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Masters Degrees (Forensic Linguistic)

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The MSc has been designed in conjunction with one of the world's leading forensic speech laboratories, JP French Associates. The director of the laboratory, Professor Peter French, will deliver some of the taught components and will supervise some research projects. Read more
The MSc has been designed in conjunction with one of the world's leading forensic speech laboratories, JP French Associates. The director of the laboratory, Professor Peter French, will deliver some of the taught components and will supervise some research projects.

Students are given the opportunity to go on site visits that will allow them to observe the working practices of the laboratory, as well as those of cognate institutions such as courts. They will carry out analyses of recordings from real forensic cases and will have the opportunity to develop expert witness communication skills by undergoing cross-examination from a practising barrister in the University’s moot court.

Areas of the MSc overlap with those central to speech and recording technology and students will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of the latest generation of automatic speaker recognition software used in banking and law enforcement, made available through the Department’s partnership with Nuance.

Aims

The MSc in Forensic Speech Science provides a comprehensive foundation in the aims, practices, and principles of speech analysis for forensic purposes. The course will:
-Provide a thorough grounding in the theoretical underpinnings of forensic speech analysis, especially in phonetics, acoustics, and sociolinguistics/language variation
-Introduce students to the practical techniques used in forensic speech and audio analysis
-Provide students with an appreciation of theoretical and methodological problems in performing forensic speech and audio analysis
-Enable students to apply their skills and knowledge to recorded materials from real criminal cases
-Enable students to perform original research in speaker comparison and speech content analysis
-Impart understanding of the role and responsibilities of the forensic speech scientist as expert witness

Applicants

The course will be of interest to:
-Graduates with a background in linguistics, acoustics, English or other language-based disciplines
-Graduates in law, criminology or psychology
-Professionals in legal practice, government agencies, law enforcement agencies or other branches of forensic science
-Potential practitioners of forensic speech science

Careers

The MSc is not intended as a stand-alone vocational qualification. However, successful completion of the programme will provide students with the requisite skills, understanding, and knowledge to work effectively and increase their employability in forensic domains as well as in related fields such as the police, prison service, emergency call services and security services.

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Our innovative Forensic Linguistics programme offers the theory and techniques to critically analyse the use of language in a variety of legal contexts. Read more
Our innovative Forensic Linguistics programme offers the theory and techniques to critically analyse the use of language in a variety of legal contexts. You will learn to critically evaluate expert testimony on forensic matters and to consider the role of expertise in legal systems more generally.

You will receive a grounding in research methods and issues and debates in forensic linguistics. You will acquire tools for evaluating and examining a range of legal language in relation to issues such as power and comprehensibility. You will also develop skills in research and writing at higher degree level and learn to engage with the legal system as a site of social life where important decisions are made through language.

On successful completion of the programme you will have achieved the following outcomes:

• the application of descriptive data analysis skills in a wide range of spoken and written discourse contexts within the legal process, including emergency calls, police interviews, courtroom interaction, judicial judgments;

• a critical understanding of investigative data analysis skills in both spoken and written discourse contexts, including such areas as disputed authorship and plagiarism detection;

• critical understanding of the work of linguists as advisers and activists on legal systems and settings.

Structure

Students can complete either a PGDip or an MA in Forensic Linguistics. Both courses can be completed in year by full-time study or 2 years by part-time study.

• PGDip core modules:

Forensic Linguistics I
Forensic Linguistics II
Foundation Module: Core Skills, Principles, and Issues Involved in Language and Communication Research
Project in Forensic Linguistics

• PGDip optional modules:

Language Description
Discourse and Social Interaction
Current Issues in Sociolinguistics
Phonology
Qualitative Research Methods
Quantitative Research Methods
Text and Social Context
Second Language Development and Pedagogy

• MSc core modules:

Same modules as PGDip PLUS dissertation of between 14,000 and 20,000 words.

• MSc optional modules:

Same modules as PGDip

Teaching

Core knowledge and understanding is delivered via lectures and small-group seminars.

The teaching for core modules combines discussion of theoretical issues and practical challenges raised by the forensic setting, while the teaching for optional modules provides further theoretical discussion with some focus on the development of practical research skills. Sessions rely on your good preparation.

Core knowledge and understanding are also delivered via one-to-one or very small group supervision of individual projects. Intellectual Skills are promoted via lectures, seminars and group discussions, as well as small-group supervision and guidance for research undertaken in a small, team research project.

