Linguistics with a specialisation in Pragmatics MA

The Linguistics with specialisation in Pragmatics MA is a research-oriented programme designed for students looking for a concentrated course in pragmatics, with particular, but by no means exclusive, focus on the relevance-theoretic approach (developed by Dan Sperber, Deirdre Wilson and Robyn Carston).

Key Information

Modes and duration

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

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£9,550 (FT) £4,770 (PT)
£18,460 (FT) £9,550 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 5 October 2015
Close: 29 July 2016

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 Requirements

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.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

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 pragmatics 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 two obligatory core modules (30 credits), four pathway modules (60 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a dissertation/report (60 credits).

Core Modules

  • Obligatory
  • Pragmatics Research Seminar
  • Dissertation in Linguistics - Advanced Level
  • Pathway modules (students select two from the list below)
  • Pragmatic Theory
  • Issues in Pragmatics
  • Semantic-Pragmatic Development
  • In conjunction with the Programme Co-ordinator, students select two from a list which includes:
  • Topics in Semantics and Pragmatics
  • Advanced Semantic Theory
  • Interfaces
  • Semantics Research Seminar


  • A further three modules are selected from the list of optional modules below:
  • Syntax 1
  • Sociolinguistics
  • The Linguistics of Sign Languages
  • Phonetic Theory
  • Animal Communication and Human Language
  • Language Acquisition
  • Neurolinguistics
  • Morphology
  • Pragmatic Theory
  • Issues in Pragmatics
  • Readings in Syntax
  • Syntax
  • Advanced Phonological Theory
  • Intermediate Phonetics and Phonology
  • Advanced Semantic Theory
  • Intermediate Generative Grammar
  • Current Issues in Syntax
  • Stuttering
  • Or any statistical training taken outside the department


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

Teaching and Learning

The teaching and assessment of this programme is strongly research-oriented. It is delivered through a combination of lectures, small-group teaching and a virtual learning environment. Some modules also involve workshops or practical classes. Assessment is through take-home and unseen examination, essays, presentations, assignments and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Linguistics with a specialisation in Pragmatics MA


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Although the degree can be an end in itself, this advanced programme is an excellent preparation for independent doctoral research in pragmatics. Graduates from our specialised Master's programmes in Linguistics have a very strong track record of securing funded doctoral studentships at institutions and have in recent years gone on to research at MIT, Cambridge, UCL, University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.


This Linguistics MA equips graduates with the necessary skills to carry out research in the specialised subject of pragmatics.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Division of Psychology & Language Sciences undertakes world-leading research and teaching in mind, behaviour, and language. More specifically, UCL Linguistics is the leading department for research in communication and pragmatics in the UK and its staff includes world leaders in theoretical pragmatics and in experimental pragmatics.

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, cognition, and communication.

Student / staff ratios › 304 staff including 129 postdocs › 741 taught students › 439 research students

Department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

Degree reviews

Alumni review

"During my year at UCL I acquired an extensive knowledge of pragmatics, becoming a better writer, presenter and researcher. This gave me the confidence necessary to continue my journey in pragmatics. Having a UCL degree is a pledge of quality and it has opened many doors in my continuing academic career."

Maxine Corbeil

Linguistics with specialisation in Pragmatics MA (2014)

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 designed for students with a background in linguistics, cognitive science or philosophy of language, who wish to pursue an interest in pragmatics. Although the degree can be an end in itself, it is an excellent preparation for independent doctoral research in pragmatics.

Application deadlines

All applicants
29 July 2016

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 with a specialisation in Pragmatics at graduate level
  • why you want to study Linguistics with a specialisation in Pragmatics at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this rigorous programme
  • 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.


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

Life and learning

At UCL we're proud of our pioneering history, our distinguished present and our exciting future. UCL is a great place to be a student.

  • World-leading reputation
  • Extensive connections that benefit your study and career
  • The best and brightest staff and students from over 150 countries
Find out more