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Masters Degrees (Psycholinguistics)

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The MA in Psycholinguistics will provide you with a general background in psycholinguistics while giving you a practical training in the techniques and methodologies associated with the field of study. Read more
The MA in Psycholinguistics will provide you with a general background in psycholinguistics while giving you a practical training in the techniques and methodologies associated with the field of study. You will have the opportunity to develop your interest in areas such as bilingualism, syntactic processing in special populations and early phonetic and phonological development.

Overview

The MA in Psycholinguistics will:
-Impart a general foundation and background in psycholinguistics
-Give you a practical training in techniques used in psycholinguistics, including statistical methods
-Enable you to apply your skills and knowledge to linguistic data
-Introduce you to research questions and methodologies in psycholinguistics
-Enable you to perform original research in psycholinguistics

Course structure

Autumn Term
There are two different routes in the Autumn Term, depending on your prior background. Students with no prior background in Linguistics or Psycholinguistics take the modules in Route A, below. Students who already have some background in these subjects take Route B. We will help you to determine which route you should take, when you apply.

Route A
-Quantitative methods (10 credits)
-Language acquisition (10 credits)
-Psycholinguistics (10 credits)
-Syntax (10 credits) OR Phonetics and phonology (10 credits)

Route B
-Quantitative methods (10 credits)
AND 30 further credits from among the modules below and the modules in Route A:
-Advanced comparative syntactic or semantic typology (20 credits)
-Advanced phonology (10 credits)
-Advanced phonetics (10 credits)
-Emergence of structure from use (10 credits)
-Phonological development (20 credits)
-Directed readings in phonological development (10 credits)

Spring Term
In the Spring Term you will take two 20-credit modules from a range of options. Options may include:
-Topics in phonological development (20 credits)
-Bilingualism (20 credits)
-Learning mechanisms (20 credits)
-Second language phonology (20 credits)
-Second language syntax (20 credits)
-Psycholinguistic approaches to second language acquisition (20 credits)

Note that module offerings may vary from year to year. Not every module is offered every year.

Spring and Summer Terms
-Key ideas in linguistics (20 credits)

Summer Term and Summer vacation
-Dissertation (60 credits)

All terms
-Research training seminar (20 credits)

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Discover how insights from linguistics help to explain how humans learn, understand and use languages. Read more
Discover how insights from linguistics help to explain how humans learn, understand and use languages. Our MA Psycholinguistics provides you with a thorough grounding in research from the perspective of linguistics on human language processing, the representation of language in the brain, and first and second language acquisition.

You cover the processing and acquisition of sounds, words and sentences, look at different kinds of language disorders, and investigate the relevance of data from human language processing to our understanding of the nature of language. You also learn how to design and conduct experiments, and analyse the results from them.

Our researchers are using experimental techniques to understand how children learn language, how adults process language, and what happens when language ability is impaired by brain disorders. We combine a wide range of methodologies: corpora, infant behavioural studies at the babylab, response time and eye movement measures for adults

You can choose areas of special study including:
-How words are represented and accessed in the mind
-How speakers understand sentences in real time
-Music, language and the brain
-Children’s English

We are one of the largest and most prestigious language and linguistics departments in the world, a place where talented students become part of an academic community in which the majority of research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, placing us firmly within the top 10 departments in the UK and ranked among the top 150 departments on the planet according to the QS World [University] Rankings [2016] for linguistics.

If you want a global outlook, are interested in human communication, and want to study for a degree with real-world practical value in a world-class department, welcome to Essex.

Our expert staff

Our staff maintain excellent student-staff ratios with capped language-specific seminars.

In psycholinguistics, Sonja Eisenbeiss, Claire delle Luche and Fang Liu use experimental techniques to understand how children learn language, how adults process language, and what happens when language ability is impaired by brain disorders.

Specialist facilities

-An exciting programme of research seminars and other events
-Our Languages for All programme offers you the opportunity to study an additional language alongside your course at no extra cost
-Our ‘Visual World’ Experimental Lab records response times and eye movements when individuals are presented with pictures and videos
-Our Eye-Tracking Lab monitors eye movement of individuals performing tasks
-Our Psycholinguistics Lab measures how long it takes individuals to react to words, texts and sounds
-Our Linguistics Lab has specialist equipment to analyse sound
-Our Albert Sloman Library houses a strong collection of books, journals, electronic resources and major archives

Your future

Our MA Psycholinguistics can lead to further research in the form of a PhD, or can lead you to a career in areas such as speech therapy, teaching, publishing, journalism, administration and public service.

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

Within our Department of Language and Linguistics, we also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil. We offer supervision in areas including language acquisition, language learning and language teaching, culture and communication, psycholinguistics, language disorders, sociolinguistics, and theoretical and descriptive linguistics.

Our graduates are successful in a wide variety of career paths. They leave Essex with a unique set of skills and experience that are in demand by employers.

Several of our MA Psycholinguistics graduates have taken up academic posts at top universities including the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and the Universities of Tübingen, Hamburg, Kobe, and Thessaloniki.

Example structure

-Phonological Development
-Sentence Processing
-Experimental Design and Analysis
-Assignment Writing and Dissertation Preparation
-The Role of Age in Bilingual Development
-MA Dissertation
-Advanced Phonology (optional)
-First Language Acquisition (optional)
-Second Language Acquisition and Linguistics Theory (optional)
-American Languages (optional)
-Varieties of English (optional)
-Language Rights (optional)
-Semantics (optional)
-Language Learning (optional)
-English Syntax 1 (optional)
-Individual Differences in L2 Learning (optional)
-Syntactic Theory I (optional)
-Variationist Sociolinguistic Theory (optional)
-Sociolinguistic Methods 1: Data Collection (optional)
-Research Methods I (optional)
-English Syntax 2 (optional)
-Syntactic Theory II (optional)
-Sociocultural Linguistics (optional)
-Variation in English II (optional)
-Sociolinguistic Methods: Data Coding and Analysis (optional)
-Research Methods II (optional)
-Graduate Research Assignment (optional)
-Language Attrition (optional)
-Language in Context: From Pragmatics to Conversation Analysis (optional)
-Intercultural Communication: communicating across languages and cultures (optional)

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Study the nuts and bolts of language. sound systems, word structure, sentence structure, and how meaning is conveyed. Learn about the different theories that have been proposed to account for human linguistic ability. Read more
Study the nuts and bolts of language: sound systems, word structure, sentence structure, and how meaning is conveyed. Learn about the different theories that have been proposed to account for human linguistic ability. In this degree you will learn what human languages share, and where they differ.

