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What is Linguistics?

Linguistics is the scientific study of language and its structure. Students interested in careers in linguistics including the study of grammar, syntax, and phonetics.

What 3rd Level Courses are Available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas:

  • English Language – the study of English as a second language for non-native English speakers.
  • Literature – the study of written works of the imagination such as poetry, drama, and narrative fiction.
  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language – the practice of teaching English as a foreign language, especially in areas where English is not widely spoken by the native population. 

Studying Linguistics in College

Most first year study involves an overview of the subject. This will offer students a great introduction to the foundational principles of linguistics including grammar, syntax, and phonetics. 

In subsequent years of study students will combine lectures, tutorials, and hands-on exercises with regular exams and presentations as benchmark assessments of their course progression. 

Most undergraduate linguistics courses run for three of four years and in certain cases universities will facilitate work experiences. 

It is common with all language-based courses that students are expected to engage in a high number of contact hours with lecturers in tutors, ensuring their successful completion of a rigorous curriculum and preparing them for careers in linguistics after university. 

A bachelor’s degree is adequate for some non-research based careers in linguistics. For example, graduates with a bachelor’s degree may start working as speech therapists, journalists, or software developers. 

Career Options
Graduating from college with a degree in linguistics will serve you well as it equips you with a unique and marketable skill set. A humanities degree teaches students to think creatively as well as equipping them with invaluable problem solving and communication skills. 

Many recent graduates have gone into ‘entry-level’ careers in linguistics working as advertising and marketing agents, editors and publishers, and as database analysts. 

Other careers in linguistics that require a higher degree of responsibility will typically require further education, training, and/or experience to qualify for, e.g. teaching, research, and consulting positions. 

Relatable Jobs Include:

  • English as a Foreign Language Instructor
  • Lexicographer
  • Primary School Teacher
  • Publishing Agent
  • Editor / Proofreader
  • Speech Therapist
  • Talent Agent
  • Database Analyst
  • Marketing Agent
  • Journalist

Further Study

An undergraduate linguistics degree is often the first step towards further postgraduate study often involving specialization in particular fields and areas of linguistics and/or undertaking new, sometimes, interdisciplinary fields. 

Visit for more information. 


  • What points do I need to study Linguistics?
    • Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always best to check with the individual higher education institution which is available on their websites. As a general rule, Leaving Cert students should have a minimum of six subjects which should include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or Four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English.
  • Are there any particular qualities you need to study Linguistics?
    • Students interested in careers in linguistics will need to enjoy the study and use of language as well as its application in the real world. They will need to be innovative, creative, and collaborative as well as being able to communicate their own ideas and opinions.
  • Where can I study Linguistics?
    • Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • Piraha is a Brazilian language that can be whistled, hummed, or encoded in music. 
  • The English language consists of words known as contronyms, which act as their own opposites. The word “cleave” for example, means both “to cut apart” and “to bind together”. 
  • The world “cliche” was originally an onomatopoeia referring to the sound that old printing presses made while making copies. 


Ethan Moser

Speech Therapy


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