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Course content

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.


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

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