The learning activities will vary from module to module as appropriate, but will usually include interactive discussions of prepared texts/topics and, in some cases, student-led presentations.

Encouraged to explore our excellent library resources, you are expected to undertake preparation including wide-ranging reading to enable full participation.

Assessment

The programme will be assessed by such means as essays, data analyses, critical reviews, posters and oral presentation. Emphasis in assessment is placed on critical and conceptual sophistication as well as on the production of clear, persuasive and scholarly work presented in a professional manner and submitted on time.

Formative work is offered for one of the modules, in which you may undertake forms of assessment that may be new to you. Other modules offer a series of assignments with the express intention that you might learn cumulatively. Elsewhere, you are encouraged to consult the relevant module leader on the main ideas and plans for your assignments.

Modules are assessed on the basis of analytical descriptions of texts or other media and/or discursive essays. You will be encouraged to choose your own texts for analysis, or even to collect original data, and to relate your analyses to areas of personal interest or experience.

Career prospects

Graduates have gone on to further study (e.g. a PhD or law degree) or have pursued careers in a number of relevant areas such as policing, the courts and Government as well as careers in areas without a forensic connection.

Employers for graduates from this programme include: local government departments, police forces, secondary schools, language schools, universities, banks, solicitors and utility companies.

Career destinations include: crime intelligence analyst, crime analyst, specialist police interviewer, emergency call handler, lawyer, lecturer, teacher, programme administrator, research assistant, PR executive, marketing executive and writer.

Graduates from this programme also move on to non-legal careers and find that the legal and linguistic focus of their studies provides their employers with something a little unusual. Graduates in the job market have also benefited from the training in processing and using information thoughtfully, writing effectively and speaking convincingly which is essential to good postgraduate study.

Placements

We encourage students to make contact with local organisations in order to explore the opportunity of short placements. We provide work experience through the project module where you will work on an authentic research project.

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This programme is designed for students of linguistics and aims to improve students’ linguistic skills and understanding such that they can apply them to forensic texts and contexts. Read more
This programme is designed for students of linguistics and aims to improve students’ linguistic skills and understanding such that they can apply them to forensic texts and contexts. There is a strong ethos throughout this programme that forensic linguistics is an application of linguistics and thus students study and improve their knowledge and abilities in the linguistic analysis of spoken and written language. Alongside the linguistics modules students then learn about the legal and forensic contexts and how linguists have developed understandings and critiques of the language of the law and how linguists analyse language to provide evidence in a variety of legal contexts. To complete the programme students complete a short practical project or placement and then research for a dissertation.

Sample module options: The following modules are indications only - the University reserves the right to change the modules on offer, the module content and the assessment methods. Core modules:
-Lexicogrammar (LEM051)
-Analysing Written and Spoken Discourse (LEM001)
-Analysing Written and Spoken Discourse II (LEM050)
-Research Methods (LRM001)
-Linguistics in Legal contexts (LEM012)
-Language as Evidence (LEM059)
-Practical Applications in Forensic Linguistics (LEM060)
-Dissertation (LRM005)

Learning, Teaching and Assessment

You will take part in interactive seminars, presentations and group work as well as attending lectures and tutorials. There are also opportunities for individual research and supervised practical work. Successful completion of the taught modules is a precondition for proceeding to a 15,000 word dissertation leading to the MA.

Career Prospects

The course is for students interested in a career in research in this important and growing area, or those whose existing careers would be advanced by specialised training. The course is also an excellent foundation for studies at PhD level.

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Applied Linguistics is for teachers who are at the beginning of their careers and those who have more experience but would like to develop, deepen and enhance their knowledge, skills and practice. Read more
Applied Linguistics is for teachers who are at the beginning of their careers and those who have more experience but would like to develop, deepen and enhance their knowledge, skills and practice.

The programme covers the areas of linguistics that inform classroom practice (such as syntax, morphology, semantics, pragmatics and phonetics), raising awareness of these fields and applying them to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

Practical teaching opportunities are a feature of the programme, including teaching to your peer group and international students from other programmes. There is also the opportunity to visit a local language college and observe classes.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/357/applied-linguistics-and-teaching-english-to-speakers-of-other-languages-tesol

About the Department of English Language and Linguistics

English Language and Linguistics (ELL), founded in 2010, is the newest department of the School of European Culture and Languages (SECL). ELL is a dynamic and growing department with a vibrant research culture. We specialise in experimental and theoretical linguistics. In particular, our interests focus on quantitative and experimental research in speech and language processing, variation and acquisition, but also cover formal areas such as syntax, as well as literary stylistics. In addition to English and its varieties, our staff work in French, German, Greek, Romani, Korean, Spanish and Russian.

