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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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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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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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Built on a solid research foundation, the curriculum offers a broad and highly flexible suite of modules enabling you to tailor the programme to your own specific interests. Read more
Built on a solid research foundation, the curriculum offers a broad and highly flexible suite of modules enabling you to tailor the programme to your own specific interests. The MA Language and Linguistics also offers a broad-based but advanced introduction for those new to the study of language, linguistics and communication, as well as building on topics that will be familiar to those who studied language and linguistics an undergraduate level.

The MA in Language and Linguistics enables you to develop knowledge and research skills over the course of the programme. We support you to become an independent and active learner, able to understand key issues in the different sub-fields of language and linguistics. Throughout the course you will improve your research skills by being given specific training in research methodology, planning your own work and being involved in ongoing research projects led by various members of staff. You will also gain a thorough understanding of different theoretical and methodological approaches that can be used to explore the linguistic structures of a language.

We develop your ability to undertake linguistic analysis confidently and effectively; to collect, evaluate, synthesise and interpret qualitative and/or quantitative data; and to critique arguments and research. The curriculum also develops important work-related skills, such as the ability to communicate clearly and persuasively and to work both independently and in collaboration with others.

The structure of the MA enables you to develop expertise in specific areas of linguistics and language study. Particular strengths in the Centre for Language and Communication Research are discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, systemic functional linguistics, corpus linguistics, forensic linguistics, intercultural communication and professional communication. The wide range of subject modules available ensures that you develop a strong foundation in the discipline area whilst also having the flexibility to pursue your own specific research interests within that area.

We aim to give our students experience of excellence in teaching and learning at an advanced level, in an environment where they will benefit from the fact that the Centre is home to world-leading research in linguistics and communication.

Distinctive features

• Access to an established research training programme making it possible to continue to PhD, should you wish

• Provision of an integrated foundation in research activities and bases in order that you are prepared for research activities

• Hands-on experience of working on an established staff research project in order to gain practical insights into the ways that research works in authentic team contexts

• Optional modules which form the bulk of the programme and provide a vital foundation for later dissertation-writing

• Situated in the lively Centre for Language and Communication Research, where we regularly host talks from visiting academics from around the world, Advanced Research Residencies and Summer Schools, and where a range of reading and research groups run on topics including sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, systemic functional linguistics and forensic linguistics.

Structure

The programme is offered in full-time mode over one academic year or part-time mode in two years. You will need to complete 180 credits - 120 credits in taught modules and 60 credits in the dissertation. The dissertation can only be undertaken on successful completion of the taught element of the course. Each stage is weighted at 50% of the overall mark.

In the taught stage, you will take a mixture of core and optional modules totalling 120 credits. The core module base is focussed on research training and experience.

You will submit a proposal for the dissertation during the latter part of the taught stage. This proposal must be accepted before undertaking the dissertation.

Core modules:

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

Optional modules:

Language Description
Discourse and Social Interaction
Current Issues in Sociolinguistics (part-time only)
Qualitative Research Methods
Quantitative Research Methods
Text and Social Context
Second Language Development and Pedagogy
Digital Literacies

Teaching

During the taught stage, you will be taught mostly through weekly seminars / workshops, where you will have the opportunity to develop an understanding of particular topics related to language and linguistics.

You will be able to discuss concepts and ideas in small groups and open class discussions, to consolidate and get feedback on your individual learning, and to develop communication skills in informal group discussions and oral presentations.

Depending on your prior experience, you might be encouraged to attend the lectures for various undergraduate modules as well. You will be taught through weekly or fortnightly supervision sessions in Research Experience. These will offer the opportunity for structured but independent learning of practical skills. Teaching will be varied and responsive.

All modules within the MA in Language and Linguistics make extensive use of the University’s virtual learning environment, Learning Central, where you can access discussion forums and find course materials.

During the dissertation stage, you will conduct independent research on a topic of your choice with regular supervision from a member of staff.

