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Experimental Linguistics - MRes


Course Description

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!

(Student Profile)

Jenny Amos

“Although I decided to study within the Department of Language and Linguistics at Essex to stay close to home, once I started I realised what a great decision I had made. I decided to study linguistics-based courses as I have always had a fascination with accents and dialects.

I really liked the campus layout of the University which helped contribute to the feeling of it being a close-knit community. Also the department was quite small and this again helped with my integration. The departmental staff were very friendly and this gave me more confidence when studying as I knew I could contact them for support any time.

My favourite place at the University was the lake. The grounds are really beautiful and it was really soothing to sit and relax with my friends. One of my best memories of the University was a barbeque event that I helped host, and amongst my group of friends there were seven different nationalities represented. I was very proud at this range of diversity and have the University to thank for bringing us all together.

My ambition once I leave is to become a lecturer and researcher, and I feel that my experiences at Essex have fully prepared me for my intended occupation. I would recommend the University to anyone and especially the Department of Language and Linguistics as their staff were exceptional.”

(Student Profile)

Ariel Vazquez Carranza

"After doing my first degree in Mexico, I came to Essex for my Masters because the modules offered as part of my course were very appealing and I knew staff in the Department of Language and Linguistics had worldwide recognition for their work.

During my Masters at Essex, I learnt about the methodology of conversation analysis and became hooked on this and its findings on the organisation of talk, so decided to pursue a PhD and investigate Spanish conversation with this methodology, as this has not been done before. I received a grant, the Overseas Research Award’s Scheme, as well as a University of Essex postgraduate scholarship. Without this funding I would not have been able to do my PhD.

Essex was the perfect university for my PhD studies since my supervisor is an outstanding conversation analyst, as well as very helpful and supportive of my work. What I enjoy most about being here is the opportunity to learn new transferable skills and improve my academic skills, as this will help me in my future career. I find there is a good atmosphere for study at the Colchester Campus, particularly because of the beautiful park in which the University is located.

After graduating, I would like to find a job in academia and continue my research in conversation analysis in Mexican Spanish, as well as promote the importance of doing a postgraduate degree."


Scholarships

Entry Requirements

We will consider applications with an overall grade of 2:2 and above. We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Email for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.

Email Enquiry

Recipient: University of Essex

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