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Masters Degrees (Evolutionary Linguistics)

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The MLitt English Language and Linguistics offers students the opportunity to study the intricate workings of language and explore its central role in society. Read more

Introduction

The MLitt English Language and Linguistics offers students the opportunity to study the intricate workings of language and explore its central role in society.
We investigate how language works, how people use it, what people use it for, where it came from and how it changes. The range of research expertise represented by the three dedicated members of staff teaching on the course are reflected in a comprehensive suite of modules that include cognitive, sociolinguistic, historical, evolutionary, and discourse analytical topics.

Key information

- Degree type: MLitt, Postgraduate Certificate
- Study methods: Part-time, Full-time
- Duration: Full-time: MLitt-12 months, PG Diploma-9 months, PG Certificate-3 months Part-time: MLitt-27 months, PG Diploma-21 months, PG Certificate-9 months
- Start date: September
- Course Director: Dr Bethan Benwell | Dr Andrew Smith

Course objectives

Students will be expected to graduate with a knowledge of contemporary linguistic theories, including both generative and cognitive approaches to linguistic description, and the contexts in which these theories arose.
They will also acquire knowledge and understanding in specialist selected areas of study (e.g. Old and Middle English, historical, social and regional varieties of English, language and cognition, discourse analysis and evolutionary linguistics), including critical understanding of research in these areas.
They will be able to apply a variety of descriptive linguistic tools to language data and linguistic theories to selected specialist areas of study within English Language and Linguistics, according to their areas of interest.
They will learn to plan and manage a Research Project under supervision, undertaking independent research, including keeping track of relevant developments in the chosen field(s) and being able to set them in an appropriate context; they will be able to structure and communicate ideas effectively; gather, evaluate and organise information from multiple sources; and engage with other researchers by writing, debating, and delivering oral and written presentations.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Career opportunities

Postgraduate degrees in English Language and Linguistics are much sought-after by students across the world, providing a grounding in theories and methods essential for a range of research and teaching careers in disciplines including English Studies, Education, English as a Foreign Language and English for Specific Purposes.
Students with postgraduate degrees in English Language and Linguistics are prized for their excellent communication and problem-solving skills, and their ability to analyse and synthesise information rapidly and accurately. They are generally very adaptable and go on to a wide range of careers in all sectors of the economy, such as: private and public sector management and research, marketing and advertising, government administration, journalism, banking and finance, speech therapy.
Former graduates from the MLitt have gone on to, for instance, Linguistics Research (in the Healthcare sector) and further study in Speech Therapy (for which a Master's in Linguistics was a prerequisite).
In a recent report, graduates of English were as likely (if not more) to be in professional or managerial jobs three to three and a half years after graduation than graduates in other subjects (including science and social science subjects). Almost fifty percent of English graduates pursue further education within three years of graduating from their undergraduate degree, often as a route to a professional career, such as teaching or law.

Employability

Your MLitt in English Language and Linguistics will provide you with important transferable skills which you will be able to make use of throughout your career. Our course will help you develop your oral and written communication skills so that you can engage in confident and informed debate with a range of audiences. You will be able to design, plan and manage your own independent research projects; you will develop your skills in collecting, analysing and interpreting information, and will be able to structure, contextualise and communicate your ideas and findings effectively.
You will play an active part in our regular Language Research Group meetings, which discuss articles on important and controversial linguistic topics. You will have the opportunity to introduce articles of your choice to the group and will develop important skills in leading and managing open-ended discussions.

- Skills you can develop through this course
An MLitt in English Language and Linguistics is acknowledged by potential employers as providing important skills, such as motivation, intelligence and the ability to meet deadlines. Although English is not a specifically vocational degree it offers a number of important transferable skills, such as the ability to write clearly, effectively, accurately and persuasively.
Seminar discussion and oral presentations (required by many of our modules) help to develop your spoken communication skills. The critical and reflexive study of a variety of texts (literary and non-literary) teaches you how to analyse and interpret complex information and to apply abstract concepts and theories. Our criteria for assessment also require students to be able to synthesise conclusions, to assimilate existing research and to construct and defend an argument clearly and cogently.
Throughout their degrees, our students are also trained to use library and bibliographic resources effectively and appropriately, to reference accurately, and to present their work professionally. All of these skills are essential to many kinds of work, which is why so many employers recognise the value of a MLitt in English Language and Linguistics.

