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Our new English Language and Linguistics Masters programme offers a solid grounding in key areas of linguistics and is designed for those who want to further their study of a wide range of areas of linguistics at a higher level.  

Northumbria’s MA English Language and Linguistics builds on the broad range of research expertise in the English department and will give you the chance to explore a wide range of linguistic specialisms. 

During the course, you will explore key concepts and theories involved in the study of language as well as examining theories which lie behind the analysis of linguistic structure, acquisition and use, and its interfaces with other disciplines. You will also gain an in-depth knowledge of the conceptual and analytical tools necessary to conduct informed and responsible enquiry at postgraduate level in Linguistics  

Topics you could choose to study include world Englishes, sociolinguistics, language acquisition, psycholinguistics, language variation and change, the evolution of language, and forensic linguistics.  

As well as offering you the chance to improve your knowledge and understanding of the structure of language, our MA English Language and Linguistics will help you to develop skills for professional employment and further research at doctoral level. 

 

Our new English Language and Linguistics Masters programme offers a solid grounding in key areas of linguistics and is designed for those who want to further their study of a wide range of areas of linguistics at a higher level.  

Northumbria’s MA English Language and Linguistics builds on the broad range of research expertise in the English department and will give you the chance to explore a wide range of linguistic specialisms. 

During the course, you will explore key concepts and theories involved in the study of language as well as examining theories which lie behind the analysis of linguistic structure, acquisition and use, and its interfaces with other disciplines. You will also gain an in-depth knowledge of the conceptual and analytical tools necessary to conduct informed and responsible enquiry at postgraduate level in Linguistics  

Topics you could choose to study include world Englishes, sociolinguistics, language acquisition, psycholinguistics, language variation and change, the evolution of language, and forensic linguistics.  

As well as offering you the chance to improve your knowledge and understanding of the structure of language, our MA English Language and Linguistics will help you to develop skills for professional employment and further research at doctoral level. 

 

Course Information

Level of Study
Postgraduate

Mode of Study
1 year full-time

Department
Humanities

Location
City Campus, Northumbria University

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2022

Fee Information

Module Information

Funding and Scholarships

Discover the funding options available to you.

Discover more / Explore Northumbria University

Take a look at what Northumbria has to offer and discover what studying with us can do for you.

Entry Requirements 2022/23

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have:

A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree in Linguistics, English Language or a relevant related discipline.

International qualifications:

If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English language requirements:

International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*) and a minimum score of 7.0 in Writing (as appropriate to the discipline of linguistics and/or language teaching).

 *The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS.  You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

Fees and Funding 2022/23 Entry

Full UK Fee: £7,950

Full EU Fee: £16,500

Full International Fee: £16,500

ADDITIONAL COSTS

There are no Additional Costs

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* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

EL6026 -

Cognitive Linguistics (Optional,20 Credits)

This module studies cognitive linguistics, which is a sub-discipline of linguistic studies that explores the link between language and mind, and examines linguistic phenomena in the light of our cognitive processes (i.e. the way we think). You will examine the key principles, approaches and concepts in cognitive linguistics. Building upon this, you will be guided to take up further explorations in research areas of particular interest to you.

On completion of the module, you will be have an advanced knowledge of the fundamental aspects of cognitive linguistics, including topics such as embodiment, categorisation, metaphors, conceptual blending, and cognitive approaches to grammar. You will develop an appreciation of the place of cognitive linguistics within its intellectual context; an ability to reflect critically on the key topics; as well as an ability to carry out research tasks to support or refute central claims of cognitive linguistics. In fostering your ability to develop and undertake research tasks, the module contributes to your employability skills.

More information

EL6027 -

Second Language Acquisition (Optional,20 Credits)

You will develop your awareness and understanding of the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) through the study of central themes: age and SLA, individual differences in SLA, and similarities and differences between first and second language acquisition processes. As such, you will also pay particular attention to current issues and debates within the field, most especially in terms of the findings of recent empirical research investigating social and contextual perspectives to the study of SLA.

You will critically analyse, by means of lecture input and classroom discussion, the main influential theories and most important research findings in SLA. You will also focus upon different approaches to conducting empirical research in second language acquisition. Throughout the module, you will evaluate the many varied perspectives regarding second language learning which you encounter, and establish your own view of and position within these debates, developing your ability to present your own viewpoint, both in speech and in writing, key skills for the world of work

More information

EL6028 -

The origins and evolution of language (Optional,20 Credits)

In addition to linguistics, this module brings together ideas from evolutionary biology, palaeontology and its subgroup palaeobiology, anthropology, physiology, neuroscience, genetics, primatology and computer science. Evidence from these and other sources is used to understand when and why language emerged in our ancestors.

