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  Language, Culture and Communication - MA

University of Birmingham    School of English, Drama and Creative Studies

Full time September MA 1 year full time
Communication & Media Studies (7) Languages, Literature & Culture (21) Linguistics & Classics (23)

About the course

Are you interested in understanding and critiquing the ways in which language is used in politics, the media, and intercultural communication?

In today’s ‘globalised’ world, it is increasingly necessary to communicate across cultural boundaries of language, style and values. This programme aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed in order to understand the ways in which language is used social contexts, in politics, and in the media, and to compare and critique ideologies as realised by the discourses of various institutions and ‘cultures’.  

Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

We usually require an upper second-class Honours degree, or equivalent, in English Language, Media Studies, Journalism, Communication Studies or another relevant subject (e.g. Linguistics, Translation Studies, TEFL/TESL, English Literature). Appropriate work experience will also be taken into consideration.

 Course Content

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Where will I study?

Where is University of Birmingham

Student Profiles

Yue Zhu

What has been the highlight of your course?

“Firstly, I really appreciated that I have had a personal tutor during the whole semester and we meet in very small group every week and have discussions with my group members. Even all of the questions were answered by my tutor and we felt relaxed to join in with the small group discussions. I also have a supervisor who was very responsible and patient when I prepare my dissertation. Each supervision was helpful and was arranged every one or two weeks. The one-to-one supervision was efficiently conducted and was very useful in my writing.
“Secondly, I could choose the modules that I was really interested in after semester two, which means that after learning the basic courses in semester one, I have the opportunities to choose the modules that I want to participate in. I think this was really flexible and helpful.

What is life like as a student at the University of Birmingham?

“I really like the life when I study in UOB. I always went to the sports and fitness centre with my friends. This sports centre was the biggest and brilliant sports centre that I’d ever visited and I really enjoy doing sports there, especially swimming. Besides, the day-trip which was arranged by my university in the pre-sessional course was very interesting and it provided me more opportunities to make friends. Moreover, the campus itself is very beautiful and it provided me with more opportunities to meet people from different majors. In addition, the 24 hours opened library is really brilliant and I can borrow lots of books when I write my essays and prepare for the dissertations. Last but not least, I get a lot of help from my university, not only in my study, but also in my life, such as my visa issues and my living issues.”

Kathryn Myers

Graduated in 2021

What has been the highlight of your course?
“Seminars were a completely different experience as a postgraduate student because I found it easier to contribute my own thoughts. I believe I retain new information a lot better when I attempt to practice it, so I greatly appreciated any modules where tutors incorporated an interactive element. They did this so consistently!

What have you learnt from your programme?
“Without exaggerating, the knowledge I have gained from all the modules in the course has changed my perspective on everything. When I read text posted online on social media sites, I often think of what the emojis and emphatics serve to function. Whenever I read breaking news in the media, I start to question whether there are any underlying ideologies that influence the narrative that I perceive. When I’m on public transport and the announcement, “see it, say it, sorted” comes on, I always think back to a lesson on phonology around sounds and structures of words. I learnt that the theories taught in a lecture and the ideas discussed in a seminar are valued and applicable to real-life situations and may have different meanings, or may need modifying, in various cultures. So, I have developed a greater ability to approach day-to-day interactions as a critical thinker and am more open-minded to a plethora of ideas around the day-to-day interactions we may face.”

What is life like as a student at the University of Birmingham?
“Academically, there is a lot of independent study involved in doing a postgraduate degree. It has taught me a lot about time management, self-discipline and motivation, and how to achieve a better work-life balance. Life as a student at the University of Birmingham largely depends on your attitude to academia, peers and tutors. I kept myself busy and tried to stay on top of all the work required in each module, and felt even more encouraged by the support of my peers and tutors who recognised the effort I put into each session.

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