Our course will interest you if you want a formal and empirical grounding in all core areas of linguistics, and are keen to evaluate the major theoretical approaches in these disciplines.

You study topics including:
-Theoretical and descriptive phonology
-Syntactic theory
-Pragmatics
-Semantics
-Phonetics

Our optional modules are in the related fields of applied linguistics, psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics.

We are one of the largest and most prestigious language and linguistics departments in the world, a place where talented students become part of an academic community in which the majority of research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014), placing us firmly within the top 10 departments in the UK and ranked among the top 150 departments on the planet according to the QS World University Rankings 2016 for linguistics.

If you want a global outlook, are interested in human communication, and want to study for a degree with real-world practical value in a world-class department, welcome to Essex.

Our expert staff

Our staff maintain excellent student-staff ratios with capped language-specific seminars.

In theoretical linguistics, Doug Arnold, Bob Borsley, Louisa Sadler, and Mike Jones work on the structure of sentences, focusing on English and other languages; Andrew Spencer investigates how complex words are created; and Nancy Kula and Wyn Johnson work on sound structure.

In sociolinguistics, Peter Patrick, Rebecca Clift, Enam Al Wer and Vineeta Chand all work on different aspects of how language varies, and investigate which factors cause such variation. Peter is also involved in language rights, and offers expert opinions in asylum cases where language is used to determine origin.

In applied linguistics, Florence Myles, Monika Schmid, Sophia Skoufaki, Karen Roehr-Brackin, Adela Gánem-Gutiérrez, and Roger Hawkins focus on the learning of second and further languages, whilst Julian Good, Christina Gkonou and Tracey Costley focus on issues to do with the classroom teaching of English as a foreign language.

In psycholinguistics, Sonja Eisenbeiss, Claire delle Luche and Fang Liu use experimental techniques to understand how children learn language, how adults process language, and what happens when language ability is impaired by brain disorders.

Specialist facilities

-An exciting programme of research seminars and other events
-Our Languages for All programme offers you the opportunity to study an additional language alongside your course at no extra cost
-Our ‘Visual World’ Experimental Lab records response times and eye movements when individuals are presented with pictures and videos
-Our Eye-Tracking Lab monitors eye movement of individuals performing tasks
-Our Psycholinguistics Lab measures how long it takes individuals to react to words, texts and sounds
-Our Linguistics Lab has specialist equipment to analyse sound
-Our Albert Sloman Library houses a strong collection of books, journals, electronic resources and major archives

Your future

Our course can lead to careers in areas such as academic research, publishing, journalism, administration, public service and teaching. You develop key employability skills including research design, data analysis, thinking analytically, report writing and public speaking.

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

Within our Department of Language and Linguistics, we also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil. We offer supervision in areas including language acquisition, language learning and language teaching, culture and communication, psycholinguistics, language disorders, sociolinguistics, and theoretical and descriptive linguistics.

Our graduates are successful in a wide variety of career paths. They leave Essex with a unique set of skills and experience that are in demand by employers.

Example structure

-MA Dissertation
-Syntactic Theory I
-Advanced Phonology
-Assignment Writing and Dissertation Preparation
-Syntactic Theory II
-Semantics
-First Language Acquisition (optional)
-Phonological Development (optional)
-Second Language Acquisition and Linguistics Theory (optional)
-American Languages (optional)
-Varieties of English (optional)
-Sentence Processing (optional)
-Language Rights (optional)
-Language Learning (optional)
-English Syntax 1 (optional)
-Individual Differences in L2 Learning (optional)
-Variationist Sociolinguistic Theory (optional)
-Experimental Design and Analysis (optional)
-Sociolinguistic Methods 1: Data Collection (optional)
-Research Methods I (optional)
-English Syntax 2 (optional)
-Sociocultural Linguistics (optional)
-The Role of Age in Bilingual Development (optional)
-Variation in English II (optional)
-Sociolinguistic Methods: Data Coding and Analysis (optional)
-Research Methods II (optional)
-Graduate Research Assignment (optional)
-Language Attrition (optional)
-Language in Context: From Pragmatics to Conversation Analysis (optional)
-Intercultural Communication: communicating across languages and cultures (optional)

Read less
Our MRes Experimental Linguistics provides tailored support for the researcher-in-training at the interface of theoretical and experimental work in linguistics. Read more
Our MRes Experimental Linguistics provides tailored support for the researcher-in-training at the interface of theoretical and experimental work in linguistics.

Compared to our MA courses, our MRes programmes offer more flexibility and fewer taught modules, as the emphasis of your course is on your dissertation and individual research assignments. You must have a draft research proposal at your application stage, and a supervisor is assigned to you to guide your choice of modules and work on your dissertation.

On this course, specialist modules enable you to gain expertise in the research methodology and experimental design required to conduct empirical research in linguistics. You develop your ability to design experiments, collect and analyse data, and critique recent experimental studies, as well as exploring essential qualitative and statistical techniques.

You also choose from a range of topics across our core areas of linguistics, and in psycholinguistics and language acquisition, including:
-Multilingualism and Language Disorders
-Theoretical and descriptive phonology
-Experimental design and analysis
-Music, language and the brain
-Syntactic theory

We are one of the largest and most prestigious language and linguistics departments in the world, a place where talented students become part of an academic community in which the majority of research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014), placing us firmly within the top 10 departments in the UK and among the top 150 departments on the planet (QS World University Rankings 2016).

If you want a global outlook, are interested in human communication, and want to study for a degree with real-world practical value in a world-class department, welcome to Essex.

Our expert staff

Our staff are internationally renowned (REF 2014). Their books dominate the reading lists at other universities. We maintain excellent student-staff ratios, and we integrate language learning with linguistics wherever there is synergy.

In sociolinguistics, Peter Patrick, Rebecca Clift, Enam Al Wer and Vineeta Chand all work on different aspects of how language varies, and investigate which factors cause such variation. Peter is also involved in language rights, and offers expert opinions in asylum cases where language is used to determine origin.

In applied linguistics, Florence Myles, Monika Schmid, Sophia Skoufaki, Karen Roehr-Brackin, Adela Gánem-Gutiérrez, and Roger Hawkins focus on the learning of second and further languages, whilst Julian Good, Christina Gkonou and Tracey Costley focus on issues to do with the classroom teaching of English as a foreign language.

In psycholinguistics, Sonja Eisenbeiss, Claire delle Luche and Fang Liu use experimental techniques to understand how children learn language, how adults process language, and what happens when language ability is impaired by brain disorders.

