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Language and Linguistics (MA)

Built on a solid research foundation, the MA in Language and Linguistics offers a broad and highly flexible suite of modules covering such topics as linguistics, communication, language, and English language. The programme also offers a broad-based but advanced introduction for those new to the study of language, linguistics and communication.

Built on a solid research foundation, the curriculum offers a broad and highly flexible suite of modules enabling you to tailor the programme to your own specific interests. The MA Language and Linguistics also offers a broad-based but advanced introduction for those new to the study of language, linguistics and communication, as well as building on topics that will be familiar to those who studied language and linguistics an undergraduate level. 

The MA in Language and Linguistics enables you to develop knowledge and research skills over the course of the programme. We support you to become an independent and active learner, able to understand key issues in the different sub-fields of language and linguistics. Throughout the course you will improve your research skills by being given specific training in research methodology, planning your own work and being involved in ongoing research projects led by various members of staff. You will also gain a thorough understanding of different theoretical and methodological approaches that can be used to explore the linguistic structures of a language.

We develop your ability to undertake linguistic analysis confidently and effectively; to collect, evaluate, synthesise and interpret qualitative and/or quantitative data; and to critique arguments and research. The curriculum also develops important work-related skills, such as the ability to communicate clearly and persuasively and to work both independently and in collaboration with others.

The structure of the MA enables you to develop expertise in specific areas of linguistics and language study. Particular strengths in the Centre for Language and Communication Research are discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, systemic functional linguistics, corpus linguistics, forensic linguistics, intercultural communication and professional communication. The wide range of subject modules available ensures that you develop a strong foundation in the discipline area whilst also having the flexibility to pursue your own specific research interests within that area.

We aim to give our students experience of excellence in teaching and learning at an advanced level, in an environment where they will benefit from the fact that the Centre is home to world-leading research in linguistics and communication.

Distinctive features

  • Access to an established research training programme making it possible to continue to PhD, should you wish
  • Provision of an integrated foundation in research activities and bases in order that you are prepared for research activities
  • Hands-on experience of working on an established staff research project in order to gain practical insights into the ways that research works in authentic team contexts
  • Optional modules which form the bulk of the programme and provide a vital foundation for later dissertation-writing
  • Situated in the lively Centre for Language and Communication Research, where we regularly host talks from visiting academics from around the world, Advanced Research Residencies and Summer Schools, and where a range of reading and research groups run on topics including sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, systemic functional 

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2019
Duration1 year
QualificationMA
ModeFull-time
Other ways to study this course
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Admissions criteria

Applicants should normally possess a bachelor degree with a First or Upper Second classification, or a university recognised equivalent academic qualification.

Supporting material for an application should be:

  • Two Academic references
  • Copy of undergraduate certificate and transcript of module results

English Language Requirements for non-UK applicants: Typical IELTS offer is 7.0 overall with at least 6.5 in any sub-score

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements

The programme is offered in full-time mode over one academic year. You will need to complete 180 credits: 120 credits in taught modules and 60 credits in the dissertation. The dissertation can only be undertaken on successful completion of the taught element of the course. Each stage is weighted at 50% of the overall mark.

In the taught stage, you will take a mixture of core and optional modules totalling 120 credits. The core module base is focussed on research training and experience.

You will submit a proposal for the dissertation during the latter part of the taught stage. This proposal must be accepted before undertaking the dissertation.

This is a one-year, full-time programme. It consists of two core modules, four optional modules and a dissertation. The modules are taken over the two taught semesters; the dissertation is taken during the summer. You are advised to discuss your choices with the Programme Convenor and/or Personal Tutor

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2019/20 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2019.

This is a one-year, full-time programme. It consists of two core modules, four optional modules and a dissertation. The modules are taken over the two taught semesters; the dissertation is taken during the summer. You are advised to discuss your choices with the Programme Convenor and / or Personal Tutor.

The core modules are Research Foundations in Language and Communication, and Research Experience in Language and Linguistics; they are taken in the Autumn and Spring semester, respectively. 

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

During the taught stage, you will be taught mostly through weekly seminars / workshops, where you will have the opportunity to develop an understanding of particular topics related to language and linguistics.

You will be able to discuss concepts and ideas in small groups and open class discussions, to consolidate and get feedback on your individual learning, and to develop communication skills in informal group discussions and oral presentations.

Depending on your prior experience, you might be encouraged to attend the lectures for various undergraduate modules as well. You will be taught through weekly or fortnightly supervision sessions in Research Experience. These will offer the opportunity for structured but independent learning of practical skills. Teaching will be varied and responsive.

All modules within the MA in Language and Linguistics make extensive use of the University’s virtual learning environment, Learning Central, where you can access discussion forums and find course materials.

During the dissertation stage, you will conduct independent research on a topic of your choice with regular supervision from a member of staff.

How will I be supported?

You will be allocated a personal tutor who will help you reflect on your performance on the course and advise you on study techniques, module selection and career planning (in conjunction with the University’s Career Service). They will also provide a first point of contact if you experience any difficulties. Each semester, you will have a scheduled Academic Progress and Personal Development Meeting with your personal tutor, where your career aspirations, strengths and weaknesses are discussed, and concrete strategies are developed to help you reach your full academic and professional potential.

