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 (2018/19)
- £10,140 (FT) £5,120 (PT)
- £21,160 (FT) £10,740 (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.
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 (specifically English grammar) 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 and grow 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).
Core modules are taken by all students. Together, they make up 50% of your final grade.
- 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
All MA Students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words. Students have access to the full range of corpora available at the Survey of English Usage for their research.
Teaching and learning
The programme is taught through seminars and individual tutorials. Student assessment is through a portfolio of work (two 2,000-word essays on English linguistics and two short research methodology pieces), two three-hour written exam papers, a coursework essay (4000-6000 words) 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.
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 communications and public relations, publishing, or editing.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Secondary School Teacher (English Language), Unspecified Middle School, China
- TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and SAT Teacher, Unspecified Teaching Company
- English Teacher, Institute of English
- Editor, Self-Employed Editor
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 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
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.
Excellent library facilities are provided by the UCL Library, Senate House Library and the British Library.
Department: English Language & Literature
Student / staff numbers
› 33 staff
including 2 postdocs
› 67 taught students
› 49 research students
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.
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: English Language & Literature
85% 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.
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.
Application fee: There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. More details about the application fee 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, or editing.
- All applicants
- 27 July 2018
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.