The module starts with a very brief overview of the Western philosophical context in which debates over language are embedded. This context is used to examine how different linguists in the twentieth century approached the study of language, and the issue of whether language is a social or a cognitive (an external or an internal) phenomenon. We then look at theories of evolution and hypotheses concerning hominin phylogeny (i.e. Homo sapiens and all the ancestral species since our split from the last common ancestor with any extant species ). Turning to the actual evolution of language, we examine comparative data from other animal communication systems and the cognitive and physiological pre-requisites that are necessary for language. The final part of the module focuses on theories of language evolution, and in particular the debate between nativist and non-nativist accounts of language.

Throughout the module, you will evaluate the many varied perspectives on language evolution which you encounter, and establish your own view of and position within these debates, developing your ability to present your own viewpoint in speech and in writing.

More information

EL6029 -

World Englishes (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will examine the role of English in the world today, as you learn about the development of English as a world language and also as a language which has many global and local varieties.

You will develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the historical, social and political contexts of the global expansion and development of English and Englishes, and will explore types of variation across Englishes (variation across time, places and spaces). You will examine the emergence of new standard Englishes, and further develop your understanding of the debates surrounding standard language ideology. You will also explore the internationalisation and globalisation of English, examining the ways in which English is ‘marketed’ as the language of opportunity, but also acts as a ‘gatekeeper’ in our contemporary globalized world. You will examine the role of world Englishes in language death, and discuss possible future scenarios for new and world Englishes.

Throughout the module, you will evaluate the many varied perspectives about English which you encounter, and establish your own view of and position within these debates, developing your ability to present your own viewpoint in speech and in writing – a key employability skill.

More information

EL6032 -

Variation, Change and Corpus Linguistics (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module, you will learn how to use recently developed corpora of written or spoken language to investigate patterns of grammatical variation and/or change. You will learn what a corpus is, and the research skills necessary to use it. These skills including how to identify research questions and hypotheses, how to select research methods appropriate to particular hypotheses (including qualitative and quantitative approaches to corpus data), how to select and evaluate appropriate sources of corpus data, how to extract relevant data from the corpus to test a research hypothesis, and how to interpret those data in the light of theories of language variation and change. Through the practical experience of using corpora you will gain on this module, you will learn about the issues involved in conducting this kind of research, so that you will be able to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of particular research techniques, methods or strategies that are applied within corpus studies of language variation and change Not only will this enable you to see how research in this field is conducted, it will provide you with opportunities to develop key transferable skills in the quantitative and qualitative analysis of large datasets, the interpretation of qualitative and quantitative data (particularly quantitative reasoning skills), the use of computerised databases and tools for statistical analysis, and the presentation of research data and analysis both verbally and in writing. Working in small groups will enhance your abilities to collaborate with others, to justify and take decisions, to manage a research project and to work independently.

More information

EL6033 -

Language and Social Disadvantage (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module, you will critically analyse and review the development of language in direct relation to social disadvantage in young children, adolescents and adults. You will examine the theoretical associations and relationships between social disadvantage and language taking into account issues of cognition, literacy, behaviour, learning, socio-emotional development, intervention and its outcomes. You will develop your understanding of how theory applies to practice by critically evaluating various intervention studies designed to improve the spoken language abilities of young children and adolescents in various in nurseries, schools and other contexts.

You will consolidate and further develop your understanding of / critically evaluate relationship between methodology, data and theory which you developed on EL4011 ‘Doing Linguistics’ and EL5016 Psychology of Language.. During the module, you will develop your ability to present your own viewpoint in speech and in writing – a key employability skill.

More information

EL6043 -

Language and Meaning (Optional,20 Credits)

This module provides a detailed overview of the key concepts and issues in semantics (the study of language meaning). Along the way, we will discover a range of tools for analysing language and we will be engaging with current debates in linguistic theory. The module takes a problem-solving, interactive approach to analysing meaning and is designed to develop your ability to discover patterns (and exceptions) in language data.

More information

EL6052 -

Forensic Linguistics (Optional,20 Credits)

Forensic Linguistics is the application of language analysis to forensically relevant texts for the purposes of advancing justice.

Referring to real life cases throughout, this module explores and critically analyses language used in legal contexts. First it focuses on written legal language, including critically reflecting on the kinds of communicative problems these texts might create for ordinary people. Students will conduct analyses of texts such as police cautions, insurance policies, consumer contracts, and jury instructions.

