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MA Linguistics

University of Essex
1-2 years
Full time/part time
Master's degree
Colchester
English

Program description

MA Linguistics

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 world, a place where talented students become part of an academic community in which the majority of research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014). We are also ranked 13th in the UK for Linguistics in the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2020).If you want a global outlook, are interested in human communication, and want to study for a degree with real-world practical value in a world-class department, welcome to Essex.

Admission requirements

UK 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.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5 except for 6.0 in writing

For more information about admission requirements, please contact the school or the inquiries team.


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Program content

Year 1

  • MA Dissertation
  • Syntactic Theory
  • Assignment Writing and Dissertation Preparation
  • Phonological Development (optional)
  • Sentence Processing
  • Semantics (optional)
  • Theories of Second Language Acquisition
  • Nature and Nurture in Second Language Acquisition
  • Phonology
  • Research Methods (optional)
  • Sociolinguistic Theory
  • Experimental Analysis (optional)
  • Language in Context: From Pragmatics to Conversation Analysis
  • Intercultural Communication: communicating across languages and cultures (optional)
  • History and Variation of English (optional)
  • Phonetics (optional)
  • Graduate Research Assignment (optional)

Tuition fees

Tuition fee for the academic year 2020-21

  • Home/UK fee: £8,760
  • International fee: £18,800

Career opportunities

Our course can lead to careers in areas such as academic research, publishing, journalism, administration, public service and teaching. You develop key employability skills including research design, data analysis, thinking analytically, report writing and public speaking.

We work with the University’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Within our Department of Language and Linguistics, we also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil. We offer supervision in areas including language acquisition, language learning and language teaching, culture and communication, psycholinguistics, language disorders, sociolinguistics, and theoretical and descriptive linguistics.

About this institute

University of Essex

We’re a university where curiosity prevails, and where exploring new ways of thinking and pushing boundaries, isn’t just encouraged, it’s expected.  We’re proud to be Gold rated in the Teaching Excellence Framework 2017 and ranked in the top 30 in...


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Contact info

University of Essex

Wivenhoe Park
CO4 3SQ Colchester


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