Specialist facilities

-Our Languages for All programme offers you the opportunity to study an additional language alongside your course at no extra cost
-Meet other language enthusiasts through our student-run Linguistics Society
-Our ‘Visual World’ Experimental Lab records response times and eye movements when individuals are presented with pictures and videos
-Our Eye-Tracking Lab monitors eye movement of individuals performing tasks
-Our Psycholinguistics Lab measures how long it takes individuals to react to words, texts and sounds
-Our Linguistics Lab has specialist equipment to analyse sound
-An exciting programme of research seminars and other events
-Our Albert Sloman Library houses a strong collection of books, journals, electronic resources and major archives

Your future

On our course you develop key employability skills including thinking analytically, research design, data collection using quantitative and qualitative methods, data analysis and essay writing. Our course can lead to a career in areas such as academia, secondary school teaching, forensics, publishing, administration, and public service.

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

Within our Department of Language and Linguistics, we also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil. We offer supervision in areas including language acquisition, language learning and language teaching, culture and communication, psycholinguistics, language disorders, sociolinguistics, and theoretical and descriptive linguistics.

Example structure

-MA Dissertation
-Experimental Design and Analysis
-Research Methods II
-Advanced Phonology (optional)
-Morphology
-Sentence Processing (optional)
-CA I - Conversation and Social Interaction
-Syntactic Theory I (optional)
-Pragmatics: Discourse and Rhetoric
-Graduate Research Assignment (optional)

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Conduct an in-depth study of the grammar of English. Learn about dialectal and social variation, language change and the pragmatics of language use, and study varieties of English used around the world. Read more
Conduct an in-depth study of the grammar of English. Learn about dialectal and social variation, language change and the pragmatics of language use, and study varieties of English used around the world.

If you wish to focus specifically on the linguistics of the English language then our MA English Language and Linguistics should interest you. “Grammar” is the body of knowledge that enables a speaker to produce and understand the language(s) they speak. We study that knowledge, taking a practical approach to our research through analysis of English corpora, recordings and texts.

Our course allows you to cover a wide range of topics related to English, including:
-Dialectal and social variation
-Conversation analysis
-Language change
-Language rights
-Pragmatics

You also have the choice of optional topics including American languages, language and gender, multilingualism and language disorders.

We are one of the largest and most prestigious language and linguistics departments in the world, a place where talented students become part of an academic community in which the majority of research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, placing us firmly within the top 10 departments in the UK and among the top 150 departments on the planet (QS World University Rankings 2016).

If you want a global outlook, are interested in human communication, and want to study for a degree with real-world practical value in a world-class department, welcome to Essex.

Our expert staff

Our staff maintain excellent student-staff ratios with capped language-specific seminars.

In theoretical linguistics, Doug Arnold, Bob Borsley, Louisa Sadler, and Mike Jones work on the structure of sentences, focusing on English and other languages; Andrew Spencer investigates how complex words are created; and Nancy Kula and Wyn Johnson work on sound structure.

In sociolinguistics, Peter Patrick, Rebecca Clift, Enam Al Wer and Vineeta Chand all work on different aspects of how language varies, and investigate which factors cause such variation. Peter is also involved in language rights, and offers expert opinions in asylum cases where language is used to determine origin.

In applied linguistics, Florence Myles, Monika Schmid, Sophia Skoufaki, Karen Roehr-Brackin, Adela Gánem-Gutiérrez, and Roger Hawkins focus on the learning of second and further languages, whilst Julian Good, Christina Gkonou and Tracey Costley focus on issues to do with the classroom teaching of English as a foreign language.

In psycholinguistics, Sonja Eisenbeiss, Claire delle Luche and Fang Liu use experimental techniques to understand how children learn language, how adults process language, and what happens when language ability is impaired by brain disorders.

Specialist facilities

-An exciting programme of research seminars and other events
-Our Languages for All programme offers you the opportunity to study an additional language alongside your course at no extra cost
-Our ‘Visual World’ Experimental Lab records response times and eye movements when individuals are presented with pictures and videos
-Our Eye-Tracking Lab monitors eye movement of individuals performing tasks
-Our Psycholinguistics Lab measures how long it takes individuals to react to words, texts and sounds
-Our Linguistics Lab has specialist equipment to analyse sound
-Our Albert Sloman Library houses a strong collection of books, journals, electronic resources and major archives

Your future

Our course can lead to careers in areas such as academic research, publishing, journalism, administration, public service and teaching. You develop key employability skills including research design, data analysis, thinking analytically, report writing and public speaking.

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

Within our Department of Language and Linguistics, we also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil. We offer supervision in areas including language acquisition, language learning and language teaching, culture and communication, psycholinguistics, language disorders, sociolinguistics, and theoretical and descriptive linguistics.

Our graduates are successful in a wide variety of career paths. They leave Essex with a unique set of skills and experience that are in demand by employers.

Example structure

-MA Dissertation
-Advanced Phonology
-English Syntax 1
-Varieties of English
-English Syntax 2
-Variation in English II
-First Language Acquisition (optional)
-Phonological Development (optional)
-Second Language Acquisition and Linguistics Theory (optional)
-American Languages (optional)
-Sentence Processing (optional)
-Language Rights (optional)
-Semantics (optional)
-Language Learning (optional)
-Individual Differences in L2 Learning (optional)
-Syntactic Theory I (optional)
-Variationist Sociolinguistic Theory (optional)
-Experimental Design and Analysis (optional)
-Sociolinguistic Methods 1: Data Collection (optional)
-Research Methods I (optional)
-Syntactic Theory II (optional)
-Sociocultural Linguistics (optional)
-The Role of Age in Bilingual Development (optional)
-Sociolinguistic Methods: Data Coding and Analysis (optional)
-Research Methods II (optional)
-Graduate Research Assignment (optional)
-Language Attrition (optional)
-Language in Context: From Pragmatics to Conversation Analysis (optional)
-Intercultural Communication: communicating across languages and cultures (optional)

Read less
Our MA Linguistic Studies is our broadest postgraduate degree, offering you the widest choice of options. You expand your knowledge of language through studying everything from syntax, to computer-assisted language-learning, to language and gender, to language disorders, to multilingualism. Read more
Our MA Linguistic Studies is our broadest postgraduate degree, offering you the widest choice of options. You expand your knowledge of language through studying everything from syntax, to computer-assisted language-learning, to language and gender, to language disorders, to multilingualism.

You build a programme best-suited to your individual needs. This course is ideal if you need to study on a part-time basis and wish to fit your course choices in with your existing commitments, as you can also study on an accumulation basis over a period of up to five years.

