Why should I study this course?
The age-old question is here again and if you’re currently waiting for university offers or only just beginning to look, you’re bound to be asking this question more times than you’d think possible: Why should I study this course? Well as someone who experienced more difficulties than expected when deciding what course to choose, I hope I can offer some information and clear up any doubts.
So when and why did I decide to study Linguistics with Spanish? It may come as a surprise but originally I applied to UCAS and received an offer to study Hispanic Studies with Italian ab initio. However, after almost a year of deliberation and doubt, I decided that this wasn’t the best course for me and I wanted to try something new; so I transferred onto the Linguistics with Spanish course (this also happened only A WEEK before I was due to move in so don’t be scared to change your mind!). This brings me to the first reason why I chose this course: university is about trying out new things and learning in new ways so don’t be scared to choose a course that is slightly different to what you had in mind. This course allows you to feel secure with a language that you already know, but it also adds an exciting new linguistic element. I’ve had a passion for languages and writing for as long as I can remember so eventually choosing to study linguistics alongside a language was the best decision for me – albeit a rather late one…
Another doubt that may come to mind is whether all of the modules are going to suit you. Personally, I preferred the sound of the more creative and language-based modules such as the ‘Culture, Cognition and Society’ module which is based on the interesting aspects of psychology. After almost two terms I can confidently say this is my favourite module as it has allowed me to study communication psychology: a subject which I never thought I would be interested in. However, with my newfound passion for the more cognitive aspects of communication it is safe to say the thought of studying the ‘Research, Academic and Professional Skills’ module certainly concerned me (I thought I was finally finished with anything ‘mathsy’!). Nevertheless I began the module with an open mind and, while there were some less creative elements, the module really introduces you to the style of writing needed at university as well as allowing you to plan and carry out your very own research project. This is the second reason why I chose this course: all of the modules are different; giving you access to the most interesting aspects of subjects you never had the opportunity to study or never even thought you’d like!
Now after all that detail it’s time to give you some more general points about the course:
The teaching hours: Unlike some of the maths or science based subjects, my course this year has about 13 hours of teaching time each week (this includes all lectures, seminars and language classes) so you do have quite a lot of time to yourself! This year I have almost 2 full days off which I find really useful because I can use them as days to do work without worrying about cramming in work during the evenings – this is also very useful when you want to go on a night out!
The reading: One of my main concerns for university was definitely whether I knew how much extra reading to do and whether I could even keep up with the required reading, but fear not! The required reading is always interesting, useful and completely doable within the time frame. If you don’t have enough time you can always get by with the required reading, but the further reading is also always a bonus as it includes loads more detail!
Finally, the essays: For each of the modules there are 2 essays to submit and Term 1 seemed to be full of them (talk about throwing you in at the deep end!). But the best thing about the way the essays work is that the first essay of each module is just a practise. You learn how to submit properly, you get thorough feedback, and most importantly you get to experience the student all-nighter as you try to reach your word count! In all honesty the essays seem daunting at first, but they all cover lecture topics and the library is full of useful books so you soon get the hang of it.
Phew, that was a lot of information! I hope I’ve covered the main points you’d like to know and watch this space for more!