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Language and Communication Research (MA)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Mode: Full time

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Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

Take the next step towards your language-related career, nurtured by global experts in our world-ranking setting.

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Career-focused

Designed for careers using communication awareness or language or linguistics related research.

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Expert teaching

Our experts bring cutting-edge projects and techniques into teaching.

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ESRC recognised

Advanced Course Recognition from the Economic and Social Research Council as a postgraduate research training scheme.

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Research grounding

Gain understanding in key foundational research methods before focusing on language use in professional contexts.

Set in the internationally respected Centre for Language and Communication Research, our MA in Language and Communication Research delivers solid training in research methods and practice, plus the freedom to tailor the programme around your research interests and career ambitions.

Designed for careers employing communication awareness or in language or linguistics related research, this programme offers the additional benefit of Advanced Course Recognition from the Economic and Social Research Council as a postgraduate research training scheme.

You’ll gain an excellent grounding in foundational research methods and theoretical paradigms, before applying the theories and specialising in the areas of linguistic enquiry that are most important for your career.

This master’s programme combines the study of theoretical issues and qualitative and quantitative analysis of language and communication data. Throughout your degree you’ll be supported by internationally recognised experts, whose passion for teaching and research fosters a vibrant and friendly academic environment.

Our experts are leading on innovative projects in many different fields, including language acquisition, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, discourse analysis, professional communication, corpus linguistics, systemic functional linguistics and forensic linguistics, hosting a range of reading and research groups in these research fields.

Fostering an international academic arena for cutting-edge research, we host talks from visiting academics from around the world, as well as advanced research residencies and occasional summer schools. During your studies, you’ll benefit from this thriving research environment and the support of a wide range of professionals who will guide your personal and professional development.

English Language at Cardiff is ranked in the world top 100 (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020) and top ten for research in the UK (Research Excellence Framework 2014).

Where you'll study

School of English, Communication and Philosophy

Powered by pioneering research, we celebrate curiosity, engage in informed debate and critical analysis, and encourage creative thinking - across and beyond our disciplines.

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  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 9066
  • MarkerColum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU

Admissions criteria

Academic requirements: 

Typically, you will need to have either: 

  • a 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject area, linguistics, language and communication, or an equivalent international degree  
  • a university-recognised equivalent academic qualification 

English Language requirements:

IELTS with an overall score of 7.0 with at least 6.5 in all other subskills. 

Application deadline:

We allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend you apply as early as possible. 

Selection process: 

We will review your application by looking at the modules you have studied and grades achieved to ensure you have the relevant knowledge to succeed on the programme. If you meet the entry requirements, we will make you an offer. 

Find out more about English language requirements.

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

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

The MA in Language and Communication Research is a full-time modular programme with modules taught over two semesters over a year.

Stage one comprises the taught element of the programme while stage two involves a supervised dissertation of between 15,000 and 20,000 words between May and September.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2021/22 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2021.

You take four compulsory modules and select two further optional modules.

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.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

Teaching is delivered by staff with an international reputation for innovative and influential research across a broad spectrum of interrelated issues.

You will be taught core knowledge and understanding through lectures, small-group seminars and group discussion.

Teaching for core modules combines discussion of theoretical issues and the practical challenges of qualitative and quantitative analysis of language/communication data, while teaching for optional modules provides further theoretical discussion with some focus on the development of practical research skills.

Intellectual Skills are promoted via lectures, seminars and group discussions individual supervision and guidance for research undertaken in planning and writing the dissertation. You will also learn via one-to-one supervision of individual ‘research experience’ projects and dissertations.

The learning activities will vary from module to module as appropriate, but will usually include interactive discussions of prepared texts/topics and, in some cases, student-led presentations.

You will be encouraged to explore our excellent library resources and expected to undertake preparation including wide-ranging reading to enable full participation. 

How will I be assessed?

Assessment of the taught component is by coursework only.

Modules are assessed on the basis of analytical descriptions of texts or other media and/or discursive essays. You are encouraged to choose your own texts for analysis, or even to collect original data, and to relate their analyses to areas of personal interest. 

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. Details of any academic or competence standards which may limit the availability of adjustments or alternative assessments for disabled students, if any, are noted in the Module Descriptions.

The second part of the MA is examined by dissertation, supported by individual supervision.

How will I be supported?

We offer one-to-one time in set office hours during teaching weeks, and also welcome email contact. Additionally, you can make appointments to see your personal tutor or module leaders on a one-to-one basis about any issues. Our Professional Services team is also available for advice and support.

Your personal tutor is your contact point to discuss any problems arising from the course but you are also encouraged to discuss your ideas with module tutors both in seminars and one-to-one in office hours.

You will be partnered with a designated member of staff for supervised participation in the Research Experience core module in an ongoing research project in a logged series of meetings. You will write a report critically examining the process as well as the product of research activities. 

Feedback

Discussion of assignments is offered and written feedback is provided on summative assessment.

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will develop practical skills through seminar presentations and discussion, workshops on developing transcription skills, making presentations and poster presentations and through project work.

On completion of the course you will also have mastered analytical and critical skills and writing and presentation skills.

Tuition fees for 2021 entry

Students from the UK

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £8,200 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

EU, EEA and Swiss nationals starting in 2020/21 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course.

If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national, unless you qualify for UK fee status, tuition fees for 2021/22 will be in line with the fees charged for international students. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Students from the rest of the world (international)

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £18,200 £1,000

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

Financial support

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.

Career prospects

This specialist programme prepares you for careers in language and communication research, with most graduates aiming to progress to a PhD.

Across the School, our postgraduates use their newly acquired skills in a broad spectrum of professions, particularly in the media and creative economies, education and health sectors. From the public to the private sector, we enable careers in an impressively wide range of fields.

86% of postgraduates from the School of English, Communication and Philosophy were in employment or further studies within six months of graduation (DLHE 2016/17).

Funding

Master's Excellence Scholarships

An award open to students with a home fee status intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

UK Government master’s funding

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2021 or later, you may be able to apply for UK Government postgraduate funding to support your study at Cardiff University.

Next steps

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HESA data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2020. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18, published by HESA in June 2020.