Studying in the Department of English Language and Linguistics you discover what languages have in common and how they change over time. You explore how we acquire language and what governs our choice of words. Whether you are an undergraduate or a postgraduate student, we support you to reach your potential.

Key facts


in the UK for Modern Languages and Linguistics in the most recent Research Excellence Framework.


in the UK for Linguistics in The Complete University Guide 2020.


of Linguistics graduates who completed a national survey of graduate destinations were in work or further study within six months. (DLHE 2017)


in the Teaching Excellence Framework*, the highest possible rating.

School of European Culture and Languages

English Language and Linguistics is part of the School of European Culture and Languages (SECL). A multidisciplinary academic school, alongside English Language and Linguistics students, SECL’s community includes students of Comparative Literature, French, German, Italian and Hispanic Studies, of Classical and Archaeological Studies, Ancient History and Classical Studies, Religious, and Asian Studies, and Philosophy. Such a diverse range of interests leads to a fascinating timetable of events and makes the School an exciting place to study.

Our vision

Language is central to everything human beings do and in English Language and Linguistics we pride ourselves on our multidisciplinary focus, which explores language in all its aspects: from the physical properties of speech sounds to the structure of words and sentences, the relationship between language and society and the interface between speech and writing.

The breadth of our research interests is reflected in the wide range of modules we offer at Kent. Through studying this most fundamental of human activities, you develop analytical and writing skills as you explore and debate the latest models and theories. 

Inspirational teaching

At Kent you are taught by enthusiastic and committed lecturers with a genuine passion for their subject. They challenge you to develop your own opinions and ideas, encouraging you to become an independent thinker. 

We offer high levels of support both during teaching sessions and in one-to-one meetings, and our staff members are friendly and accessible. The close working relationships you develop help you to succeed in your studies. 

Lecturer Christina Kim talks with a student

Lecturer Dr Christina Kim talks to student

Supportive community

We are a welcoming and friendly department, where students and staff share interests and experiences. The School has a dedicated student support team who can help you with your academic needs and offer general support. The University also has an extensive academic and pastoral support network. 

First-class resources

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

Graduate Emily Cook holding a copy of Dr Who magazine

We have graduates working in a range of industries, including Emily Cook (pictured), who landed her ‘dream job’ working on ‘Doctor Who’ magazine.

Impressive prospects

Our students do well on graduation, moving on to work in areas such as publishing, publicity, marketing, teaching and speech therapy. This is due to the skills gained through their studies, as well as the structured programme of employability events run by the School of European Culture and Languages. These include workshops and opportunities to gain hands-on experience through paid and voluntary work opportunities.  

The University’s Careers and Employability Service supports students throughout their time at Kent, and for three years after graduation.

Research excellence

Staff within the Department of English Language and Linguistics are experts in their fields. Their broad range of interests creates a dynamic environment, encouraging debate on contemporary issues in the field. 

We have specialists in experimental and theoretical linguistics, applied linguistics, sociolinguistics and stylistics. In addition to English and its varieties, our staff work on French, German, Greek, Romani, Spanish, Korean and Russian. 

We run the Centre for Language and Linguistics (CLL), which brings together researchers from a wide range of disciplines with a shared interest in the study of language. 

Downtown Chicago river and tall buildings

English Language and Linguistics students can spend a year studying in Chicago

Study abroad

Studying abroad at one of our partner institutions enriches your learning, giving you new perspectives on English language and linguistics. It is also a fantastic opportunity for personal and career development. Our partners, in Europe and beyond, offer programmes taught in English and related to your studies at Kent. Interested? You can find details on our Go abroad site.

We also offer a specialised MA in Applied Linguistics with TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) to develop your teaching skills and overseas awareness.


The Department of English Language and Linguistics is based on Kent’s Canterbury campus with its first-class academic and leisure facilities. We are equipped with the latest resources and our beautiful setting offers plenty of tranquil spaces to study and relax. Everything you need on campus is within walking distance, including a general store, a bookshop, bank, a medical centre and a pharmacy.

You can go off campus to explore the city's medieval buildings, historic pubs and mix of independent shops and leading high street brands. London is just an hour away by train.

*The University of Kent’s Statement of Findings can be found here.