English Linguistics MA

Options: PG Diploma

The English Linguistics MA provides students with the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to describe Modern English, together with appropriate training in academic writing, linguistic argumentation and research methods. Students have access to the Survey of English Usage, an unparalleled resource for research into grammatical repertoire.

Mode of study

  • Full-time 1 year
  • Part-time 2 years

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £8,500
  • UK/EU Part-time: £4,250
  • Overseas Full-time: £16,750
  • Overseas Part-time: £8,500

Application date

  • All applicants: 1 August 2014
  • Scholarship applicants: 1 February 2014

More details in Application section.

What will I learn?

The MA introduces students to the core areas of the study of English Linguistics, including morphology, syntax, phonetics, phonology and intonation. The programme trains students to use library OPACS, specialised websites, discussion lists, and databases (among them the ICE-GB corpus, based at the Survey of English Usage in the English Department).

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

The department has exceptional resources for the study of English Linguistics. Use of the Survey of English Usage has resulted in many important studies of the grammar, semantics and vocabulary of present-day English.

Excellent library facilities are provided by the UCL Library, Senate House Library and the British Library.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of three core components (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months) is offered.

Core Modules

  • English Grammar and Methodology
  • Either English Corpus Linguistics or English Language in Use
  • Research Methodology


  • Students take two optional modules. Different options are offered each year and have included:
  • English Words
  • History of the English Language
  • Literary Linguistics
  • Phonetics and Phonology of English


All MA Students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words. Students have access to the Survey of English Usage for this project.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is taught through seminars and individual tutorials. Student Assessment is through a portfolio of essays (two 2,000-word essays on English grammar), three three-hour written papers and the dissertation. Each of the five components of assessment makes up 20% of the final mark.

Further details available on subject website:

Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in English language or literature, or in linguistics from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard will normally be required.

Some prior knowledge of English language studies (specifically English grammar) are is expected for the programme.

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: Good

How to apply

The deadline for applications is 1 August 2014, or 1 February 2014 for candidates who are also seeking funding through the Arts & Humanities Research Council and those seeking UCL funding.

Who can apply?

The programme will be of interest to British and overseas lecturers and teachers of English as a first language or as an additional language, those intending to become educational administrators or to train English teachers and those intending to use the MA as a platform for further doctoral research.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study English Linguistics at graduate level
  • why you want to study English Linguistics at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and/or professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


The programme provides an ideal foundation for those wishing to continue for a research degree in English Language or Linguistics; students who obtain good results in their MA examinations may be considered for the MPhil/PhD programme at UCL (subject to places being available). It is also of interest to those who wish to become teachers or lecturers of English, or those intending to pursue a career in writing, publishing, or editing.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • King Saud University, University Teaching Assistant, 2011
  • Synovate, Research Executive, 2011
  • UCL Language Centre, Course Administrator, 2009
  • CIC Language School, Teacher, 2009
  • ZHI Company, Translator, 2010

Next steps


Mr James Phillips

T: +44 (0)20 7679 7122


English Language & Literature

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Staff View

"London offers unparalleled resources for all researchers and UCL is fortunate in being just round the corner from the British Library, British Museum and the Wellcome Trust."

Professor Bas Aarts

Professor of English Linguistics

Staff View

"At the moment I am trying to gather together everything that I have ever known for the 18th century volume of the Oxford English Literary History."

Professor John Mullan

Head of Department