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Linguistics & Classics×

University of Birmingham Masters Degrees in Linguistics

We have 5 University of Birmingham Masters Degrees in Linguistics

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Are you interested in learning how the English language works? How it may be analysed and how you learn languages?. Read more

Are you interested in learning how the English language works? How it may be analysed and how you learn languages?

The MA in Applied Linguistics is a programme that allows you to develop expertise in specific areas of linguistics, such as corpus linguistics, cognitive linguistics, discourse analysis and/or language pedagogy. The programme combines a range of core modules and optional modules to ensure that you develop a solid foundation in the discipline area whilst also having the flexibility to pursue your own specific research interests. This highly flexible programme is ideal for language professionals, or for those intending to become language professionals, in a range of possible careers.

We also offer a distance learning programme over 2.5 years. For more information see Applied Linguistics MA (Distance Learning).

Course details

You will study two core modules:

  • Describing Language
  • Research Methods in Applied Linguistics

You will then choose five optional modules from a wide range, giving you the flexibility to focus on areas of language and linguistics which reflect your specific interests. (See module information below).

In addition, there are two non-assessed components in the programme:

  • During the autumn term, all students will be offered preliminary training in corpus linguistics, introducing you to one or more of the main English language corpora (e.g. the British National Corpus) – invaluable collections of authentic language data against which theory, intuition and pedagogic materials can be measured.
  • You will also be offered a course in Academic Writing. Those whose first language is not English are particularly encouraged to follow this course.

Assessment

You will do a total of six assessed pieces of coursework over the year. For assessment purposes, one of the modules you take during the spring term will be ‘linked’ with the Research Methods module – that is, you will produce a piece of work in the field covered by that module, but with a particular focus on research methods, and this will count as your assignment for Research Methods in Applied Linguistics.

You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Learning and teaching

Modules are typically delivered via weekly two-hour seminars. You will also receive one-to-one supervision to support you in the development of your dissertation. 

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: English Language and Applied Linguistics

Birmingham's English Language and Applied Linguistics postgraduates develop a broad range of transferable skills that are highly valued by employers, particularly in relation to verbal and written communication. They also develop crucial skills in organisation, time management, analysis and interpretation of information.

Many of our graduates enter roles for which their programme has prepared them, such as teaching and lecturing; others use their transferable skills in a wide range of occupations including journalism, marketing and events.



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Are you interested in the relationship between language and society?. Do you want to learn more about how vocabulary works and the difference between spoken and written language? . Read more

Are you interested in the relationship between language and society?

Do you want to learn more about how vocabulary works and the difference between spoken and written language? 

Our MA in Applied Linguistics is intended for anyone interested in the application of language research to language pedagogy, and for teachers of English who wish to upgrade their professional standing. Studying this programme by distance learning, you will be provided with a set of interactive course materials to complete in part-time, self-study mode over a period of at least 30 months.

We also offer a full-time, on-campus programme over one year. For more information see Applied Linguistics MA.

Course details

The programme includes six taught modules and a 15,000-word dissertation on a subject of your choice, with one-to-one expert supervision.

You will be able to study these modules [full descriptions available below]:

  • Sociolinguistics and Lexis
  • Written and Spoken Discourse
  • Understanding Text (Functional Grammar)
  • Corpus Linguistics

You will also be able to choose your optional modules from a range of modules which are oriented towards the study of language teaching and learning, or the study of translation theory and practice.

Assessment

All core and optional modules on this course are assessed by written assignment. You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation.

Please note: The deadline for applications is one calendar month ahead of your desired entry date, to allow adequate time for your application to be processed; see 'how to apply' below for further details.

This programme outline relates to start dates up to and including July 2018 and is subject to change from October 2018.

Learning and teaching

Our study materials are produced by academic staff in our department and are available online through the University's 'virtual learning environment'.