The optional modules you choose come from a broad list including:
-Theoretical and descriptive phonology
-Sociolinguistics
-Pragmatics
-Semantics
-Syntax

You also gain a basic familiarity with some common research methodologies and paradigms used in linguistics. You will write a dissertation on a topic of your choice. This takes place between April and September.

We are one of the largest and most prestigious language and linguistics departments in the world, a place where talented students become part of an academic community in which the majority of research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014), placing us firmly within the top 10 departments in the UK and ranked among the top 150 departments on the planet according to the QS World [University] Rankings [2016] for linguistics.

If you want a global outlook, are interested in human communication, and want to study for a degree with real-world practical value in a world-class department, welcome to Essex.

Our expert staff

Our staff maintain excellent student-staff ratios with capped language-specific seminars.

In theoretical linguistics, Doug Arnold, Bob Borsley, Louisa Sadler, and Mike Jones work on the structure of sentences, focusing on English and other languages; Andrew Spencer investigates how complex words are created; and Nancy Kula and Wyn Johnson work on sound structure.

In sociolinguistics, Peter Patrick, Rebecca Clift, Enam Al Wer and Vineeta Chand all work on different aspects of how language varies, and investigate which factors cause such variation. Peter is also involved in language rights, and offers expert opinions in asylum cases where language is used to determine origin.

In applied linguistics, Florence Myles, Monika Schmid, Sophia Skoufaki, Karen Roehr-Brackin, Adela Gánem-Gutiérrez, and Roger Hawkins focus on the learning of second and further languages, whilst Julian Good, Christina Gkonou and Tracey Costley focus on issues to do with the classroom teaching of English as a foreign language.

In psycholinguistics, Sonja Eisenbeiss, Claire delle Luche and Fang Liu use experimental techniques to understand how children learn language, how adults process language, and what happens when language ability is impaired by brain disorders.

Specialist facilities

-An exciting programme of research seminars and other events
-Our Languages for All programme offers you the opportunity to study an additional language alongside your course at no extra cost
-Our ‘Visual World’ Experimental Lab records response times and eye movements when individuals are presented with pictures and videos
-Our Eye-Tracking Lab monitors eye movement of individuals performing tasks
-Our Psycholinguistics Lab measures how long it takes individuals to react to words, texts and sounds
-Our Linguistics Lab has specialist equipment to analyse sound
-Our Albert Sloman Library houses a strong collection of books, journals, electronic resources and major archives

Your future

Our course can lead to careers in areas such as academic research, publishing, journalism, administration, public service and teaching. You develop key employability skills including research design, data analysis, thinking analytically, report writing and public speaking.

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

Within our Department of Language and Linguistics, we also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil. We offer supervision in areas including language acquisition, language learning and language teaching, culture and communication, psycholinguistics, language disorders, sociolinguistics, and theoretical and descriptive linguistics.

Example structure

-Assignment Writing and Dissertation Preparation
-MA Dissertation
-Advanced Phonology (optional)
-First Language Acquisition (optional)
-Phonological Development (optional)
-Second Language Vocabulary: Learning, Teaching and Use (optional)
-Topics in the Psychology of Language Learning and Teaching (optional)
-Second Language Acquisition and Linguistics Theory (optional)
-American Languages (optional)
-Varieties of English (optional)
-Sociocultural Linguistics (optional)
-Sentence Processing (optional)
-Language Rights (optional)
-Semantics (optional)
-Literature and Language Teaching (optional)
-Language Learning (optional)
-English Syntax 1 (optional)
-Description of Language for TEFL/ELT and Applied Linguistics (optional)
-Syntactic Theory I (optional)
-Variationist Sociolinguistic Theory (optional)
-Experimental Design and Analysis (optional)
-Materials Design and Evaluation (optional)
-Sociolinguistic Methods 1: Data Collection (optional)
-Research Methods I (optional)
-English Syntax 2 (optional)
-Syntactic Theory II (optional)
-Teaching, Listening and Speaking (optional)
-The Role of Age in Bilingual Development (optional)
-Variation in English II (optional)
-Sociolinguistic Methods: Data Coding and Analysis (optional)
-Research Methods II (optional)
-Graduate Research Assignment (optional)
-Language Attrition (optional)
-Teaching Practice I (optional)
-Approaches, Methods and Teacher Development for TEFL/TESOL (optional)
-Language in Context: From Pragmatics to Conversation Analysis (optional)
-Teaching Reading and Writing in TEFL/TESOL (optional)
-Intercultural Communication: communicating across languages and cultures (optional)

Read less
Study languages from across the world, from their sounds and structures to their social functions. You explore what features are shared across all languages, and what the significance of their differences are. Read more
Study languages from across the world, from their sounds and structures to their social functions. You explore what features are shared across all languages, and what the significance of their differences are.

Compared to our MA courses, our MRes programmes offer more flexibility and fewer taught modules, as the emphasis of your course is on your dissertation and individual research assignments. You must have a draft research proposal at your application stage, and a supervisor is assigned to you to guide your choice of modules and work on your dissertation.

Our course should interest you if you want to continue your study of linguistics while developing strong research skills. Our MRes Linguistics provides tailored support for the researcher-in-training, in any of our areas, with a range of subject-specific and research-support graduate modules available.

Your taught modules may include:
-Theoretical and descriptive phonology
-Syntactic theory
-Phonetics
-Semantics
-Pragmatics

We are one of the largest and most prestigious language and linguistics departments in the world, a place where talented students become part of an academic community in which the majority of research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, placing us firmly within the top 10 departments in the UK and ranked among the top 150 departments on the planet according to the QS World [University] Rankings [2016] for linguistics.

If you want a global outlook, are interested in human communication, and want to study for a degree with real-world practical value in a world-class department, welcome to Essex.

Our expert staff

Our staff are internationally renowned. Their books dominate the reading lists at other universities. We maintain excellent student-staff ratios, and we integrate language learning with linguistics wherever there is synergy.

In theoretical linguistics, Doug Arnold, Bob Borsley, Louisa Sadler, and Mike Jones work on the structure of sentences, focusing on English and other languages; Andrew Spencer investigates how complex words are created; and Nancy Kula and Wyn Johnson work on sound structure.

In sociolinguistics, Peter Patrick, Rebecca Clift, Enam Al Wer and Vineeta Chand all work on different aspects of how language varies, and investigate which factors cause such variation. Peter is also involved in language rights, and offers expert opinions in asylum cases where language is used to determine origin.

In applied linguistics, Florence Myles, Monika Schmid, Sophia Skoufaki, Karen Roehr-Brackin, Adela Gánem-Gutiérrez, and Roger Hawkins focus on the learning of second and further languages, whilst Julian Good, Christina Gkonou and Tracey Costley focus on issues to do with the classroom teaching of English as a foreign language.

