What is Computer Science, Linguistics and a Language?
The Computer Science, Linguistics and a Language (CSLL) degree is an integrated, interdisciplinary programme. CSLL students learn computer science, study linguistics, the scientific study of language and speech, and study a specific language (with a choice of French, Spanish or Irish).
There is an emphasis on the intersection of these subjects, on computational
and empirical approaches to language, knowledge of which is important to the ever-growing fields of speech and language technology, such as machine translation, speech synthesis and recognition.
All the component disciplines are pursued to a high level, equipping CSLL graduates to pursue a very wide range of careers, such as in computing in general, in roles requiring skills in a particular language and in the speech and language technology area.
Computer Science, Linguistics and a Language: The course for you?
If you enjoy problem solving, conceptual analysis, mathematics, language learning and are interested in combining topics in creative and insightful ways, then this may be the right course for you. It appeals to students with strengths in analytical reasoning and an affinity for mastering languages, but who do not want to choose between arts and sciences. Project work pursued throughout provides scope for personal expression.
Computer Science, Linguistics and a Language at Trinity
This is one of the most integrated, interdisciplinary degrees on offer, bridging computer science, linguistic sciences and the arts. It is the only programme of its kind in Ireland, and unique internationally as an undergraduate degree offering. The teaching is research led: many lecturers are themselves involved in research and the development of speech and language technology. Students get to see and, at times, participate in this research, and graduates are highly sought after as researchers. The interdisciplinary skills acquired open doors to world mobility and employability.
Computer Science at Trinity is ranked number 1 in Ireland, top 30 in Europe and top 100 worldwide (QS subject rankings, 2020).
Over more than 50 years, it has earned a strong international reputation and has partnerships in education, research and industry across the globe.
Graduate skills and career opportunities
Since the course began in 1985, graduates have moved on to careers that reflect CSLL’s diversity. Graduates are qualified to work as language specialists, in the language and speech technology sector, as information technologists or software specialists in any of the IT, banking, translation, publishing or multimedia sectors. Some work as software engineers. Some have careers in professional translation; others in education. About 65% of graduates work in software engineering (often language oriented), whether in a mainly English-speaking country, or in a country where the language of the degree focus is the native language. About 25% pursue research careers and a number of graduates now hold academic staff positions in Ireland and abroad. Another 10% move into technical translation. Some are employed in government services, e.g. the European Patent Office and the Irish Diplomatic Corps.
Your degree and what you’ll study
In the first two years, you will study computer science, linguistics and your chosen language, exploring areas where computers and the science and practice of language meet. Students complete increasingly complex projects in each year of the programme. The final year offers opportunities for more in-depth interdisciplinary work, or for specialisation in the classical core of the constituent disciplines.
First year and Second year
In first year there is a comprehensive introduction to computers, how to program them and certain fundamentals of how they really work, with no prior knowledge assumed. The second year builds upon this with more advanced programming, a study of fundamental data structures and algorithms and specifically an introduction to computational treatments of language: computational linguistics. Linguistics modules introduce the scientific study of how the sounds, words and syntax of languages are structured and of the processes involved in human communication. These encompass both theoretical and computational elements (such as Speech Science and Phonetics, Computational Morphology). As mathematical tools are on occasion required, in support of this there are also mathematics courses. In CSLL’s third stream, modules from the language departments provide for the detailed study and mastery of the productive and receptive skills of a specific language as well as Area Studies, which typically explores the culture and society of the country/ies of that language.
Subject areas include
- Introduction to Programming
- Representations and Computation
- Introduction to the Study of Language (General Linguistics)
- Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology
- Introduction to Syntax
- Written, oral and aural language fluency
- Area Studies
- Discrete and Continuous Mathematics
- Data Structures and Programming Techniques
- Natural Language Processing
- Syntactic Theory
- Introduction to Speech Science
- Formal Semantics
- Instrumental Phonetics
- Computational Morphology
- Statistics for Linguistics
- Written, oral and aural language fluency
Third and fourth years
You study the three streams of CSLL in third and fourth years, either at Trinity or abroad (in 3rd year) under the Erasmus programme. Module choices allow you to personalise to individual strengths. Relating to language, there are advanced modules such as Computational Linguistics (involving Speech Recognition and Machine Translation), Speech Analysis and Synthesis, and Human Second-Language Acquisition. Then of wider relevance there are such modules as Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Vision and Computer Graphics. You also proceed to advanced study in your chosen language, perfecting your skills in translation, essay writing and oral presentation. There is a fourth year Capstone project: it may be interdisciplinary, or it may focus on just one of the three contributing streams.
Click Here for further information on modules/subject.
The programme has Erasmus exchange agreements which allow you to pursue CSLL’s three streams at a university abroad in the third year. Besides excellent technical modules, this gives you a great opportunity to develop language skills and experience life abroad. Students of French or Spanish spend the third year at a university abroad and for students studying Irish this is also a possibility
Study Computer Science, Linguistics and a Language at Trinity College Dublin
This is a presentation by Dr. Martin Emms giving an outline of the Computer Science, Linguistics and a Language (CSLL) course in Trinity College Dublin.
AwardsB.A. (Moderatorship) Honours Bachelor Degree
CAO InformationCAO Points 443 (2021) CAO Code TR039
Number of Places27 Places
- H4 Mathematics
- H3 In French or Spanish or Irish
Advanced GCE (A Level):
- Grade C Mathematics
- Grade C If presenting French or Spanish
- Grade B If presenting Irish
- HL Grade 5 Mathematics
- HL Grade 5 If presenting French or Spanish
- HL Grade 6 If presenting Irish
Students choose one language from French, Spanish and Irish.
Students must present one of the above grades in their chosen language.
To apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below
Advanced Entry Applications
Read the information about how to apply for Advanced Entry, then select the link below to apply.
WHAT OUR STUDENTS SAY
The combination of linguistics and computer science is a fascinating field and one that is becoming increasingly important, as technology becomes more and more integrated into our lives. I found being able to focus on this niche, yet highly varied area, at undergraduate level a great opportunity and it certainly equipped me with a unique, highly sought-after skill set. Undertaking a language at university level and the opportunity to live abroad for a year with the Erasmus programme was definitely a highlight. The programme opened up new doors to meet people from around the world and experience different cultures. I am now pursuing a speech-related Ph.D. at Trinity.
WHAT OUR GRADUATES SAY
I am glad that I chose this course. For me, the multi-faceted degree was the perfect balance of challenging and rewarding. The ability to approach problems using knowledge from several disciplines serves you extremely well. Moreover, you gain proficiency in a second language. Personally, that led to an Erasmus year of great memories and personal development. This course has unequivocally shaped my future. The course components complement each other well and the course is continually adapting its modules to be relevant in the modern world.