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This course explores 20th-century history of linguistics and the philosophy of linguistics. Tensions between different conceptions of language, the issues surrounding research methodology in linguistics, sociolinguistics and the sociology of language are examined. Read more

Course Overview

This course explores 20th-century history of linguistics and the philosophy of linguistics. Tensions between different conceptions of language, the issues surrounding research methodology in linguistics, sociolinguistics and the sociology of language are examined. This Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) recognised course is designed to prepare you for doctoral study.

The course combines a mixture of generic research training modules with more specialised modules covering research training and specific linguistic knowledge. You will gain a working knowledge of the methodology and skills in quantitative and qualitative research in language and linguistic studies. You will carry out a literature review, independent fieldwork, and undertake sociolinguistic analysis using a variety of mathematical and computational tools. We offer supervision in the following areas:

Linguistic theory: syntactic theory and comparative syntax; phonological theory; morphophonology and morphosyntax; philosophy of language; philosophy of linguistics; architecture of the language faculty.

Language variation and change: historical/diachronic linguistics; variationist/comparative linguistics; sociolinguistics; grammaticalization; dialect syntax; corpus analysis; linguistic typology.

Language evolution, acquisition, and development: first language acquisition and development; the acquisition of second language morphosyntax and phonology: evolutionary linguistics.

Modules

For detailed module information see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/sociolinguistics-research-ma-pgdip/#modules

How to apply

For course application information see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/sociolinguistics-research-ma-pgdip/#howtoapply

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The MLitt qualification is available in Literature and Linguistics. The English Language and/or Linguistics MLitt is a Master's level degree that is largely based around your own research interests, preparing you for further research within and beyond academia. Read more
The MLitt qualification is available in Literature and Linguistics.

Course overview

The English Language and/or Linguistics MLitt is a Master's level degree that is largely based around your own research interests, preparing you for further research within and beyond academia. You will be fully supported by experts situated in one of the largest centres for linguistics research in Europe.

Our course is an individually tailored research Master's degree designed for graduates with a good background in linguistics and/or English language. The course contains some taught modules but mostly consists of smaller independently conducted research assignments and a larger research dissertation at the end. The topics are chosen by you, in consultation with your supervisor. We offer supervision in the following areas:

Linguistic theory: syntactic theory and comparative syntax; phonological theory; morphophonology and morphosyntax; philosophy of language; philosophy of linguistics; architecture of the language faculty.

Language variation and change: historical/diachronic linguistics; variationist/comparative linguistics; sociolinguistics; grammaticalization; dialect syntax; corpus analysis; linguistic typology.

Language evolution, acquisition, and development: first language acquisition and development; the acquisition of second language morphosyntax and phonology; evolutionary linguistics.

Training and Skills

For detailed module and training and skills information see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/english-language-linguistics-mlitt/#training&skills

How to apply

For course application information see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/english-language-linguistics-mlitt/#howtoapply

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What does it mean to be human? What are the origins of our species? Archaeological and palaeontological discoveries help us answer these fundamental questions and provide insights into human cognition, behaviour and life ways. Read more
What does it mean to be human? What are the origins of our species? Archaeological and palaeontological discoveries help us answer these fundamental questions and provide insights into human cognition, behaviour and life ways.

On this course you'll study human evolution by evaluating the ultimate source of information – the fossil record.

We'll teach you to think critically and train you in the analytical techniques required to describe and interpret the fossil evidence for early hominid and human evolution.

Our approach is both science- and humanities-based. You'll explore themes such as the evolution of bipedalism, cognition and the origins of modernity, providing you with a unique combination of biological anthropology, human and comparative anatomy, primatology and hominid palaeontology.

The course also offers an introduction to the use of innovative technologies for 2D and 3D imaging of skeletal and fossil materials in palaeoanthropological research. It's designed to appeal to those who want to create a strong platform for doctoral research in palaeoanthropology, as well as those who just want to deepen their understanding of our extinct ancestors.

You'll get unlimited access to excellent lab facilities and extensive collections of skeletons and replica casts of modern humans, primates and fossil hominins. A wide range of up-to-date resources are available in the department's palaeoanthropology and osteology teaching laboratories.

Core modules

The programme offers a range of closely integrated core modules in human anatomy and comparative osteology which enable you to develop your knowledge and understanding of the palaeoanthropological record.