It moves on to examine the spoken language of the legal process, drawing on data from a wide range of sources such as police interviews and the courtroom. Students will consider the problems of vulnerable suspects and witnesses, including children, victims of sexual assault, non-native speakers of English, and individuals with specific communicative impairments. The module will conclude with consideration of the linguist as an expert witness, exploring the types of cases in which forensic linguists have been able to offer assistance.


The module will build upon skills acquired at Levels 4 & 5 in the description of written and spoken interaction, and will provide a detailed introduction to an important area of Applied Linguistics.

More information

EL7005 -

Dissertation (Core,60 Credits)

The module will give you the opportunity to complete an independent research project of your choice on an English language, linguistics or a TESOL topic.
You will be working under the supervision of one member of staff to plan, undertake and write up a small research project. You will learn how to plan, manage and organise a relatively large scale research project. To successfully carry out your research project, you will need to draw on skills and knowledge acquired during your program. Throughout your dissertation project, you will learn how to identify interesting research questions and how to apply different data collection and analysis techniques to answer these questions.

The module will equip you with transferrable skills that are highly valued by employers such as management and organizations skills and analytical skills.

You will be expected to submit 3 formative assessments totalling 4,000 words (a research proposal, a critical bibliography and a research timeline/plan), and a 12,000 word final dissertation. As well as individual tutorials with the supervisor(s), there will be four two-hour research lectures to support you in your work.

More information

EL7037 -

Language: Structure and Use (Core,20 Credits)

During this 20 credit module, you will develop your knowledge and understanding of the structure of language – phonology, morphology syntax and semantics – while consolidating your knowledge of, and ability to analyse, cross-linguistic data. You will become familiar with a number of phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic features of languages that contrast with the structure of English, and be able to explain these in descriptive and theoretical terms. Specifically you will revise and extend your understanding of key concepts in analysing cross-linguistic topics possibly including, but not limited to, autosegmental phonology and vowel harmony, reduplication, argument structure and valency alternation, and lexical semantics.

On successful completion of this module, therefore, you will therefore be able to: demonstrate a systematic approach to linguistic structure and an understanding of how theory underpins knowledge; critically evaluate arguments in the typological classification of languages and describe and analyse in depth a range of cross-linguistic data. You will additionally develop the skills needed to work autonomously in researching variation in linguistic structure across languages

More information

EL7038 -

Research Methods (Core,20 Credits)

This 20-credit module aims to provide students, whether they regard themselves as predominantly practitioners or researchers, with the conceptual and analytical tools necessary to conduct informed and responsible enquiry in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, including language education. You will develop your knowledge and understanding of a range of research methods in these related fields. You will extend your ability to critically evaluate empirical research articles, including the suitability of different research approaches, instruments and methods of analysis to address the research questions/hypotheses developed.

On successful completion, you will be able to: reflect critically on the research methods used in existing Linguistics, Applied Linguistics and language education research; construct an appropriate research design for any given research question and/or hypothesis; select and undertake appropriate methods of data collection and analysis (including introductory descriptive and inferential statistical analysis); and accurately report research outcomes.

You will thus explore and undertake both quantitative and qualitative data collection and data analysis (through SPSS and NVivo), focusing on: developing clear and addressable research questions/hypotheses; research ethics; experimental design; and researching with language/textual data, including with corpora. The module will also investigate the use of specific research instruments such as questionnaires and other survey scales, focus groups and interviews as well as observation, self-report and introspection measures.

On completion, students will be ready to conduct informed research at postgraduate level in the fields of Linguistics and/or Applied Linguistics and, as such, the module will help you prepare for your subsequent Masters’ dissertation.

More information

EL7039 -

Psychology of Language (Core,20 Credits)

This 20-credit module will develop your awareness and understanding of the field of Psycholinguistics. You will critically analyse, by means of lecture input and seminar discussion, the main research themes in the field. You will take a problem-solving, interactive approach to exploring the key principles, arguments, and research methods connected with the relationship between language and the mind. As such, you will pay particular attention to a range of key theories within the field of Psycholinguistics and you will develop your knowledge and understanding of how data from empirical investigation relates to theory by honing your ability to use evidence to defend or refute different lines of argumentation.

More information

EL7040 -

Sociolinguistics (Core,20 Credits)

This 20-credit module will develop your awareness and understanding of the field of Sociolinguistics, the interface between language and society. You will analyse critically, by means of lecture input and seminar discussion, the main research themes in the field. As such, you will pay particular attention to a range of important specialist theories within Sociolinguistics and evaluate historical, contemporary and emerging empirical research investigating the social meaning of linguistic variation.

