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Applied Linguistics - MA

Course Description

This MA explores language from a wide range of perspectives. It is designed to develop understanding of key concepts and issues related to applied linguistics and English language education globally, while also engaging students in the theoretical and empirical investigation of real-world situations, contexts and issues in which language plays a crucial role.

Degree information

This programme will provide students with insight into applied linguistics and language education from global, bilingual, cognitive, discourse, and socio-cultural perspectives. It will also develop students' capacity to analyse, evaluate and synthesise primary and secondary sources as well as helping them to design research.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of one core module (30 credits), three optional modules (90 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

For a PG Diploma the requirement is one core module (30 credits) and three optional modules (90 credits). For a PG Certificate the requirement is one core module (30 credits) and two optional modules (60 credits).

Core module - the core module for the MA Applied Linguistics is Discourse, Society and Culture (30 credits):
-Discourse, Society and Culture

Optional modules (indicative list) - up to 90 credits of options drawn from the following:
-English in Diverse World Contexts
-Fundamentals of Second and Foreign Language Teaching
-Intercultural Communication
-Language and Identity
-Language Teacher Identity and Development
-Language Testing
-Materials Development for Language Teaching
-The Multilingual Classroom
-Second Language Acquisition
-Education and Development in Asia
-Education and International Development: Concepts, Theories and Issues
-Contemporary Issues in English Education
-Early Childhood Education
-Internet Cultures: Theory and Practice
-Literacy Development
-Perspectives on Adult Literacy, Language and Numeracy
-Technology and Education Beyond the Classroom
-Theoretical Foundations of Educational Ideas
-Understanding Specific Learning Difficulties (dyslexia) Module I

Dissertation/research project
All students are required to write a 2,500-word research proposal which leads to the submission of a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic in applied linguistics.

Teaching and learning
This programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, workshops, projects, supervisory tutorials, student presentations, and student-led discussions. Within tutor-led sessions, students often engage in individual, pair and group tasks which are then fed back to the plenary. Students are assessed through written coursework, oral presentation, and the dissertation. Alternative modes of assessment may be a feature of some modules.


Graduates of this programme include university and college lecturers, senior managers and directors of study in private and state sector schools, textbook and materials writers, editors and publishers, education journalists, NGO project officers, education consultants, policy advisers and researchers, and consultants in the aviation industry.

This programme not only provides an outstanding foundation for those hoping to undertake PhD research and pursue an academic career, but is also popular with students wishing to go into education or develop their career internationally. Small group discussions and debates on the programme help students to acquire strong presentation and negotiation skills. Likewise, the analytical and research skills gained by students are highly valued by employers from a range of sectors. There are many additional activities available, both within the department and the wider UCL community, to help students focus on employability skills whilst they here, for example departmental talks and other networking opportunities.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Department of Culture, Communication and Media (CCM) is committed to excellence in teaching, research and consultancy across a range of areas including applied linguistics.

One of the key aims of UCL Institute of Education’s Centre for Applied Linguistics is to seek external funding for high-quality research and consultancy in the broad field of applied linguistics, including discourse analysis, bilingualism and multilingualism, second language acquisition, intercultural communication, linguistic ethnography, semiotics, and language-in-education policy and practice, and undertake such research.

It also aims to provide research input into teaching programmes and doctoral supervision in areas of applied linguistics and global English language education.

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

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Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

Normally a minimum of a second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject (e.g. English, languages, linguistics, communication), or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is required.

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