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Masters Degrees (Sociolinguistics)

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The MA in Sociolinguistics will enable you to perform original research in the field of sociolinguistics by giving you a practical training in techniques and methodologies used in sociolinguistic analysis. Read more
The MA in Sociolinguistics will enable you to perform original research in the field of sociolinguistics by giving you a practical training in techniques and methodologies used in sociolinguistic analysis. You will also have the opportunity to develop your interest in areas such as the interface between variation and phonological and syntactic theory and empirical methods in the study of contemporary and historical data.

Overview

The MA in Sociolinguistics will:
-Impart a general foundation and background in sociolinguistics
-Give you a practical training in techniques used in sociolinguistic analysis
-Enable you to apply your skills and knowledge to linguistic data
-Introduce you to research questions and methodologies in sociolinguistics
-Enable you to perform original research in sociolinguistics

Course structure

Autumn Term
Students take modules worth 40 credits in the Autumn Term. The typical Autumn term modules are:
-Language variation and change (10 credits)
-Phonetics and phonology (10 credits)
-Quantitative methods (10 credits)
-Syntax (10 credits)

Spring Term
In the second term you will take two 20-credit modules, typically:
-Topics in language variation and change (20 credits)
-Phonological variation and change (20 credits)

Summer Term and Summer vacation
-Dissertation (80 credits)

All terms
-Research training seminar (20 credits)

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This Masters in Speech, Language & Sociolinguistics will enable you to explore the links between producing and processing speech and language as part of everyday social interaction. Read more

This Masters in Speech, Language & Sociolinguistics will enable you to explore the links between producing and processing speech and language as part of everyday social interaction. The range of courses available for this programme provide the key linguistic, technical, and research skills to investigate different aspects of spoken and written language, to carry out your own sociolinguistic studies, and to design and implement speech and language experiments of your own.

Why This Programme

  • You'll be taught by expert academic staff who have directed and are currently directing research projects in speech, language and sociolinguistics (e.g. Seeing Speech, Sounds of the City, One Speaker Two Dialects, the Scots Syntax Atlas (SCOSYA), Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech (SCOTS))
  • The flexibility of the Masters programme means that it is suitable for students who have little or no background in linguistics and also for students with some background who wish to carry out more sophisticated independent research in a particular area.
  • Our facilities include the Glasgow University Laboratory of Phonetics (GULP), which includes a speech recording studio.
  • English Language and Linguistics is currently within the Linguistics Pathway for the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Doctoral Training Partnership, which is based at the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS). The SGSSS offers excellent additional training courses for graduate students working in the social sciences in Scotland. 
  • You’ll also have access to the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH), providing you with relevant training courses for graduate students in speech, language and sociolinguistics.

Programme Structure

You will take:

  • Two core courses
  • Four optional courses

You will also produce an independent, small-scale research project.

Semester 1: September to December

  • English language and linguistics research training
  • Optional course
  • Optional course

Semester 2: January to March

  • Experimental design and data analysis
  • Optional course
  • Optional course

Summer: April to September

  • Independent research project

Career Prospects

Some students take our programme as a secondment from an ongoing teaching or professional education position held either here, or elsewhere in the world. Others continue into employment in language teaching, journalism, or other kinds of industrial or commercial research related to speech, language and sociolinguistics. The programme is also an excellent foundation to doctoral research either at Glasgow or elsewhere, and/or further training in speech and language therapy. 



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

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

Linguistic theory

-Syntactic theory and comparative syntax
-Phonological theory
-Morphophonology and morphosyntax
-Philosophy of language
-Philosophy of linguistics
-Architecture of the language faculty

Language variation and change

-Historical/diachronic linguistics
-Variationist/comparative linguistics
-Sociolinguistics
-Grammaticalization
-Dialect syntax
-Corpus analysis
-Linguistic typology

Language evolution, acquisition, and development

-First language acquisition and development
-The acquisition of second language morphosyntax and phonology
-Evolutionary linguistics

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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.

If you wish to discover more about the academic staff in the department, please visit:http://www.alc.manchester.ac.uk/about/people/staff-directory/linguistics-english-language-staff/

Coursework and assessment

Course units are assessed at the end of the semester during which they are offered. All taught course units except Introduction to Grammatical Theory and Phonetics and Phonology are assessed by examined coursework only. All course units include formative assessments to ensure interim feedback during the semester.