Human Evolution: Theory & Practice in Research
Quantitative methods in anthropology and archaeology
Research design: planning, execution and presentation
Human anatomy
Human osteology
Evolutionary anatomy
Dissertation in Palaeoanthropology
Optional modules

Optional modules are available in philosophy, linguistics and other topics. Examples include:

Archaeobotany
Archaeozoology

If you study part-time, you'll take two 15-credit modules in each semester during Year 1 and Year 2, and either a dissertation or placement module over the summer of Year 2. We arrange for you to attend two days a week but we try to be as flexible as possible.

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You'll study the key theoretical issues and how they relate to empirical findings on the development and functioning of human cognition. Read more

Course description 2017

You'll study the key theoretical issues and how they relate to empirical findings on the development and functioning of human cognition.

There are modules in the departments of archaeology, human communication sciences, linguistics, philosophy and psychology. You'll be based in the Department of Philosophy but you are free to specialise in any of the other subjects

Core modules

Cognitive Studies Seminar
Dissertation

Other modules include

Mind and Language Research Seminar
Philosophy of Psychology
Foundations of Cognitive Neuroscience
Current Issues In Cognitive Neuroscience
Evolutionary Primatology
Hominid Palaeontology

Teaching and assessment

Lectures and seminars. Fortnightly supervision for guided reading.

You’ll write a long essay for each module and a dissertation.

If you’re going on to a PhD you may choose to write a PhD proposal.

Course duration

1 year full-time
2 years part-time

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Sunderland's Psychology Department was rated top four in the UK for teaching excellence by the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. Read more
Sunderland's Psychology Department was rated top four in the UK for teaching excellence by the Sunday Times University Guide 2013.

Course overview

This course is a conversion course that is suitable for graduates who have not studied psychology as a first degree. Successful completion provides the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership by the British Psychological Society, which is an essential first step towards becoming a chartered psychologist. It also supports careers where professional insights in human behaviour are valuable such as social work, public services, advertisement, general management and Human Resources.

This course provides in a compact form the same grounding in psychological science as a three-year undergraduate course but at a masters level of skill and knowledge. As a result, this conversion course is both challenging and demanding.

This course is not suitable if you have already studied psychology at undergraduate level. Instead, you may wish to consider MSc Psychological Research Methods. The course has three parts, consisting of:
a) the six core areas of psychology, which include social psychology, individual differences and developmental psychology, as well as cognitive psychology, biological psychology and conceptual and historical issues in psychology
b) qualitative and quantitative research methods and statistics
c) the Masters Project, which provides an opportunity for in-depth research into an area of psychology near to your personal interests and career aspirations. The research elements of the course are supported by Sunderland’s thriving Health Sciences and Well-being Research Beacon that explores many different aspects of mental health and health behaviours

At the end of the course, you could choose to undertake the further study that is required to become a chartered psychologist. Alternatively, your understanding of psychology will help you in sectors such as advertising, social work, public services, general management and Human Resources.

Course content

The course mixes taught elements with independent research and self-directed study. There is flexibility to pursue personal interests in considerable depth, with guidance and inspiration from Sunderland's supportive tutors. Modules on this course include:
-Everyday Motivations and Biases (30 Credits)
-Experimental Design and Analysis in Psychology (30 Credits)
-Non-experimental Design and Analysis in Psychology (30 Credits)
-Cradle to Grave: Stability and Change (30 Credits)
-Master Project (60 Credits)

Teaching and assessment

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. The research aspects of the course are supported by Sunderland’s thriving research programme. Our tutors’ specialisms include social psychology and evolutionary psychology, and the University carries out research into health behaviours and mental health.

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of independent working. There are around three hours of contact time a week.

Assessment methods are a combination of exams and coursework including essays, reports and seminar presentations.

Facilities & location

The University has specialist psychological and computer laboratories, plus dedicated space (the ‘sandbox’) for psychology students to develop ideas collaboratively. The course is based at the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s, on the banks of the River Wear and less than a mile from the seaside.

Our specialist facilities include:
-Cognitive Laboratory
-Visual Psychophysics Laboratory
-Linguistics Laboratory
-Computing Laboratory
-Multimedia and Games Research Room

University Library Services
The University boasts a collection of more than 430,000 books with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. There are nearly 9,000 journal titles, mostly in electronic format. Each year the University invests around £1 million in new resources.

Learning environment
Sunderland offers a vibrant learning environment with an international dimension thanks to the presence of students from around the world. At the same time, the University is fully plugged into relevant industry organisations, with strong links and an exchange of ideas and people.

