Computer Science and Linguistics

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What are Computer Science and Linguistics?

Computer Science is the study of computers and computational systems. Computer scientists design and analyze algorithms to solve programs and study the performance of computer hardware and software.

Linguistics is the systematic study of the structure and evolution of human language, and the main goal of linguistics is to increase our knowledge and understanding of the world. Since language is universal and fundamental to all human interactions, the knowledge attained in linguistics has many practical applications.

Computer Science and Linguistics are two fields that overlap for industries such as Artificial Intelligence, Computational Linguistics, Language Engineering or Machine Learning Engineering.

What 3rd level courses are available?

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

  • MA Applied Linguistics – A study of linguistics, language studies and communication.
  • Structured PhD in Applied Linguistics – A study of language description, language systems, theories of applied linguistics and second language acquisition.
  • CK 401 Computer Science – A study of the profound impact of computer technology over recent decades on so many key facets of modern life.
  • Computer Science – Gain the knowledge and skills required to develop apps for the mobile and traditional computing environments.
  • Computer Science: Software Engineering – A study of the technical, methodological, organizational development of reliable software and information technology systems.
  • Computer Science: Research – The aim of the research degree in computer science is to provide the student with an opportunity to carry out a significant body of research work with the support and supervision of senior academic researchers.
  • BSc (Hons) Computer Science – Gain a thorough understanding of the key principles of computer science.

Studying Computer Science and Linguistics in college

There are many Computer Science and Linguistics courses that take place over 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials and taught modules. Assessments will take place on a continuous basis with written examinations and practical assignments combined in order to achieve a qualification. You could also consider work experience or work placements and internship opportunities with organisations and businesses in fields that you are interested in or that will help you develop the skills relevant to your career interests.

Joining a university club or society that gives you the opportunity to develop your computing, web design or multimedia skills also helps when applying for graduate jobs.

If you are interested in training to become a speech and language therapist, it’s essential that you get some work experience. Try and arrange an observation session at your local speech and language therapy service and get some experience working with children and adults with a learning disability or the elderly and disabled people.

Work Experience will not only give you the opportunity to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

Career options

After completing a course in Computer Science and Linguistics you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of computer science and linguistics such as Artificial Intelligence Engineer, Computational Linguist, Data Scientist, Language Engineer or Machine Learning Engineer.

Working hours will depend on whether you are employed by a company with set business hours or if you are contracted to various facilities or companies. The hours are usually full time, Monday to Friday, but depending on your position you may need to work some extra hours to meet project deadlines.

Common employers within the Computer Science field are IT consultancies and IT service providers. However, as most businesses rely on computers to function effectively, there are also opportunities within the IT departments of major organisations in sectors such as aerospace and defence, agricultural, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, public and third sectors, retail and telecommunications.

A course in linguistics is useful for careers in communications, government administration, marketing, public relations, publishing. Linguistics graduates also go into jobs where they can use their knowledge of linguistics directly, such as working for dictionary compilers or as proofreaders and editors.

Others train as speech and language therapists or as teachers, or find work teaching English as a foreign or second language. There are also opportunities in computer programming and information technology, specifically within areas such as voice recognition and language software development.

Related jobs include:

  • Artificial Intelligence Engineer
  • Computational Linguist
  • Data Scientist
  • Language Engineer
  • Machine Learning Engineer
  • Data analyst
  • Software tester
  • Web developer
  • Systems analyst
  • Business analyst
  • Product manager
  • Network architect
  • Software engineer
  • English as a foreign language teacher
  • Lexicographer
  • Marketing executive
  • Public relations officer
  • Publishing copy-editor/proof-reader
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Speech and language therapist
  • Teaching assistant
  • Academic researcher
  • Digital copywriter
  • Editorial assistant
  • Information officer
  • Public librarian
  • Social researcher
  • Translator
  • Application analyst
  • Applications developer
  • Cybersecurity analyst
  • Database administrator
  • Forensic computer analyst
  • Game designer
  • Games developer
  • Information systems manager
  • IT consultant
  • UX designer
  • IT sales professional
  • IT trainer
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Network engineer
  • Telecommunications researcher

Further study

After completing a course in Computer Science and Linguistics you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skillset. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practice in certain career areas such as developing new technologies and products, forensic linguistics, language sciences, English language, philosophy of language, creative writing or philosophy.

You could also complete a teaching qualification in order to teach IT in secondary schools.


Why are Computer Science and Linguistics important?

Computer science studies the design, development and analysis of software and hardware used to solve problems in a variety of business, scientific and social contexts.

Linguistics help us understand our world through not only the intricacies of world languages but by improving communication between people, contributing to translation activities, assisting in literacy efforts, and treating speech disorders.

What skills could be helpful for a career in Computer Science and Linguistics?

Generic skills such as teamwork and leadership, communication, problem-solving, negotiation, time management and organisation, report writing, numeracy and commercial awareness will be valuable for most industries.

For more specific computer science fields it will be useful to have some basic knowledge of programming languages, hardware architecture and construction, network design and engineering, software engineering, multimedia design, software tools and packages.

In the linguistics field, you will need to have an understanding of the science of language and how it evolves. Basic knowledge of language analysis, research skills, the ability to accurately collect, interpret and manage data, written and verbal communication skills and IT skills will all be very beneficial.

Where can I study Computer Science and Linguistics?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • Africa has a number of languages that just consist of click sounds! Known as Khoisan languages, clicks function as normal consonants in these languages. Clicks are distinctive sounds that are made in the mouth via a suction mechanism.
  • “Contronym” is a word that has multiple meanings in which two of the meanings are completely opposite of each other. Such words are also known as “autantonyms” or “contranyms.”
  • Papua New Guinea has over 850 languages that are spoken by the tribes residing there.
  • Computer scientists rarely work in isolation. Whether they work for private companies, public organizations, government agencies, the entertainment industry, or for themselves, they have to be in contact with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Intel’s first microprocessor was intended for a calculator.
  • More than 17 billion devices worldwide are connected to the internet.

Mariza Halliday

Stage Management and Technical Theatre
Geoscience Courses


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