Linguistics is rarely studied before university level and, contrary to popular belief, is rather different from English Language A-Level. University degrees in Linguistics tend to be interdisciplinary and appeal to students with an interest in both sciences and language/music. The Gonville & Caius Linguistics Challenge is open to all Year 12 (Lower Sixth Form) students in UK schools, regardless of the specific subjects they are studying at A-Level (or similar qualification).
Many university courses in Linguistics do not require students to have studied any languages at A-Level. For instance, the A-Level profiles of Linguistics students at Cambridge range from those who have studied two languages to those who have studied purely science and maths subjects. Topics encompassed within a Linguistics degree include: syntax (i.e. the analysis of structured data), a topic that often appeals to mathematicians and musicians; philosophy of meaning; experimental language psychology; aspects of computer science (including machine learning---a branch of Artificial Intelligence), and the physics and the biology of sound production.
The Linguistics Challenge is not being offered in 2019.