IT provision
When it comes to IT provision you can take your pick from hundreds of PCs as well as Apple Macs in the David Goldman Informatics Centre and St Peter’s Library. There are also free WiFi zones throughout the campus. If you have any problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

Employment & careers

On completing this course you will be equipped to apply for the further postgraduate training that is required to become a chartered psychologist. There are nine types of psychology in which it is possible to become chartered: clinical, educational, forensic, occupational, counselling, sport & exercise and health psychology, as well as neuropsychology and teaching/researching in psychology.

As an example of salaries, clinical psychologists within the NHS typically have a starting salary of around £30,000, progressing up to more than £80,000 for higher level posts. Salaries in private hospitals and private practice will vary.

Equally, the course prepares you for employment in a broad range of sectors. The insights, rigour and methodology of psychology are valued in roles in management, advertising, marketing, Human Resources, the police force, the prison service, social care, health services and teaching.

In addition, a Masters degree will also enhance career opportunities within Higher Education and prepare you for further postgraduate studies.

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Our modern world is witnessing a growth of online data in a variety of forms, including web documents, blogs, social networks, digital libraries and medical records. Read more
Our modern world is witnessing a growth of online data in a variety of forms, including web documents, blogs, social networks, digital libraries and medical records. Much of this data contains valuable information, such as emerging opinions in social networks, search trends from search engines, consumer purchase behaviour, and patterns that emerge from these huge data sources.

The sheer volume of this information means that traditional stand-alone applications are no longer suitable to process and analyse this data. Our course equips you with the knowledge to contribute to this rapidly emerging area.

We give you hands-on experience with various types of large-scale data and information handling, and start by providing you with a solid understanding of the underlying technologies, in particular cloud computing and high-performance computing. You explore areas including:
-Mobile and social application programming
-Human-computer interaction
-Computer vision
-Computer networking
-Computer security

You also obtain practical knowledge of processing textual data on a large scale in order to turn this data into meaningful information, and have the chance to work on projects that are derived from actual industry needs proposed by our industrial partners.

We are ranked Top 10 in the UK in the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities, with more than two-thirds of our research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent (REF 2014).

This degree is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).This accreditation is increasingly sought by employers, and provides the first stage towards eventual professional registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng).

Our expert staff

Today’s computer scientists are creative people who are focused and committed, yet restless and experimental. We are home to many of the world’s top scientists, and our staff are driven by creativity and imagination as well as technical excellence. We are conducting world-leading research in areas such as evolutionary computation, brain-computer interfacing, intelligent inhabited environments and financial forecasting.

Specialist staff working on data analytics include:
-Dr Luca Citi – machine learning, learning from biological signals and data (EEG, etc)
-Dr Adrian Clark – automatic construction of vision systems using machine learning and evaluation of algorithms, data visualisation and augmented reality
-Professor Maria Fasli – analysis of structured/unstructured data, machine learning, adaptation, semantic information extraction, ontologies, data exploration, recommendation technologies
-Professor John Gan – machine learning for data modelling and analysis, dimensionality reduction and feature selection in high-dimensional data space
-Dr Udo Kruschwitz – natural language processing, analysis textual/unstructured data, information retrieval
-Professor Massimo Poesio – cognitive science of language, text mining, computational linguistics
-Professor Edward Tsang – applied AI, constraint satisfaction, computational finance and economics, agent-based simulations

Specialist facilities

We are one of the largest and best resourced computer science and electronic engineering schools in the UK. Our work is supported by extensive networked computer facilities and software aids, together with a wide range of test and instrumentation equipment.
-We have six laboratories that are exclusively for computer science and electronic engineering students. Three are open 24/7, and you have free access to the labs except when there is a scheduled practical class in progress
-All computers run either Windows 7 or are dual boot with Linux
-Software includes Java, Prolog, C++, Perl, Mysql, Matlab, DB2, Microsoft Office, Visual Studio, and Project
-Students have access to CAD tools and simulators for chip design (Xilinx) and computer networks (OPNET)
-We also have specialist facilities for research into areas including non-invasive brain-computer interfaces, intelligent environments, robotics, optoelectronics, video, RF and MW, printed circuit milling, and semiconductors

Your future

Demand for skilled graduates in the areas of big data and data science is growing rapidly in both the public and private sector, and there is a predicted shortage of data scientists with the skills to understand and make commercial decisions based on the analysis of big data.

