A graduate in linguistics, depending on aptitude, the particular course of study and the teaching methods experienced, typically will have the ability to:
Linguistics is concerned with language in all its forms, spoken, written and signed. A key insight of linguistics is that language and linguistic behaviour are highly structured and the nature of these structures can be elucidated by systematic study using theoretical and empirical methods.
Linguists concern themselves with many different facets of language from the physical properties of the sound waves in utterances to the intentions of speakers towards others in conversations, and the social contexts in which conversations are embedded. Sub branches of linguistics are concerned with how languages are structured, what they have in common, the range of and limits to the differences among them, how they are acquired and used and how they change.
Since language enters into almost every area of human activity, the application of linguistic analysis can be extremely broad. A sample includes teaching and learning particular languages, language issues in new technologies, the development of writing systems, dictionaries, and standardised technical formats for languages, translation between languages, language issues in globalising multilingual and multicultural societies; linguistic difficulties such as aphasia, hearing or speech disorders, communication between peoples with different sociological, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, the revitalisation of endangered languages and the use and abuse of language in legal contexts.
The use of language involves cognitive, social and interactional skills and competences and so the intellectual tools applied come from a wide range of disciplines. There is a range of formal, sociological and psychological perspectives on language, as well as viewpoints from practical concerns such as language teaching. Because of this, much of linguistics is interdisciplinary in both the issues it addresses and the methodologies brought to bear.
Linguistics graduates gain a broad range of skills applicable in a variety of occupations. These include broadcasting journalist, Civil Service administrator, teacher of English as a foreign language or second language, interpreter, translator, lexicographer, publishing copy editor, proof reader, speech and language therapist and recruitment consultant.
To check the growing range of resources produced by the Subject Centre to support employability and the use of this profile (including the Skills and Attributes map) go to www.llas.ac.uk/index.aspx.
This profile, produced in 2006, is based on the QAA benchmark to be found at www.qaa.ac.uk/academicinfrastructure/benchmark/honours/default.asp.