russian: QRHT
English Language & Linguistics/Scottish History: QV3F
English Language & Linguistics/Scottish Literature: QQ2J
English Language & Linguistics/Social & Public Policy: QL3L
English Language & Linguistics/Sociology: LQ63
English Language & Linguistics/Theatre Studies: WQ4J
English Language & Linguistics/Theology & Religious Studies: QV36

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details.

Scholarships

The University is committed to supporting students and rewarding academic excellence. That's why we've invested more than £1m in additional scholarship funding in recent years.

Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has a total of 100 Undergraduate Excellence Scholarships available to new international students for 2020 entry. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount of £5,000 per year of study and is subject to satisfactory progress for consecutive years of study.  

More Information

RUK Access Bursary 2020 Entry

The bursary supports talented students who might not be able to take a place at University for reasons of financial hardship. It is available to new entrant full-time, undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for Session 2020/21, as being domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.

More Information

RUK Excellence Scholarship 2020

The RUK Excellence Scholarship of £1,000 for each year of study will be awarded to first degree entrants who have attained AAA or better in one sitting at A Level (or equivalent). 

More Information

James McCune Smith Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has 30 undergraduate scholarships available for students of African/African-Caribbean backgrounds. The scholarship supports students who could face financial difficulties taking up their place to study at the University. The value of the scholarship is £2,000, paid in instalments for one year of undergraduate study. The scholarship is open to both current and new applicants to the University.

More Information

The Ronald and Rita McAulay Scholarship

Mr Ronald McAulay, alumnus of the University (MA 1965), and his wife Rita wish to establish a Scholarship to support students who are Hong Kong nationals wishing to take up an undergraduate course of study at the University of Glasgow.

The McAulays would like to establish a scholarship which encourages Hong Kong residents to achieve an international education, therefore the award will cover course tuition fees and a living cost stipend.

More Information

Beaconhouse Schools

The University of Glasgow offer a 15% discount on the first year of tuition fee to students from Beaconhouse Schools and who enrol on an undergraduate programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount does not apply to Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Dentistry programmes.

More Information

The Martin Niemöller Scholarship (College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences)

The German Speaking Congregation in Glasgow are pleased to offer one scholarship award of £500 for students originating from German speaking countries. The scholarship will support those students in need of financial support at any stage of their degree programme.

All students awarded a Martin Niemöller Scholarship will be asked to submit a short letter of thanks to the Development and Alumni Office for onward transmissions to the donors of the award.

More Information

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

How to apply

Full-time students must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). 

International students can also apply using The Common Application: however, if applying to more than one UK university, we recommend using UCAS.

Application deadlines

  • 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or also applying to Oxford or Cambridge
  • 15 January: all other UK/EU applicants (unless otherwise stated on the UCAS website)
  • 30 June: international (non-EU) students

We do not usually accept any applications after these deadlines.

It's your responsibility to ensure the accuracy of your application before submission. Requests to correct application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.

How to apply for Advanced Entry

Apply for year 2 (Y2) on your UCAS application. If the specific subject is unavailable for Advanced Entry or your application for year 2 entry is unsuccessful, you will be automatically considered for year 1 entry. You do not have to submit a separate UCAS application.

Apply via UCAS

More information about this programme

96%

English Language students satisfied overall

Data published by Unistats, February 2019
study abroad plane

STUDY ABROAD

Helen: Entrepreneur

Helen used the skills she gained in writing, marketing and design through her English Literature/English Language degree to launch her own distillery company from her family farm in Pitlochry.

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UK top 15: Guardian University Guide [English & Creative Writing]

Complete University Guide

UK top 15: Complete University Guide [English]

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World top 40: QS World University Rankings [English Language & Literature]

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UK top 15: Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide [English]