Deadlines for assessments are stated in the MA in Linguistics and English Language 2016-2017 Programme Handbook .

Course unit details

The Linguistics MA consists of the following elements:

  • At least two of the following compulsory core course units in Introduction to Grammatical Theory (15 credits), Phonetics and Phonology (15 credits), Semantics and Pragmatics (15 credits)
  • Research Methods I and II (2 x 15 credits)
  • Optional course units (60 credits altogether)
  • Dissertation (60 credits).

Alternatives to the compulsory course units in Introduction to Grammatical Theory and/or Phonetics and Phonology may be chosen if students can provide evidence of having covered comparable material in their undergraduate degree; in borderline cases, students may be asked to take a proficiency test in Welcome Week.

The optional course units can be selected to follow specialised pathways, which include Sociolinguistics, Phonetics and Phonology, Syntax and Semantics, Typology, and Romani Linguistics. One or two course units may take the form of Directed Reading units, which are individual or small group seminars about set readings on a particular topic. These are available after consultation with an appropriated member of staff and the PGT Officer. One or two course units may also be taken from a list of MA course units available in other subject areas within the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, or from a list of enhanced Level-3 undergraduate course units in Linguistics and English Language, which supplement the MA specific course units on offer.

For details of postgraduate course units currently on offer, please refer to the Programme Handbook.

Facilities

All postgraduate students on this programme can make use of the purpose-designed Centre for Graduate Studies within the Ellen Wilkinson Building. The Centre opened in 2014 and provides state-of-the-art facilities for postgraduate study. These include 30 computers, LaserJet printers, `hot-desk' facilities for around 50 students (including workstation facilities for students with disabilities), and 132 secure lockers. The Centre is a meeting place for postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students, and also has several areas to relax, socialise and network.

In addition to the Centre for Graduate Studies, the University has five major computer clusters, together with many smaller clusters. In total there are more than 10,000 PCs and workstations across the campus. All provide access to standard office software as well as specialist programs, and all are connected to the campus network and internet. Every student is registered for email, file storage and internet access. If more demanding computer access is required, our specialist computing division Manchester Computing can provide high-end and specialist computing services.

The University Library is one of the best-resourced academic libraries in the UK and is widely recognised as one of the world's greatest research libraries. We also have one of the largest academic IT services in Europe - supporting world-class teaching and research.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 



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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)

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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)

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This programme looks at language from a sociocultural perspective. It's designed for anyone with an interest in the relationship between language, culture and society but also provides a solid understanding of English language and linguistics. Read more

This programme looks at language from a sociocultural perspective. It's designed for anyone with an interest in the relationship between language, culture and society but also provides a solid understanding of English language and linguistics.

The MA develops your understanding of historical and contemporary debates in (socio)linguistics and discourse analysis and enhances your analytic and linguistic skills by introducing different approaches to the analysis of written and spoken language use from a range of everyday and institutional contexts.

Topics covered include:

  • language and ideology
  • linguistic performances of identity (particularly language and gender, sexuality, ethnicity and social class)
  • language and the media
  • talk at work
  • English in a multilingual world
  • intercultural communication
  • multilingualism and code-switching
  • varieties of English

You're encouraged to engage with these topics by drawing on your own social, cultural and occupational backgrounds in class discussions and in your written work.

You're also encouraged to collect your own samples of written and spoken language use and learn to subject those to in-depth critical analysis.

This MA will draw on findings, theories and methodologies from: sociolinguistics, semantics, pragmatics, spoken and written discourse analysis, ethnography, semiotics, feminist stylistics; multimodal analysis; interactional sociolinguistics, conversational analysis, membership categorisation analysis, performativity and narrative analysis.

The programme’s distinct interdisciplinary ethos is also reflected in your opportunity to choose from a selection of relevant option modules in other departments in Goldsmiths.

Modules & structure

On this programme you will complete two core modules, two option modules and one dissertation.

Core modules

Option modules

You may choose two linguistic options or one linguistic option and one option from other MA programmes within the College, where specifically approved by the Programme Co-ordinator.

You may also choose one non-linguistics module, either from our own department (English and Comparative Literature) or from another department. Please note that availability of options across the College varies, but typically you can choose from the following selection.