Assessment

The taught modules within this programme are assessed through a variety of methods, including academic essays, linguistic analyses, analytical reports, research projects and oral presentations. Modules are assessed on the basis of analytical descriptions of texts or other media and/or discursive essays. You will often be encouraged to choose your own texts for analysis, or to collect original data, and to relate your analyses to areas of personal interest.

The emphasis in assessment is placed on critical and conceptual sophistication as well as on the production of clear, persuasive and scholarly essays presented in a professional manner and submitted on time.

You are encouraged to consult the relevant module leader to discuss the main ideas and the plan for your assignments.

Career prospects

This programme will offer preparation for all careers where language is used for any purpose, for example, to influence or persuade, inform, educate or entertain. Gaining an MA will demonstrate higher abilities in research and communication.

Examples of future work destinations include research, teaching, speech and language therapy, publishing, writing, editing, information design, librarianship, as well as professional jobs, such as banking and HR, and public sector jobs, such as those in the civil service or local government. However, the degree is not limited to these possible directions and offers a good preparation for roles in a variety of fields which involve reasoning, critical and evaluative work, verbal and written skills, assimilation of information, communicative skills such as an awareness of linguistic variation, as well as some quantitative skills and skills in presenting information using technology.

You may also choose to undertake further study in the form of a PhD.

Placements

The Research Experience module offers the opportunity to work with a member of staff on an ongoing, authentic research task within part of a larger research study. This is a distinctive form of study and offers the opportunity to gain hands-on research experience and to reflect systematically on that experience. Findings from the Research Experience module will feed directly into ongoing work in the Centre for Language and Communication Research.

There are no formal study abroad opportunities associated with this programme

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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- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-sociocultural-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- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-sociocultural-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.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Maria Macdonald.

Modules & Structure

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

Core modules:
Core Issues in English Language & Linguistics- 30 credits
Language in its Sociocultural Context- 30 credits

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.

Option modules from other departments:
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 deparment 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:

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 for our option modules and introduce you to a number of linguistics talk series across the University of London.

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.

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.

Funding

Please visit http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/fees-funding/ for details.

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

Aims

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

Teaching and learning

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

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Our Applied Linguistics programmes offer knowledge and expertise to take you into a role in any profession requiring specialised language awareness, including language teaching. Read more
Our Applied Linguistics programmes offer knowledge and expertise to take you into a role in any profession requiring specialised language awareness, including language teaching.

The programme incorporates three broad areas of study: research methodology; language description and comparison; and specialised topics in language and social life, foreign language teaching and multimodality.

Distinctive features:

Our Centre for Language and Communication Research has an international reputation as a field leader in sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, multimodal communication, systemic functional linguistics, forensic linguistics, and formulaic language.

Structure

Students can complete a Postgraduate Diploma or an MSc in Applied Linguistics. The course can be taken on a full-time basis or part-time basis. You will complete the programme in 1 year for full-time study and in 2 years for part-time study.

There are three compulsory modules in the Applied Linguistics programmes. You will also select three further modules from a pool of optional modules.

• PGDip core modules:

Language Description
Foundation Module: Core Skills, Principles, and Issues Involved in Language and Communication Research
Phonology

• PGDip optional modules:

Forensic Linguistics I
Discourse and Social Interaction
Current Issues in Sociolinguistics
Qualitative Research Methods
Quantitative Research Methods
Text and Social Context
Second Language Development and Pedagogy

• MSc core modules:

Same as PGDip core modules with the addition of a dissertation.

• MSc optional modules:

Same as PGDip.

Teaching

The teaching for each module combines discussion of theoretical issues with training in analytical methods often based on texts of your own choosing.

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

You are expected to do the reading and other relevant preparation to enable them to take a full part in these activities and are encouraged to explore the resources of the library as appropriate.

Assessment

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

Emphasis in assessment is placed on critical and conceptual sophistication as well as on the production of clear, persuasive and scholarly essays presented in a professional manner and submitted on time.