You will study a number of key topics: social and regional linguistic variation and change in the UK and beyond; language and identity; language attitudes and ideologies; the social and linguistic factors which drive language variation and change; stylistic variation in language use; multilingualism; discourse and pragmatic variation; and quantitative and qualitative approaches to sociolinguistic study. Throughout the module, you will evaluate the many varied socio-psychological and contextual perspectives regarding the role of language and society which you encounter and establish your own view of and position within contemporary debates within the field, developing your ability to present your own viewpoint, both in speech and in writing.

More information

EL7041 -

Negotiated Study (Optional,20 Credits)

This module enables students to negotiate a programme of work with a supervisor to investigate a field of interest that is not catered for by other postgraduate modules. The teaching will comprise six half-hour tutorials with a supervisor, but students are expected to undertake the major portion of the semester's study on their own. Where more than one student is interested in a particular field, some classes may be held in lieu of tutorials. The content, level of achievement required, and total workload will be comparable with those of other postgraduate modules in the programme, although the balance of taught and independent work may be adjusted to allow for lower teaching contact hours.

The MA Programme Leader will be informed throughout the process of syllabus development, this overview ensuring the area or topic in is not covered elsewhere in the core or option modules, and that there is no repetition of content for the student(s).

Like all other MA modules, assessment will be a combination of either theoretical essay, language description and analysis or other appropriate work totalling the equivalent of 4,000 words. Topics and titles will be negotiated by the supervisor and student(s).

More information

EL7047 -

Investigating Language for TESOL (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will provide you with a range of descriptive, critical, and analytical tools that will enable you to examine the English language. You will acquire the skills required for analysing key aspects of language. You will also be equipped with the necessary skills for examining the relationship between language and meaning in a range of contexts. The module highlights phenomena which present difficulties for learners of a second or foreign language and shows how a detailed understanding of language in context, using linguistic data from a range of sources, such as narrative, classroom discourse, figurative language, and corpora, can be used as an effective tool in the teaching and learning of English as another language. You will also engage with current debates in linguistic theory and applied linguistics develop the skills necessary for discovering patterns in language theory and data.

More information

EL7048 -

TESOL Syllabus & Materials Design (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will introduce you to the principles of both TESOL materials and syllabus design, and give you practical experience of developing materials and courses for TESOL students. The experience that you gain through participating in the course and completing the assignments will be of both practical and theoretical use for career development, through further training and potential employment in the TESOL field. You will consider a variety of learning materials and course designs, tying these in with pedagogic and methodological approaches. You will also look at how courses and materials have developed historically, and how linguistic and pedagogic elements are accounted for. Throughout the module, you will be encouraged to develop a working knowledge of the principles behind designing classroom materials and course syllabuses, and a critical stance towards the examples presented to you. You will also develop the skills necessary to design and critically evaluate a set of language learning materials, and a short course for TESOL learners.

More information

EL7050 -

Investigating Second Language Acquisition (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module you will critically analyse and review changes in theoretical perspectives of second language acquisition, and consider empirical research designed to test these theories. You will trace development of second language acquisition theory as well as considering more recent theoretical developments looking at models which include Contrastive Analysis, Interlanguage theories, Universal Grammar, Cognitive models and the roles of input, interaction and output. You will also consider the impact of individual differences on second language learning success, including a focus on cognitive and affective factors. The intention is that you will develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between theory, data, and practice and encourage critical reflection.

More information

EL7051 -

Exploring the TESOL Classroom (Optional,20 Credits)

Drawing upon an Applied Linguistics perspective, this 20-credit module explores the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)/English Language Teaching (ELT), and language teaching and learning more generally, looking specifically at ‘what takes place’ in the second language classroom. It investigates the key questions and dilemmas around classroom practice, focusing on the implications of these debates for ELT practitioners and for how they/we teach.

On this module, therefore, you will engage critically with current key debates in second language pedagogy, linking your own teaching and learning experiences to theory and the research literature. Areas examined include classroom interaction and management, language teaching methods and the emergence of a Postmethod era within ELT, and the attributes and attitudes which learners bring to the language learning classroom. Throughout, students’ own (and differing) social and institutional contexts for English language teaching/learning will be recognised.

You will thus reflect critically upon social and historical trends within applied linguistics and English language teaching, recognising the complexity and diversity of ELT classrooms around the world, establishing your own ‘sense of plausibility’ about pedagogic practice and theory in relation to your own (current or future) professional context.

