Course Overview

Attendance
UK/EU Fees £3,500 *
International Fees £6,750 *
Alumni Discount See details
Duration 2 years

* Price per academic year

Course summary

The English Language and Linguistics MA aims to provide you with a thorough understanding of the linguistic features of English from a wide range of perspectives: theoretical and applied, synchronic and diachronic. It will enable you to understand and evaluate critically a wide spectrum of ideas put forward in the study of the English language (particularly in connection with linguistic variation in terms of space, time, communicative context and linguistic contact) and will equip you with the intellectual perspectives and the scholarly skills that will prepare you to conduct independent research.

The English Language and Linguistics MA is suitable for students who have taken English language and/or linguistics modules at undergraduate level, and others who have taken allied disciplines such as psychology, philosophy or TESOL. It is of particular interest to those wishing to pursue further study and those teaching English who wish to gain a further qualification and investigate recent and current developments in the field.

If pursuing the degree full-time, you will study 180 credits in one academic year; if part-time, you will normally complete 180 credits in two academic years. You will study four core modules (including a 60-credit dissertation on a topic of English language and/or linguistics), as well as two modules from the list of options. The core module Linguistic Description and Analysis equips you with all the necessary theoretical and analytical tools you need to tackle linguistic problems and analyse complex sets of linguistic data. Multilingualism, Past and Present and English Worldwide examine linguistic variation and contact in English and other languages from a wide range of perspectives, both historical and present-day, and many of the options complement this approach. You can explore TESOL issues as part of your options.

The teaching is mainly through weekly two- or three-hour sessions for each module, which include tutorials, seminars, practical sessions and workshops. There is also independent self-directed study, and you will be prepared for the dissertation via structured sessions in research methodology. Assessment methods include submitted coursework such as essays, reviews and exercises; there are no formal examinations.

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Core modules

The dissertation gives you the opportunity to conduct autonomous work with supervisory support on a topic you feel passionate about. At the beginning of the module you will have a series of practical seminars on the different issues involved in the process of writing a dissertation, such as finding a topic, the role of the supervisor, research methodology and the conventions of academic writing.

This module examines in detail English in its multiple varieties and multiple uses in the world: native, nativised and non-native varieties, regional variation within larger speech communities, use by monolinguals and multilinguals, and register differences according to use and user. Furthermore, it gives students the opportunity to carry out original empirical work relating to the concepts and methods they are acquiring.

This module provides an introduction to formal linguistic description and analysis. Starting with articulatory phonetics, it explores the processes of human speech production and the description of the nature of consonants and vowels as well as an introduction into the study and analysis of word and sentence structure (morphology and syntax). The module also explores the meaning of words and sentences (semantics). The description and analysis of language structure is informed by current theoretical thinking in the field of linguistics.

This module introduces students to the major theoretical frameworks for studying language contact by exploring the different processes, causes, types, effects, and outcomes that emerge from contact contexts: e.g. bilingualism, pidginization, creolisation, diglossia, borrowing, code-switching, linguistic change. The module adopts a cross-linguistic perspective and will include contexts ranging from dominant language ecologies to cases of severe language endangerment.

Option modules

This module offers a range of different linguistic tools for exploring texts. They are analysed for lexical and grammatical cohesion, metonymy and metaphor, and register and thematic progression (Hallidayan functional grammar). Texts are also analysed using Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Multimodal Discourse Analysis (MDA). You will acquire a theoretical understanding of the main approaches to discourse analysis, and the practical skills for carrying out these analyses on real texts. You will also gain a broader awareness of how written discourse is constructed by comparing it to spoken discourse, and by discussing it in terms of more general semiotic and communication theories.

You will examine current practice and developments in language teaching, including communicative competence in language learning. During this module you will cover a range of topical issues in language learning and teaching, including: content and language integrated learning; individual differences in language learning; language for specific purposes; learner autonomy and strategy training; methodology; neurolinguistic processing and multiple intelligences; skills lessons and real language; and teacher language and national curriculum.