Staff and postgraduates are members of the Centre for Language and Linguistic Studies (CLLS), a research centre that seeks to promote interdisciplinary linguistic research. We also have links with research networks outside Kent, and are involved with national and international academic associations including the Linguistics Association of Great Britain, the British Association of Academic Phoneticians, the Linguistic Society of America, the Association for French Language Studies and the Poetics and Linguistics Association.

Course structure

The programme starts with three linguistics modules (Sounds, Structure and Meaning) and a module on language awareness for teachers (Language Awareness and Analysis) so that you have a firm grasp of the linguistic bases of language teaching and how to apply them to the classroom.

In the spring term the focus is on how languages are learned (Second Language Acquisition), how you can improve classroom technique (The Practice of TESOL), plan for your students’ needs (Course and Syllabus Design) and provide them with materials which will be interesting, effective and motivating (Materials Evaluation and Development).

The dissertation will be an opportunity to plan and develop a piece of empirical research which can be of direct relevance to your current or planned teaching situation.

Assessment

Modules are typically assessed by a 3-4,000-word essay, but assessment patterns can include practical/experimental work, report and proposal writing, critiques, problem solving and seminar presentations. You also complete a 12-15,000-word research dissertation on a topic agreed with your supervisor.

Programme aims

- Provide TESOL practitioners with advanced knowledge of linguistics related to language pedagogy, informed by research and scholarship, which will enhance, develop and inform their understanding of language learning and classroom practice.

- To produce graduates who will contribute locally, nationally and internationally to the TESOL community.

- To prepare students to be more effective in the TESOL classroom.

- To provide students with teaching and training which is informed by research, scholarship, practice and experience.

Research areas

Alongside our research centre below, we also have links with research networks outside Kent, and are involved with national and international academic associations including the Linguistics Association of Great Britain, the British Association of Academic Phoneticians, the Linguistic Society of America, the Association for French Language Studies and the Poetics and Linguistics Association.

- Linguistics Lab

The newly established Linguistics Lab is currently housed in Rutherford College and has facilities for research in acoustics, sociophonetics and speech and language processing. English Language and Linguistics (ELL) members also have access to the School of European Culture and Language (SECL) recording studio and multimedia labs which can be used both for research and teaching.

- Centre for Language and Linguistics

English Language and Linguistics is the main contributor to the Centre for Language and Linguistics. Founded in 2007, the Centre promotes interdisciplinary collaboration in linguistic research and teaching. Membership embraces not just the members of English Language and Linguistics but also other SECL members with an interest in the study of language, as well as researchers in philosophy, computing, psychology and anthropology, reflecting the many and varied routes by which individuals come to a love of language and an interest in the various disciplines and subdisciplines of linguistics.

Careers

Postgraduate work in English Language and Linguistics prepares you for a range of careers where an in-depth understanding of how language functions is essential. These include speech and language theory, audiology, teaching, publishing, advertising, journalism, public relations, company training, broadcasting, forensic and computational work, and the civil or diplomatic services.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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The MA in Linguistics at Kent offers an excellent opportunity to explore the broad spectrum of linguistics and its sub-disciplines. Read more
The MA in Linguistics at Kent offers an excellent opportunity to explore the broad spectrum of linguistics and its sub-disciplines.

The programme is designed for graduates with a background in language and related areas (for example, English, Modern or Classical Languages, Linguistics, Psychology, Anthropology), looking to explore the theory and methodology of linguistics in-depth, from the study of sound (phonetics and phonology) to the study of words (morphology), sentences (syntax) and meaning (semantics and pragmatics). It draws upon the considerable expertise of staff in the Department of English Language & Linguistics.

Students choose four modules each in the Autumn and Spring terms, including core modules on Sounds, Structure, and Meaning, supplemented with options on, for example, psycholinguistics, language acquisition, language learning and teaching, sociolinguistics and stylistics, which allow students to develop areas of interest, and engage with aspects of their chosen discipline which are informed by the latest research and scholarship. They then complete a research dissertation of up to 15,000 words over the summer.

