Department of Linguistics
The Department of Linguistics at SOAS was founded in 1932 as the first department of general linguistics in Britain. The research carried out within the department has made a significant and lasting impact on the development of linguistic theory and in the areas of language documentation and description. Since 2002 we have been the proud home of the Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project.
The department is a centre for linguistic study in an unparalleled range of languages, many of which we are documenting for the first time. Primary areas of research focus around linguistic theory, language documentation and description, translation, and language pedagogy. Through these activities, our department has close academic ties to the rest of our , the Departments of Africa, China and Inner Asia, Japan and Korea, Near and Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia, and the Language Centre, as well as various academic centres hosted or partnered by SOAS. We participate in various academic activities with other linguistics departments in the south of England, and other University of London colleges.
In general linguistics, we offer a BA in Linguistics, a postgraduate taught MA, and the PhD in Linguistics. Our curricula centre around a core of foundational linguistic study, with a wide range of pathways and joint degrees at the undergraduate level.
The Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project is an international funding, training and archive project established with a commitment of £20 million from the Lisbet Rausing Charitable Fund. It comprises three parts, namely the Endangered Languages Academic Programme (ELAP), the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR), and the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme (ELDP). Through the ELAP programme we offer specialised postgraduate courses in Language Description and Documentation, leading to an MA degree, as well as a PhD in Field Linguistics. Our PhD students are conducting primary work all over the world in description, documentation, and language revitalisation.
In translation, SOAS offers degrees in the Theory and Practice of Translation at both MA and PhD levels. The curriculum is formed around a core of courses aimed to provide both a theoretical and an applied introduction to translation, with specialised courses for particular languages.
In language pedagogy, SOAS offers the MA in Applied Linguistics and Language Pedagogy. The core course of Language Pedagogy is complemented by a wide range of courses regarding the teaching and learning of languages, and the structure of those languages.
The links on the left will lead you to our department's staff, curricula, and events.
Telephone +44 (0)20 7898 4044
Fax +44 (0)20 7898 4399