They contain aims and objectives, reading lists, summaries of readings, activities and commentaries, discussion and reflection tasks, indexes and details of assignments required. On joining you are provided with a course handbook that introduces you to the team, provides details of their roles and expertise and gives all the contact information you will need including email addresses so that if you have any difficulties or questions you will know who to contact for help and guidance.

Although much of the course is delivered through the virtual learning environment, support is always available. You will have a personal tutor and dissertation supervisor to guide you and answer any questions, and you will be able to consult academic staff in Birmingham via Skype.

We also run week-long face-to-face seminars in the summer. These are free, and open to all distance learning Applied Linguistics students.

For more information on distance learning including answers to frequently asked questions, student experiences and funding opportunities, please see our distance learning website

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver local support.

In addition to a range of campus-based events and workshops, Careers Network provides extensive online resources, and comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: English Language and Applied Linguistics

Birmingham's English Language and Applied Linguistics postgraduates develop a broad range of transferable skills that are highly valued by employers, particularly in relation to verbal and written communication. They also develop crucial skills in organisation, time management, analysis and interpretation of information.

Many of our graduates enter roles for which their programme has prepared them, such as teaching and lecturing; others use their transferable skills in a wide range of occupations including journalism, marketing and events.



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This programme is for teachers of English wishing to upgrade their professional knowledge, and those who are interested in the application of language research to language teaching. Read more

This programme is for teachers of English wishing to upgrade their professional knowledge, and those who are interested in the application of language research to language teaching.

Delivered part-time and by distance learning, the programme allows you to study alongside other commitments. You will be provided with a set of interactive course materials to complete in part-time, self-study mode over a period of 18 months.

Once you have completed the Postgraduate Certificate, you will be eligible to proceed to the MA Applied Linguistics by Distance Learning.

Course details

The programme includes three online modules, two of which are core. You are able to choose from a range of options for the third module which allows you to focus on a specific area of interest.

Your two core modules are:

  • Sociolinguistics
  • Spoken and Written Discourse

Your third module will be chosen from a range of options which typically includes:

  • Corpus Linguistics
  • Functional Grammar
  • Lexis
  • Second Language Acquisition

For further information, see ‘Modules’ below.

Assessment

Each module will be assessed by a 4,000-word assignment.

Learning and teaching

Our study materials are produced by academic staff in our department and are available online through the University's 'virtual learning environment', Canvas.

They contain aims and objectives, text, audio and video teaching material, reading lists, summaries of readings, activities and commentaries, discussion and reflection tasks, indexes and details of assignments required. On joining you are provided with an online induction pack which includes a course handbook that introduces you to the team, provides details of their roles and expertise and gives all the contact information you will need including email addresses so that if you have any difficulties or questions you will know who to contact for help and guidance.

Although much of the course is delivered through the virtual learning environment, support is always available. You will have a personal tutor to guide you and answer any questions, and you will be able to consult academic staff in Birmingham via Skype.

We also run week-long face-to-face seminars in the summer. These are free, and open to all distance learning Applied Linguistics students.

For more information on distance learning including answers to frequently asked questions, student experiences and funding opportunities, please see our distance learning website

Employability

This programme is designed to contribute to your professional development and enhance your career prospects.

Over the past three years, 91% of postgraduate students from the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Many of our graduates enter roles, or progress to more senior roles, in fields for which their programme has prepared them, such as teaching, teacher training and lecturing.



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Translation, as a trade and an art, plays and important part in bringing nations together, and facilitating dialogue, understanding and co-operation. Read more

Translation, as a trade and an art, plays and important part in bringing nations together, and facilitating dialogue, understanding and co-operation.

Our innovative MA is ideal for those looking to embark on, or develop, careers as professional translators. Translation practice is at the heart of the programme, and you will undertake extensive practical and specialised translation in Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese or Russian. The programme offers training in state-of-the-art translation technology and the opportunity to study another foreign language at beginners, intermediate or advanced level. From September 2017, we are also able to offer an optional module in English-Chinese Interpreting.

There is a range of optional modules focusing on theory and methodology, meaning that this MA also provides excellent preparation for further study at PhD level.

