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Course content

Our MRes Experimental Linguistics provides tailored support for the researcher-in-training at the interface of theoretical and experimental work in linguistics.

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, specialist modules enable you to gain expertise in the research methodology and experimental design required to conduct empirical research in linguistics. You develop your ability to design experiments, collect and analyse data, and critique recent experimental studies, as well as exploring essential qualitative and statistical techniques.

You also choose from a range of topics across our core areas of linguistics, and in psycholinguistics and language acquisition, including:
-Multilingualism and Language Disorders
-Theoretical and descriptive phonology
-Experimental design and analysis
-Music, language and the brain
-Syntactic 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 sociolinguistics, Peter Patrick, Rebecca Clift, Enam Al Wer and Vineeta Chand all work on different aspects of how language varies, and investigate which factors cause such variation. Peter is also involved in language rights, and offers expert opinions in asylum cases where language is used to determine origin.

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, Christina Gkonou and Tracey Costley focus on issues to do with the classroom teaching of English as a foreign language.

In psycholinguistics, Sonja Eisenbeiss, Claire delle Luche and Fang Liu use experimental techniques to understand how children learn language, how adults process language, and what happens when language ability is impaired by brain disorders.

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

-MA Dissertation
-Experimental Design and Analysis
-Research Methods II
-Advanced Phonology (optional)
-Morphology
-Sentence Processing (optional)
-CA I - Conversation and Social Interaction
-Syntactic Theory I (optional)
-Pragmatics: Discourse and Rhetoric
-Graduate Research Assignment (optional)

Visit the Experimental Linguistics - MRes page on the University of Essex website for more details!

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