Language and Linguistics (MA)
- Duration: 1 year
- Mode: Full time
Why study this course
Master the skills of linguistic analysis in a flexible programme taught by leading experts.
Master linguistic analysis
Acquire well-rounded understanding of theoretical and methodological approaches.
Solid training in research foundations and practice within an internationally-respected Centre.
Explore your own interests and tailor to suit your career ambitions with our optional modules.
Gain hands-on research experience
From corpus, historical, functional and systemic linguistics to language acquisition and sociolinguistics.
Set in our world-class research centre, MA Language and Linguistics offers both solid training in research methods and practice, and the freedom to tailor the programme around your interests and ambitions.
Our wide-ranging optional modules enable you to enhance your skills in the areas of linguistic enquiry of most relevance for you and your career.
Our programme delivers well-rounded understanding of the theoretical and methodological approaches employed in the exploration of the linguistic structures of any language. You’ll develop a keen appreciation of how language interacts with social factors, applying your knowledge to analyse and facilitate communication in various communities of practice.
Throughout your degree you will develop in-depth understanding of key issues in language, communication and linguistics, supported by internationally recognised academics, 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 directly 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.
Typically, you will need to have either:
- a 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject area, linguistics, English language, English language & literature (combined), modern languages, 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.
Other essential requirements:
Supporting material for an application should be:
- two academic references, on headed paper, signed and stamped
- copy of undergraduate degree certificate and transcript of module result
We allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend you apply as early as possible.
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.
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
- freedom of movement
- contact with people related to Cardiff University.
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 2023/24 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2023.
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.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Research Foundations in Language and Communication||SET030||20 credits|
|Research Experience in Language and Linguistics||SET031||20 credits|
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Forensic Linguistics I||SET001||20 credits|
|Discourse and Social Interaction||SET005||20 credits|
|Current Issues in Sociolinguistics||SET006||20 credits|
|Qualitative Research Methods||SET012||20 credits|
|Quantitative Research Methods||SET013||20 credits|
|Phonetics and Phonology||SET033||20 credits|
|Language Learning: Theory and Practice||SET036||20 credits|
|Systemic Functional Grammar||SET038||20 credits|
|Public and Professional Discourse||SET041||20 credits|
|Corpus Linguistics||SET042||20 credits|
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?
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 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.
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 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 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.
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
Tuition fees for 2023 entry
Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.
Learn how we decide your fee status
Fees for home status
Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2023/24 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.
Fees for island status
Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
Fees for overseas status
More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.
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.
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.
We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.
Careers and placements
With hands-on experience offered as part of the degree, this programme affords valuable research experience by, for example, enabling you to become immersed in existing staff research projects. Across your module projects, you’ll put into practice newly acquired research methods while developing a wide range of skills transferrable to most work environments.
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).
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.
Other course options
HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. 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 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.