This MSc gives students all of the intellectual and practical skills to engage in linguistics research, either for its own sake, or as part of cross-disciplinary research.
Students graduating from our programme will understand how to analyse key data in syntax, semantics, phonology, and morphology, how to theorise such data, and how to exploit empirical methods to test their theories.
The key aims of the programme are to:
We offer a strong focus on theoretical understanding: students will learn how to analyse data in the context of current theoretical understanding of linguistic structure at all levels, drawing on the expertise of the department, which is particularly strong in theory development, and will be well placed to compare and evaluate competing proposals, both from within the same theoretical model, and from competing models. Additionally, students will acquire the necessary data-elicitation skills, and skills in naturally occurring data in corpora.
All of these skills provide a firm foundation for further PhD study, either in Linguistics or in a related discipline that makes heavy use of core Linguistics (e.g. Developmental Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, etc.).
The programme is best suited to applicants whose academic background is in Linguistics, English Language, Philology or Cognitive Science.
The programme (a total of 180 credit points) requires students without a background in Linguistics to take the following five core courses totalling 50 credits:
Students with a background in Linguistics may be exempted from any or all of the courses at the Programme Director’s discretion.
Students will also need to choose, under the guidance of the programme director, additional course options (totalling 70 credits for students with no background) from an approved list of level 11 courses; students who are exempted from any of the courses listed will have to choose courses to ensure that their total number of credits excluding the dissertation comes to 120.
It is possible for students to take up to 20 credits of their optional courses from other MSc options offered within the School subject to the Programme Director’s approval.
All students will be required to write a dissertation of approximately 8,000 words.
Students graduating from this new programme will understand how contemporary research approaches the study of language.
Students will acquire and enhance the following professional/subject-specific/practical skills:
This course is designed to help you develop the skills and experience you need for a successful career in English teaching.
There is a demand throughout the world for graduates with qualifications and expertise in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). Our MA in TESOL is designed for students who are intending to have a career in English teaching. It will also be of interest to those who are already teachers of English and would like to increase their professional expertise by advancing their analytical knowledge of English and up-to-date teaching methods.
On the programme you will gain an in depth understanding of the structure of language at different levels of analysis and the relationship between language and use. You will explore how people learn languages, how English can be taught and gain an excellent understanding of the assessment and testing which those you will be teaching will be preparing for.
You will research, discuss and evaluate a range of perspectives on the language teaching curriculum, and its delivery, with which to make informed decisions with regard to policy and practice. You will also have opportunity to study a range of optional modules and undertake a dissertation in an area that is of particular interest to you and suits your career plans.
As an Applied Linguistics and TESOL student you will become a member of Centre for Research in English Language and Linguistics (CRELL), a thriving forum for researchers with theoretical insight and varying interests such as politics and functionality of language.
In your first semester, you will be introduced to the essential syntactic and morphological patterns of English. You will investigate the place of formal grammar in the description and teaching of language and study a range of theoretical frameworks for the study of syntax and morphology and apply these to learning challenges in future TESOL contexts.
In your second semester, you will explore the theories of learning a second language and look critically at the nature of discourse as the central feature of human interaction. You will also gain a solid foundation in approaches such as conversation analysis and pragmatics; narrative analysis; critical discourse analysis and genre analysis.
You will take the year-long module ‘Research Methods’, where you will be introduced to different methodological approaches employed in sociolinguistic and applied linguistic research and gain an excellent understanding of techniques such as participant-observation, eliciting, recording and storing natural speech data.
A range of optional modules are also currently available, such as ‘Principles and Practice in Language Teaching’, where you will explore the central concerns of the language learning curriculum. In ‘Language Testing’ you will gain an in depth understanding of, and be able to evaluate, the assessments which those learning English will be preparing for. You will also undertake a dissertation, where you will have the opportunity to explore the topic that suits your interests.
Some of the modules we currently offer include:
There are excellent opportunities around the world for teachers with an MA in TESOL. Related career possibilities include policy adviser, trainer of trainers, and designer of teaching materials. Applied linguistics is a very useful basis for a range of careers in publishing, editing and communication.
This MSc provides students with a foundation in the analysis of human remains, both in archaeological and modern forensic settings. With a solid grounding in skeletal and dental anatomy, students learn about morphological variation, development, methods for biological profiling, human disease and forensic approaches to trauma and taphonomy.
Students will learn procedures for interpretation and analysis of human skeletal remains - considering both archaeological and modern forensic contexts. There is a unique opportunity to analyse recently excavated human remains, utilising methods and techniques learned during the programme. While the focus of this programme is primarily on modern humans, late Pleistocene hominids are also considered.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), one optional module (15 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).
Students choose one optional module from the following list or from the wider range of Master's optional modules available. Please note that some core modules are normally only available to those enrolled for the degree in question. If you wish to take a core module from another degree as an option certain restrictions may apply. Please consult the programme co-ordinator before choosing your optional module.
