MA in Comparative Syntax and Semantics

The MA in Comparative Syntax and Semantics will allow students to develop their own areas of interest and expertise in generative syntax and/or formal semantics.




The MA in Comparative Syntax & Semantics is aimed at students who have enough background in both syntax and semantics to know that they wish to specialise in those areas.

The programme focuses on the cross-linguistic perspective, allowing students to strengthen their knowledge of formal syntax and formal semantics.

Course structure

Course structure

Autumn Term

In the Autumn Term students will take 40 credits in Syntax and Semantics modules, typically:

  • Issues at the syntax and semantics interface (20 credits)
  • Comparative syntax and syntactic typology (20 credits)

Spring Term

In the Spring Term students will take two 20-credit modules in Syntax and Semantics, typically:

  • Advanced comparative syntactic or semantic typology (20 credits)
  • Advanced topics at the interfaces of syntax (20 credits)

Summer Term and Summer vacation

  • Dissertation (80 credits)

All terms

  • Research training seminar (20 credits)



Autumn and Spring Terms

Each module will be assessed by written assignments, usually a 5,000 word essay or equivalent.


The course culminates in a sustained period of independent research and the production of a dissertation of up to 15,000 words. You can see more detail on the programme and the department in the current postgraduate handbook.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

You should normally hold or expect to receive at least a good 2:1 or equivalent in your first degree with pre-requisite study of both (generative) syntax and (formal) semantics. We would expect you to have taken at last 40 credits (20 ECTS) in the areas of Syntax and Semantics before embarking on this programme.  If you are uncertain whether your background is suitable, please contact us at before applying.

If your first language is not English and your first degree was not taken in an English speaking country, you will need to show evidence that you meet our English Language requirements.  We accept an IELTS score of 7, including 7 in both the written and oral assessment components.  Full details of other accepted qualifications are given here.


Applying for the MA in Comparative Syntax and Semantics

You can apply for this course using our online application system. If you've not already done so, please read the application guidance first so that you understand the various steps in the application process.