The English Linguistics MA provides students with the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to describe modern English, together with training in academic writing, linguistic argumentation and research methods. Students have access to a rich range of corpus resources to expand their understanding of syntax, pragmatics, semantics, and historical linguistics.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2020/21)
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 Students website.
Applications are welcome from candidates who have at least a second-class Bachelor's degree in English Language or Literature from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
Some prior knowledge of English language studies is expected for the programme.
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
The MA introduces students to the core areas of the study of English Linguistics, including morphology, syntax, phonetics, phonology, pragmatics, and corpus linguistics. The programme develops students' critical thinking skills through interactive class discussions based on authentic linguistic data to explore how the English language works, facilitating students' growth as a researcher.
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).
Overall, the dissertation is worth 1/3 of your final mark, the two written desk exams are worth another 1/3, and the course essay and research methods assignments make up the final 1/3 of the grade.
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MA in English Linguistics.
- 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
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
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 linguistics), two three-hour written papers and the dissertation.
Additional costs may include expenses such as books, stationery, printing or photocopying, and conference registration fees.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
The programme provides an ideal foundation for those wishing to continue to 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). Graduates may also become teachers or lecturers of English, or pursue a career in writing, publishing, or editing.
This degree develops your awareness of how the language choices we make have an impact in our professional and personal lives, and thus improves your communication skills. It also teaches you to carry out research projects, critically analyse data, and consult primary and secondary materials, and therefore become adept at consolidating and presenting information from a variety of sources. The theoretical and practical knowledge acquired about the English language also greatly helps teachers and educators by giving them a more solid foundation in the subject matter. These are all relevant transferable skills for a wide variety of career destinations.
Why 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.
Our degree helps you develop your understanding of the English language from theoretical and practical perspectives through a combination of seminars, group activities, one-to-one tutorials, and special events such as trips to the Oxford English Dictionary and the British Library.
Excellent library facilities are provided by the UCL Library, Senate House Library, and the British Library.
Department: English Language & Literature
What our students and staff say
"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 AartsEnglish Linguistics MA
Professor of English Linguistics
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.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
The programme is of interest to those who wish to continue to a research degree in English language or linguistics, those who wish to become teachers or lecturers of English, or those intending to pursue a career in writing, publishing, editing, or communication.
- All applicants
- 24 July 2020
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 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.
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