BA (Hons)

Linguistics and Philosophy

Girls in library with laptop
  • UCAS code(s): VQ51
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2018
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information
  • * This course is now closed for entry for 2018, please ring our Clearing Hotline 0115 848 6000 to speak to one of our team to discuss current vacancies. *

FIND US ON

If you've got two subjects that you really enjoy, or have career ambitions that demand a particular skill set, then a joint honours degree is a great choice for you.

Course overview

It enables you to shape your study according to your strengths, interests and career ambitions. Combining two subjects can give your degree an international or industry perspective that will make you stand out in the graduate employment market.

Our course combinations are designed so that what you learn in one subject will complement and enhance what you learn in the other. In your final year you can choose either to split your time evenly between your two subjects, or to specialise in one. Our flexible curriculum has been designed to create some amazing opportunities for you too. Your second year of study is divided into two semesters that enables you to take part in optional work placements or go on an international exchange.

By choosing Philosophy and Linguistics you’ll enjoy the freedom to choose from a wide range of optional modules, depending on your own preferences and interests. Your Philosophy studies will give you a unique perspective on the world, whilst Linguistics will provide you with an in-depth knowledge of language and its social functions.

Study this course full-time or part-time. See How to Apply section for more information.

What you'll study

Philosophy 

People have been studying philosophy for about 3,000 years and its original questions are still being discussed by today's leading minds. Philosophers believe that the ability to question and think critically about the world is an important skill, something that’s now increasingly recognised by many of today's leading employers.

The course at NTU is organised around some of the philosophical problems faced by today's decision-makers in their professional lives. You’ll examine the interface between philosophical ideas and everyday life, and learn to think more clearly and critically about the world you live in.

At the end of your studies, you should be able to think through complex issues and questions with clarity and rigour. No intellectual problem should daunt you! No wonder philosophy graduates are in demand by today's employers, and as a Philosophy graduate from NTU you’ll be ahead of the pack.

Linguistics

Linguistics is the study of natural language. It covers the study of language structure (grammar), the study of meaning (semantics) and the social functions of language (sociolinguistics). This course will equip you with the tools for analysing language and for conducting your own research. You’ll discuss the immense power that our language has to construct and to constrain meaning.

We've recently launched several new modules which draw on contemporary research. This means that you will be studying the very latest developments in clinical linguistics, media discourse and child language acquisition.

You don’t need any prior knowledge of grammar, foreign languages or technical terminology to study this course.

  • Year One

    Core modules

    Applied Philosophy I

    This module will examine the fundamental questions that have defined Philosophy as a discipline. Particular emphasis will be given to debates surrounding the nature of rationality, logic and critical thinking; the rhetorical power of language and the issues surrounding the use of rhetoric as a tool of persuasion; the uses of scepticism and the question of whether there are limits to what we can know; the ethics of corporate governance; the ethics of animal rights and euthanasia as well as the philosophical significance of the environmental crisis and biotechnology.

    Philosophy: Thinkers and Themes

    This module aims to understand the development of western philosophy through its 2,800 year history. More specifically, it examines the claims of the philosophers whose ideas have helped to shape the moral, intellectual and political contours of the contemporary world.

    Introduction to Language and Linguistics

    This module will raise some of the questions that make language one of the most fascinating subjects in the humanities and will provide you with the tools you'll need to study any aspect of language.

    You’ll learn how we can examine the sounds, words and grammar of a language such as English and what this tells us about the way speakers use language.

    Language in Context

    This module explores the English language from the point of view of its structure, its history and its unique role today as a global language.

    You’ll explore different perspectives on studying English in its various social, historical and cultural contexts. In doing so, you’ll consider applications of the core tools of linguistic analysis in the study of English language and in examining the wider world.

  • Year Two

    Core modules

    Contemporary Philosophy: Philosophy in the 20th Century

    This module will introduce you to the ideas of the key thinkers that have helped to shape the development of 20th Century philosophy. Specific ideas and themes covered will include the significance of Kant in the development of contemporary European thought, Husserl and phenomenology, Heidegger on the authentic life as well as work on the nature of language, meaning and the mind by contemporary British and American analytic philosophers.