The programme convenor for the MA in Language and Linguistics will provide a contact point for discussion of any problems arising from the course. You can have one-to-one discussions with the programme convenor or your personal tutor during set office hours during teaching weeks. We also welcome email contact.

In addition to the programme convenor and your personal tutor, the School has a number of other academic and administrative staff who are there to support you:

  • the Employability, Internships and Placements Officer ensures that any work experience and placement opportunities are advertised to all students and can help you with specific questions about employability;
  • the Disability and Diversity Officer ensures that reasonable adjustments are made for students with disabilities;
  • the Writing Skills Support Tutor offers one-to-one help with writing for both international and home students;
  • the Specialist Librarian for Language and Linguistics offers help and advice in finding books and other materials in the area;

Cardiff University’s Professional Services team are also available for advice and support.

Formative Feedback

Formative feedback is feedback that does not contribute to progression or degree classification decisions.  The goal of formative feedback is to improve your understanding and learning before you complete your summative assessment. More specifically, formative feedback helps you to:

  • identify your strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work;
  • help staff to support you and address the problems identified with targeted strategies for improvement.

Formative feedback is offered on all modules by means of classroom discussions, activities and homework tasks (to scaffold students’ learning). Each module offered on the programme includes face-to-face, seminar-type tuition (often in small groups), which provides the students with opportunities for discussing and clarifying ideas, and obtaining formative feedback from module leaders and lecturers. The specific nature and structure of this formative feedback are somewhat variable depending on the topic and focus of the module / individual session.

Summative Feedback

Summative feedback is feedback that contributes to progression or degree classification decisions. The goal of summative assessment is to indicate how well you have succeeded in meeting the intended learning outcomes of a module and will enable you to identify any action required in order to improve.  All feedback should directly link to the module’s grading/assessment criteria.

Summative feedback is offered on all assessed work in the form of comments and advice on the separate feedback sheet. Feedback is provided in relation to the assessment criteria that are circulated to students through programme and module paperwork. You are specifically encouraged to discuss your feedback on your assessed work with the module leader and your personal tutor in order to reflect on your learning and to articulate areas for improvement as clearly as possible.

How will I be assessed?

The taught modules within this programme are assessed through a variety of methods, including academic essays, linguistic analyses, analytical reports, research projects and oral presentations. Modules are assessed on the basis of analytical descriptions of texts or other media and/or discursive essays. You will often be encouraged to choose your own texts for analysis, or to collect original data, and to relate your analyses to areas of personal interest.

The emphasis in assessment is placed on critical and conceptual sophistication as well as on the production of clear, persuasive and scholarly essays presented in a professional manner and submitted on time.

You are encouraged to consult the relevant module leader to discuss the main ideas and the plan for your assignments.

What skills will I practise and develop?

On completion of the programme you will demonstrate the ability to:

  • analyse and discuss core areas of English language and linguistics, including phonetics, grammar, semantics, pragmatics and discourse analysis
  • identify and interpret a range of empirical linguistic phenomena and to use the relevant descriptive terminology
  • analyse and assess how different social and cultural contexts affect the nature of language and meaning
  • critically evaluate ideas, arguments and empirical research in language and linguistics
  • discuss information and ideas clearly and coherently in both written and oral formats
  • engage in independent reflection and enquiry and/or to work effectively in a team
  • collect, evaluate, synthesise and interpret qualitative and/or quantitative linguistic data
  • evaluate the impact of language use in a given context
  • sustain a critical argument that is responsive to the particular conventions of the genre

This programme will offer preparation for all careers where language is used for any purpose, for example, to influence or persuade, inform, educate or entertain. Gaining an MA will demonstrate higher abilities in research and communication.

Examples of future work destinations include research, teaching, speech and language therapy, publishing, writing, editing, information design, librarianship, as well as professional jobs, such as banking and HR, and public sector jobs, such as those in the civil service or local government. However, the degree is not limited to these possible directions and offers a good preparation for roles in a variety of fields which involve reasoning, critical and evaluative work, verbal and written skills, assimilation of information, communicative skills such as an awareness of linguistic variation, as well as some quantitative skills and skills in presenting information using technology.

You may also choose to undertake further study in the form of a PhD.

 

Master's Excellence Scholarships

Scholarships available worth £3,000 each for UK/EU students starting a master’s degree in September 2019.

Find out more

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2019/20)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£7,650None

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

EU students entering in 2019/20 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2020/21 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2019/20)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£17,350£1,000

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

You will need to equip yourself to take notes in classes. You will need to word-process assignments and may need computer access for other purposes.  Although computers are provided on the University campus (in libraries, for example), many students do like to have access to their own desktop or laptop computer.

Additionally, you may choose to buy some books to support your learning. This is not compulsory and all learning resources are available via the University libraries.

We will provide computer access, including access to specialist computer labs, specialist software and specialist technicians. We will also provide access to the Cardiff University libraries, which offer books and a wide range of online resources. 

The Research Experience module offers the opportunity to work with a member of staff on an ongoing, authentic research task within part of a larger research study. This is a distinctive form of study and offers the opportunity to gain hands-on research experience and to reflect systematically on that experience. Findings from the Research Experience module will feed directly into ongoing work in the Centre for Language and Communication Research.

There are no formal study abroad opportunities associated with this programme.