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Course content

This degree will give you a good grounding in major topics in linguistics – the study of how language is structured, represented in the mind and interpreted – and phonetics, the study of how speech sounds are physically produced.

Core modules will introduce you to key aspects of the discipline, such as syntax, phonetics and phonology. You’ll also develop your knowledge of research methods within and outside of the lab. You’ll then choose from optional modules to suit your interests or career plans, such as language acquisition or sociolinguistics.

Spanning the arts and sciences, linguistics is a challenging and rewarding discipline that allows you to gain a real understanding of human communication as well as a wide range of transferable skills. Taught by experts in top-class facilities and supported by the Language at Leeds research network, this programme will give you a good foundation in the subject informed by the very latest research.

Specialist resources

Leeds is a fantastic place to study linguistics and phonetics. Our tutors and research students are active members of the wider Language at Leeds network which brings together researchers from across the University. You’ll be able to enhance your learning with an array of research events throughout the year.

Postgraduates also have access to our extensive facilities, including the Human Communications Suite complete with a recording studio and lab space for psycholinguistics experiments. You can make use of our phonetics lab and the Language Zone, a state-of-the-art space where you can use a range of language-based teaching materials whenever you want.

This programme is suitable for people who have no prior knowledge of linguistics, or those who may have studied some during their first degree. However, if you do have a substantial background in linguistics or phonetics, you may prefer to study for an MA by Research.

This programme is also available to study part-time over 24 months.

Course content

Core modules will allow you to develop your knowledge of key aspects of linguistics and phonetics. You’ll study introductory modules in syntax and phonetics and phonology in Semester One, which you’ll build on in more advanced modules in the following semester. You’ll also take core modules to develop your academic and research skills in linguistics.

In addition, you’ll expand your understanding of areas that suit your interests when you choose from optional modules on topics such as pragmatics, sociolinguistics and language acquisition. By the end of the programme, you’ll be able to demonstrate the skills and knowledge you’ve gained when you complete an independently researched dissertation on a linguistics topic of your choice.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll take fewer modules in each year so you can study over a longer period.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation (Linguistics and Phonetics) 30 credits
  • Foundations of Phonetics and Phonology 15 credits
  • Foundations of Syntax 15 credits
  • Topics in Phonetics and Phonology 15 credits
  • Topics in Syntax 15 credits
  • Academic Skills in Linguistics 15 credits
  • Research Methods in Linguistics 15 credits

Optional modules

  • Languages in Contact 30 credits
  • Pragmatics 30 credits
  • Second Language Acquisition 30 credits
  • Approaches to Linguistics and Language Acquisition 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Linguistics MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Linguistics MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

We use diverse teaching and learning methods to help you benefit from our tutors’ expertise. They include seminars, lectures, online learning, tutorials and practicals. Independent study is also a vital element of the course. You’re also encouraged to sit in on classes in modules that you’re not taking, giving you a great opportunity to gain a broad base of knowledge in linguistics and phonetics.

Assessment

Depending on the modules you choose, assessment methods will vary. However, they usually include coursework , essays and practicals, while core linguistics modules also include exams.

Career opportunities

This programme will give you a sophisticated understanding of human communication, as well as valuable transferable skills in areas such as use of quantitative and qualitative data, research, interpretation, oral and written communication and analysis which are highly attractive to employers in a wide range of industries.

Graduates have pursued diverse careers as a result, in areas such as lexicography, journalism, editing, advertising, language education an even artificial intelligence. Many also pursue PhD level study and continue with research into linguistics, or further training in disciplines such as speech and language therapy.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.


Visit the Linguistics MA page on the University of Leeds website for more details!

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