Please note that your choice of option module from another department needs to be discussed with the Programme Co-ordinator of the MA Sociocultural Linguistics in advance. 

Dissertation

You also produce a dissertation. Dissertation topics in the past have included: 

  • A critical investigation of metaphor in accent coaching internationalisation & the role of language
  • Gun Ownership as Freedom and Safety: Framing in the Blogosphere
  • Tweeting Saudi Women’s Elections: A Critical Discourse Analysis
  • Framing and discourses of gender and national identity in sports commentary
  • Discursive identity construction in relation to global hip hop culture in young men’s talk
  • Representations of aging in women’s magazines
  • Discursive construction of religious identities in interviews with British Muslim converts
  • Code-switching practices in a Tunisian family
  • Discourse and identities in the SLA classroom
  • Language and gender in dream narratives
  • Pauses and silences on Talk Radio
  • Attitudes towards bilingual signs in Thailand
  • Representations of parenthood in UK parenting magazines
  • Political debates on Irish TV
  • Lifetime narratives of older Asian immigrants in the UK
  • The language of text messaging
  • Language and literacy practices on Facebook
  • Attitudes to non-standard language use
  • Discursive analysis of EFL textbooks
  • Gendered speech style in an all-female group of Iranian friends

The best (UG or MA) linguistics dissertation is rewarded every year with the Hayley Davis Prize. 

Approach to teaching

Our lecture/seminar sessions are designed to combine discussions of preparatory reading materials with tutor-led input and hands-on analyses of data/texts by students. We also tend to invite guest lectures as part of option modules and GoldLingS Seminar Series.

Our MA group is usually very tight-knit, students and student reps organise study/revision groups, online discussion forums, outings to lectures across London, and a number of social events.

Assessment

Coursework; essays; examinations; dissertation; presentation

Skills

Transferable skills, including enhanced communication and discussion skills in written and oral contexts; the ability to analyse and evaluate a wide variety of spoken and written texts from informal as well as institutional settings; an understanding of the concept of communicative competence; the ability to organise information, and to assimilate and evaluate competing arguments.

Careers

Publishing, journalism, british council roles, public relations, teaching, research, translation, advertising, the civil service, business, industry, the media.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.



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This programme is tailored for any career requiring specialised language awareness, including Teaching English as a Foreign Language and professional communication. Read more

This programme is tailored for any career requiring specialised language awareness, including Teaching English as a Foreign Language and professional communication.

Overview

The MA in Applied Linguistics incorporates three broad areas of study: research methodology; language description; and its application to achieve a better understanding of a wide range of language-related issues, such as language acquisition and teaching, social interaction (including workplace and intercultural communication), critical discourse analysis, corpus analysis or the role of linguistic analysis in forensic contexts.  

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 have the opportunity to either specialise in a particular area of applied linguistics, such as discourse analysis and social interaction, or acquire a good working knowledge of various subdisciplines within applied linguistics and thus take advantage of the wide-ranging expertise in applied linguistics by the staff in the Centre for Language and Communication Research. Furthermore, you will learn how to use specific software packages that can aid research in the areas of applied linguistics you are most interested in.

The MA in Applied Linguistics develops 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 helps you enhance important work-related skills, such as the ability to communicate clearly and persuasively, and to work both independently and in collaboration with others.

This course offers access to an established research training programme that has been developed with two function: Firstly, it provides an integrated foundation in research activities and bases in order that you are prepared for research activities. Secondly, it provides hands-on experience of working within an established staff research project in order to gain practical insights into the ways that research works in authentic team contexts.

You will experience excellence in teaching and learning at an advanced level, in an environment where you will benefit from the fact that the Centre is home to world-leading research in linguistics and communication.

Distinctive features

  • The opportunity to gain a strong foundation in research activities as well as an excellent understanding of the varied nature of the discipline. While most MAs with a similar title focus specifically on language teaching, this course allows you to engage with a much wider range of methodological approaches besides language acquisition and teaching, such as discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, corpus linguistics and forensic linguistics.
  • Teaching by members of Cardiff’s Centre for Language and Communication Research, which has an international reputation as a field leader in sociolinguistics, professional and critical discourse analysis, multimodal communication, language acquisition and loss, systemic functional linguistics, forensic linguistics, corpus linguistics and formulaic language. The MA in Applied Linguistics builds on these strengths to provide a cohesive and yet wide-ranging degree.

