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Home>Study at York>Postgraduate taught>Courses 2019/20>Comparative Syntax and Semantics (MA)

MA Comparative Syntax and Semantics

Explore structure and meaning in language and communication

Year of entry: 2019

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

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Develop your own areas of interest and expertise in generative syntax and/or formal semantics and their interfaces (with phonology or pragmatics). Gain practical training in the techniques and methods associated with this field. The course takes a cross-linguistic perspective, allowing you to expand your knowledge of the theory of comparative syntax and semantics and giving you access to a large pool of empirical knowledge on the languages of the world.

With the guidance of world-class tutors and the support of a vibrant research community you will be able to perform original research in formal and comparative syntax and semantics.
 
This course is suitable for you if you have a prior background in syntax and semantics.

 

 

World top 100

We are in the world top 100 for linguistics (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019).

Course content

You'll study taught modules worth 100 credits, and complete your dissertation which is worth 80 credits.

You'll be able to discuss cutting edge research in core issues in syntactic and semantic theory as well as the interplay of syntax and semantics on the one hand and the lexicon, phonology and pragmatics on the other. You'll deal with complex sets of data and will develop a theoretically informed understanding of the challenges and issues that they raise.

You'll also advance your skills in presentation, teamwork and research management.

Modules

You'll study 40 credits in Autumn Term, and 40 credits in Spring Term. You'll also take a 20-credit research module taught by various members of staff which brings you the benefit of our combined expertise in a range of linguistics research skills. You'll cover research design and writing skills in linguistics, develop and present research plans, and you’ll learn how to communicate your research to others.

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Dissertation

In Summer Term and over the vacation you'll prepare and complete your dissertation of between 12,500 and 15,000 words (80 credits), supervised by a member of staff. You'll submit your dissertation in September.

Topics have ranged from:

  • Mass Plurality in Latin
  • Approaches to Extraposition in English, Spanish and Icelandic
  • The Degree Modification of Multidimensional Predicates
  • Case, Telicity and Plurality in Finnish
  • Clause-initial Negation in Iquito

More MA dissertation topics

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2019/20

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year) £7,810£17,370
Part-time (2 years)
Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
£3,905
year 1 fee
£8,685
year 1 fee

Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Home/EU students

International students

Find out more about funding specific to Language and Linguistic Science.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

You'll be taught with a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshops and practical training. You'll have approximately three contact hours a week for each module. For some modules you’ll complete collaborative group work outside your classes. You’ll be set essential reading, and will complete weekly assigned exercises.

A Research Training module runs throughout the Autumn, Spring, and Summer Term to support your development in academic skills as a linguist.

All modules, including the Research Training module, offer developmental assessments that do not contribute to your final mark. These provide a chance to practice your skills and gain useful feedback on your progress and understanding, before you take the final assessments. A member of the teaching staff will act as your supervisor throughout the degree, to help guide your studies and monitor progress.

Facilities

All of our modules have Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) websites where all crucial materials—reading lists, handouts, discussion boards—are accessible.

Our e-Lab gives you access to a variety of resources, including specialist linguistics software, corpora of different varieties, and online language-learning materials. 

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science on Campus West. Most of your contact hours will be in or close to Vanbrugh College, with some additional teaching in other locations on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You'll submit written assignments, usually a 5,000 word essay or equivalent for each module. You will complete a dissertation of up to 15,000 words.

For the Research Training module you'll take one examination, and write a methodological critique of a linguistics research paper. 

Humanities Research Centre

Careers and skills

Effective communication, critical thinking and project management skills are central to most careers. The study of linguistics at York equips you with these skills and others, which translate readily into any work context.

Our graduates have an excellent record of pursuing fulfilling paths after graduation. Their work spans advertising, teaching English as a foreign language, IT, accountancy, broadcasting, clinical and forensic linguistics, retail management, and other careers.

Apart from your knowledge of linguistics, you will leave with the confidence and skills that come from successfully completing a demanding course and participating fully in university life.

Career opportunities

  • Marketing and communications
  • Publishing
  • Broadcasting and journalism
  • Academic research and further study
  • Local government and public service
  • Finance and accountancy
  • Teaching
  • Clinical and forensic linguistics
  • Law
  • Software development

Transferable skills

  • The capacity to analyse data and evaluate competing interpretations of evidence
  • Development of a hypothesis from the predictions of a theory or model
  • The ability to design a research project and present data
  • Reflective independent learning and time management
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Problem solving
  • Intercultural awareness

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
Degree

You should have, or be about to complete, a 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification, 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 syntax and semantics before embarking on this course.

If you are unsure about your eligibility, or want an informal chat about whether this course would be suitable for you, please contact us.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

  • IELTS: 7.0, with a minimum of 7.0 in Writing and Speaking and no less than 5.5 in all other components
  • PTE Academic: 67, with a minimum of 67 in Writing and Speaking and no less than 51 in all other components
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 185, with a minimum of 185 in Writing and Speaking and no less than 162 in all other components
  • CAE (before January 2015): 75, with 'Very Good' in Writing
  • CPE (before January 2015): B
  • TOEFL: 96, with a minimum of 24 in Writing and Speaking, 17 in Listening and 18 in Reading
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Distinction in all components

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

Applying

You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

Apply for this course

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

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Department of Language and Linguistic Science

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If you have considerable prior background we offer a specialist MA programme:

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