    Applying Methods in Linguistics

    This module will introduce you to a range of methods of data collection, project design and data analysis. You’ll acquire the skills and methods which will help prepare you for your dissertation in the final year. At the end of the module, you’ll be required to produce a research proposal in response to a simulated real-world briefing.

    Humanities at work

    This module will give you a taste of live industry experience. The placement includes report writing around your experience and clear work-based learning objectives.

    Philosophy optional modules

    Applied Philosophy II

    Philosophy is often viewed as a remote and highly esoteric discipline that has very little to say to ‘ordinary people’ in their workaday lives.

    This module will challenge this view, and examine the ways in which philosophical forms of questioning and analysis can assist us both in our personal and in our working lives. Drawing upon both ancient and modern philosophical sources, the module will examine the way in which philosophy can provide us with ideas and arguments that point us towards greater self-insight and ultimately better ways of living.

    Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

    This module introduces you to the key debates and themes in contemporary philosophy of religion. The module aims to facilitate an awareness of religion’s problematic status in modern philosophy through allowing you to explore the assumptions of key thinkers in an area of philosophical inquiry that also touches on important theological issues.

    Philosophy, Technology and Innovation

    Those of us who live in modern societies increasingly inhabit a ‘technological world’ where our lives and values are increasingly shaped, possibly even ‘determined’, by our interactions with technological devices of various kinds. However, this novel historical situation raises a number of important and pressing philosophical question.

    In this module we will examine these questions and introduce you to a number of recent debates that have made the philosophy of technology one of the most important branches of contemporary philosophical inquiry through an examination the ideas of Norbert Elias, Karl Marx; Hebert Marcuse, Martin Heidegger, Paul Virilio, Donna Haraway, Marhsall McCluhan and Bruno Latour.

    Philosophy and Media

    This interdisciplinary module aims to view the media philosophically through the lens of everyday life. Its central organising theme is the media’s potential to operate as a powerful philosophical tool within an image saturated society, with the capability to transmit, influence and critique dominant ideological norms.

    The Philosophy of Time

    Study two opposed contemporary theories of time's flow and three opposed ontological positions regarding the existence of the past, present and future.

    Linguistics optional modules

    Communication Disorders

    The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists estimates that 2.5 million people in the UK have a communication disorder. Of this number, 800,000 people have a disorder that is so severe that it’s hard for anyone outside their immediate families to understand them.

    This module will introduce you to the full range of developmental and acquired communication disorders that make up these large numbers.

    Sociolinguistics

    Language variation refers to the way in which language changes in response to different social practices. Common sense tells us that language varies with situation and in the course of this module we will explore the different aspects of language variation, drawing on your own experiences and perceptions of language use. For instance we are aware of different accents and dialects across the country; we can all vary our language depending on whether we are talking to an adult or a child.

    The aim of this module is to raise your awareness of the linguistic consequences of the contexts of culture and situation.

    Child Language Acquisition

    This module will allow you to investigate the course of language acquisition from birth to the age of four, paying particular attention to the development of phonetics, lexis and grammar. There will also be the opportunity to focus on fields such as social and pragmatic development and the chance to compare ‘normal’ development with groups of special populations where children may come across particular problems with language learning.

    Phonetics

    Phonetics is the scientific study of speech sounds. This module will cover physiology – the study of the human organs of speech, and articulation – the study of the consonant and vowel sounds which the human vocal apparatus is capable of producing.

    This module will equip you with a tool of description which may then be employed in other linguistic work e.g. in sociolinguistic project work.

    Discourse Analysis

    Discourse analysis is the study of naturally occurring language across extended texts, both spoken and written. The module begins by surveying the various approaches and issues within discourse analysis, before introducing a critical element to analysis and finally applying the methods across a range of discourse types. The module aims to provide a systematic linguistic toolkit for analysing discourse, and to show how the tools can be applied to a wide range of spoken and written texts. It also aims to offer a solid grounding for all of the third year modules in the Discourse pathway.