We also offer a distance learning programme over 2.5 years – for more information, see Translation Studies MA by distance learning.

Course details

The Translation Studies MA is a degree offered by the Department of Modern Languages. It features a balance of theory and practice which provides an ideal foundation both for careers in the translation industry or for further study in translation.

In addition to being accredited by the EMT Network, we are a member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI). We are also part of the SDL University Partner Program, which allows us to allocate free SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance licenses to the top two students studying translation technology each academic year.

The programme is available to students who are proficient in English and one of the following languages: Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese or Russian. We can accommodate all language pairs in both directions except Mandarin, where we offer English to Mandarin but not Mandarin to English.

The core programme content offers ample opportunity for translation practice. You will study four core modules:  

  • Introduction to Translation Theory 
  • Practical Translation*
  • Specialised Translation*
  • Research and Critical Commentary Skills

* Language combinations offered are as stated above

You will also choose two modules from a range of options

Assessment

Most core and optional modules on this course are assessed by coursework, rather than by written examination. The exceptions are Practical Translation which is assessed by exam and English-Chinese Interpreting which features a classroom-based live interpreting test. See module descriptions for further details.

You will also complete a 15,000-word Translation Studies dissertation or an Extended Translation Project.

Learning and teaching

All of our students are offered the opportunity to work in small groups with tutors and to receive training in the use of state-of-the art translation technology.

All modules make use of our modern facilities, and teaching will take place in a lecture theatre or a computer lab. For your translation classes (Practical Translation and Specialised Translation) you will be divided into language groups – each year we can have up to ten language-specific groups. 

We also make extensive use of Canvas, the University’s virtual learning environment, and this is where you can find all material related to your studies and also contribute to online discussions. 

Course delivery

Teaching takes place over ten weeks in the Autumn Term (September-December) and ten weeks in the Spring Term (January-March) through weekly seminars.

Full-time students will take two core modules in the Autumn Term, and two core modules in the Spring Term, as follows:

  • Autumn Term: Introduction to Translation Theory; Practical Translation
  • Spring Term: Research and Critical Commentary Skills; Specialised Translation

You will then take two optional modules; one in each term. During the Summer Term, you will be working on your dissertation or extended translation project, and you will be assigned an appropriate supervisor according to your chosen topic and language pair. 

Part-time students will take three modules in year one and three modules in year two. To cater for the needs of part-time students, we make an effort to group classes on specific days of the week. There is some flexibility, but the recommended structure is as follows:

  • Autumn Term, year one: Introduction to Translation Theory and Practical Translation
  • Spring Term, year one: Research and Critical Commentary Skills or Specialised Translation
  • Autumn Term, year two: Your choice of optional module
  • Spring Term, year two: Research and Critical Commentary Skills or Specialised Translation; your choice of optional module 

During the Summer Term of year two, you will be working on your dissertation or extended translation project, and you will be assigned an appropriate supervisor according to your chosen topic and language pair. 

Learning and teaching methods

The course will: 

  • Encourage reflective practice in translation
  • Familiarise you with state-of-the-art technological tools currently used in the translation industry and with the professional environment in which translators operate
  • Provide you with the opportunity to carry out extensive practical translation work with the guidance of experienced tutors so as to develop skills in line with current professional practice
  • Enable you to develop a sophisticated understanding of the most up-to-date concepts and theories of the discipline of translation studies
  • Develop a critical understanding of the social constraints on and consequences of translation, and the differing contexts of translation throughout the world
  • Encourage an understanding of how English and other languages work and how they may usefully be analysed, in particular with reference to its grammar, lexis and discourse, and how such an analysis may benefit you as a translator
  • Provide a practical understanding of established techniques of research and enquiry used to created and interpret knowledge in the discipline, so as to enable you to undertake further research, either as part of your future professional career or by enrolling for a research degree.