Learning and assessment

During the taught stage, teaching will take place mainly 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 regular supervision sessions in Research Experience in Applied Linguistics. These will offer the opportunity for structured but independent learning of practical research skills. Teaching will be varied and responsive.

All modules within the MA in Applied 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.

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.

Some obvious 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.

Some students will also choose to undertake further study in the form of a PhD.



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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)

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About the course. This course delivers advanced training in the theory and techniques of applied linguistics with an emphasis on second language acquisition. Read more

About the course

This course delivers advanced training in the theory and techniques of applied linguistics with an emphasis on second language acquisition.

We also have expertise in related disciplines including sociolinguistics, critical discourse analysis and corpus linguistics, and in the field of TESOL we offer particular expertise in Academic Writing, ESP, Materials Design and Testing.

Our course includes options to take part in work placements and gain additional professional qualifications.

Our graduates go on to advanced careers in TESOL all over the world. They also work in business, publishing, translation and interpreting.

Your career

Our graduates are working in teaching (primary, secondary, FE, HE and TESOL), publishing, marketing, libraries, fundraising, charities and the public sector. A masters from Sheffield is a sound basis for a PhD at any leading university.

How we teach

Our expertise covers all aspects of the subject, so whatever you’re interested in you’ll get the best possible advice and support. We provide training in research methods and you can choose to go on a work placement as part of your course.

You’ll be taught by academics whose work is published internationally. Their specialisms include language acquisition, historical language studies, applied linguistics, literary linguistics, discourse analysis and sociolinguistics.

We have a lively research culture. Through lectures and weekly seminars we’ll introduce you to the latest ideas. You’ll have the opportunity to explore these ideas in your own research.

With the School of Languages and Cultures, we established the new University Centre for Linguistic Research to gather and support postgraduate linguistics research across the University.

Our resources

We have specialist recording equipment for fieldwork and experimental work. Interactive computer-based workshops will introduce you to corpus-linguistic technology.

The University library subscribes to several electronic databases including JStor, Early English Texts online and Eighteenth-century Collections online. For more advanced reading, there’s a regular free minibus service to the British Library at Boston Spa.

Funding

There are a number of studentships and fee bursaries available, funded by either the University or the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Deadlines for funding applications are usually in winter/early spring. For details, see our website.

Core modules

  • Introduction to Language and Linguistics
  • English Grammar and Discourse
  • Language Teaching Methodology
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Research Methods
  • Dissertation (MA only)

Examples of optional modules

  • Corpus Linguistics
  • Current Issues in Second Language Acquisition
  • Discourse and Genre Analysis
  • English for Specific Purposes
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Researching Writing in TESOL
  • Teaching Practice
  • Theory and Practice of Language Teaching
  • World Englishes

Teaching and assessment

You’ll be taught by a dedicated and enthusiastic team of teachers. Our internationally recognised research feeds straight into our teaching, with students sometimes taking a hands-on role in our research activities. The staff are leading figures in their fields, in many cases having written the books and papers you will be studying: Kook-hee Gil (Second Language Acquisition), Nigel Harwood (TESOL Materials), Gabriel Ozon (English Grammar), Jane Mulderrig (Critical Discourse Analysis), Valerie Hobbs (English for Specific Purposes) and Oksana Afitska (Language Teaching Materials).

You’ll spend about eight hours a week in lectures, seminars and workshops. And there are chances to take part in classroom-based research projects in the UK and overseas.

Assessment depends on the module, but includes essay assignments and classroom coursework tasks. You’ll write your dissertation (MA only) over the summer. If you don’t complete the dissertation you’ll be awarded a diploma.



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Our MRes programme provide a personalised and focused introduction to postgraduate research allowing you to develop as an independent researcher with the support of an expert in Modern Languages and Cultures. Read more
Our MRes programme provide a personalised and focused introduction to postgraduate research allowing you to develop as an independent researcher with the support of an expert in Modern Languages and Cultures. It provides a rigorous overview of the current state of scholarship in your selected field, guides you, through a programme of directed, individualised reading, to the selection of a feasible research project, and allows you to complete a substantial piece of research.