In psycholinguistics, Sonja Eisenbeiss, Claire delle Luche and Fang Liu use experimental techniques to understand how children learn language, how adults process language, and what happens when language ability is impaired by brain disorders.

Specialist facilities

-An exciting programme of research seminars and other events
-Our Languages for All programme offers you the opportunity to study an additional language alongside your course at no extra cost
-Our ‘Visual World’ Experimental Lab records response times and eye movements when individuals are presented with pictures and videos
-Our Eye-Tracking Lab monitors eye movement of individuals performing tasks
-Our Psycholinguistics Lab measures how long it takes individuals to react to words, texts and sounds
-Our Linguistics Lab has specialist equipment to analyse sound
-Our Albert Sloman Library houses a strong collection of books, journals, electronic resources and major archives

Your future

On our course you develop key employability skills including thinking analytically, research design, data collection using quantitative and qualitative methods, data analysis and essay writing. Our course can lead to a career in areas such as academia, secondary school teaching, forensics, publishing, administration, and public service.

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

Within our Department of Language and Linguistics, we also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil. We offer supervision in areas including language acquisition, language learning and language teaching, culture and communication, psycholinguistics, language disorders, sociolinguistics, and theoretical and descriptive linguistics.

Our graduates are successful in a wide variety of career paths. They leave Essex with a unique set of skills and experience that are in demand by employers.

Example structure

-Dissertation (Research)
-Advanced Phonology
-Phonological Development
-Sentence Processing
-Semantics
-Pragmatics: Discourse and Rhetoric
-CA I - Conversation and Social Interaction
-English Syntax 1
-Syntactic Theory I
-English Syntax 2
-Syntactic Theory II
-Graduate Research Assignment

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The programme is organised by the Centre of Language Studies. Within this research institute, language and communication specialists from Radboud University and the University of Tilburg work closely together. Read more

The programme is organised by the Centre of Language Studies. Within this research institute, language and communication specialists from Radboud University and the University of Tilburg work closely together. You will also be able to follow a number of lectures in Tilburg. Our programme is known to be challenging, but it also offers students a very large degree of choice.

Real language in real-life situations

Whenever we use language we are involved in communicating. How does this work and why is there miscommunication? How does language fit together and how do we learn to understand each other's language? This is the central theme of this unique programme. It is unique because language and communication are treated as a single unit with each field complementing the other. The programme is also special because it focuses strongly on empirical research. You will be studying real language in real-life situations and you will use your observation skills to develop possible theories. Later, you will test these theories against everyday reality. In this way you will discover the richness of both language and communication.

Challenging research environment

As a Master’s student in Language and Communication you will find yourself in a challenging research environment. The university has experts in topics such as language variation and language diversity, language technology, sign language, intercultural communication, persuasive communication, optimal communication and the ways in which language can be processed. These specialists work closely with colleagues in the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (MPI) and the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour (FI BCB). As a result, Nijmegen can provide you with an exceptional opportunity to explore new avenues of knowledge and the chance to work alongside specialists who are leaders in their field internationally.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/language

Why study Language and Communication (Research) at Radboud University?

  • Radboud University offers this programme jointly with Tilburg University, so that our students can learn from and work alongside a large number of specialists. Our universities have experts in language variation and language diversity, language technology, sign language, intercultural communication, persuasive communication, optimal communication, multimodal messages and social media.
  • The programme is designed so that you can develop a unique professional profile by specialising in an area that meets your interests and research ambitions.
  • You’ll gain substantial hands-on research experience during two lab rotations, while you’ll also develop various research skills (incl. academic writing and grant proposal writing); the programme also challenges you to think about the valorisation process.
  • You’ll participate in group-oriented education and be part of a selected group of highly motivated national and international students.
  • The Radboud campus in Nijmegen offers you a challenging research environment in which you could work together with specialists from four leading research institutes connected to this field: Centre for Language Studies, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Baby Research Centre, and Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
  • Radboud University has excellent facilities for doing research, including the University Library with the largest collection in the field of linguistics in the Netherlands, and experimental labs and computer facilities with state-of-the-art equipment

General requirements:

  1. A completed Bachelor's degree in Communication Studies, in Linguistics, in a modern language or a related area with excellent grades. Your Bachelor's thesis or a dedicated research proposal will also need to demonstrate that you’re sufficiently talented for scientific research.
  2. Proficiency in English. Non-native speakers of English* need one of the following:
  • A TOEFL score of >600 (paper based) or >100 (internet based)
  • A IELTS score of >7.0
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a mark of C or higher

3. Strong motivation

You have to be able to demonstrate your motivation for and affinity with international academic research. A selection committee will evaluate the motivation of each applicant separately.

Career prospects

The primary goal of the programme is academic training, which makes it ideal for those wishing to embark on a research career, for example by taking a PhD. But it also caters for the growing demand from the public and private sectors for people with academic insight and research skills. Many graduates will join research groups in the public and private sector. These may address a wide range of topics such as advanced Internet and enhancing professional communication in an international context.

Our approach to this field

Whenever we use language we are involved in communication with others - to persuade, to inform and to exchange ideas. How does this work and why is there miscommunication? How does language fit together in spoken language and non-verbal cues such as eye-contact or facial expression and how do we learn to understand each other's language? This is the central theme of this unique programme.

It is unique because language and communication are treated as a single unit with each field complementing the other. The programme is also special because it focuses strongly on empirical research. We invite you to discover exciting new areas of research, where language and communication are illuminated by developments in information and communication technology. You will be studying real language in real-life situations and you will use your observations to develop possible theories. Later, you will test these theories against everyday reality. In this way you will discover the richness of both language and communication.

Our research in this field

As a Master’s student in Language and Communication you will find yourself in a challenging research environment. The university has experts in language variation and language diversity, language technology, sign language, intercultural communication, persuasive communication, optimal communication and the ways in which language can be processed. These specialists work closely with colleagues in the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (MPI) and the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour (FI BCB). As a result, Nijmegen can provide you with an exceptional opportunity to explore new avenues of knowledge and the chance to work alongside specialists who are leaders in their field internationally.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/language



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We offer excellent candidates the opportunity to carry out research in one of the most dynamic institutions in Britain. We specialise in, and welcome applications from prospective PhD students interested in the following areas. Read more
We offer excellent candidates the opportunity to carry out research in one of the most dynamic institutions in Britain.

We specialise in, and welcome applications from prospective PhD students interested in the following areas: Corpus Research, Cognitive Linguistics and Psycholinguistics, Discourse Analysis and Stylistics, and Language Learning and Teaching.

