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Course content

This programme offers knowledge and expertise to prepare for research in linguistics and language and communication, as a PhD researcher, or in professional or commercial spheres.

You will receive a grounding in relevant foundational research methods and theoretical paradigms before choosing from a variety of modules that examine the use of language and visual media in professional practice, and consider how language is employed in creating our identities, in interacting with others and in the ideological construction of discourses in a range of social and institutional contexts.

Distinctive features:

Our Centre for Language and Communication Research has a well established reputation in a broad range of teaching and research areas, including sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, multimodality, forensic linguistics, systemic functional grammar, phonology, and lexical studies.

The full-time programme carries Advanced Course Recognition from the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) as a postgraduate research training scheme.

Structure

The MA in Language and Communication Research is a modular programme that can be completed in one year by full-time study or in two years by part-time study.

Stage one comprises the taught element of the programme while stage two involves a supervised dissertation of between 14,000 and 20,000 words between May and September.

Core modules:

Foundation Module: Core Skills, Principles, and Issues Involved in Language and Communication Research
Qualitative Research Methods (optional for part-time students)
Quantitative Research Methods (optional for part-time students)
Research Experience
Dissertation

Optional modules:

Forensic Linguistics I
Language Description
Discourse and Social Interaction
Current Issues in Sociolinguistics
Phonology
Text and Social Context
Second Language Development and Pedagogy

Teaching

Teaching is delivered by staff with an international reputation for innovative and influential research across a broad spectrum of interrelated issues.

You will be taught core knowledge and understanding through lectures, small-group seminars and group discussion.

Teaching for core modules combines discussion of theoretical issues and the practical challenges of qualitative and quantitative analysis of language/communication data, while teaching for optional modules provides further theoretical discussion with some focus on the development of practical research skills.

Intellectual Skills are promoted via lectures, seminars and group discussions individual supervision and guidance for research undertaken in planning and writing the dissertation. You will also learn via one-to-one supervision of individual ‘research experience’ projects and dissertations.

The learning activities will vary from module to module as appropriate, but will usually include interactive discussions of prepared texts/topics and, in some cases, student-led presentations.

You will be encouraged to explore our excellent library resources and expected to undertake preparation including wide-ranging reading to enable full participation.

Assessment

Assessment of the taught component is by coursework only.

Modules are assessed on the basis of analytical descriptions of texts or other media and/or discursive essays. You are encouraged to choose your own texts for analysis, or even to collect original data, and to relate their analyses to areas of personal interest.

Emphasis in assessment is placed on critical and conceptual sophistication as well as on the production of clear, persuasive and scholarly essays presented in a professional manner and submitted on time.

You are encouraged to consult the relevant module leader to discuss the main ideas and the plan for your assignments. Details of any academic or competence standards which may limit the availability of adjustments or alternative assessments for disabled students, if any, are noted in the Module Descriptions.

The second part of the MA is examined by dissertation, supported by individual supervision.

Career prospects

Postgraduate study is a gateway to many careers within and beyond academia. Many overseas postgraduates return to lectureships with much enhanced career prospects. Example employers in the UK include Cardiff University, HMRC, Mencap, Poetry Wales Magazine, Teach First, and Welsh Government, with jobs that include Crime Intelligence Analyst, Creative Writing Lecturer, Librarian, Poet, Recruitment Consultant, Teacher, and Writer.

Visit the Language and Communication Research MA page on the Cardiff University website for more details!

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