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English Linguistics MA

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.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 11 August 2020
Notification
Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Applications for 2021/22 entry will open later in the year.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£10,550 (FT)
£5,255 (PT)
Overseas:
£21,860 (FT)
£11,170 (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 Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

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.

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:

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.

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.

Compulsory modules

  • English Grammar and Methodology
  • Either English Corpus Linguistics or English Language in Use
  • Research Methodology

Optional modules

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
Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study.  We have included these updates below:   English Language in Use (ENGL0079) is now a compulsory module for full-time studies (Terms 1 and 2). For part-time studies, you should take at least two of these modules in your first year (all MUST be taken by the end of your programme): English Language in Use (ENGL0079), Modern English Grammar (ENGL0075) and Topics in Modern English Linguistics (ENGL0076) either in your first or second year. English Corpus Linguistics (ENGL0078) is no longer available. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.  

Dissertation/report

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. 

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

Additional costs

Additional costs may include expenses such as books, stationery, printing or photocopying, and conference registration fees.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

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.

Employability

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

Staff view

"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 Aarts

English Linguistics MA
Professor of English Linguistics

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.

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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
11 August 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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 13 August 2020