The MA by Research programme requires you to prepare a dissertation of up to 40,000 words on a topic of your choice, for which an academic staff member will provide expert supervision.

The PhD – the most advanced research degree – leads to a dissertation of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice and under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff.

Our principal areas of research are:

Corpus Research - We are well known for our innovative approaches to the analysis of large corpora, which have had a strong impact on language teaching, dictionary development, and research into academic discourses. We are home to the Centre for Corpus Research (CCR), which supports the use of corpus analysis in research, teaching and learning. CCR provides access to a range of corpora and has a dedicated computer suite with specialist resources as well as an eye-tracking laboratory.

Cognitive Linguistics and Psycholinguistics - Our research in cognitive linguistics and psycholinguistics covers a wide range of areas including figurative language, idioms, embodied cognition, language and perception, sign languages, second language acquisition, and construction grammar. We have particular strengths in British Sign Language, Australian Sign Language and gesture studies.

Discourse Analysis and Stylistics - We are known for the development of several highly influential discourse analysis frameworks, and for our work on narrative, the discursive representation of inequality, new media, the language of politics, as well as new ideas on evaluation and phraseology. Our research draws on a variety of linguistic and theoretical traditions, including: systemic-functional linguistics; critical discourse analysis; corpus linguistics; multimodal analysis; narrative analysis; conversation analysis, and genre analysis. Our particular strength at Birmingham is that we combine discourse analysis with corpus analytic methods of research.

Language Learning and Teaching - We research and publish in: academic literacies; phraseology; the teaching and learning of metaphor and other types of figurative language; applications of cognitive linguistics to second language learning and teaching; and the use of corpora in language teaching.

About the School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies

"Welcome to the School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, in the College of Arts and Law. This is one of the largest Schools in the College, and variety is our watchword. We offer one of the most extensive ranges of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the country. Our research expertise is equally diverse, and we welcome students and researchers from all over the world." - Professor Andrzej Gasiorek, Head of School

We particularly encourage creative thinking, with a range of pioneering programmes including Masters opportunities in Creative Writing, Film and Television and Shakespeare and Creativity. Our creative offerings are also strengthened by the development of our Department of Film and Creative Writing – established in 2015 – which has opened up exciting new opportunities for postgraduates to benefit from synergies between the two fields.

Our well-established Departments also provide an excellent environment for postgraduate study. The Department of Drama and Theatre Arts has a highly respected national and international reputation for excellence in teaching and research. We are also one of the leading centres for the postgraduate study of English in the UK, spanning language and literature. The Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics is a world-leading centre of excellence for both teaching and research in this field.

We are also proud to be home to the world-renowned Shakespeare Institute, based in Stratford-upon-Avon. Situated within walking distance of Shakespeare’s birthplace, school and grave, and the theatres of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), the Shakespeare Institute offers postgraduate students and scholars an academic experience unrivalled by any other university.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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Studying the acquisition, understanding and production of language. A mature language user has a vocabulary of about thirty to forty thousand words. Read more

Studying the acquisition, understanding and production of language.

A mature language user has a vocabulary of about thirty to forty thousand words. Speech is produced at a speed of three to five words per second. How is it possible that, in such an amazingly short period of time, you can select the correct words, put them in the correct order and grammatical form, and pronounce them intelligibly? The acquisition and comprehension of language are based on extremely complex cognitive processes which are not yet entirely understood. It’s these processes, and their biological underpinnings, that form psycholinguistics’ field of study and are the basis of this specialisation.

A large majority of our graduates gain a PhD position, while other graduates find jobs in the commercial sector or at research institutes. Graduates of this specialisation can find a position with one of the psycholinguistic research institutes, a government institution or for example, in the care sector (rehabilitation centres) or in education (language disorders).

Why study Language and Communication at Radboud University?

Theoretical training

All specialisations in the Master’s programme have a common basis. In the first year you’ll become acquainted with the most important theories, models, techniques and analysis methods in Cognitive Neuroscience. Click here for an overview of the General programme outline.

As a student of the specialisation in Language and Communication you are obligated to take five of the following seven courses:

  • Word Recognition and Production
  • Sentence Production and Comprehension
  • Multilingualism
  • Language Acquisition
  • Multimodal Language, Cognition, and the Brain
  • Neurobiology and Evolution of Language
  • Structural Aspects of Language

Practical training: research project

The second year of the Master’s programme is primarily spent in the laboratory so that you gain ample hands-on experience. You’ll execute practical training in one of the participating research groups under the supervision of a researcher. In this way you’ll acquaint yourself with the discipline in actual practice. You’ll:

  • Develop a theoretical research question.
  • Report on your research in a Master’s thesis. This thesis must be written in the form of a scientific article.

You can read more about the research in this specialisation on the website of the Donders Institute: Theme 1.

Read more about the courses, reading requirements and course schedule in the online prospectus.



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This respected programme provides advanced understanding of current research in psycholinguistics. the study of how the brain learns, uses and reacts with humanity’s most advanced and characteristic feature. Read more

This respected programme provides advanced understanding of current research in psycholinguistics: the study of how the brain learns, uses and reacts with humanity’s most advanced and characteristic feature: language.

The programme is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of current research in psycholinguistics, and is aimed primarily at students who are considering advanced research in the area.

Students are actively encouraged to join in the activities of the Language, Cognition and Communication research group, and to collaborate with staff (many of whom are international experts in the field) and senior postgraduates.

You will gain perspectives on the latest developments, and gain the necessary statistical and methodological skills to conduct your own novel research.

Programme structure

This programme comprises two semesters of taught courses, followed by a dissertation.

The taught component consists of a number of lecture- and tutorial-based courses, which are assessed by essay or exam.

For the dissertation (which centres on original research) you will work in close collaboration with members of staff and senior postgraduates engaged in research in similar areas.

You will take two compulsory courses:

  • Psychological Research Skills
  • Univariate Statistics and Methodology using R

You will also choose six from the following:

  • Dialogue
  • Discourse Comprehension
  • Disorders of Language Functions
  • Language Behaviours, Brains and Cognition: Data and Theories
  • Language Behaviours, Brains and Cognition: Principles and Approaches
  • Language Production
  • Multivariate Statistics and Methodology Using R
  • Sentence Comprehension

Under exceptional circumstances, alternative courses may be substituted with the permission of the programme director.