Your studies during this wide-ranging module may also help you identify aspects of the language learning classroom which you find particularly interesting. This may form a basis for studying them further during your MA dissertation.

More information

EL7052 -

TESOL in the World (Optional,20 Credits)

Drawing upon an Applied Linguistics perspective, this 20-credit module explores key issues and debates in the TESOL field. It investigates key questions and dilemmas around TESOL within educational, technological, economic, linguistic, sociocultural, and historical/political contextual frameworks, focusing on the implications of these debates for ELT stakeholders.

On this module, therefore, you will engage critically with current key debates which would include topics such as (1) World Englishes (2) Innovation and creativity in the TESOL classroom (technology and other options like the flipped classroom, using drama, art, etc.); (3) Culture, Intercultural communication and TESOL; (4) Literacy and TESOL (EAL and ESOL) ; (5) TESOL for Young learners; (6) Bilingualism, multilingualism including the role of L1; and (7) Instructed SLA.

You will thus reflect critically upon social and historical trends within applied linguistics and English language teaching, recognising the complexity and diversity of ELT classrooms around the world, establishing your own ‘sense of plausibility’ about pedagogic practice and theory in relation to your own (current or future) professional context.

Your studies during this wide-ranging module may also help you identify aspects of the language learning classroom which you find particularly interesting. This may form a basis for studying them further during your MA dissertation.

More information

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

EL6026 -

Cognitive Linguistics (Optional,20 Credits)

This module studies cognitive linguistics, which is a sub-discipline of linguistic studies that explores the link between language and mind, and examines linguistic phenomena in the light of our cognitive processes (i.e. the way we think). You will examine the key principles, approaches and concepts in cognitive linguistics. Building upon this, you will be guided to take up further explorations in research areas of particular interest to you.

On completion of the module, you will be have an advanced knowledge of the fundamental aspects of cognitive linguistics, including topics such as embodiment, categorisation, metaphors, conceptual blending, and cognitive approaches to grammar. You will develop an appreciation of the place of cognitive linguistics within its intellectual context; an ability to reflect critically on the key topics; as well as an ability to carry out research tasks to support or refute central claims of cognitive linguistics. In fostering your ability to develop and undertake research tasks, the module contributes to your employability skills.

More information

EL6027 -

Second Language Acquisition (Optional,20 Credits)

You will develop your awareness and understanding of the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) through the study of central themes: age and SLA, individual differences in SLA, and similarities and differences between first and second language acquisition processes. As such, you will also pay particular attention to current issues and debates within the field, most especially in terms of the findings of recent empirical research investigating social and contextual perspectives to the study of SLA.

You will critically analyse, by means of lecture input and classroom discussion, the main influential theories and most important research findings in SLA. You will also focus upon different approaches to conducting empirical research in second language acquisition. Throughout the module, you will evaluate the many varied perspectives regarding second language learning which you encounter, and establish your own view of and position within these debates, developing your ability to present your own viewpoint, both in speech and in writing, key skills for the world of work

More information

EL6028 -

The origins and evolution of language (Optional,20 Credits)

In addition to linguistics, this module brings together ideas from evolutionary biology, palaeontology and its subgroup palaeobiology, anthropology, physiology, neuroscience, genetics, primatology and computer science. Evidence from these and other sources is used to understand when and why language emerged in our ancestors.

The module starts with a very brief overview of the Western philosophical context in which debates over language are embedded. This context is used to examine how different linguists in the twentieth century approached the study of language, and the issue of whether language is a social or a cognitive (an external or an internal) phenomenon. We then look at theories of evolution and hypotheses concerning hominin phylogeny (i.e. Homo sapiens and all the ancestral species since our split from the last common ancestor with any extant species ). Turning to the actual evolution of language, we examine comparative data from other animal communication systems and the cognitive and physiological pre-requisites that are necessary for language. The final part of the module focuses on theories of language evolution, and in particular the debate between nativist and non-nativist accounts of language.

Throughout the module, you will evaluate the many varied perspectives on language evolution which you encounter, and establish your own view of and position within these debates, developing your ability to present your own viewpoint in speech and in writing.

More information

EL6029 -

World Englishes (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will examine the role of English in the world today, as you learn about the development of English as a world language and also as a language which has many global and local varieties.

You will develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the historical, social and political contexts of the global expansion and development of English and Englishes, and will explore types of variation across Englishes (variation across time, places and spaces). You will examine the emergence of new standard Englishes, and further develop your understanding of the debates surrounding standard language ideology. You will also explore the internationalisation and globalisation of English, examining the ways in which English is ‘marketed’ as the language of opportunity, but also acts as a ‘gatekeeper’ in our contemporary globalized world. You will examine the role of world Englishes in language death, and discuss possible future scenarios for new and world Englishes.

