English Language and Linguistics - BA (Hons)

How do we learn and use language? What do languages have in common? How and why does language change? Language is central to everything we do and is the essence of who we are as human beings.


Linguistics is the scientific study of language, seeking to understand how it is structured, used and acquired. Discover how spoken and written language is used in various social, political, cultural and philosophical contexts, including the media, literature and everyday conversation; and explore its relationship with the mind.

Our multidisciplinary focus allows you to study all aspects of language, including its nature, structure and use, and discover how it varies according to person, time and situation. Your knowledge and understanding of how a language works and how we communicate will give you a solid foundation for many careers.

Our degree programme

The course builds from developing core skills in analysis and linguistic investigation, to applying these skills in more advanced modules in your second and third year.

In your first year, you learn the fundamentals of language. In your second and third years, there are opportunities to customise your programme of study according to your own intellectual interests. You can choose from a broad range of topics focused on language structure, including grammar (morphology, syntax), sound patterns (phonetics, phonology) or meaning (semantics, pragmatics).

You might also choose to explore the way we learn and understand language (psycholinguistics), the relationship between language and society (sociolinguistics), or between language and literature (stylistics).

You can also study modules with a more vocational focus, such as language learning and teaching, creative and media writing, and language and media.

Year abroad

It is possible to spend a year or a term abroad at one of our partner institutions in Asia, Europe or North America. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain conditions apply.

Study resources

The Linguistics Laboratory has facilities for experimental and quantitative research in acoustics, sociophonetics, and speech and language processing and acquisition. This includes a soundproof recording studio and eye-tracking software. You also have access to the School of European Culture and Languages’ recording studio and a multimedia lab.

Extra activities

The English Language and Linguistics Society is based around a common interest in language. It provides excellent networking opportunities and access to valuable knowledge and resources that could enhance your studies.

We also host the Centre for Language and Linguistics, which runs a programme of seminars, lectures and reading groups that you may join.

Flexible tariff

You are more than your grades

At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.

Entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

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    A level


  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

    If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances. A typical offer would be to achieve DDM.

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall or 15 points at HL

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average including 60% in Academic Skills Development.

International students should visit our International Student website for further specific information. International fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot study part-time due to visa restrictions.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

If you need to improve your English language standard as a condition of your offer, you can attend one of our pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes before starting your degree programme. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.