The programme is ideal for those with a keen interest in language in the broadest sense, and a willingness to explore theories of language critically. The programme also offers a smooth transition to doctoral work for those who wish to pursue their studies further.

About the Department of English Language and Linguistics

English Language and Linguistics (ELL), founded in 2010, is the newest department of the School of European Culture and Languages (SECL). ELL is a dynamic and growing department with a vibrant research culture. We specialise in experimental and theoretical linguistics. In particular, our interests focus on quantitative and experimental research in speech and language processing, variation and acquisition, but also cover formal areas such as syntax, as well as literary stylistics. In addition to English and its varieties, our staff work in French, German, Greek, Romani, Korean, Spanish and Russian.

Staff and postgraduates are members of the Centre for Language and Linguistic Studies (CLLS), a research centre that seeks to promote interdisciplinary linguistic research. We also have links with research networks outside Kent, and are involved with national and international academic associations including the Linguistics Association of Great Britain, the British Association of Academic Phoneticians, the Linguistic Society of America, the Association for French Language Studies and the Poetics and Linguistics Association.

We welcome applications from students interested in MA and PhD research. Please see our staff and research pages for more information on the topics staff are able to supervise.

National ratings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, modern languages and linguistics was ranked 3rd for research quality, 3rd for research output and in the top 20 for research intensity, research impact and research power in the UK.

Our submission was the highest ranked nationally to include modern languages – a testament to our position as the UK’s European university. An impressive 100% of our research was judged to be of international quality and the School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.

Course structure

The programme comprises eight 15-credit modules.

The four core modules, Sounds, Meaning, Structure and Research Skills, provide you with a solid grounding in linguistic theory and methodology, while a range of optional modules either develop themes covered in the core module, or explore the relationship between language and other disciplines, such as literature (stylistics), the mind (psycholinguistics), and society (sociolinguistics).

Teaching in the MA in Linguistics takes the form of lectures, tutor-led and student-led seminars and tutorials, as well as problem-based workshops allowing students to engage with linguistic data and theory. You also have the opportunity to attend subject-related conferences and talks by visiting speakers.

You can study the programme on a 12-month full-time or a 24-month part-time basis.

Visit the website: https://www.kent.ac.uk/secl/ell/postgraduate/taught-linguistics.html

Assessment

Assessment consists of a combination of written coursework, practical/experimental work (where appropriate) and seminar presentations.

On successful completion of the taught modules, students write a 15,000-word research dissertation (included in their final grade) on a topic agreed with their supervisor.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

- enable you to obtain a postgraduate qualification (MA) in one year, and provide a smooth transition to doctoral work if you wish to pursue your studies further
- develop your critical awareness of research methodologies in linguistics
- offer a learning experience which is informed by the latest research and scholarship, and which requires you to engage with aspects of the discipline at the frontiers of knowledge
- provide further development of critical, analytical and other transferable skills acquired at first degree level.

Careers

Postgraduate work in English Language and Linguistics prepares you for a range of careers where an in-depth understanding of how language functions is essential. These include speech and language theory, audiology, teaching, publishing, advertising, journalism, public relations, company training, broadcasting, forensic and computational work, and the civil or diplomatic services.

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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. Read more
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.

Distinctive features

• 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.

Structure

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.

Core modules:

Language Testing and Assessment (part-time only)
Qualitative Research Methods
Dissertation

Optional modules:

Language Description
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
Digital Literacies

Teaching

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.

Assessment

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.

Career prospects

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.

Placements

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

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The English Language MA gives you the opportunity to investigate language in its social and cultural contexts. Read more
The English Language MA gives you the opportunity to investigate language in its social and cultural contexts.

You will examine theoretical and analytical frameworks that explore issues of language variation, language contact, language and identity; analyse the role of language in social relationships and practices; and look at how linguistic theory can be applied to the analysis of literature and culture.

The programme equips you with high-level research skills that you can apply in your dissertation, which allows you to address an issue of particular interest with the knowledge you have gathered throughout the course.

Course structure

The programme is designed for both full-time and part-time students, with a flexible framework that can fit in with your professional and personal commitments. Modules are taught across the two semesters, usually in nine sessions per semester.

In addition, you are expected to work independently and engage with reading and research in your subject area. You will be offered support through tutorial supervision and the university's online virtual learning environment.

