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Course content

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)

Visit the Analysing Language Use - MRes page on the University of Essex website for more details!

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