Taught degree

Linguistics MA

The Linguistics MA aims to give students a thorough grounding in modern theoretical linguistics. Students gain a basic understanding of the three core areas of linguistics: phonetics and phonology; syntax; and semantics and pragmatics, and are then able to tailor the programme to meet their personal linguistic interests.

Key Information

Modes and duration

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

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

£9,270 (FT) £4,635 (PT)
£17,920 (FT) £9,270 (PT)

Application deadlines

All applicants:
1 August 2015

Entry Requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is required.

English language requirement: Good

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

International equivalencies

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree Information

Students gain knowledge and understanding of current research in theoretical linguistics and are prepared for independent research. On completion of the programme, they will be able to formulate appropriate research questions, find and evaluate relevant literature, develop and test new hypotheses, and produce cogent, structured and professionally presented reports.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five core modules (105 credits) one optional module (15 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core Modules

  • Phonetics and Phonology
  • Foundations of Linguistics
  • Semantics and Pragmatics
  • Syntax


  • Sociolinguistics
  • Pragmatics and Cognition
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Language Acquisition
  • Issues in Pragmatics
  • Intermediate Generative Grammar
  • Current Issues in Syntax
  • Current Issues in Phonology
  • Advanced Phonological Theory
  • Students choose one option module from a selection that includes the following:
  • Morphology
  • Neurolinguistics
  • Stuttering
  • Semantic-Pragmatic Development
  • Readings in Syntax


All MA students undertake an independent research project in any area of linguistics which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, small-group teaching (tutorials or backup classes) and a virtual learning environment. Some courses also involve workshops or practical classes. Assessment is through take home and unseen examination, essays, presentations, assignments and the dissertation.


Linguistics Departmental Award: Two awards of £500 are available for MA students in the Linguistics Research Department.

All successful applicants will be considered at the beginning of June for entry in September of the same year.

More scholarships are listed on the scholarships website


Many linguistics graduates from UCL carry on studying linguistics at MPhil/PhD level with a view to pursuing an academic career. Others go on to teach languages, especially English (as a first or foreign language) or embark on a range of other careers, from law, media, computing and speech and language therapy to all aspects of commerce and industry.

First destinations of recent graduates include:

  • High School: English Teacher
  • Essex Police: Criminal Intelligence Analyst
  • Navix Europe: Translator
  • University of Cambridge: PhD Linguistics
  • University of Copenhagen: PhD in Linguistics
  • Apple: Inventory control specialist
  • University Lecturer
  • Editorial Assistant
  • Research Associate

Top career destinations for this degree

  • University of Kuwait, Lecturer in English, 2012,
  • UCL, PhD Linguistics, 2012,
  • Expert Witness Institute, Head of Events, PR and Marketing, 2011,
  • London Learning Centre, English Language Teacher, 2010,
  • The Polytechnic University of Hong Kong, Research Associate, 2010,


Linguistics MA students acquire a wide range of transferable skills, which opens up opportunities in many different sectors include language teaching, translating and interpreting, marketing, communication, journalism, management, and law.

Graduates who achieve good results are well-placed to go on to a research degree in Linguistics at top universities, often with a view to pursuing an academic career.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Division of Psychology & Language Sciences undertakes world-leading research and teaching in mind, behaviour, and language.

Our work attracts staff and students from around the world. Together they create an outstanding and vibrant environment, taking advantage of cutting-edge resources such as a behavioural neuroscience laboratory, a centre for brain imaging, and extensive laboratories for research in speech and language, perception, and cognition.

Opportunities for graduate students to work with world-renowned researchers exist in all areas of investigation, from basic processes to applied research. The division offers a supportive environment including numerous specialist seminars, workshops, and guest lectures.

Student / staff ratios › 145 staff › 661 taught students › 457 research students

Department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

Degree reviews

Student review

"UCL provides students with more advanced and up-to-date knowledge and information of the research fields. The online learning environment is a great success. The group projects is another aspect that makes learning at UCL more enjoyable and worthwhile."

Bingying Cao

Subject: Linguistics MA
Student review

"UCL has an excellent academic reputation, and if you aim to devote your life to the language research, there is really no better place to start this journey than here.The support I received from my supervisor was amazing. It really made me feel like I'm part of the future research community. In addition, I was very impressed with some methods of teaching, for example, the "flipped classroom" approach, where the students watch a lecture prepared by the teacher in advance and come to the session with their own questions prepared. The ability to view the lectures online is an excellent facility, it is an irreplaceable revision tool."

Alina Konradt

Subject: Linguistics MA

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The programme is particularly suitable for students whose undergraduate degree included a minority of linguistic course units, or who have studied linguistics of a more traditional type elsewhere. It is also suitable for good graduates who have encountered linguistics only indirectly, for instance through psychology, philosophy, or foreign language teaching.

Application deadlines

All applicants

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:
  • why you want to study Linguistics at graduate level
  • why you want to study Linguistics at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this rigorous programme
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.


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

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