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The Linguistics MA aims to give students a thorough grounding in modern theoretical linguistics. Students gain a basic understanding of the three core areas of linguistics: phonetics and phonology; syntax; and semantics and pragmatics, and are then able to tailor the programme to meet their personal linguistic interests.

About this degree

Students gain knowledge and understanding of current research in theoretical linguistics and are prepared for independent research. On completion of the programme, they will be able to formulate appropriate research questions, find and evaluate relevant literature, develop and test new hypotheses, and produce cogent, structured and professionally presented reports.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), two core modules chosen from a group of 3 modules (30 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Compulsory modules

First five modules are core, then you must choose 2 from the group of 3 modules.

  • Syntax
  • Semantics and Pragmatics I
  • Phonetics and Phonology I
  • Foundations of Linguistics
  • Dissertation
  • choose 2:
  • Semantics and Pragamatics II
  • Interfaces in Syntax
  • Phonetics and Phonology II

Optional modules

Students choose two of the following:

  • Advanced Phonological Theory
  • Advanced Semantic Theory
  • Current Issues in Syntax
  • Intermediate Generative Grammar
  • Issues in Pragmatics
  • Language Acquisition
  • Linguistics of Sign Language
  • Morphology
  • Neurolinguistics
  • Animal Communication and Human Langugage
  • Readings in Syntax
  • Semantic-Pragmatic Development
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Stuttering
  • Multilingualism
  • Semantics and Pragmatics
  • Chinese Linguistics
  • Phonetic Theory
  • Pragmatics and Cognition
  • Issues in Pragmatics

More information about optional modules is available on the department website

Dissertation/report

All MA students undertake an independent research project in any area of linguistics which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The teaching and assessment of this programme is strongly research-orientated. It is delivered through a combination of lectures, small-group teaching and a virtual learning environment. Some modules also involve workshops or practical classes. Assessment is through take-home and unseen examination, essays, presentations, assignments and the dissertation.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

Many linguistics graduates from UCL carry on studying linguistics at MPhil/PhD level with a view to pursuing an academic career. Others go on to teach languages, especially English (as a first or foreign language) or embark on a range of other careers, from law, media, computing and speech and language therapy to all aspects of commerce and industry.

Employability

Linguistics MA students acquire a wide range of transferable skills, which opens up opportunities in many different sectors include language teaching, translating and interpreting, marketing, communication, journalism, management, and law. 

Graduates who achieve good results are well placed to go on to a research degree in linguistics at top universities, often with a view to pursuing an academic career.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Division of Psychology & Language Sciences undertakes world-leading research and teaching in linguistics, language, mind, and behaviour. More specifically, UCL Linguistics is one of the leading departments for research in theoretical linguistics in the UK and its staff includes world leaders in theoretical syntax, semantics, pragmatics, phonology, and experimental linguistics.

Our work attracts staff and students from around the world. Together they create an outstanding and vibrant environment, taking advantage of cutting-edge resources such as a behavioural neuroscience laboratory, a centre for brain imaging, and extensive laboratories for research in speech and language, perception, and cognition.

Our world-class research is characterised by a tight integration of theoretical and experimental work spanning the full range of the linguistic enterprise and forms the bedrock of the department’s eminent reputation, which is also reflected in other markers of excellence, such as its editorial involvement with top journals in the field.

Department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

The programme is particularly suitable for students whose undergraduate degree included a minority of linguistic course-units, or who have studied linguistics of a more traditional type elsewhere. It is also suitable for good graduates who have encountered linguistics only indirectly, for instance through psychology, philosophy, or foreign language teaching.

Application deadlines

26 July 2019

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Linguistics at graduate level
  • why you want to study Linguistics at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this rigorous programme

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


Visit the Linguistics MA page on the University College London website for more details!

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