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Course content

Are you interested in learning how the English language works? How it may be analysed and how you learn languages?

The MA in Applied Linguistics is a programme that allows you to develop expertise in specific areas of linguistics, such as corpus linguistics, cognitive linguistics, discourse analysis and/or language pedagogy. The programme combines a range of core modules and optional modules to ensure that you develop a solid foundation in the discipline area whilst also having the flexibility to pursue your own specific research interests. This highly flexible programme is ideal for language professionals, or for those intending to become language professionals, in a range of possible careers.

We also offer a distance learning programme over 2.5 years. For more information see Applied Linguistics MA (Distance Learning).

Course details

You will study two core modules:

  • Describing Language
  • Research Methods in Applied Linguistics

You will then choose five optional modules from a wide range, giving you the flexibility to focus on areas of language and linguistics which reflect your specific interests. (See module information below).

In addition, there are two non-assessed components in the programme:

  • During the autumn term, all students will be offered preliminary training in corpus linguistics, introducing you to one or more of the main English language corpora (e.g. the British National Corpus) – invaluable collections of authentic language data against which theory, intuition and pedagogic materials can be measured.
  • You will also be offered a course in Academic Writing. Those whose first language is not English are particularly encouraged to follow this course.

Assessment

You will do a total of six assessed pieces of coursework over the year. For assessment purposes, one of the modules you take during the spring term will be ‘linked’ with the Research Methods module – that is, you will produce a piece of work in the field covered by that module, but with a particular focus on research methods, and this will count as your assignment for Research Methods in Applied Linguistics.

You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Learning and teaching

Modules are typically delivered via weekly two-hour seminars. You will also receive one-to-one supervision to support you in the development of your dissertation. 

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: English Language and Applied Linguistics

Birmingham's English Language and Applied Linguistics postgraduates develop a broad range of transferable skills that are highly valued by employers, particularly in relation to verbal and written communication. They also develop crucial skills in organisation, time management, analysis and interpretation of information.

Many of our graduates enter roles for which their programme has prepared them, such as teaching and lecturing; others use their transferable skills in a wide range of occupations including journalism, marketing and events.


Visit the Applied Linguistics - MA page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!

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