You are encouraged to consult the relevant module leader to discuss the main ideas and the plan for your assignments. Details of any academic or competence standards which may limit the availability of adjustments or alternative assessments for disabled students, if any, are noted in the Module Descriptions.

Career prospects

Postgraduate study in the School is a gateway to many careers within and beyond academia. Many overseas postgraduates return to lectureships with much-enhanced career prospects while many UK students use the qualification to travel to new countries, often as teachers of English, or to begin academic careers of their own.

Outside education and academia, the principle avenues of employment for graduates are speech therapy, the creative and media sector, administration and publishing.

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This programme offers knowledge and expertise to prepare for research in linguistics and language and communication, as a PhD researcher, or in professional or commercial spheres. Read more
This programme offers knowledge and expertise to prepare for research in linguistics and language and communication, as a PhD researcher, or in professional or commercial spheres.

You will receive a grounding in relevant foundational research methods and theoretical paradigms before choosing from a variety of modules that examine the use of language and visual media in professional practice, and consider how language is employed in creating our identities, in interacting with others and in the ideological construction of discourses in a range of social and institutional contexts.

Distinctive features:

Our Centre for Language and Communication Research has a well established reputation in a broad range of teaching and research areas, including sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, multimodality, forensic linguistics, systemic functional grammar, phonology, and lexical studies.

The full-time programme carries Advanced Course Recognition from the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) as a postgraduate research training scheme.

Structure

The MA in Language and Communication Research is a modular programme that can be completed in one year by full-time study or in two years by part-time study.

Stage one comprises the taught element of the programme while stage two involves a supervised dissertation of between 14,000 and 20,000 words between May and September.

Core modules:

Foundation Module: Core Skills, Principles, and Issues Involved in Language and Communication Research
Qualitative Research Methods (optional for part-time students)
Quantitative Research Methods (optional for part-time students)
Research Experience
Dissertation

Optional modules:

Forensic Linguistics I
Language Description
Discourse and Social Interaction
Current Issues in Sociolinguistics
Phonology
Text and Social Context
Second Language Development and Pedagogy

Teaching

Teaching is delivered by staff with an international reputation for innovative and influential research across a broad spectrum of interrelated issues.

You will be taught core knowledge and understanding through lectures, small-group seminars and group discussion.

Teaching for core modules combines discussion of theoretical issues and the practical challenges of qualitative and quantitative analysis of language/communication data, while teaching for optional modules provides further theoretical discussion with some focus on the development of practical research skills.

Intellectual Skills are promoted via lectures, seminars and group discussions individual supervision and guidance for research undertaken in planning and writing the dissertation. You will also learn via one-to-one supervision of individual ‘research experience’ projects and dissertations.

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

You will be encouraged to explore our excellent library resources and expected to undertake preparation including wide-ranging reading to enable full participation.

Assessment

Assessment of the taught component is by coursework only.

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

Emphasis in assessment is placed on critical and conceptual sophistication as well as on the production of clear, persuasive and scholarly essays presented in a professional manner and submitted on time.

You are encouraged to consult the relevant module leader to discuss the main ideas and the plan for your assignments. Details of any academic or competence standards which may limit the availability of adjustments or alternative assessments for disabled students, if any, are noted in the Module Descriptions.

The second part of the MA is examined by dissertation, supported by individual supervision.

Career prospects

Postgraduate study is a gateway to many careers within and beyond academia. Many overseas postgraduates return to lectureships with much enhanced career prospects. Example employers in the UK include Cardiff University, HMRC, Mencap, Poetry Wales Magazine, Teach First, and Welsh Government, with jobs that include Crime Intelligence Analyst, Creative Writing Lecturer, Librarian, Poet, Recruitment Consultant, Teacher, and Writer.

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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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The Translation and Interpreting MA is open to native and non-native speakers of English, who combine English with any of the following languages. Read more
The Translation and Interpreting MA is open to native and non-native speakers of English, who combine English with any of the following languages: Chinese, French, Italian, Polish or Spanish. The course will provide you with professional training aimed at the translation and interpreting markets, building on your existing language skills to develop a career in those sectors.