Within Modern Language and Cultures, we offer pathways in:

- Latin-American Studies
- Hispanic Studies
- Spanish Studies
- Portuguese Studies, Catalan Studies
- Basque Studies
- French Studies
- German Studies
- Italian Studies
- Film Studies
- Chinese Studies.

As an MRes student you will benefit from your membership of the university research community, both students and academic staff. You will also have access to facilities available to doctoral students e.g. free Interlibrary loans, a print allowance and a research allowance.

Why Department of Modern Languages and Cultures?

We are a smaller department than many, but manage at the same time to maintain a variety of very distinctive areas of strength in research. As a result we are uniquely placed to offer taught programmes which are tailored to the individual in a friendly, supportive atmosphere and, for research students, close contact with your supervisors from the outset.

There is a high degree of interdisciplinary activity, with students and staff from all disciplines interacting through institutional research centres, cross-School reading groups, research groups and seminars.

We offer an MA in Latin American Studies and an MA in Modern Languages (French / German / Hispanic Studies/Italian) and supervision on a wide range of topics for both MPhil and PhD study.

Applications are welcome for both full-time and part-time study. Postgraduate students form an integral part of our research culture, and are encouraged to become involved in conference, workshops and seminar series, in addition, we have postgraduate reading groups and a regular programme of postgraduate workshops involving leading scholars visiting the institution. We have an active and vibrant research community, with staff engaging in research covering eight language areas consisting of French, German, Italian, Spanish, Galician, Catalan, Portuguese and Corsican. Research interests range from medieval manuscripts to contemporary cyber literature, and cover a wide geographical remit, with staff working on American, Latin American, and Caribbean, African and Indian contexts as well as European ones.

We are home to three scholarly journals: Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Bulletin of Latin American Research, and Migrations and Identities as well as a number of prominent book series.

Research Overview

Our research activities are broadly organised around four research groups in addition to the Research Institute of Latin American Studies. The groups are engaged in interdisciplinary work, taking in literary, visual and historical sources, and collaborating across the language areas.

French Studies

Research interests in French Studies cover all areas of French literature, culture and history, including Medieval studies, sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth century studies, French theatre, French cinema, travel literature, francophone postcolonial studies (including French language representations of India),modern and contemporary France, and sociolinguistics. Colleagues are actively involved in interdisciplinary research centres, namely the Research Centre in Eighteenth-Century Studies, the Centre of International Slavery, the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the India in the World Research Centre.

German Studies

Postgraduate teaching and supervision in German Studies covers the full range of modern (post 1750) German literary and cultural studies, including German cinema. It also offers tuition and supervision in many areas of social history, where staff specialisms include gender and women’s history since the eighteenth-century, twentieth-century labour history, Holocaust studies, issues of race and ethnicity (Afro-German and Gypsy studies), the culture and politics of East and West Germany and contemporary Berlin. The University Library’s Special Collections include uniquely rich holdings on German and European Gypsy studies. Research contacts exist with numerous universities and institutes in Germany and the United States.

Hispanic Studies

The University has the oldest chair of Spanish in the country (established 1908). It has a distinguished tradition of excellence within an extensive area of Hispanic Studies teaching and research which includes not only the Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), but also Latin America (Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, etc). Among the section’s achievements and publications in research are the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, a quarterly journal of international influence (published by Liverpool University Press), Hispanic Textual Research and Criticism (TRAC) and a scholarly series of books and editions. Postgraduate supervision and courses are offered in diverse specialist subjects within the broad range of Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan and Latin American Studies. This reflects the varied research interests and publications of members of staff in the section. Postgraduate students have at their disposal in the Sydney Jones Library large holdings in Hispanic books and periodicals, which are among the most comprehensive in the country.

Italian Studies

Postgraduate supervision in Italian is provided in the following areas: sociolinguistics, Italian dialectology, Italian cinema and crime/detective fiction. Postgraduate students benefit from the remarkable digitised collections and resources available in the Sydney Jones Library and the personalised services provided by library staff.