You will choose further courses that may be taken from the compulsory course list or from option courses in related areas such as philosophy, language sciences and informatics. These include:

  • Concepts and Categorisation
  • Eye Movements and Visual Cognition
  • First Language Acquisition
  • Introduction to Phonology and Phonetics
  • Introduction to Semantics
  • Introduction to Syntax
  • Origins and Evolution of Language
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Simulating Language

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this programme you will have developed an up-to-date knowledge of a broad range of areas relating to the psychology of language. The programme is also designed to help you acquire the statistical and methodological skills that allow you to conduct novel research in the field.

Many MSc dissertations lead to conference presentations or journal publications and typically over half of the students proceed to study for PhDs at Edinburgh or elsewhere.

Career opportunities

This programme has been designed to help you progress your research career and offers a firm basis for further postgraduate study.



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Applied linguistics addresses real-life language problems through insights gained from current linguistic theory, psychology and education. Read more
Applied linguistics addresses real-life language problems through insights gained from current linguistic theory, psychology and education.

Our MA is designed for people who want to know more about how foreign or second languages (particularly English) are learned, and how different kinds of classroom practice might affect proficiency. You explore different approaches to understanding language and language acquisition, and the methods that can be used to investigate language learning and teaching. You select a mixture of modules on language learning and its application to classroom practices.

You can choose areas of special study from a wide range of options, including:
-Teaching speaking and listening skills to language learners
-Psychological factors in second language learning
-Computer-assisted language-learning
-Literature and language-learning
-Age and bilingual development

You'll also be part of our Centre for Research in Language Development throughout the Lifespan (LaDeLi), a unique research centre specialising in all aspects of language learning and development.

We are one of the largest and most prestigious language and linguistics departments in the world, a place where talented students become part of an academic community in which the majority of research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, placing us firmly within the top 10 departments in the UK and among the top 150 departments on the planet (QS World University Rankings 2016).

If you want a global outlook, are interested in human communication, and want to study for a degree with real-world practical value in a world-class department, welcome to Essex.

This course is also available on a part-time basis.

Our expert staff

Our staff maintain excellent student-staff ratios with capped language-specific seminars.

In applied linguistics, Florence Myles, Monika Schmid, Sophia Skoufaki, Karen Roehr-Brackin, Adela Gánem-Gutiérrez, and Roger Hawkins focus on the learning of second and further languages, whilst Julian Good, Christina Gkonou and Tracey Costley focus on issues to do with the classroom teaching of English as a foreign language.

Specialist facilities

-An exciting programme of research seminars and other events
-Our Languages for All programme offers you the opportunity to study an additional language alongside your course at no extra cost
-Our ‘Visual World’ Experimental Lab records response times and eye movements when individuals are presented with pictures and videos
-Our Eye-Tracking Lab monitors eye movement of individuals performing tasks
-Our Psycholinguistics Lab measures how long it takes individuals to react to words, texts and sounds
-Our Linguistics Lab has specialist equipment to analyse sound
-Our Albert Sloman Library houses a strong collection of books, journals, electronic resources and major archives

Your future

Our course can lead to careers in areas such as academic research, publishing, journalism, administration, public service and teaching. You develop key employability skills including research design, data analysis, thinking analytically, report writing and public speaking.

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

Within our Department of Language and Linguistics, we also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil. We offer supervision in areas including language acquisition, language learning and language teaching, culture and communication, psycholinguistics, language disorders, sociolinguistics, and theoretical and descriptive linguistics.

Our graduates are successful in a wide variety of career paths. They leave Essex with a unique set of skills and experience that are in demand by employers.

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.

MA Applied Linguistics
-MA Dissertation
-Assignment Writing and Dissertation Preparation
-Language Learning
-Research Methods I
-Research Methods II
-Advanced Phonology (optional)
-First Language Acquisition (optional)
-Phonological Development (optional)
-Second Language Vocabulary: Learning, Teaching and Use (optional)
-Topics in the Psychology of Language Learning and Teaching (optional)
-Second Language Acquisition and Linguistics Theory (optional)
-American Languages (optional)
-Varieties of English (optional)
-Sentence Processing (optional)
-Language Rights (optional)
-Semantics (optional)
-Literature and Language Teaching (optional)
-English Syntax 1 (optional)
-Description of Language for TEFL/ELT and Applied Linguistics (optional)
-Individual Differences in L2 Learning (optional)
-Syntactic Theory I (optional)
-Variationist Sociolinguistic Theory (optional)
-Experimental Design and Analysis (optional)
-Materials Design and Evaluation (optional)
-Sociolinguistic Methods 1: Data Collection (optional)
-English Syntax 2 (optional)
-Syntactic Theory II (optional)
-Teaching, Listening and Speaking (optional)
-Sociocultural Linguistics (optional)
-The Role of Age in Bilingual Development (optional)
-Variation in English II (optional)
-Sociolinguistic Methods: Data Coding and Analysis (optional)
-Graduate Research Assignment (optional)
-Language Attrition (optional)
-Teaching Practice I (optional)
-Approaches, Methods and Teacher Development for TEFL/TESOL (optional)
-Language in Context: From Pragmatics to Conversation Analysis (optional)
-Teaching Reading and Writing in TEFL/TESOL (optional)
-Intercultural Communication: communicating across languages and cultures (optional)

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In what way does society influence the way that we use language? And conversely, how far does the way we use language influence society? Can language use impact the class system? Sexism? Mental health?. Read more
In what way does society influence the way that we use language? And conversely, how far does the way we use language influence society? Can language use impact the class system? Sexism? Mental health?

On our MA Sociolinguistics, you address questions like these through exploration of the stylistic, cognitive and functional aspects of language variation and change. We familiarise you with the foundations of contemporary sociolinguistics, including:
-Language variation and change
-Ethnography of speaking
-Multilingualism
-Discourse

We additionally offer modules in some of the most prominent sub-disciplines in linguistics such as variation theory, socio-pragmatics, conversation analysis, language contact, language and gender, and language rights.

You also gain first-hand experience of interview, questionnaire and observation data and learn quantitative and qualitative methodologies for coding and analysing sociolinguistic interview and questionnaire data.

We are one of the largest and most prestigious language and linguistics departments in the world, a place where talented students become part of an academic community in which the majority of research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014), placing us firmly within the top 10 departments in the UK and ranked among the top 150 departments on the planet according to the QS World [University] Rankings [2016] for linguistics.

If you want a global outlook, are interested in human communication, and want to study for a degree with real-world practical value in a world-class department, welcome to Essex.

Our expert staff

Our staff maintain excellent student-staff ratios with capped language-specific seminars.

In sociolinguistics, Peter Patrick, Rebecca Clift, Enam Al Wer and Vineeta Chand all work on different aspects of how language varies, and investigate which factors cause such variation. Peter is also involved in language rights, and offers expert opinions in asylum cases where language is used to determine origin.

