Number of students per year: 1 - 2

Typical offer: A*AA at A-level or 7 7 6 (42+ overall) in the IB. 

Essential subjects: None.

Useful subjects: Some evidence of formal language learning, such as taking A-levels/IB Higher Levels or equivalent in modern or ancient languages. You may find subjects such as English (Language or Literature) or Mathematics and other science subjects to be useful preparation. If you have any questions about your subject choices, get in touch at and we'll be happy to help.

Linguistics at Clare

For the Linguistics Tripos, the academic experience is much the same at all the colleges because the lectures and supervisions are organised centrally, so deciding on a college is more about choosing the place where you will live and the community around you. Clare is a very good choice for both of these reasons! 

Clare has a lively and friendly atmosphere, and Old Court and Memorial Court are just a few minutes walk from the Sidgwick Site where your lectures will take place. 

The college library is well-stocked with linguistics books and you will join a small, but interesting and fun group of Clare Linguistics students!

Key People


Professor Kirsty McDougall

Director of Studies & Affiliated Lecturer in Linguistics

Dr McDougall is a Senior Research Associate in the Theoretical and Applied Linguistics Section, and a Fellow of Selwyn College.

She is a phonetician, with particular interests in speaker characteristics, forensic phonetics, and the phonetic realisation of varieties of English. Her research has, among other things, highlighted the importance of dynamic as opposed to static features of speech (particularly formant frequencies) for characterising differences between speakers and developed robust techniques for the selection of foils for voice parades.

With colleague Martin Duckworth, she has developed and implemented a methodology for the analysis of fluency behaviour in forensic casework, TOFFA 'Taxonomy of Fluency features for Forensic Analysis'. She is also interested in sociophonetic variation in English, and has undertaken various studies of consonant realisation in Australian English.