Areas of study

The English Language MA covers semantics, pragmatics (minimalism and contextualism), the philosophy of language, grammar, language variation and attitudes, language and identity (class, age, gender, ethnicity, social networks), language in interaction (politeness, speech accommodation, cross-cultural communication), feminist theory and linguistic theory, and ethnocentrism/racial prejudices in colonial discourse.

You approach these topics by: examining theoretical and analytical frameworks that explore issues of language variation; analysing the role of language in social relationships and practices; and examining how linguistic theory can be applied to the analysis of literature and culture.

Modules:

Grammar and the English Language
Semantics: Word Meaning
Pragmatics, Meaning and Truth
Topics in Sociolinguistics
Research Methods
Dissertation

One from:

Discourses of Culture
Semantics/Pragmatics Interface: Approaches to the Study of Meaning
Cultural and Critical Theory module

Careers and employability

The English Language MA prepares you for careers in linguistics, linguistic anthropology, forensic linguistics, speech therapy, sign language, journalism, writing, English language teaching, politics and sociology.

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The Linguistics MA advances your knowledge of critical theory in theoretical linguistics and the philosophy of language, specifically with regard to the syntax/semantics interface, the semantics/pragmatics interface and grammar. Read more
The Linguistics MA advances your knowledge of critical theory in theoretical linguistics and the philosophy of language, specifically with regard to the syntax/semantics interface, the semantics/pragmatics interface and grammar.

The MRes is designed for students who already have some background in linguistics and intend to progress to PhD study. It is designed as an enhanced route of entry to a PhD programme, giving you an opportunity to develop research skills early in order to be fully prepared for your doctorate.

Course structure

The programme is designed for both full-time and part-time students, with a flexible framework that can fit in with your professional and personal commitments. Modules are taught across the two semesters, usually in nine sessions per semester.

In addition, you are expected to work independently and engage with reading and research in your subject area. You will be offered support through tutorial supervision and the university's online virtual learning environment.

Areas of study

The Linguistics MA covers semantics, pragmatics (minimalism and contextualism), the philosophy of language, grammar, language variation and attitudes, language and identity (class, age, gender, ethnicity, social networks), language in interaction (politeness, speech accommodation, cross-cultural communication), feminist theory and linguistic theory, and ethnocentrism/racial prejudices in colonial discourse.

You approach these topics by: analysing and evaluating different approaches to studying the structure of the English language; engaging with theoretical frameworks which attempt to account for meaning in language; and examining the relationship between the philosophy of language and linguistics on one hand, and the influence of philosophical theories on the analysis of language on the other.

Modules:

Grammar and the English Language
Semantics: Word Meaning
Pragmatics, Meaning and Truth
Topics in Sociolinguistics
Research Methods
Dissertation

One from:

Discourses of Culture
Semantics/Pragmatics Interface: Approaches to the Study of Meaning
Cultural and Critical Theory module

Careers and employability

The Linguistics MA prepares you for careers in linguistics, linguistic anthropology, forensic linguistics, speech therapy, sign language, journalism, writing, English language teaching, politics and sociology.

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The Philosophy of Language MA is designed for students with a particular interest in philosophy and ways in which its principles and teachings can be applied to the study of language. Read more
The Philosophy of Language MA is designed for students with a particular interest in philosophy and ways in which its principles and teachings can be applied to the study of language.

The study of language has given rise to a number of distinctive philosophical problems that became central to Western philosophy in the nineteenth century and that have dominated research and discussion in the twentieth century.

Our philosophy modules give you a thorough grounding in philosophical insights, as you engage in critical reflection on the relationship between sociopolitical context and philosophical debate. You explore the history of philosophy from the Enlightenment to the twentieth century, examining the variety of critical and analytical traditions that have emerged from those foundations.

Philosophy of language modules examine the influence of philosophical theories on the analysis of language, focusing on the critical analysis of the relationship between the philosophy of language and linguistics.

Course structure

The programme is designed for both full-time and part-time students, with a flexible framework that can fit in with your professional and personal commitments. Modules are taught across the two semesters, usually in nine sessions per semester.

In addition, you are expected to work independently and engage with reading and research in your subject area. You will be offered support through tutorial supervision and the university's online virtual learning environment.