  • Year Three

    Core module

    Dissertation

    The final year dissertation module enables you to undertake a sustained, single piece of independently researched work on a topic of your choice, under expert supervision.

    Philosophy optional modules

    Wittgenstein and Heidegger

    This module introduces you to some of the central problems in contemporary philosophy through an examination of the work of two of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century: Martin Heidegger and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

    The overall aim of the module is to encourage you to question and wonder about your experience of the wider world and to show the extent to which answers to the philosophical questions posed by both these philosophers can change the way we think about ourselves and the world in which we live.

    Reasons for Action

    The aim of the module is to introduce students to selected issues around the general topic: what kind of reasons for acting one way rather than another are good reasons? One possible reason for doing something is the belief that it’s the right thing to do: we ask whether morality can give us a reason for action. But we also consider other reasons for action (e.g. just wanting to do something) and what it is that we should be aiming for in life in general.

    Contemporary Metaphysics

    This module aims to introduce students to some of the major disputes in contemporary metaphysics.

    Contemporary French Philosophy

    This module serves to introduce you to some of the highly influential and continuingly fecund schools of thought that emerged in France during the 20th Century. The module engages with many of the defining concepts of contemporary Continental philosophy, tracking their development out of, and often in problematic relation to, the traditional philosophic discourse within which they arose.

    Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind

    The overall aim of this module is to introduce you to the key concepts involved in contemporary philosophical debates about the nature and significance of the mind. The module examines critically the Cartesian idea that the mind is distinct substance separate from the body. It also explores the way that psychoanalysis and behaviourism both posed important challenges to this conception in the 20th Century.

    Advanced Topics in Applied Philosophy

    The overall aim of this module is to show how philosophical modes of inquiry can allow you to make sense of the personal experiences, professional practices and contemporary ways of being that have become central to many aspects of human life in western societies today.

    World Philosophy

    Globalisation has radically transformed the world’s cultural landscape.  In this module, you will examine the impact of globalisation on contemporary philosophical debates and the way in which it seems to call into question the Greek origins of philosophical ways of understanding the world.

    Philosophy and Film

    This module aims to view film-philosophy via two interconnected perspectives. You'll learn about the specificity of the film medium and its relationship with philosophy.

    Social and Political Philosophy

    This module will introduce you to some of key issues in contemporary social and political philosophy. Its central focus is on the question of how we are to understand the nature and dynamics of contemporary society in philosophical terms.

    Philosophy and Childhood

    This module will introduce you to some of the key debates in contemporary philosophy that address the nature and wider significance of childhood, with particular emphasis given to the philosophical significance of childhood thought, language and emotion. The module will explore these issues through the ideas of the philosophers of the Enlightenment as well as the ideas of 20th Century novelists and developmental psychologists.

    Linguistics optional modules

    Psycholinguistics

    This module will allow you to look at language from a psychological perspective. This will relate the psychology of language to theories of learning, mind and brain as well as dealing with particular aspects of society and culture. By the end of this module you’ll be aware of the central issues of psycholinguistic research and will have an understanding of the various methodologies and experiments which have been carried out within this field of study.

    Language, Gender and Sexuality

    This module will explore key aspects of the study of language and gender, such as theories of language and gender (difference, dominance, discursive approaches), sexist language and language change, language and gender in different contexts (e.g. in the media, in books etc.). It will offer insight into the ways in which research on language and gender has developed and diversified since the 1970s, and in particular how it has responded to the 'post-structuralist challenge' and the shift to discourses and to gender identities. The module will provide you with an opportunity to explore and critically evaluate the discursive construction of both femininities and masculinities, in theoretical and practical ways.