Our recent graduates have progressed to a variety of senior positions in industry and academia. Some of the companies and organisations where our former graduates are now employed include:
-Electronic Data Systems
-Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
-Bank of Mexico
-Visa International
-Hyperknowledge (Cambridge)
-Hellenic Air Force
-ICSS (Beijing)
-United Microelectronic Corporation (Taiwan)

We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

Big Data and Text Analytics - MSc
-MSc Project and Dissertation
-Information Retrieval
-Cloud Technologies and Systems (optional)
-Group Project
-High Performance Computing
-Machine Learning and Data Mining
-Natural Language Engineering
-Professional Practice and Research Methodology
-Text Analytics
-Advanced Web Technologies (optional)
-Data Science and Decision Making (optional)
-Big-Data for Computational Finance (optional)
-Computer Security (optional)
-Computer Vision (optional)
-Creating and Growing a New Business Venture (optional)
-Mobile & Social Application Programming (optional)

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The Sunday Times University Guide 2013 rated Sunderland fourth in the UK for teaching excellence. Read more
The Sunday Times University Guide 2013 rated Sunderland fourth in the UK for teaching excellence.

Course overview

This course develops advanced research skills that will be very valuable whether you aspire to be a chartered psychologist or whether you intend to work in any sector that puts a premium on evidence-based methods of decision-making. These sectors include health, Human Resources and general management.

For those who would like to progress towards becoming a chartered psychologist, this course provides a rigorous preparation for the additional postgraduate research and professional training that are necessary for chartered status.

As part of the course we will teach you advanced quantitative research methods and data analysis techniques. For example you will receive hands-on training in SPSS software, the ‘R’ open source environment, Q-sort and interpretative phenomenological analysis. You will become increasingly creative in solving problems, autonomous in delivering projects and expert in communicating complex topics and outcomes.

A unique feature of our course is the inclusion of two research placements on live research projects within our psychology department. As an example, you might find yourself undertaking an empirical study that involves specialist methods of collecting and analysing psychometric data.

Throughout the course you will receive enthusiastic support from the University’s research-active academic team. Our research areas include social psychology, well-being and evolutionary psychology.

Course content

The course mixes taught elements with independent research and self-directed study. There is flexibility to pursue personal interests in considerable depth, with guidance and inspiration from Sunderland's supportive tutors.

Modules on this course include:
-Professional Research Skills for Psychologists (30 credits)
-Advanced Psychological Research 1 (30 credits)
-Research Experience (15 credits)
-Advanced Psychological Research 2 (15 credits)
-Advanced Qualitative Research (15 credits)
-Postgraduate Literature Review (15 credits)

Teaching and assessment

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include lectures, seminars, workshops, postgraduate conferences and one-to-one research supervisions.

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of independent working. Your modules will be assessed by portfolios which include problem-based research scenarios, individual and group presentations, data exercises, written project reports, project logs and reflective commentaries.

Facilities & location

Sunderland has excellent facilities that have been boosted by multi-million pound redevelopments.

University Library Services
We’ve got thousands of books and e-books on health studies with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so that you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles. Some of the most important sources for your studies include:
-SocINDEX with full-text articles – probably the world's most comprehensive and highest-quality sociology research database
-Professional Development Collection, which features hundreds of education journals and reports
-Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Database, which includes full-text journal articles on topics spanning emotional and behavioural sciences, psychiatry and psychology
-Lexis Library, which covers UK and international legal information as well as full-text newspaper articles
-Community Care Inform, which helps professionals who work with children and young people to make, and evidence, their decisions

IT provision
When it comes to IT provision you can take your pick from hundreds of PCs as well as Apple Macs in the David Goldman Informatics Centre and St Peter’s Library. There are also free WiFi zones throughout the campus. If you have any problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

Employment & careers

At the end of this course you will be able to make a strong application for doctoral programmes that lead to chartered status as a psychologist. There are nine types of psychology in which it is possible to become chartered: clinical, educational, forensic, occupational, counselling, sport & exercise and health psychology, as well as neuropsychology and teaching/researching in psychology. As an example of salaries, clinical psychologists within the NHS typically have a starting salary of around £30,000, progressing up to more than £80,000 for higher level posts. Salaries in private hospitals and private practice will vary.

Equally, the course prepares you for employment in a broad range of sectors. Expertise in research methodology is highly valued in management, advertising, marketing, Human Resources, the police force, the prison service, social care, health services and teaching.

In addition, a Masters degree will also enhance career opportunities within Higher Education and prepare you for further postgraduate studies.

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