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The programme is designed to improve your translation skills, introduce you to a range of translation technologies and familiarise you with the professional contexts in which translators work. Read more

The programme is designed to improve your translation skills, introduce you to a range of translation technologies and familiarise you with the professional contexts in which translators work.

Whether your interest is in the translation of specialised documentation (commercial and technical translation), creative writing (literary translation) or the translation of hybrid text genres such as websites or advertisements, the programme will provide you with a solid foundation to develop your career. Training in translation theory and research methods means this MA also offers excellent preparation for further study at PhD level.

The programme is available to students who are proficient in English and another language including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Polish and Spanish. Supervision in other languages may be possible, depending on available staff expertise. Please contact us if you need further information on the languages available.

We also offer a full-time programme over one year – for more information, see Translation Studies MA.

Course details

The Translation Studies MA is a degree offered by the Department of Modern Languages. It features a balance of theory and practice which provides an ideal foundation both for careers in the translation industry or for further study in translation.

The distance learning programme features five core modules:

  • Introduction to Translation Studies (in different language combinations)
  • Introduction to Translation Technology 
  • Contemporary Theories of Translation
  • Research Methods in Translation Studies 
  • Professional Contexts of Translation

You will also choose one optional module (see 'Modules', below).

Assessment

All core and optional modules on this course are assessed by coursework, rather than by written examination. You will also complete a 15,000-word Translation Studies dissertation or an Extended Translation Project.

Learning and teaching

We make extensive use of Canvas, the University’s virtual learning environment, and this is where you can find all material related to your studies and also contribute to online discussions.  

Although much of the course is delivered through our virtual learning environment, support is always available. You will have a personal tutor and dissertation supervisor to guide you and answer any questions, and you have access to a wide range of online resources too.

You also have the opportunity to meet other students and academic staff through online chats and discussion forums.

Course delivery

The course takes 30 months to complete. You will study your taught modules in the first two years of the programme - one per semester, totalling three in each year. In the final six months of the programme you will be focused on your dissertation or extended translation project, and you will be assigned an appropriate supervisor according to your chosen topic and language pair.

Learning and teaching methods

The course will:

  • Encourage reflective practice in translation
  • Familiarise you with state-of-the-art technological tools currently used in the translation industry and with the professional environment in which translators operate
  • Provide you with the opportunity to carry out extensive practical translation work with the guidance of experienced tutors so as to develop skills in line with current professional practice
  • Enable you to develop a sophisticated understanding of the most up-to-date concepts and theories of the discipline of translation studies
  • Develop a critical understanding of the social constraints on and consequences of translation, and the differing contexts of translation throughout the world
  • Encourage an understanding of how English and other languages work and how they may usefully be analysed, in particular with reference to its grammar, lexis and discourse, and how such an analysis may benefit you as a translator
  • Provide a practical understanding of established techniques of research and enquiry used to created and interpret knowledge in the discipline, so as to enable you to undertake further research, either as part of your future professional career or by enrolling for a research degree.

Academic community

As a Translation Studies student, you will become part of the Birmingham Centre for Translation (BCT), which brings together staff and students from across the College of Arts and Law with research and teaching interests in Translation Studies.

Distance learning

For more information on distance learning including answers to frequently asked questions, student experiences and funding opportunities, please see our distance learning website

Employability

Graduates of the MA in Translation Studies go on to a variety of interesting careers, from working as translators and project managers for major language service providers, to running their own translation companies, or staying on in Birmingham to do doctoral research. In 2015/16, 100% of Translation Studies graduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation.

The programme will enable you to develop a wide range of skills and attributes which will be vital in your future career. In particular, it will give you the ability to:

  • Analyse and translate samples of English and other languages, using appropriate methods
  • Retrieve information, terminology and specialised-knowledge from a range of sources, and use them in their translation practice
  • Communicate effectively in written academic English 
  • Plan work effectively, with appropriate time-management skills
  • Carry out research in a selected area, both individually and in terms, and report that research appropriately.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver local support.

In addition to a range of campus-based events and workshops, Careers Network provides extensive online resources, and comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.



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