Specialist facilities

-An exciting programme of research seminars and other events
-Our Languages for All programme offers you the opportunity to study an additional language alongside your course at no extra cost
-Our ‘Visual World’ Experimental Lab records response times and eye movements when individuals are presented with pictures and videos
-Our Eye-Tracking Lab monitors eye movement of individuals performing tasks
-Our Psycholinguistics Lab measures how long it takes individuals to react to words, texts and sounds
-Our Linguistics Lab has specialist equipment to analyse sound
-Our Albert Sloman Library houses a strong collection of books, journals, electronic resources and major archives

Your future

Our course can lead to careers in areas such as academic research, publishing, journalism, administration, public service and teaching. You develop key employability skills including research design, data analysis, thinking analytically, report writing and public speaking.

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

Within our Department of Language and Linguistics, we also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil. We offer supervision in areas including language acquisition, language learning and language teaching, culture and communication, psycholinguistics, language disorders, sociolinguistics, and theoretical and descriptive linguistics.

Our graduates are successful in a wide variety of career paths. They leave Essex with a unique set of skills and experience that are in demand by employers.

Example structure

-Variationist Sociolinguistic Theory
-Sociolinguistic Methods 1: Data Collection
-Sociolinguistic Methods: Data Coding and Analysis
-MA Dissertation
-Assignment Writing and Dissertation Preparation
-Sociocultural Linguistics
-Advanced Phonology (optional)
-First Language Acquisition (optional)
-Phonological Development (optional)
-Second Language Acquisition and Linguistics Theory (optional)
-American Languages (optional)
-Varieties of English (optional)
-Sentence Processing (optional)
-Language Rights (optional)
-Semantics (optional)
-Language Learning (optional)
-English Syntax 1 (optional)
-Individual Differences in L2 Learning (optional)
-Syntactic Theory I (optional)
-Experimental Design and Analysis (optional)
-Research Methods I (optional)
-English Syntax 2 (optional)
-Syntactic Theory II (optional)
-The Role of Age in Bilingual Development (optional)
-Variation in English II (optional)
-Research Methods II (optional)
-Graduate Research Assignment (optional)
-Language Attrition (optional)
-Language in Context: From Pragmatics to Conversation Analysis (optional)
-Intercultural Communication: communicating across languages and cultures (optional)

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The highly regarded Keuzegids Master’s Selection Guide 2016 ranked Utrecht University’s Linguistics programme as the best in the field in the Netherlands. Read more

Judged Best in the Field

The highly regarded Keuzegids Master’s Selection Guide 2016 ranked Utrecht University’s Linguistics programme as the best in the field in the Netherlands.

In this Research Master's programme, you will learn how to conduct your own research in theoretical linguistics, psycholinguistics, and language use.

This two-year Research Master's programme in Linguistics brings together students from all over the world who combine their unique talents and backgrounds with shared curiosity into language and the way it is embedded in human cognition. The key focus of the programme is the question: which cognitive faculties underlie human language, and how do they interact?

The programme offers a broad focus on:
-theoretical linguistics (phonology, syntax, semantics)
-psycholinguistics (language acquisition, language processing)
-language use (discourse studies, bilingualism, phonetics, historical linguistics)

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Compared to our MA courses, our MRes programmes offer more flexibility and fewer taught modules, as the emphasis of your course is on your dissertation and individual research assignments. Read more
Compared to our MA courses, our MRes programmes offer more flexibility and fewer taught modules, as the emphasis of your course is on your dissertation and individual research assignments. You must have a draft research proposal at your application stage, and a supervisor is assigned to you to guide your choice of modules and work on your dissertation.

On this course, you gain familiarity with contemporary work in sociolinguistics and related fields such as conversation analysis, and acquire the theoretical and practical skills to pursue original research.

You cover topics including:
-Quantitative and qualitative methodologies for analysing sociolinguistic data
-Interview, questionnaire and observation data
-Sociocultural factors in language use
-Variationist sociolinguistic theory

We are one of the largest and most prestigious language and linguistics departments in the world, a place where talented students become part of an academic community in which the majority of research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014), placing us firmly within the top 10 departments in the UK and among the top 150 departments on the planet (QS World University Rankings 2016).

If you want a global outlook, are interested in human communication, and want to study for a degree with real-world practical value in a world-class department, welcome to Essex.

Our expert staff

Our staff are internationally renowned (REF 2014). Their books dominate the reading lists at other universities. We maintain excellent student-staff ratios, and we integrate language learning with linguistics wherever there is synergy.

In theoretical linguistics, Doug Arnold, Bob Borsley, Louisa Sadler, and Mike Jones work on the structure of sentences, focusing on English and other languages; Andrew Spencer investigates how complex words are created; and Nancy Kula and Wyn Johnson work on sound structure.

In applied linguistics, Florence Myles, Monika Schmid, Sophia Skoufaki, Karen Roehr-Brackin, Adela Gánem-Gutiérrez, and Roger Hawkins focus on the learning of second and further languages, whilst Julian Good, and Christina Gkonou focus on issues to do with the classroom teaching of English as a foreign language.

Specialist facilities

-Our Languages for All programme offers you the opportunity to study an additional language alongside your course at no extra cost
Meet other language enthusiasts through our student-run Linguistics Society
-Our ‘Visual World’ Experimental Lab records response times and eye movements when individuals are presented with pictures and videos
-Our Eye-Tracking Lab monitors eye movement of individuals performing tasks
-Our Psycholinguistics Lab measures how long it takes individuals to react to words, texts and sounds
-Our Linguistics Lab has specialist equipment to analyse sound
-An exciting programme of research seminars and other events
-Our Albert Sloman Library houses a strong collection of books, journals, electronic resources and major archives

Your future

On our course you develop key employability skills including thinking analytically, research design, data collection using quantitative and qualitative methods, data analysis and essay writing. Our course can lead to a career in areas such as academia, secondary school teaching, forensics, publishing, administration, and public service.

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

Within our Department of Language and Linguistics, we also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil. We offer supervision in areas including language acquisition, language learning and language teaching, culture and communication, psycholinguistics, language disorders, sociolinguistics, and theoretical and descriptive linguistics.

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.

MRes Analysing Language Use
-Dissertation (Research)
-CA I - Conversation and Social Interaction
-Language and Sex
-Pragmatics: Discourse and Rhetoric
-Sociolinguistic Methods 1: Data Collection (optional)
-Sociolinguistic Methods: Data Coding and Analysis (optional)
-Variationist Sociolinguistic Theory (optional)
-Varieties of English (optional)
-Variation in English II (optional)

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