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Linguistics - MA

Course Description

The MA in Linguistics at Kent is designed for graduates with a background in language and related areas (for example, English, Modern or Classical Languages, Linguistics, Psychology, Anthropology) looking to explore the theory and methodology of linguistics in-depth, from the study of sound (phonetics and phonology) to the study of words, sentences and meaning (morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics).

Options on sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics and language learning and teaching allow you to develop your areas of interest, and engage with aspects of your chosen discipline which are informed by the latest research and scholarship. For more details see the course structure.

The programme offers a smooth transition to doctoral work for those who wish to pursue their studies further.

About the Department of English Language and Linguistics

English Language and Linguistics (ELL), founded in 2010, is the newest department of the School of European Culture and Languages (SECL). ELL is a dynamic and growing department with a vibrant research culture. We specialise in experimental and theoretical linguistics. In particular, our interests focus on quantitative and experimental research in speech and language processing, variation and acquisition, but also cover formal areas such as syntax, as well as literary stylistics. In addition to English and its varieties, our staff work in French, German, Greek, Romani, Korean, Spanish and Russian.

Staff and postgraduates are members of the Centre for Language and Linguistic Studies (CLLS), a research centre that seeks to promote interdisciplinary linguistic research. We also have links with research networks outside Kent, and are involved with national and international academic associations including the Linguistics Association of Great Britain, the British Association of Academic Phoneticians, the Linguistic Society of America, the Association for French Language Studies and the Poetics and Linguistics Association.

We welcome applications from students interested in MA and PhD research. Please see our staff and research pages for more information on the topics staff are able to supervise.

National ratings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, modern languages and linguistics was ranked 3rd for research quality, 3rd for research output and in the top 20 for research intensity, research impact and research power in the UK.

Our submission was the highest ranked nationally to include modern languages – a testament to our position as the UK’s European university. An impressive 100% of our research was judged to be of international quality and the School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.

Course structure

The programme comprises eight 15-credit modules.

The four core modules, Sounds, Meaning, Structure and Research Skills, provide you with a solid grounding in linguistic theory and methodology, while a range of optional modules either develop themes covered in the core module, or explore the relationship between language and other disciplines, such as literature (stylistics), the mind (psycholinguistics), and society (sociolinguistics).

Teaching in the MA in Linguistics takes the form of lectures, tutor-led and student-led seminars and tutorials, as well as problem-based workshops allowing students to engage with linguistic data and theory. You also have the opportunity to attend subject-related conferences and talks by visiting speakers.

You can study the programme on a 12-month full-time or a 24-month part-time basis.


The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

LL832 - Meaning (15 credits) - http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/modules/module/LL832
LL833 - Structure (15 credits) - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/modules/module/LL833
LL837 - Research Skills (15 credits) - http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/modules/module/LL837
LL838 - Sounds (15 credits) - http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/modules/module/LL838
LL839 - Guided Reading in Linguistics (15 credits) - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/modules/module/LL839
LL845 - Sociolinguistic Theory (15 credits) - http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/modules/module/LL845
LL847 - Topics in Syntax (15 credits) - http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/modules/module/LL847
LL850 - Literary Stylistics: New Directions (15 credits) - http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/modules/module/LL850
LL835 - Language Processing (15 credits) - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/modules/module/LL835
LL836 - English Phonetics (15 credits) - http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/modules/module/LL836
Show more... https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/11/linguistics#!structure


Assessment consists of a combination of written coursework, practical/experimental work (where appropriate) and seminar presentations.

On successful completion of the taught modules, students write a 15,000-word research dissertation (included in their final grade) on a topic agreed with their supervisor.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

- enable you to obtain a postgraduate qualification (MA) in one year, and provide a smooth transition to doctoral work if you wish to pursue your studies further
- develop your critical awareness of research methodologies in linguistics
- offer a learning experience which is informed by the latest research and scholarship, and which requires you to engage with aspects of the discipline at the frontiers of knowledge
- provide further development of critical, analytical and other transferable skills acquired at first degree level.


Postgraduate work in English Language and Linguistics prepares you for a range of careers where an in-depth understanding of how language functions is essential. These include speech and language theory, audiology, teaching, publishing, advertising, journalism, public relations, company training, broadcasting, forensic and computational work, and the civil or diplomatic services.

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

(Student Profile)

Louise McKenner

4706.jpg 'The staff are fantastic, really approachable and there is so many interestsing modules to study'


Graduate School Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

The Graduate School Scholarship Scheme was established in 2009 to celebrate the founding of the University's Graduate School, which is responsible for the strategic development of graduate education and research within the University. The aim of the scheme is enable Kent graduates to continue study at the University in the next academic year after graduation from their undergraduate degree.Candidates can hold the Graduate School Scholarship in conjunction with other awards except where these awards offer full fees and a Research Council UK equivalent maintenance grant. The Graduate School Scholarship cannot be held in conjunction with the University's loyalty discount.Criteria- Candidates must hold a Bachelors degree with honours (or undergraduate Masters degree) awarded in 2016 by the University of Kent. This scholarship offer is not available to those students who have been awarded foundation degrees, HNCs, HNDs or postgraduate degrees.
- Candidates must have satisfied the criteria for admission and register for a postgraduate degree (Masters or Doctorate) with the University of Kent by 1 October 2016. Students considering this offer are advised to check the entry criteria for their favoured postgraduate programme of study prior to application.
- Candidates must be self-funded, i.e. they are paying their tuition fees themselves.
- Open to overseas/home/EU fee paying students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

£1,000 reduction (£500 per annum for part-time students, for 2 years) in tuition fees


Kent 2016 graduates who earn a Bachelor's degree with honours (or undergraduate Master's degree) and register for a postgraduate degree at Kent by 1 October 2016.

Application Procedure

There is no need to make a separate application. The tuition fee reduction will be provided to all eligible 2016 graduates on registration.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A first or upper-second class honours degree in a relevant subject or equivalent.International applicants for whom English is not their first language must have IELTS overall 7.0 with at least 6.0 for each component.

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