Linguistics PhD with unrelated BSc & MA ?


Hi guys!

I have a BSc in Psychology and MA in Human Rights. 2 years ago I got a Level 5 TEFL qualification and taught English in South Korea. Now I would like to pursue a career in Linguistics. Since I paid for my MA myself, I don't qualify for an MA Linguistics. In the long run, I would like to do a PhD in Linguistics and become a researcher/lecturer in Linguistics.

Birkbeck Uni offers a graduate certificate in Linguistics Studies that I can afford. It only offers total 60 credits.

Question: Is it worth doing the graduate certificate (60 credits) in Linguistics Studies now and apply for a PhD in Linguistics starting in 2021? Do I stand a chance?

What are possible routes for me to pursue a PhD in Linguistics?

Thank you so much in advance for all the advice and suggestions! :D


The Birkbeck course looks as if it covers a wide range of areas of Linguistics so if you don't know which area you're most interested in, it should provide some insights. Taking it might also boost your chances of getting accepted for a PhD in Linguistics, but I'm not sure about that. If you're interested in Sociolinguistics, you might find that the course isn't necessary because there's quite a lot of crossover with social sciences and even human rights in some cases. I would talk to the people at Birkbeck and see what they think.


Amazing thank you so much!


It depends on the area of Linguistics you are interested in - if it's an area which a large Psycholinguistics component, your current background may be enough. Tbh, Humanities PhDs are competitive funding-wise, so a lot of research councils ask for specific previous degrees - you might want to research potential supervisors and funding sources to see whether the route is viable for you.

There is also the MA+PhD route (1+3), which would fund a relevant masters degree plus the PhD, which might be suitable for you if you have a less than ideal academic background for Linguistics.