Please note that not all options run every year.
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical classes. This MSc has strong links with the Forensic Archaeological Science MSc which gives individual programmes an interesting mix of participants and provides many opportunities for discussion. Assessment is through essays, class tests, reports and the dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Bioarchaeological and Forensic Anthropology MSc
Some graduates of the programme go on to PhD studies, while others go on to work in a range of archaeological and non-archaeological roles as osteoarchaeological specialists, members of the police, curators and political researchers.
The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest and most diverse archaeology department in the UK, offering students a range of opportunities.
This particular MSc is unique, offering a combination of bioarchaeological and forensic principles for the study of human remains unlike anything else available in the UK. Students further benefit from access to a large collection of skeletal material for study, including dental and palaeopathology reference collections. Access to sophisticated equipment and techniques (laser scanner, SEM, thin sectioning, CT) is also available.
Some lectures will take place at the Royal College of Surgeons and students have access to their teaching collections and museums, including the Wellcome Museum of Anatomy and Pathology.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Archaeology
73% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
The research master’s programme in Linguistics at Leiden University combines leading expertise with a flexible programme format.
During this two-year research master’s programme you will be able to choose from the largest selection of languages offered in Europe and an exceptional range of linguistic approaches including historical, descriptive, formal, cognitive, sociolinguistic, experimental and corpus-based studies. You will be able to explore sub-fields including phonetics, phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax, discourse, or pragmatics.
An important aspect of this programme is developing your ability to conduct original and innovative research. You will have to opportunity to attend conferences, workshops and lecture series organised in Leiden, all of which will help you forge an outstanding start to your career. Small classes ensure that you have plenty of direct contact with your lecturers and a high level of guidance and support throughout your studies.
Academics from the renowned Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL) teach in the master’s programme in Linguistics (research). During your studies, you will have access to a breadth and depth of expertise that is almost unmatched in Europe, as well as exceptional resources such as the famous collections at the Leiden University Library. The courses are taught by a diverse group of scholars, all of whom are engaged in international research, which is also part of the teaching syllabus. Their expertise incorporates the latest theoretical knowledge and practice-based skills, such as translation or text analysis.
Why do languages change? Why does your mobile device suggest funny completions for words you are typing? How did it happen that Finnish is spoken mostly in Finland, but its linguistic relatives are scattered over a larger area? How can you study a language that does not have a standard orthography? Why can you sometimes tell where other people come from just by their accent? Why do some people stick to their dialect, but others give it up when they move to the city? Should you try to support language diversity? Can we save languages that are spoken by a very small number of people? How can computer-synthesised speech be made to sound more human? Why do some languages seem so much more difficult to learn - are they inherently more complex?
This Master's programme will provide you with an understanding of the nature and diversity of human language and with the theoretical tools for working with language material. If you are interested in languages but are unable to decide which of them you want to study, this Master's programme offers several fields of specialisation. One of them might be just perfect for you.
During your studies, you will:
After completing your studies, you will be able to work independently in various fields that require multidisciplinary expertise in linguistic sciences. You will have the theoretical knowledge and skills that are required for postgraduate studies in the doctoral programme in language studies.
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.
Linguistic Diversity in the Digital Age is an integrated international programme that offers you a comprehensive view of all subfields of the science of language. As a student in the programme you will be able to choose among four specialist options: (1) General Linguistics, (2) Phonetics, (3) Language Technology, and (4) Diversity Linguistics.
General Linguistics gives you comprehensive in-depth training in a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches to language structure and language in use. Special emphasis is put on language typology in a global perspective as well as the documentation and description of endangered and previously undocumented and under-documented forms of speech.
Phonetics will introduce you to the tools for working with the articulatory, acoustic and perceptional aspects of human speech from a multidisciplinary perspective. At the more advanced level, you will become acquainted with the methods of experimental phonetics.
Language Technology combines linguistics with digital technology in an interdisciplinary approach with close links to computer science. The focus areas include natural language processing (NLP) for morphologically rich languages, cross-lingual NLP and language technology in the humanities.
Diversity Linguistics encompasses all aspects of linguistic diversity in time and space, including historical linguistics as well as the extralinguistic context of languages: ethnicities, cultures and environments. The areal foci in Diversity Linguistics are Eurasia and Africa.
These four specialist options interact at all levels. There is a study module common to all students in the programme regardless of the specialist option they choose. The integration of these four perspectives into one programme is unique - no similar programme exists anywhere else.
In the context of “Humanities”, the programme has the closest relationship to natural sciences, and many subfields of the programme involve methods directly linked to laboratory sciences, including digital technology and neurosciences.
The teaching in the programme includes lectures and seminars, practical exercise sessions, reading circles, fieldwork excursions, as well as work practice (internship). The broad spectrum of teaching methods guarantees optimal support for your learning processes.