LINGUISTICS

The science of language. You don’t learn all the languages in the world, but you learn to understand them.

Introduction

On the linguistics programme, you learn to approach language as a question. You study the differences between everyday language and written language, how we learn our mother tongues and foreign languages, what language means for society and individuals, and the difference between correct and incorrect language use.

Studying linguistics at Aarhus University

Courses on the linguistics programme are based on practical exercises, lectures and classroom instruction, where you give presentations, participate in discussions and work with your study group. You learn about the structure and grammar of language, pronunciation, and the relationships and similarities between different languages. Linguistic is research on language, and you will begin learning how to perform your own linguistic analyses in the first year of the programme.

The world of linguistics

On the linguistics programme, you study the rules governing how sounds can be linked together into words, words into sentences and sentences into speech or writing. You learn theories of language and learn to understand language in a historical context. You also learn to do linguistic research on issues such as how sign language reflects the user’s psychological and social perceptoin of reality, and how language forms national and personal identities.

Career opportunities

With a Bachelor’s degree in linguistics, you will be qualified for a number of Master's degree programmes. For example, you might choose the Master’s degree in lingustics, which can give you career opportunities in language teaching and language research, as a language consultant, or as an information or communication officer.

Admission requirements

Admission area number: 22310

To be eligible for admission to this degree programme, you must fulfil the following requirements:

qualifying examination as well as the following specific admission requirements (A, B and C refers to the subject level in the Danish upper secondary school with A being the highest level possible):

  • Danish A
  • English B
  • History B or History of Ideas B or Contemporary History B
  • An additional language at A level (or B level in case of an advanced language).

 

If there are any subjects you have not completed at the required level, you can take them as supplementary courses or as a summer supplementary course (conditional Admission).

The admission requirements must be met and documented by 5 July in the year of application unless you apply for conditional admission.

Quota 2

Like quota 1 applicants, quota 2 applicants must have passed a qualifying examination, and they must also fulfil the specific admission requirements above.

Quota 2 applicants are individually evaluated on the basis of: 

  1. grade average calculated on the basis of the particularly relevant subjects (Quota 2 subjects) listed below
  2. other particularly relevant documented qualifications.

Read more about Aarhus University's quota 2 criteria.

Quota 2 subjects:

  • Danish A
  • English B
  • History B or History of Ideas B or Contemporary History B
  • An additional language at A level (or B level in case of an advanced language).

Programme structure

The courses on the linguistics programme focus on two central aspects. First and foremost, you acquire the tools to analyse a language from many angles, including grammar, morphology and phonology. You also learn how to contextualise languages, for example through comparative analysis and evaluating the role languages play in a culture. During your studies, you also become an expert at collecting and interpreting linguistic data.

Academic regulations

In the academic regulations, you can read more about the content of the individual course, the structure of the degree programme and the demands the programme places on you as a student. You can also read about the types of exams and the exam requirements.

In the diagram below, you can see how the programme is structured. You can click on the various courses to read the individual course descriptions.


 

Student life

Academic life on the linguistics programme

The linguistics programme has about 100 students. This means that you will develop a close relationship to your fellow students, both academically and socially. At lectures on the linguistics programme, your teacher will review the day’s topic for your entire year group, and you have many opportunities to participate actively in class discussions and give presentations in seminars. At the same time, you will be part of a study group, which is a forum for discussion and dialogue. 

Here is an example of a typical week in the first semester of the BA programme in linguistics. As you can see, you spend a lot of your time preparing for classes. This is why linguistics is a full-time degree programme, even though you don’t necessarily have scheduled classes every day.

Monday:
8:00-11:00 Lecture: Understanding Linguistics
11:00-17:00 Independent study

Tuesday:
8:00-10:00 Study group
10:00 - 12:00 Lecture
12:00-17:00 Independent study

Wednesday:
8:00-10:00 Independent study
10:00 - 12:00 Student teacher: Danish and the Languages of the World
12:00 - 14:00 Grammar assignments
14:00 - 15:00 Student teacher: Understanding Linguistics

Thursday:
8:00 - 10:00 Lecture: Danish Grammar
10:00 - 12:00 Lecture
12:00-17:00 Independent study

Friday:
8:00 - 11:00 Grammar assignments
11:00 - 12:00 Lecture: Danish Grammar
12:00-14:00 Study group
14:00 - 17:00 Friday bar

Social life on the linguistics programme

Your life as a student doesn’t necessarily stop after the last lecture of the day. There are lots of different academic and social events for you to participate in together with your fellow students:

Lingoland
The student’s common room is called Lingoland, a space for group study and relaxation.

ViGør
The social committee for linguistics hosts lectures every Friday as well as social events like Lingobio and Lingo board games.

KOMMAbar
Linguistics shares a Friday bar with Scandinavian studies.

Studying abroad

Doing a semester abroad is an excellent idea for students on the linguistics degree programme. Getting to know other exchange students introduces you to a variety of new ways of using language, and you develop your understanding of another culture. During the last year of your BA programme, you can take advantage of one of the many exchange agreements between Aarhus University and partner universities all over the world. Get inspiration, guidance and travel lust here.

Follow the student life at Aarhus University

-experienced, photographed and filmed by the students themselves.

With thousands of pictures #yourniversity gives insight into the everyday life as a student at AU; the parties, procrastination, exams and all the other ways you’ll spend your time at university.

 

The photos belong to the users, shared with #Yourniversity, #AarhusUni and course-specific AU-hashtags.

Career

Job functions for MA/MSc grads

The diagram shows the kinds of jobs and job functions available to graduates of the corresponding MA/MSc programme, based on the 2013/14 AU employment survey.

As a linguistics graduate, your career options depend a lot on what you’ve chosen to focus on during your studies, along with your choice of supplementary subject and Master’s degree programme. 

As a linguist, you are an expert in the structure and function of language, and you familiarise yourself with new languages quickly. You are skilled in analysing both oral and written linguistic data. 

Many graduates of the linguistics programme work in education, for example in teaching Danish to immigrants or children with language difficulties such as dyslexia (reading disorder) or aphasia (brain injury). Others work as language consultants, communications officers, administrators or software developers, for example developing language learning software. 

Supplementary subjects

There are lots of options to choose from when deciding which supplementary subject to do in the course of your Bachelor’s degree programme. Examples of supplementary subjects other linguistics students have chosen:

  • Supplementary subject in Cognitive Semiotics
  • Supplementary subject in Scandinavian Language and Literature
  • Supplementary subject in Rhetoric 

 

 

Master’s degree programmes

Most graduates of the Bachelor’s programme in Linguistics go on to do a Master’s degree. You should be aware that specific supplementary subjects can be a prerequisite for admission to some MA programmes. Here are some examples of the options available to graduates of the BA programme:

  • The Master’s degree programme in Linguistics, where you work with the topics and methods of your BA programme at a more advanced level and adopt a more independent approach to critical evaluation of different theories of language.
  • The Master’s degree programme in Cognitive Semiotics, which is an interdisciplinary programme that investigates how humans create meaning in language, science and art.
  • The Master’s degree programme i Rhetoric, where you learn to master audience-oriented communication strategies.
  • The Master’s degree programme in Journalism, where you learn journalistic skills while continuing to build on your linguistic skills.