Languages – there are over 7,000 in a world with upwards of eight billion people. What are the relationships between them? How has the English language – originating from England and now with around more than 1.5 billion speakers – evolved throughout the centuries? Can we harness the science of language to solve our era’s most pressing issues, from health equity to the challenges and opportunities afforded by technologies like generative artificial intelligence?
With over 40 active research staff members, making it one of the largest Linguistics departments in the UK, Lancaster ranked #10 globally (QS World University Rankings 2023) and #3 in the UK (Complete University Guide 2024). They offer three-year bachelor’s, one-year master’s, PhDs, and short courses where students learn from faculty as renowned for imparting knowledge as they are in creating new knowledge.
In the Research Excellence Framework 2021, a national government quality assessment, the department achieved the highest possible score for impact and was rated “outstanding” for 100% of its research impact. Linguistics is also rated “world-leading” for 100% of its research environment and ranked #2 in the UK for overall research quality.
Several faculty members have won national or university teaching awards. Most have written widely used textbooks and guides contributing to their respective fields and beyond. The department is also home to a National Teaching Fellow, an award for individuals who have made an outstanding impact on teaching in higher education. These passionate lecturers infuse their teaching with the latest breakthroughs and most important takeaways from their years of experience.
As their student, you’ll learn in facilities that match the cutting-edge calibre of these faculty members. The research resources here are outstanding. These include fully equipped, state-of-the-art laboratories for eye-tracking, phonetics, and child language analysis. It has even created its own bespoke software for language analysis, making the university one of the world’s top centres for corpus linguistics and its applications.
At Lancaster support and dynamism are second to none
For MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL student Khoud Mohammed, the support given by the department has been immense. “Here, you belong. Your voice is taken seriously, and your contributions are appreciated,” they say. “When it comes to the academic work, each week has a challenge, and with the challenge, there is support. We are expected to work and improve and are stretched beyond our current levels. Our lecturers see potential in every one of us, and they try their best to make us reach it.”
Earnest teaching isn’t just for on-campus students – online master’s students will always have the faculty’s full attention regardless of their presence on the university grounds.
“I have bombarded them with incessant e-mails and student hour appointments discussing the topics discussed in the module and extending the discussion further afield,” says MA Language and Linguistics student JM Siy. “The professors are extremely generous with their time, resources and wisdom!”
Mohammed echoes the same, citing that outside of dedicated office hours, the faculty even offers to join students during their weekly collaborative study sessions. Students here are supported through every step of their education. During Welcome Week, students are assigned an Academic Advisor from the department with whom they can arrange as many meetings as they require. Here, they learn about opportunities to engage in research projects, internships, and study abroad experiences too.
It’s a well-designed, high-impact journey — one that readies students to thrive in their future careers. The department is ranked #5 for Linguistics graduate prospects by Times Good University Guide 2023 and #4 for English graduate prospects by Guardian University Guide 2023.
From being employed to develop a new language test to winning various international awards, graduates enter the workforce equipped with the knowledge, skills, and adaptability to navigate and transform their careers. A degree from the Linguistics department opens up careers involving linguistic expertise, such as speech therapy and teaching English, or jobs in education, management or media. Yet, the versatile nature of it has students acquire the much appreciated transferable skills that graduates can apply to most jobs around the world.