• UCAS Code: Q100 BA/L
  • Campus Code: 4
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Places per year: 1-2

Does a subject which straddles the divide between arts and sciences appeal to you? Do you like languages and a logical approach to problem-solving? Then the course in linguistics may be for you.

Linguistics is the scientific study of languages that aims to answer important questions in a wide range of areas. What do languages like Nepali and Irish have in common? Why is the language of Chaucer so different from Present-day English? What is the most effective way to help people with dyslexia or aphasia? Linguistics at the University of Cambridge gives you the opportunity to explore all these fascinating aspects of what makes us human!


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Course Overview

You will study lots of different aspects of linguistics. One day you might be poring over a medieval text for evidence of how the grammar of a language has changed. The next, you may be learning about how the larynx creates sound energy for speech, or how we can record brain responses to language.

You will also cover a wide range of disciplines. For example, 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.

From your second year, you can choose to specialise through optional papers, if there is a particular discipline that interests you.

How You Learn

Teaching is provided through a mix of lectures, practical sessions, and small-group supervisions.

You will usually have 4 hours of lectures, 2 hours of supervisions, and one to two hours of practical classes each week.

Assessment is by written examinations, practical exams in phonetics and computational linguistics, as well as a dissertation in your final year.

Entry Requirements

Minimum Offer Level

A-Level: A*AA

IB Diploma: 41-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level

Other: See the University’s Entry Requirements page

Subject Requirements

While we don’t ask for any specific subjects to apply to Linguistics, we’d recommend any of these subjects for a strong application:

  • Languages (ancient or modern)
  • Mathematics
  • English (language or literature)

Colleges normally require A*/7 in an essay-based subject or language.

The main requirement for studying Linguistics is a lively curiosity about the nature of language.

Admissions Process

Written Work

None required.

Admissions Assessment

Information to follow.


Two interviews of around 25 minutes each.

Linguistics at Trinity Hall

Trinity Hall offers a perfect environment for students of Linguistics since there is in-house expertise in a broad range of areas in the field (from descriptive fieldwork to historical and computational linguistics). In addition, there are Fellows and teaching staff specialised in Arabic, Chinese, Classics, English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Welsh and Tibeto-Burman languages.

Students of Linguistics and other subjects in the MML Faculty form a great community at Trinity Hall, which makes it an inspiring place to study with an excellent support network. Situated in the centre of town, just a short walk from the University Library and the Sidgwick Site and where all lectures and many supervisions in Linguistics take place, Trinity Hall forms an ideal location to start your University life.

Last updated: April 2024 for 2025 entry