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Sheffield (BA) or Edinburgh (MA) for Languages watch

  • View Poll Results: Sheffield (BA + Linguistics) or Edinburgh (MA) for Languages
    Sheffield BA (French, Spanish and Linguistics)
    3
    21.43%
    Edinburgh MA (French & Spanish)
    11
    78.57%

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    I'm in kind of a dilemma here.

    I've been offered a place on two quite similar courses with one big difference and have no idea how to decide between them.

    The two courses are:

    Sheffield Modern Foreign Languages BA (French, Spanish and Linguistics)
    Edinburgh Modern Languages MA (French & Spanish)

    I know where I'd rather go...but in terms of employability, I don't know which would be more beneficial in working in the world of languages; a BA with Linguistics (Sheffield) or an MA (Edinburgh) without. :confused:

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
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    I'd go for Edinburgh personally - it's a very old, highly prestigious university in a lovely city.

    However, Sheffield is a well respected uni in a nice city, so if you're really set on doing Linguistics then that would be the better choice.

    I wouldn't have thought Linguistics would necessarily make you more employable (although someone may well correct me on this), so the choice between the two basically comes down to how badly you want to study linguistics. Couldn't you study Linguistics at Edinburgh for the first year or so? I'm sure they let you study outside subjects in the first couple of years.
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    (Original post by xmarilynx)
    I'd go for Edinburgh personally - it's a very old, highly prestigious university in a lovely city.

    However, Sheffield is a well respected uni in a nice city, so if you're really set on doing Linguistics then that would be the better choice.

    I wouldn't have thought Linguistics would necessarily make you more employable (although someone may well correct me on this), so the choice between the two basically comes down to how badly you want to study linguistics. Couldn't you study Linguistics at Edinburgh for the first year or so? I'm sure they let you study outside subjects in the first couple of years.
    Yeah they do let you study an outside subject in the first year, but I want it to be a complete part of my degree. It's not that I really want to study linguistics (although I would like to) it's the fact that, perhaps having a degree in the way languages are put together and work as apposed to just being able to speak and understand them would give me an edge in the translation or teaching industries...
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    Personally, I'd choose Edinburgh. It's got prestige behind it, so there's your employability sorted. It's pretty high up the League Table (if you follow that crap) for languages, coming just behind Bristol. What more could you want?

    The Linguistics though...I wouldn't let it sway you. As you say It's not that I really want to study linguistics. It's just an interest of yours. I love the way words are stuck together, and where they come from (read a rather good book on the history of the Spanish language the other week). Linguistics is, however, harder than it sounds. Especially when you're doing languages - I was dissuaded from doing it in my first year because apparently a lot (i.e. the majority) of people find it too hard and either fail it or drop out.

    If you want an edge in the translation world take an MA in it. I mean, surely that would make you 'stand out' as I don't actually know a lot of Unis which offer translation MAs. Or, be nuts and do an MA or a PhD in one of the countries you want to do translation in - heck, who knows, you might be like me and think you want to do one thing, but then find an interesting topic in Uni and change your mind. (I mean, I came to Uni wanting to teach, so I was going to take Spanish, Italian and Catalan; when I took up Catalan however, I found I loved it a lot, and now I think I may want to lecture, looking at Catalan identity as my speciality.)
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    (Original post by MisterJR)
    Yeah they do let you study an outside subject in the first year, but I want it to be a complete part of my degree. It's not that I really want to study linguistics (although I would like to) it's the fact that, perhaps having a degree in the way languages are put together and work as apposed to just being able to speak and understand them would give me an edge in the translation or teaching industries...
    I don't know which language you're doing so I just picked random languages, lol.
    The Scottish system allows for flexible learning; you pick 3 subjects in first year say you did french, spanish and linguistics, in second year you pick 2 of these, then in 3rd you can decide to do joint honours or just do one subject..(so if you wanted to do spanish and linguistics you can )
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    (Original post by pamelaa)
    I don't know which language you're doing so I just picked random languages, lol.
    The Scottish system allows for flexible learning; you pick 3 subjects in first year say you did french, spanish and linguistics, in second year you pick 2 of these, then in 3rd you can decide to do joint honours or just do one subject..(so if you wanted to do spanish and linguistics you can )
    Perfect guess, Pamelaa as that's exactly what I want to do! haha. Oh I see, I just thought that it was the 3 disciplines from the first year until the end of the course. If that's how it works in Scotland then I'm rather tempted to stick to Sheffield.
    Thanks for your advice and help
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    (Original post by MisterJR)
    Perfect guess, Pamelaa as that's exactly what I want to do! haha. Oh I see, I just thought that it was the 3 disciplines from the first year until the end of the course. If that's how it works in Scotland then I'm rather tempted to stick to Sheffield.
    Thanks for your advice and help
    No problem. Scottish arts and social science courses tend to also run for 4 years whereas in England I've gathered that most courses last for 3 years. Also a scottish MA is the same as a BA its just what the scottish 'ancient universities' i.e Glasgow, Edinburgh, St.Andrews, Aberdeen and Dundee, call their BA degrees. Just in case you were confused I know I was when I applied last year :P
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    (Original post by MisterJR)
    Oh I see, I just thought that it was the 3 disciplines from the first year until the end of the course. If that's how it works in Scotland then I'm rather tempted to stick to Sheffield.
    Quite the opposite surely? If you come to Edinburgh and pick up French, Spanish and Linguistics in first year you can then decide that Spanish is in fact not for you. You go into second year with French and Linguistics, and take up a course in British History for a year. At the end of 2nd year, you can slim that down to single honours and change degree title to "French" or "Linguistics", or if you wanted to keep both you would carry on with joint honours. The Scottish system offers you a great deal of flexibility in that respect - it's a great safety net as a student - and employers appreciate it for what it is (so if you go for graduate entry for a job afterwards you'll be able to submit transcripts which show you got a decent B grade in Spanish, even if you dropped it after first year).

    I would warn you that if you're not that into linguistics then you might do better to steer clear. You pick up more than you would thing on the subject elsewhere and it's not really that necessary. If you want to go into translating you'll need to demonstrate you have translation skills, not knowledge of linguistics. Likewise, if you go into language teaching then it is language ability that is important.

    There's a sticky thread on outside courses in the university of Edinburgh subforum which you might find useful; here.
 
 
 
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