Throughout the module, you will evaluate the many varied perspectives about English which you encounter, and establish your own view of and position within these debates, developing your ability to present your own viewpoint in speech and in writing – a key employability skill.

More information

EL6032 -

Variation, Change and Corpus Linguistics (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module, you will learn how to use recently developed corpora of written or spoken language to investigate patterns of grammatical variation and/or change. You will learn what a corpus is, and the research skills necessary to use it. These skills including how to identify research questions and hypotheses, how to select research methods appropriate to particular hypotheses (including qualitative and quantitative approaches to corpus data), how to select and evaluate appropriate sources of corpus data, how to extract relevant data from the corpus to test a research hypothesis, and how to interpret those data in the light of theories of language variation and change. Through the practical experience of using corpora you will gain on this module, you will learn about the issues involved in conducting this kind of research, so that you will be able to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of particular research techniques, methods or strategies that are applied within corpus studies of language variation and change Not only will this enable you to see how research in this field is conducted, it will provide you with opportunities to develop key transferable skills in the quantitative and qualitative analysis of large datasets, the interpretation of qualitative and quantitative data (particularly quantitative reasoning skills), the use of computerised databases and tools for statistical analysis, and the presentation of research data and analysis both verbally and in writing. Working in small groups will enhance your abilities to collaborate with others, to justify and take decisions, to manage a research project and to work independently.

More information

EL6033 -

Language and Social Disadvantage (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module, you will critically analyse and review the development of language in direct relation to social disadvantage in young children, adolescents and adults. You will examine the theoretical associations and relationships between social disadvantage and language taking into account issues of cognition, literacy, behaviour, learning, socio-emotional development, intervention and its outcomes. You will develop your understanding of how theory applies to practice by critically evaluating various intervention studies designed to improve the spoken language abilities of young children and adolescents in various in nurseries, schools and other contexts.

You will consolidate and further develop your understanding of / critically evaluate relationship between methodology, data and theory which you developed on EL4011 ‘Doing Linguistics’ and EL5016 Psychology of Language.. During the module, you will develop your ability to present your own viewpoint in speech and in writing – a key employability skill.

More information

EL6043 -

Language and Meaning (Optional,20 Credits)

This module provides a detailed overview of the key concepts and issues in semantics (the study of language meaning). Along the way, we will discover a range of tools for analysing language and we will be engaging with current debates in linguistic theory. The module takes a problem-solving, interactive approach to analysing meaning and is designed to develop your ability to discover patterns (and exceptions) in language data.

More information

EL6052 -

Forensic Linguistics (Optional,20 Credits)

Forensic Linguistics is the application of language analysis to forensically relevant texts for the purposes of advancing justice.

Referring to real life cases throughout, this module explores and critically analyses language used in legal contexts. First it focuses on written legal language, including critically reflecting on the kinds of communicative problems these texts might create for ordinary people. Students will conduct analyses of texts such as police cautions, insurance policies, consumer contracts, and jury instructions.

It moves on to examine the spoken language of the legal process, drawing on data from a wide range of sources such as police interviews and the courtroom. Students will consider the problems of vulnerable suspects and witnesses, including children, victims of sexual assault, non-native speakers of English, and individuals with specific communicative impairments. The module will conclude with consideration of the linguist as an expert witness, exploring the types of cases in which forensic linguists have been able to offer assistance.


The module will build upon skills acquired at Levels 4 & 5 in the description of written and spoken interaction, and will provide a detailed introduction to an important area of Applied Linguistics.

More information

EL7005 -

Dissertation (Core,60 Credits)

The module will give you the opportunity to complete an independent research project of your choice on an English language, linguistics or a TESOL topic.
You will be working under the supervision of one member of staff to plan, undertake and write up a small research project. You will learn how to plan, manage and organise a relatively large scale research project. To successfully carry out your research project, you will need to draw on skills and knowledge acquired during your program. Throughout your dissertation project, you will learn how to identify interesting research questions and how to apply different data collection and analysis techniques to answer these questions.

The module will equip you with transferrable skills that are highly valued by employers such as management and organizations skills and analytical skills.

You will be expected to submit 3 formative assessments totalling 4,000 words (a research proposal, a critical bibliography and a research timeline/plan), and a 12,000 word final dissertation. As well as individual tutorials with the supervisor(s), there will be four two-hour research lectures to support you in your work.