Latin American Studies

Latin American Studies is one of Modern languagesa dn Cultures' major research specialisms. The six permanent members of staff have research interests in the following domains of Latin American Studies: anthropology, cultural studies, history, literature, politics, and sociology and extend to Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Central America, the Caribbean and southern USA. The Sydney Jones Library is an acknowledged centre of excellence for collections in Latin American Studies. Additional facilities for all postgraduates include access to regular seminars and short conferences, language tuition, and use of the University’s networked computer facilities.

Career prospects

Former postgraduates in French, German and Hispanic Studies are currently employed in senior positions at the universities of: Aberdeen, Sussex, Leeds, Sheffield, Kings College London, Loughborough, Salford and Liverpool, as well as in a variety of careers.

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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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This degree will give you a good grounding in major topics in linguistics – the study of how language is structured, represented in the mind and interpreted – and phonetics, the study of how speech sounds are physically produced. Read more

This degree will give you a good grounding in major topics in linguistics – the study of how language is structured, represented in the mind and interpreted – and phonetics, the study of how speech sounds are physically produced.

Core modules will introduce you to key aspects of the discipline, such as syntax, phonetics and phonology. You’ll also develop your knowledge of research methods within and outside of the lab. You’ll then choose from optional modules to suit your interests or career plans, such as language acquisition or sociolinguistics.

Spanning the arts and sciences, linguistics is a challenging and rewarding discipline that allows you to gain a real understanding of human communication as well as a wide range of transferable skills. Taught by experts in top-class facilities and supported by the Language at Leeds research network, this programme will give you a good foundation in the subject informed by the very latest research.

Specialist resources

Leeds is a fantastic place to study linguistics and phonetics. Our tutors and research students are active members of the wider Language at Leeds network which brings together researchers from across the University. You’ll be able to enhance your learning with an array of research events throughout the year.

Postgraduates also have access to our extensive facilities, including the Human Communications Suite complete with a recording studio and lab space for psycholinguistics experiments. You can make use of our phonetics lab and the Language Zone, a state-of-the-art space where you can use a range of language-based teaching materials whenever you want.

This programme is suitable for people who have no prior knowledge of linguistics, or those who may have studied some during their first degree. However, if you do have a substantial background in linguistics or phonetics, you may prefer to study for an MA by Research.

This programme is also available to study part-time over 24 months.

Course content

Core modules will allow you to develop your knowledge of key aspects of linguistics and phonetics. You’ll study introductory modules in syntax and phonetics and phonology in Semester One, which you’ll build on in more advanced modules in the following semester. You’ll also take core modules to develop your academic and research skills in linguistics.

In addition, you’ll expand your understanding of areas that suit your interests when you choose from optional modules on topics such as pragmatics, sociolinguistics and language acquisition. By the end of the programme, you’ll be able to demonstrate the skills and knowledge you’ve gained when you complete an independently researched dissertation on a linguistics topic of your choice.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll take fewer modules in each year so you can study over a longer period.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation (Linguistics and Phonetics) 30 credits
  • Foundations of Phonetics and Phonology 15 credits
  • Foundations of Syntax 15 credits
  • Topics in Phonetics and Phonology 15 credits
  • Topics in Syntax 15 credits
  • Academic Skills in Linguistics 15 credits
  • Research Methods in Linguistics 15 credits

Optional modules

  • Languages in Contact 30 credits
  • Pragmatics 30 credits
  • Second Language Acquisition 30 credits
  • Approaches to Linguistics and Language Acquisition 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Linguistics MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Linguistics MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

We use diverse teaching and learning methods to help you benefit from our tutors’ expertise. They include seminars, lectures, online learning, tutorials and practicals. Independent study is also a vital element of the course. You’re also encouraged to sit in on classes in modules that you’re not taking, giving you a great opportunity to gain a broad base of knowledge in linguistics and phonetics.

Assessment

Depending on the modules you choose, assessment methods will vary. However, they usually include coursework , essays and practicals, while core linguistics modules also include exams.

Career opportunities

This programme will give you a sophisticated understanding of human communication, as well as valuable transferable skills in areas such as use of quantitative and qualitative data, research, interpretation, oral and written communication and analysis which are highly attractive to employers in a wide range of industries.

Graduates have pursued diverse careers as a result, in areas such as lexicography, journalism, editing, advertising, language education an even artificial intelligence. Many also pursue PhD level study and continue with research into linguistics, or further training in disciplines such as speech and language therapy.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.



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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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