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Linguistics with a specialisation in Semantics MA

The Linguistics MA with specialisation in Semantics is a research-oriented programme in formal semantics. The programme can prepare students for potential PhD research in semantics or overlapping disciplines, such as the syntax-semantics interface, pragmatic theory, psycholinguistics, and philosophy of language.

Key Information

Modes and duration

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

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

UK/EU:
£9,270 (FT) £4,635 (PT)
Overseas:
£17,920 (FT) £9,270 (PT)

Application deadlines

All applicants:
31 July 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 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 will gain knowledge and critical understanding of current research in semantics and of the formal tools it employs, preparing them for independent research. On completion of the programme they will be able to formulate appropriate research questions, evaluate current literature, and develop and test new hypotheses using appropriate formalisms.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three obligatory core modules (45 credits), three non-obligatory core modules (45 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

Core Modules

  • Obligatory
  • Advanced Semantic Theory
  • Advanced Semantic Theory B
  • Semantics Research Seminar
  • Non-obligatory
  • Students select three from a list which includes the following:
  • Current Issues in Syntax
  • Formal Methods in Philosophy
  • Interfaces
  • Semantic Pragmatic Development
  • Topics in Semantics and Pragmatics

Options

  • A further two modules are selected, either from the list of non-obligatory core modules above or from the list of optional modules below:
  • Advanced Phonological Theory A
  • Animal Communication and Human Language
  • Intermediate Generative Grammar A
  • Intermediate Generative Grammar B
  • Issues in Pragmatics
  • Language Acquisition
  • Morphology
  • Neurolinguistics
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Readings in Syntax
  • Syntax Research Seminar
  • The Linguistics of Sign Languages
  • Or any statistical training outside the department.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation in linguistics (advanced level) 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 Semantics MA

Funding

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed 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.

Linguistics Departmental Award

Value:
£500 (1 year)
Eligibility:
UK, EU, Overseas students
Criteria:
Based on academic merit

MRes Speech, Language and Cognition Awards

Value:
£500 (1 year)
Eligibility:
UK, EU, Overseas students
Criteria:
Based on academic merit

Sully Scholarship

Value:
c. £2,200 but may be split between students.(1 year)
Eligibility:
UK, EU, Overseas students
Criteria:
Based on academic merit

More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website

Careers

Although the degree can be an end in itself, this advanced programme is an excellent preparation for independent doctoral research in semantics. 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.

Employability

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

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Division of Psychology & Language Sciences undertakes world-leading research and teaching in mind, behaviour, and language. UCL Linguistics is a leading department for research in the UK in semantics, with strengths at the interfaces with syntax, pragmatics and philosophy of language. Uniquely, our staff includes three experimental linguists with interests in semantics/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 › 145 staff › 661 taught students › 457 research students

Department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

Degree reviews

Staff review

"My research focuses on the underlying mechanisms guiding human language. I am interested in the very basic logic of language: how simple words like 'every', 'any' and 'if' work. Terms like these, I believe, are the basic scaffolding of language, allowing us to communicate an endless set of possible thoughts. Despite their simplicity, however, many aspects of these basic terms are still not well understood. My research seeks to integrate developments in linguistics, psychology and logic to give us a picture of the nature and origins of these building blocks of language. "

Daniel Rothschild

Subject: Linguistics with a specialisation in Semantics MA

Application and next steps

Applications

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 semantics. Although the degree can be an end in itself, it is an excellent preparation for independent doctoral research in semantics or overlapping areas.

Application deadlines

All applicants
2015-07-31

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.

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