The course involves translation as well as conference and public service interpreting between one main language (Chinese, French, Italian, Polish or Spanish) and English. You will learn how to research specialised subjects for professional translation and interpreting purposes and hone your translation and interpreting skills by extensive practice, applying insights drawn from the study of linguistics and translation and interpreting theory as well as from professional practice. You will complete a Translation or Interpreting Project or a Research Thesis. You will also be able to choose from a range of option modules that will, for example, give you an introduction to audiovisual translation, intercultural communication, or sociolinguistics, or enable you to acquire a working knowledge of another language for translation purposes.

You will be able to benefit from our wide range of resources, including an extensive collection of volumes and electronic materials in our library, a state-of-the-art language lab and extensive interpreting facilities, and additional resources made available through the University's Virtual Learning Environment. Our teaching staff includes full and part-time lecturers, all with expertise in translation and interpreting and in other specialist fields. You will be allocated a personal tutor and be given academic guidance by the course team.

Course content

The course emphasis is on practical training in translation and interpreting, developing your skills to a high level and learning about the professional environments. If you are a native speaker of English, your translation modules will involve both institutional and technical translation from French, Italian, Polish or Spanish into English. If you are native speaker of Chinese, French, Italian, Polish or Spanish, your translation modules will cover institutional translation from and into your native language (commonly referred to as your 'first' or 'main' language). You will also study conference and public service interpreting, and learn new relevant skills through the option modules. You will also complete a research-based MA Thesis or an MA Translation or Interpreting Project. Your studies are further supported by regular student-led interpreting practice sessions and mock conferences, blended learning provision on developing your professionalism, weekly lectures on the theoretical concepts and principles of translation and interpreting, introductory workshops to a range of translation memory tools, and guest lectures and workshops delivered by external speakers from industry and international institutions.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Core modules
-CONFERENCE INTERPRETING
-PUBLIC SERVICE INTERPRETING
-MAIN LANGUAGE INSTITUTIONAL TRANSLATION (INTO YOUR FIRST LANGUAGE)
-MAIN LANGUAGE TECHNICAL TRANSLATION (NATIVE SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH ONLY)
-SECOND LANGUAGE INSTITUTIONAL TRANSLATION (NATIVE SPEAKERS OF CHINESE, FRENCH, ITALIAN, POLISH OR SPANISH ONLY)
-MA INTERPRETING PROJECT OR MA TRANSLATION PROJECT OR MA THESIS

Option modules
-ADVANCED ENGLISH LANGUAGE SKILLS FOR INTERPRETERS (NATIVE SPEAKERS OF CHINESE, FRENCH, ITALIAN, POLISH OR SPANISH ONLY)
-COMPUTER-ASSISTED TRANSLATION (CAT)
-EDITING: PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE
-INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION
-INTRODUCTION TO AUDIOVISUAL TRANSLATION
-MAIN LANGUAGE TECHNICAL TRANSLATION (NATIVE SPEAKERS OF FRENCH, ITALIAN, POLISH OR SPANISH ONLY)
-SECOND LANGUAGE TECHNICAL TRANSLATION (NATIVE SPEAKERS OF FRENCH, ITALIAN, POLISH OR SPANISH ONLY)
-SOCIOLINGUISTICS
-SUBSIDIARY LANGUAGE (LANGUAGES SUBJECT TO ANNUAL CONFIRMATION)
-TRANSLATING CULTURES
-UNITED NATIONS AND EUROPEAN UNION FOR LINGUISTS
-ANALYSING SPOKEN AND WRITTEN DISCOURSE

[Associated careers

Graduates of the course go on to develop careers as freelance and in-house translators in the corporate sector and in national and international organisations, or as freelance interpreters, editors and revisers, subtitlers, terminologists, translation project managers, and specialists in translation tools.

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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 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) and Jane Mulderrig (Critical Discourse Analysis).

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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