Why is human language unique and unlike any other natural communication system? How do children learn their first language? Do women and men speak differently? Are some forms of English better than others? Why does language change through time? Linguistics seeks to provide answers to questions such as these and many others. As the science of language, linguistics studies everything to do with language, including how language is structured, how it develops in children, the ways in which it reflects society and culture, how it defines individuals and groups, and how it changes over time. If you find these questions interesting, then you will enjoy studying linguistics. Undergraduates do not commonly get the chance to study applied linguistics, but this course offers you the opportunity to learn about the central ideas and concerns of contemporary linguistics at one of the world’s top research-intensive universities. You’ll be surrounded by enthusiastic students from diverse backgrounds, ages, careers and cultures. Also, you can reach near-native standard in one language - French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish - or upper-intermediate or advanced level in Japanese, depending on your level of entry, while practising allied skills such as translating, summary-writing, and delivering written and oral presentations. With the higher levels of entry, the aim is to raise your language level to upper-intermediate or near-native standard. Remaining modules may be chosen from those relating to the culture of the language studied (many taught primarily in that language), or from a range of cross-cultural modules (taught in English). The third year is normally spent abroad at a partner institution to allow you to develop your language skills and your knowledge of the culture of the language-speaking area you are studying. You can also apply for a three-year version of the programme without a year abroad, and you will normally also be able to transfer to this version of the programme during your first or second year of study if you decide you do not wish to study outside of the UK.