This module critically considers different approaches to the sociolinguistic study of language and gender. This includes knowledge of theoretical frameworks used to understand why and how sex and gender can be viewed as significant social categories in relation to language use. The module also aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to enable them to carry out independent empirical investigations in the field of language and gender research.

You will critically explore concepts and issues in sociolinguistics, including: language in face-to-face interaction; language variation, choice, creation, planning, change, decline and death; languages and factors such as age, class, gender and ethnicity; multilingual communities; language and society; bilingualism and diglossia; casual and ritual interaction; conversational interaction focusing on issues such as linguistic politeness; oral narratives, and conversational routines; language socialisation; conversational code-switching; talk and gender. Throughout the module, attention will be paid to issues of methodology, and the most appropriate methods for studying each topic area.

Content will vary each year according to the topic selected by the Course Team, and based on staff research specialisms. A detailed syllabus and reading list will be made available at the time of module choices. The module aims to provide an in depth examination of a particular topic in English Language and Linguistics based on current trends.

Entry Requirements

Typical offer

Applicants are normally required to have a good first degree (2:1 or above) or equivalent experience in a relevant subject (eg English language, linguistics or TESOL).

Students whose first language is not English must have an IELTS certificate with an overall score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or be able to demonstrate an equivalent level of proficiency.

Applicants will also be required to submit two academic references and they may be invited to an interview (either face to face or via Skype).

Applications from candidates without a first degree in a relevant subject are also welcomed. These applicants can submit professional or academic references.

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process.

Typical offer

Applicants are normally required to have a good first degree (2:1 or above) or equivalent experience in a relevant subject (eg English language, linguistics or TESOL).

Students whose first language is not English must have an IELTS certificate with an overall score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or be able to demonstrate an equivalent level of proficiency.

Applicants will also be required to submit two academic references and they may be invited to an interview (either face to face or via Skype).

Applications from candidates without a first degree in a relevant subject are also welcomed. These applicants can submit professional or academic references.

More information

Careers

The English Language and Linguistics MA will provide you with sophisticated analytical skills and a widely applicable knowledge base, which will enable you to study at MPhil or PhD levels with a view to pursuing an academic career. The course is also particularly relevant to teaching English as a first or foreign language, and to a range of professions involving language and communication.

While studying the MA, you will also benefit from the careers workshops organised by the departmental employability coordinator. 

Our Careers and Employability Service is here to support you to achieve your full potential.
 
With a growing network of over 3,000 employers around the world and a team of experienced careers consultants, we provide you with a variety of opportunities to work and develop new skills. As a University of Westminster student, you’ll have access to our services throughout your studies and after you graduate.
 
We can help you:
    •    find work placements, graduate jobs or voluntary experience related to your course
    •    discover international opportunities to enhance your employability
    •    write effective CVs and application forms
    •    develop your interview and enterprise skills
    •    plan your career with our career consultants
    •    gain insights into your chosen industry through mentoring
    •    meet employers and explore your career options at our employer fairs, careers presentations and networking events 
 
Find out more about the Careers and Employability Service.

 

Find out more about other employability initiatives at the University of Westminster. 

Find out more

15% discount for teachers

If you are currently teaching in a UK secondary school or further education college, you may be entitled to a 15% discount on this MA course.

Find out more

English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies

Online information session

Information correct at time of recording.

Fees and Funding

UK and EU tuition fee: £3,500 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

Find out about postgraduate student funding options.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

International tuition fee: £6,750 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

Course Location

Situated on one of the most famous and vibrant streets of London, our 309 Regent Street site is home to the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities and includes recently refurbished social spaces and gym facilities. The site also houses our Regent Street Cinema. For more details, visit our Regent Street page.

Contact us

Contact the Course Enquiries Team:

+44 (0)20 7915 5511

[email protected]

Opening hours (GMT): 9am–4.30pm Monday to Friday

More information

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