Areas of study

The Philosophy of Language MA covers semantics, pragmatics (minimalism and contextualism), the philosophy of language, grammar, language variation and attitudes, language and identity (class, age, gender, ethnicity, social networks), language in interaction (politeness, speech accommodation, cross-cultural communication), feminist theory and linguistic theory, and ethnocentrism/racial prejudices in colonial discourse.

You approach these topics by: analysing and evaluating aspects of philosophy that have had significant influence on the general understanding of what language is and how its use interacts with, and exploits, context; engaging with philosophical frameworks starting with Frege, through to Russell and Wittgenstein, which attempt to account for meaning in language; and evaluating philosophical foundations of critical theory that have contributed to debates on the understanding of history, politics and the nature of meaning.

Modules:

Grammar and the English Language
Semantics: Word Meaning
Pragmatics, Meaning and Truth
Topics in Sociolinguistics
Research Methods
Dissertation

One from:

Discourses of Culture
Semantics/Pragmatics Interface: Approaches to the Study of Meaning
Cultural and Critical Theory module

Careers and employability

The Philosophy of Language MA prepares you for careers in linguistics, linguistic anthropology, forensic linguistics, speech therapy, sign language, journalism, writing, English language teaching, politics and sociology.

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The Linguistics MA is a flexible programme which aims to explore the breadth and the depth of linguistics. It builds on the widest range of teaching and research expertise, covering all aspects of theoretical and descriptive linguistics. Read more
The Linguistics MA is a flexible programme which aims to explore the breadth and the depth of linguistics. It builds on the widest range of teaching and research expertise, covering all aspects of theoretical and descriptive linguistics: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, discourse and conversation analysis, typology, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, cognitive linguistics and psycholinguistics, computational and corpus linguistics, field linguistics, and the documentation and description of endangered languages. The academic staff teaching on the programme work on various practical applications of linguistics (e.g. language codification and language policy, institutional language, language in the community) and have expertise in a wide range of languages, including English and its varieties, Germanic, Latin and Romance, Russian, Polish, Kurdish and other Iranian languages, Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, and several languages spoken in the Americas (e.g. Huave, Quechua, Ulwa), Australia (e.g. Jamingjung), and beyond.
All students receive a solid foundation for linguistic study in three core modules (of which at least two are compulsory):
Grammatical Theory
Semantics and Pragmatics
Phonetics and Phonology
The remainder of the programme allows the students to make the most of what the staff have to offer. Students can either take a variety of course units in different areas including the new Forensic Linguistics unit, or specialise in one of the following pathways: Phonetics and Phonology, Sociolinguistics, Syntax and Semantics, Typology or Romani Linguistics.

Aims

The course aims to give students a grounding in breadth and depth in Linguistics, by exploring the central features of linguistic theory: its history, objectives, principal theoretical frameworks, methodologies, contested areas and uncontested results. Students will gain experience of excellence in teaching and learning at an advanced level, in an environment where they will benefit from the fact that the School is also home to world-leading research in Linguistics.

Teaching and learning

Teaching takes on a variety of forms. Core course units and other MA specific course units are typically taught as seminars, in a small group, combining lectures with discussion. Many of them have practical tutorials as well which will help students prepare for individual research projects. Directed Readings involve individual or small group meetings during which pre-set readings on a particular topic are discussed. The enhanced Level 3 undergraduate course units combine lectures or seminars, depending on the aim of the course unit, with more optional tutorials. The aim across all teaching forms is to create the opportunity for intensive scholarly work, with areas of focus determined by the participants and their individual interests, which can be investigated in considerable depth.

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This MA is an innovative programme specifically designed to give you the competence to undertake empirical work in discourse studies by drawing on both linguistic and social theory. Read more
This MA is an innovative programme specifically designed to give you the competence to undertake empirical work in discourse studies by drawing on both linguistic and social theory. The MA enables you to explore discourse in areas such as politics, law, business, media and health, whilst developing skills in a range of analytical methods. Support for your studies is provided by the non-credit Postgraduate Academic Study Skills module which runs in terms 1, 2 and 3.

Modules
Core modules:
• Introduction to Discourse Studies
• Critical Discourse Analysis
• Pragmatics
• Research Methods in Linguistics and English Language
• Dissertation

Optional modules:
• Bilingualism
• Cognitive Linguistics
• Corpus Linguistics
• English Grammar: a Cognitive Approach
• Forensic Linguistics
• Literacies and Digital Communications
• Stylistics

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