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.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2017/18)
- £9,840 (FT) £4,915 (PT)
- £19,010 (FT) £9,560 (PT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.
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.
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:
About this degree
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).
- 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
- Semantics Research Seminar
A further three modules are selected from the list of optional modules below:
- Syntax 1
- The Linguistics of Sign Languages
- Phonetic Theory
- Animal Communication and Human Language
- Language Acquisition
- Pragmatic Theory
- Issues in Pragmatics
- Readings in Syntax
- Advanced Phonological Theory
- Intermediate Phonetics and Phonology
- Advanced Semantic Theory
- Intermediate Generative Grammar
- Current Issues in Syntax
- Or any statistical training taken outside the department
Further details are available at www.ucl.ac.uk/pals/current-students/masters/linguistics-options-pgt.
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.
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.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The UCL 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.
Our world-class research is characterised by a tight integration of theoretical and experimental work spanning the full width of the linguistic enterprise and forms the bedrock of the department’s eminent reputation which is also reflected in other markers of excellence such as its editorial involvement with top journals in the field.
Department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences
Student / staff numbers
› 185 staff
including 129 postdocs
› 635 taught students
› 477 research students
Staff/student numbers information correct as of [DATE]
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences
83% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
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.
- All applicants
- 28 July 2017
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.
This programme is aimed at applicants whose undergraduate studies included a significant number of modules in theoretical linguistics, cognitive science and/or philosophy of language and you should refer to these in your personal statement.