MA Language, Culture and CommunicationUniversity of Birmingham
About this program
MA Language, Culture and Communication
In today’s ‘globalised’ world, it is increasingly necessary to communicate across cultural boundaries of language, style and values. This Program aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed in order to understand the ways in which language is used social contexts, in politics, and in the media, and to compare and critique ideologies as realised by the discourses of various institutions and ‘cultures’.
The Program is intended for those who wish to upgrade their professional and academic standing in discourse studies, linguistics, semiotics, and/or intercultural communication. It is particularly well-suited for students with backgrounds in linguistics, communication and related fields who want to move into higher education, journalism, and research into the role of communication in media, politics and society.
The Program combines core 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.
We usually require an upper second-class Honours degree, or equivalent, in English Language, Media Studies, Journalism, Communication Studies or another relevant subject (e.g. Linguistics, Translation Studies, TEFL/TESL, English Literature). Appropriate work experience will also be taken into consideration.
We accept a range of qualifications from different countries - use our handy guide below to see what qualifications we accept from your country.
English language requirements:
standard language requirements apply for this course - IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.5 in any band. If you are made an offer of a place to study and you do not meet the language requirement, you have the option to enrol on our English for Academic Purposes Presessional Course - if you successfully complete the course, you will be able to fulfil the language requirement without retaking a language qualification.
IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.5 in any band is equivalent to:
- TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 22 in any band
- Pearson Test of English (PTE): Academic 67 in all four skills
- Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced - minimum overall score of 176, with no less than 176 in any component
For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.
Does this course require proof of English proficiency?
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This module provides a grounding in the analysis of the lexis and grammar of English. You are introduced to essential concepts and terminology in the field, and gain practice in analysing naturally-occurring language using the models (e.g. pattern grammar) discussed. There is some emphasis on the application of such analysis to the study of language in social context.
Discourse Culture and Intercultural Communication
This module aims to lead students to consider discourse production and reception as they are conditioned by their interactional, social, historical, political and cultural contexts and, in doing so, develop their awareness of what is involved in ‘situated’ discourse. Grounded in a view that culture is to a significant extent discursive – that is, based upon and realised by the ways in which we talk to each other about ‘ourselves’ and about ‘others’ – we take a critical linguistic and intercultural approach to our subject matter, hoping to draw upon the variety of students’ own cultural backgrounds as a basis for discussion and contrastive analysis.
The module will provide a critical overview of major theories in Discourse Studies and Intercultural Communication, but also aims to develop more practical, analytic skills – training students to identify patterns of organisation and discursive strategies in authentic written and oral texts, drawn from various sources (e.g. media, advertising, political speeches / interviews, casual conversation, etc.). We thus hope to enable students to develop a critical understanding of key concepts in, and approaches to, Discourse Analysis and of how language reflects, mediates or – arguably – creates our (various) everyday realities. Further, we aim to develop awareness of the increasing need for – and the problems involved in – communication across cultural boundaries of language(s), style(s) and value(s) in the context of ‘globalisation’.
Research Methods in Applied Linguistics
This module aims to provide you with a grounding in approaches to and methods of research in Applied Linguistics.
This module explores the relationship between language and society, examining how variation in language structure is distributed across different aspects of society, for example, the correlation between the use of particular linguistic forms and social class groups, genders, age groups and geographical areas. The module considers the associations that develop between aspects of a speaker's identity and different linguistic forms, the role of prestige (overt and covert), stigmatisation and the significance of one's social networks and communities, and how these facets of variation lead to changes in the English language.
Scholarships & funding
Several scholarship options are available. Please visit the university website for more information.
We have two teaching terms per year, the autumn term and spring term. Term dates can be found on our website.
As a full-time student, you will typically take three modules in each term, followed by your dissertation.
Each module represents a total of 200 hours of study time, including seminars, preparatory reading, assignment preparation and independent study.
Annual tuition fee for 2022:
- UK: £9,810 full-time
- International: £21,240 full-time
Over the past 5 years, 83% of English Language and postgraduates were in work and/or further study within 6 months of graduating (DLHE 2012 - 2017).
Birmingham's English Language and 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 Program has prepared them, such as becoming a language analyst or data scientist. Others use their transferable skills in a wide range of occupations including teaching, research administration and events.
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About this institute
University of Birmingham
A member of the Russell Group and world ‘top 100’ university (QS World Rankings 2017), the University of Birmingham offers three career-focused 100% online postgraduate degrees which will set you on a path to career excellence: Online MBA Online MSc...
University of Birmingham
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