This programme is designed for students with a particular interest in linguistics or English language, gained through, for example, previous undergraduate level study or appropriate experience in areas such as linguistics, English language, English literature, philosophy, sociology or other related areas such politics, history, cultural theory, teaching English as a foreign language.
There are three complementary routes through the programme:
The MA in Linguistics equips students with knowledge of critical theory in the area of theoretical linguistics and philosophy of language, more specifically the syntax/semantics interface, the semantics/pragmatics interface, and grammar.
The MA in English Language offers students the opportunity to investigate language in its social and cultural contexts. Students explore the English language from several perspectives: language variation and language attitudes, language and identity, language in interaction and cross-cultural communication.
The MRes (Master of Research) in Linguistics is designed for students who already have some background in linguistics, and who intend to progress to PhD study. It is designed as an enhanced route of entry to a PhD programme: it gives students an opportunity to develop research skills early on in order to prepare for doctoral research.
The programme also equips students with high level research skills and a sound basis in theory. The dissertation allows students to address an issue from their disciplinary specialism with the experience of having studied a range of areas of enquiry from different modules. Students write up dissertations equipped with appropriate research skills and knowledge provided by their chosen programme of study.
The programme is designed for both full-time and part-time students. Modules are taught across the two semesters, usually in nine sessions per semester. The sessions are held on a weekly basis and are timetabled to accommodate both full-time and part-time students. The programme offers opportunities for study within a flexible framework that can fit in with students' professional and personal commitments.
In addition, students are expected to work independently and engage with reading and research in their subject area. Students are offered support through tutorial supervision and the university's online virtual learning environment.
Areas of study
The programme is comprised of the following subject areas:
Semantics (lexical semantics)
Pragmatics: minimalism and contextualism
Philosophy of language
Language variation and language attitudes
Language and identity: social class, age, gender, ethnicity, social networks
Language in interaction: linguistic politeness, speech accommodation, cross-cultural communication
Feminist theory and linguistic theory
Ethnocentrism and racial prejudices in colonial discourse
Linguistics students approach the study of these areas by:
- analysing and evaluating different approaches to studying the structure of the English language
- engaging with theoretical frameworks which attempt to account for meaning in language
- examining the relationship between philosophy of language and linguistics, and the influence of philosophical theories on the analysis of language.
English language students approach the study of these areas by:
- examining theoretical and analytical frameworks that explore issues of language variation, language contact, language and identity
- analysing the role of language in social relationships and practices
- examining how linguistic theory can be applied to the analysis of literature and culture.
Optional subject areas
Students on the MA Linguistics programme may choose to follow one of the option modules, Discourses of Culture or Topics in Sociolinguistics, or one of the Cultural and Critical Theory modules.
Students on the MA English Language programme may choose to follow one of the option modules, Semantics/pragmatics interface: approaches to the study of meaning or Discourses of Culture or one of the Cultural and Critical Theory modules.
Students on the MRes Linguistics have an opportunity to shape their research degree based on their particular interests within linguistics, including research modules.