More information

EL7037 -

Language: Structure and Use (Core,20 Credits)

During this 20 credit module, you will develop your knowledge and understanding of the structure of language – phonology, morphology syntax and semantics – while consolidating your knowledge of, and ability to analyse, cross-linguistic data. You will become familiar with a number of phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic features of languages that contrast with the structure of English, and be able to explain these in descriptive and theoretical terms. Specifically you will revise and extend your understanding of key concepts in analysing cross-linguistic topics possibly including, but not limited to, autosegmental phonology and vowel harmony, reduplication, argument structure and valency alternation, and lexical semantics.

On successful completion of this module, therefore, you will therefore be able to: demonstrate a systematic approach to linguistic structure and an understanding of how theory underpins knowledge; critically evaluate arguments in the typological classification of languages and describe and analyse in depth a range of cross-linguistic data. You will additionally develop the skills needed to work autonomously in researching variation in linguistic structure across languages

More information

EL7038 -

Research Methods (Core,20 Credits)

This 20-credit module aims to provide students, whether they regard themselves as predominantly practitioners or researchers, with the conceptual and analytical tools necessary to conduct informed and responsible enquiry in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, including language education. You will develop your knowledge and understanding of a range of research methods in these related fields. You will extend your ability to critically evaluate empirical research articles, including the suitability of different research approaches, instruments and methods of analysis to address the research questions/hypotheses developed.

On successful completion, you will be able to: reflect critically on the research methods used in existing Linguistics, Applied Linguistics and language education research; construct an appropriate research design for any given research question and/or hypothesis; select and undertake appropriate methods of data collection and analysis (including introductory descriptive and inferential statistical analysis); and accurately report research outcomes.

You will thus explore and undertake both quantitative and qualitative data collection and data analysis (through SPSS and NVivo), focusing on: developing clear and addressable research questions/hypotheses; research ethics; experimental design; and researching with language/textual data, including with corpora. The module will also investigate the use of specific research instruments such as questionnaires and other survey scales, focus groups and interviews as well as observation, self-report and introspection measures.

On completion, students will be ready to conduct informed research at postgraduate level in the fields of Linguistics and/or Applied Linguistics and, as such, the module will help you prepare for your subsequent Masters’ dissertation.

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EL7039 -

Psychology of Language (Core,20 Credits)

This 20-credit module will develop your awareness and understanding of the field of Psycholinguistics. You will critically analyse, by means of lecture input and seminar discussion, the main research themes in the field. You will take a problem-solving, interactive approach to exploring the key principles, arguments, and research methods connected with the relationship between language and the mind. As such, you will pay particular attention to a range of key theories within the field of Psycholinguistics and you will develop your knowledge and understanding of how data from empirical investigation relates to theory by honing your ability to use evidence to defend or refute different lines of argumentation.

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EL7040 -

Sociolinguistics (Core,20 Credits)

This 20-credit module will develop your awareness and understanding of the field of Sociolinguistics, the interface between language and society. You will analyse critically, by means of lecture input and seminar discussion, the main research themes in the field. As such, you will pay particular attention to a range of important specialist theories within Sociolinguistics and evaluate historical, contemporary and emerging empirical research investigating the social meaning of linguistic variation.

You will study a number of key topics: social and regional linguistic variation and change in the UK and beyond; language and identity; language attitudes and ideologies; the social and linguistic factors which drive language variation and change; stylistic variation in language use; multilingualism; discourse and pragmatic variation; and quantitative and qualitative approaches to sociolinguistic study. Throughout the module, you will evaluate the many varied socio-psychological and contextual perspectives regarding the role of language and society which you encounter and establish your own view of and position within contemporary debates within the field, developing your ability to present your own viewpoint, both in speech and in writing.

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EL7041 -

Negotiated Study (Optional,20 Credits)

This module enables students to negotiate a programme of work with a supervisor to investigate a field of interest that is not catered for by other postgraduate modules. The teaching will comprise six half-hour tutorials with a supervisor, but students are expected to undertake the major portion of the semester's study on their own. Where more than one student is interested in a particular field, some classes may be held in lieu of tutorials. The content, level of achievement required, and total workload will be comparable with those of other postgraduate modules in the programme, although the balance of taught and independent work may be adjusted to allow for lower teaching contact hours.

The MA Programme Leader will be informed throughout the process of syllabus development, this overview ensuring the area or topic in is not covered elsewhere in the core or option modules, and that there is no repetition of content for the student(s).

