Built on a solid research foundation, the curriculum offers a broad and highly flexible suite of modules enabling you to tailor the programme to your own specific interests. The MA Language and Linguistics also offers a broad-based but advanced introduction for those new to the study of language, linguistics and communication, as well as building on topics that will be familiar to those who studied language and linguistics an undergraduate level.
The MA in Language and Linguistics enables you to develop knowledge and research skills over the course of the programme. We support you to become an independent and active learner, able to understand key issues in the different sub-fields of language and linguistics. Throughout the course you will improve your research skills by being given specific training in research methodology, planning your own work and being involved in ongoing research projects led by various members of staff. You will also gain a thorough understanding of different theoretical and methodological approaches that can be used to explore the linguistic structures of a language.
We develop your ability to undertake linguistic analysis confidently and effectively; to collect, evaluate, synthesise and interpret qualitative and/or quantitative data; and to critique arguments and research. The curriculum also develops important work-related skills, such as the ability to communicate clearly and persuasively and to work both independently and in collaboration with others.
The structure of the MA enables you to develop expertise in specific areas of linguistics and language study. Particular strengths in the Centre for Language and Communication Research are discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, systemic functional linguistics, corpus linguistics, forensic linguistics, intercultural communication and professional communication. The wide range of subject modules available ensures that you develop a strong foundation in the discipline area whilst also having the flexibility to pursue your own specific research interests within that area.
We aim to give our students experience of excellence in teaching and learning at an advanced level, in an environment where they will benefit from the fact that the Centre is home to world-leading research in linguistics and communication.
• Access to an established research training programme making it possible to continue to PhD, should you wish
• Provision of an integrated foundation in research activities and bases in order that you are prepared for research activities
• Hands-on experience of working on an established staff research project in order to gain practical insights into the ways that research works in authentic team contexts
• Optional modules which form the bulk of the programme and provide a vital foundation for later dissertation-writing
• Situated in the lively Centre for Language and Communication Research, where we regularly host talks from visiting academics from around the world, Advanced Research Residencies and Summer Schools, and where a range of reading and research groups run on topics including sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, systemic functional linguistics and forensic linguistics.
The programme is offered in full-time mode over one academic year or part-time mode in two years. You will need to complete 180 credits - 120 credits in taught modules and 60 credits in the dissertation. The dissertation can only be undertaken on successful completion of the taught element of the course. Each stage is weighted at 50% of the overall mark.
In the taught stage, you will take a mixture of core and optional modules totalling 120 credits. The core module base is focussed on research training and experience.
You will submit a proposal for the dissertation during the latter part of the taught stage. This proposal must be accepted before undertaking the dissertation.
Language Testing and Assessment (part-time only)
Qualitative Research Methods
Discourse and Social Interaction
Current Issues in Sociolinguistics (part-time only)
Qualitative Research Methods
Quantitative Research Methods
Text and Social Context
Second Language Development and Pedagogy
During the taught stage, you will be taught mostly through weekly seminars / workshops, where you will have the opportunity to develop an understanding of particular topics related to language and linguistics.
You will be able to discuss concepts and ideas in small groups and open class discussions, to consolidate and get feedback on your individual learning, and to develop communication skills in informal group discussions and oral presentations.
Depending on your prior experience, you might be encouraged to attend the lectures for various undergraduate modules as well. You will be taught through weekly or fortnightly supervision sessions in Research Experience. These will offer the opportunity for structured but independent learning of practical skills. Teaching will be varied and responsive.
All modules within the MA in Language and Linguistics make extensive use of the University’s virtual learning environment, Learning Central, where you can access discussion forums and find course materials.
During the dissertation stage, you will conduct independent research on a topic of your choice with regular supervision from a member of staff.
The taught modules within this programme are assessed through a variety of methods, including academic essays, linguistic analyses, analytical reports, research projects and oral presentations. Modules are assessed on the basis of analytical descriptions of texts or other media and/or discursive essays. You will often be encouraged to choose your own texts for analysis, or to collect original data, and to relate your analyses to areas of personal interest.
The emphasis in assessment is placed on critical and conceptual sophistication as well as on the production of clear, persuasive and scholarly essays presented in a professional manner and submitted on time.
You are encouraged to consult the relevant module leader to discuss the main ideas and the plan for your assignments.
This programme will offer preparation for all careers where language is used for any purpose, for example, to influence or persuade, inform, educate or entertain. Gaining an MA will demonstrate higher abilities in research and communication.
Examples of future work destinations include research, teaching, speech and language therapy, publishing, writing, editing, information design, librarianship, as well as professional jobs, such as banking and HR, and public sector jobs, such as those in the civil service or local government. However, the degree is not limited to these possible directions and offers a good preparation for roles in a variety of fields which involve reasoning, critical and evaluative work, verbal and written skills, assimilation of information, communicative skills such as an awareness of linguistic variation, as well as some quantitative skills and skills in presenting information using technology.
You may also choose to undertake further study in the form of a PhD.
The Research Experience module offers the opportunity to work with a member of staff on an ongoing, authentic research task within part of a larger research study. This is a distinctive form of study and offers the opportunity to gain hands-on research experience and to reflect systematically on that experience. Findings from the Research Experience module will feed directly into ongoing work in the Centre for Language and Communication Research.
There are no formal study abroad opportunities associated with this programme