The programme 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 (morphology), sentences (syntax) and meaning (semantics and pragmatics). It draws upon the considerable expertise of staff in the Department of English Language & Linguistics.
Students choose four modules each in the Autumn and Spring terms, including core modules on Sounds, Structure, and Meaning, supplemented with options on, for example, psycholinguistics, language acquisition, language learning and teaching, sociolinguistics and stylistics, , which allow studentsto develop areas of interest, and engage with aspects of their chosen discipline which are informed by the latest research and scholarship. They then complete a research dissertation of up to 15,000 words over the summer.
The programme is ideal for those with a keen interest in language in the broadest sense, and a willingness to explore theories of language critically. The programme also offers a smooth transition to doctoral work for those who wish to pursue their studies further.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- terminology as required for linguistic description and theory and explanation
- the interdisciplinary nature of linguistics
- the description and organisation of sound systems: ie phonetics and phonology
- the structures of individual words and sentences: ie morphology and syntax
- the way meanings are generated: ie semantics and pragmatics
- language varieties, styles and registers
- language acquisition.
You develop intellectual skills in:
- critical reflection and evaluation of complex material
- research methodology: the ability to gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information from a number of sources.
- development of reasoned arguments on the basis of evidence.
- synthesising and summarising information from a number of sources
- reaching independent judgements about data or theory
- identifying and selecting appropriate methodologies for research aims
- understanding of ethical issues in the collection, handling and processing of data.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- knowledge and critical understanding of theory and methodology in linguistics, and an ability to apply these independently
- appropriate presentation of linguistic data using charts, graphs, tables
- evaluation and interpretation of linguistic data, in accordance with relevant theories and concepts of the (sub)discipline
- the ability to identify linguistically valid arguments, and to distinguish descriptive from prescriptive judgements.
You gain the following transferable skills:
- oral communication: the ability to communicate effectively the results of study to both specialist and non-specialist audiences
- written communication: the ability to communicate clearly and effectively in writing in an appropriate register
- IT: a high level of competence in information processing using relevant databases and online research
- teamwork: effective interaction within small groups, exercising personal responsibility and appropriate decision-making skills
- time management: effective note-taking, management of your own learning, conducting independent research, taking the initiative and meeting deadlines
- high-level problem-solving skills in a variety of contexts.
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.