Like all other MA modules, assessment will be a combination of either theoretical essay, language description and analysis or other appropriate work totalling the equivalent of 4,000 words. Topics and titles will be negotiated by the supervisor and student(s).

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EL7047 -

Investigating Language for TESOL (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will provide you with a range of descriptive, critical, and analytical tools that will enable you to examine the English language. You will acquire the skills required for analysing key aspects of language. You will also be equipped with the necessary skills for examining the relationship between language and meaning in a range of contexts. The module highlights phenomena which present difficulties for learners of a second or foreign language and shows how a detailed understanding of language in context, using linguistic data from a range of sources, such as narrative, classroom discourse, figurative language, and corpora, can be used as an effective tool in the teaching and learning of English as another language. You will also engage with current debates in linguistic theory and applied linguistics develop the skills necessary for discovering patterns in language theory and data.

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EL7048 -

TESOL Syllabus & Materials Design (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will introduce you to the principles of both TESOL materials and syllabus design, and give you practical experience of developing materials and courses for TESOL students. The experience that you gain through participating in the course and completing the assignments will be of both practical and theoretical use for career development, through further training and potential employment in the TESOL field. You will consider a variety of learning materials and course designs, tying these in with pedagogic and methodological approaches. You will also look at how courses and materials have developed historically, and how linguistic and pedagogic elements are accounted for. Throughout the module, you will be encouraged to develop a working knowledge of the principles behind designing classroom materials and course syllabuses, and a critical stance towards the examples presented to you. You will also develop the skills necessary to design and critically evaluate a set of language learning materials, and a short course for TESOL learners.

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EL7050 -

Investigating Second Language Acquisition (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module you will critically analyse and review changes in theoretical perspectives of second language acquisition, and consider empirical research designed to test these theories. You will trace development of second language acquisition theory as well as considering more recent theoretical developments looking at models which include Contrastive Analysis, Interlanguage theories, Universal Grammar, Cognitive models and the roles of input, interaction and output. You will also consider the impact of individual differences on second language learning success, including a focus on cognitive and affective factors. The intention is that you will develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between theory, data, and practice and encourage critical reflection.

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EL7051 -

Exploring the TESOL Classroom (Optional,20 Credits)

Drawing upon an Applied Linguistics perspective, this 20-credit module explores the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)/English Language Teaching (ELT), and language teaching and learning more generally, looking specifically at ‘what takes place’ in the second language classroom. It investigates the key questions and dilemmas around classroom practice, focusing on the implications of these debates for ELT practitioners and for how they/we teach.

On this module, therefore, you will engage critically with current key debates in second language pedagogy, linking your own teaching and learning experiences to theory and the research literature. Areas examined include classroom interaction and management, language teaching methods and the emergence of a Postmethod era within ELT, and the attributes and attitudes which learners bring to the language learning classroom. Throughout, students’ own (and differing) social and institutional contexts for English language teaching/learning will be recognised.

You will thus reflect critically upon social and historical trends within applied linguistics and English language teaching, recognising the complexity and diversity of ELT classrooms around the world, establishing your own ‘sense of plausibility’ about pedagogic practice and theory in relation to your own (current or future) professional context.

Your studies during this wide-ranging module may also help you identify aspects of the language learning classroom which you find particularly interesting. This may form a basis for studying them further during your MA dissertation.

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EL7052 -

TESOL in the World (Optional,20 Credits)

Drawing upon an Applied Linguistics perspective, this 20-credit module explores key issues and debates in the TESOL field. It investigates key questions and dilemmas around TESOL within educational, technological, economic, linguistic, sociocultural, and historical/political contextual frameworks, focusing on the implications of these debates for ELT stakeholders.

On this module, therefore, you will engage critically with current key debates which would include topics such as (1) World Englishes (2) Innovation and creativity in the TESOL classroom (technology and other options like the flipped classroom, using drama, art, etc.); (3) Culture, Intercultural communication and TESOL; (4) Literacy and TESOL (EAL and ESOL) ; (5) TESOL for Young learners; (6) Bilingualism, multilingualism including the role of L1; and (7) Instructed SLA.

You will thus reflect critically upon social and historical trends within applied linguistics and English language teaching, recognising the complexity and diversity of ELT classrooms around the world, establishing your own ‘sense of plausibility’ about pedagogic practice and theory in relation to your own (current or future) professional context.

Your studies during this wide-ranging module may also help you identify aspects of the language learning classroom which you find particularly interesting. This may form a basis for studying them further during your MA dissertation.

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All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Courses starting in 2021 are offered as a mix of face to face and online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future.

Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.

 

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