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Course content

This Masters in English Language & Linguistics will equip you with the key linguistic and technical research skills to explore the structure and everyday use of English, past and present, from Anglo-Saxon manuscripts to medieval letters, from speech to semantics, from language experiments to investigating vast text corpora. If you have little or no background in English Linguistics, we have a range of introductory courses which progress to more advanced courses, allowing you to develop theoretical and methodological background for you to carry out your own research study. If you have taken linguistics before, and want to deepen your interests, we offer advanced courses which will allow you to deepen your existing understanding and skills, to carry out your own research project.

Why this programme

  • The programme enables you to study historical and contemporary areas of English Language and Linguistics together.
  • Its flexibility allows you to tailor the course to your own interests, so you can gain research expertise and key linguistic, technical, and study skills in the analysis of spoken and written English across all periods of English.
  • We cater both for students who have little or no background in linguistics and also for students with a background in language and linguistics who wish to carry out more sophisticated independent research in a particular area.
  • Your courses will be taught by expert academic staff who have directed and are currently directing research projects (e.g. Seeing Speech, Sounds of the City, One Speaker Two Dialects, the Scots Syntax Atlas (SCOSYA), Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech (SCOTS) among others).
  • We have outstanding resources in English Language and Linguistics, such as the Glasgow University Archives, Special Collections (which includes a large collection of medieval and renaissance manuscripts and early printed books) and the Glasgow University Laboratory of Phonetics (with a speech recording studio).
  • We have close links with the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities and the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science, giving you access to additional training courses for graduate students.

Programme structure

You’ll take:

  • One core course
  • Five optional courses

You’ll also produce an independent, small-scale research project.

Semester One: September to December

  • English Language & Linguistics Research Training (Core)
  • Optional course 
  • Optional course

Semester Two: January to March

  • Optional course
  • Optional course
  • Optional course

Summer: April to September

Independent research project

Optional courses

Optional courses may include:

  • Corpus Linguistics
  • Design and Data Analysis
  • Early Modern Manuscripts for Research
  • Editing Historical English Texts
  • English Historical Linguistics
  • History of English
  • Intro English MMS
  • Introduction to Older Scots
  • Medieval English 1
  • Medieval English 2
  • Methods in Phonetics
  • Methods in Sociolinguistics
  • Old English Language
  • Old Icelandic Language
  • Onomastics
  • Phonetics
  • Phonetics Advanced
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Semantics Advanced
  • Semantics and Pragmatics
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Topics in Phonetics
  • Topics in Sociolinguistics
  • Written Text Analysis

Find out more about core and optional courses.

Programme alteration or discontinuation

The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Career prospects

Some students take our programme as a secondment from an ongoing teaching or professional education position held either here, or elsewhere in the world. Others continue into employment in language teaching, journalism, or other kinds of industrial or commercial research. The programme is also an excellent foundation to doctoral research either at Glasgow or elsewhere.


Visit the English Language & Linguistics (MSc) page on the University of Glasgow website for more details!

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