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Full time & Part time October MA Full-time: 1 year

About the course

Study the nuts and bolts of language: sound systems, word structure, sentence structure, and how meaning is conveyed. Learn about the different theories that have been proposed to account for human linguistic ability. In this degree you will learn what human languages share, and where they differ.

Our course will interest you if you want a formal and empirical grounding in all core areas of linguistics, and are keen to evaluate the major theoretical approaches in these disciplines.

You study topics including:

  • Theoretical and descriptive phonology
  • Syntactic theory
  • Pragmatics
  • Semantics
  • Phonetics

Our optional modules are in the related fields of applied linguistics, psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics.

We are one of the largest and most prestigious language and linguistics departments in the

Read more about this course


Entry Requirements

A 2:2 degree (or international equivalent) in the following disciplines: English Language studies – including education, English language and Literature, Teaching(English),Linguistics or Modern Languages.

We will accept applicants with a degree in an unrelated area but which contains a substantial element of education, Linguistics, Language studies and Teaching .

For further details, please View Website


Course Content



Where is University of Essex


Student Profile(s)

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.”


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."


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