    Clinical Linguistics

    In this module you’ll be invited to apply your knowledge of language structure and function to a clinical context. A range of child and adult communication disorders will be examined. You’ll be introduced to the anatomical, physiological, psychological, audiological and neurological pathologies that underlie disorders of foetal development (e.g. cleft palate), disorders of cognitive development (e.g. Down's syndrome and autism), congenital disorders (e.g. cerebral palsy), acquired neurological disorders (e.g. stroke, brain tumour, dementia, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, head trauma), acquired speech disorders (e.g. glossectomy, dysarthria), hearing disorders (genetic and infection-related), disorders of fluency (e.g. stammering) and disorders of voice (e.g. puberphonia in adolescent males, laryngectomy, vocal nodules and polyps).

    Media Discourse

    This module allows you to explore critically the written and spoken product of both print and broadcast mass media. The module begins by outlining the principles and methods of critical discourse analysis and critical linguistics.

    Forensic Linguistics

    This module will introduce you to the analysis of language in legal settings, which comprises two main fields of enquiry: (i) language in the legal process (ii) and language as evidence. You’ll critically engage with both written and spoken discourse produced within the specialised institutional contexts of the law, and will examine the linguistic strategies used by those within the institution (legal drafters, police, lawyers and judges) and by lay participants (suspects and witnesses).

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

NTU's Philosophy courses are ranked 13th in the Guardian League Tables 2019.

How you’re taught

How will I learn?

Each year you’ll choose a range of core and optional modules from the lists above. The first year is normally divided equally between the two joint honours subjects but at the end of Year One, you’ll have the opportunity to select between an equally weighted joint honours course and a more specialised pathway, depending on your interests.

Teaching principally takes place through a combination of lectures, where tutors introduce the key ideas, and seminars, where smaller groups discuss those ideas.

Contact hours

If you’re struggling with a topic or require additional support or guidance, you can arrange to see your tutors in small groups or one-to-one, to discuss essay plans or to seek some specific academic guidance.

It is the nature of the subjects offered in the School of Arts and Humanities, however, that much of your time will be spent engaged in independent study. We recognise that this marks a change of culture from school or college, and we have in place a system of study support to help you adapt to this.

International exchange

You’ll also have the option to take part in an international exchange at a partner university. These options will enable you to gain impressive international experience, and broaden your perspective and career ambitions.

You’ll experience other cultures, travel the globe and open your eyes to a world of opportunities. Our exchange partnership with a number of international universities enables you to live and study in another country in your second year. Find out more.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn another new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have. Learning a new language can enhance your communication skills, enrich your experience when travelling abroad and boost your career prospects. Find out more about the University Language Programme.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (50%) and written (50%)
  • Year 2 coursework (67%) and written (33%)
  • Year 3 coursework (90%) and written (10%)

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (25%), independent study (75%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (22%), independent study (76%) and placements (2%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (17%), independent study (83%)

95% student satisfaction rate for linguistics (NSS 2018).

Careers and employability

Your career development

This is a major part of the curriculum. Key transferable skills are emphasised and there are opportunities to develop links with organisations and potential employers. Joint honours courses develop a wide range of skills. These include written and oral communication skills, critical analysis and a variety of IT skills. But you’ll also become more self-motivated, be able to work independently and in teams, and develop excellent time management skills.

93% of our philosophy joint honours undergraduates are in work or further study within just six months of finishing their degree (DLHE 2016-17).

Entry requirements

  • 104 UCAS tariff points from up to four qualifications (two of which must be A-level equivalent)
  • GCSEs - English and Maths grade C / 4.

If you are unsure whether the qualifications you have, or are currently studying for, meet the minimum entry requirements for this course, please contact us before submitting an application through UCAS.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please email our International Team for advice.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can.

For the Sandwich route (Full-time with year abroad) just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow our step-by-step guide.

If you're applying for the part-time route please apply online using the NTU Applicant Portal.

Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You've got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up-to-date

After you've applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Tel: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

Keeping up-to-date

After you've applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Tel: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service on +44 (0)115 848 2494.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Please see our fees page for more information.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Find out more about our terms and conditions of study for this course.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418