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MA Linguistics

Gain a thorough foundation and background in modern linguistics

Year of entry: 2019

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

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Understand and investigate the building blocks of language through linguistics.

Our MA in Linguistics starts by providing a detailed foundation in how language works in terms of speech sounds, grammar, meaning and social aspects. You'll then deepen your knowledge and skills in linguistic specialisms that you choose, by engaging with the theories and techniques of current linguistic research. You'll be able to apply your skills and knowledge to linguistic data, and have practical training in techniques used in linguistic analysis.

With world-class tutors you'll gain knowledge, and you'll be introduced to key research questions and methodologies. You'll also be able to perform original research in linguistics.

This programme is ideal for those with an interest in language who have not previously studied linguistics in depth.

World-leading research

We have the second highest proportion of 'world-leading' research among UK Language and Linguistics departments (REF 2014).

World-class faculty

The Department is part of our Faculty of Arts and Humanities, ranked 42nd in the 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Studying phonetics allows me to appreciate the fine details of human speech: the rhythms, intonations, sudden stops and breathy starts. It trains your ear to identify sounds you’ve always heard, yet never really heard before. It equips you with the skills to transcribe these sounds and share them with others. Believe me: after taking phonetics, you'll never view conversation in the same way again.
Daniel, MA Linguistics

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Course content

In Autumn Term you'll study four modules in core areas of linguistics. In Spring Term you'll choose two modules from a range of options, and begin a further core module, Key Ideas in Linguistics which you'll complete in Summer Term. You'll write a research dissertation to complete the programme.

The modules that you'll study in Autumn Term assume no prior knowledge and provide introductions to the core areas. You'll study modules in Spring Term which will prepare you in the research area for your dissertation. 

You'll study eight taught modules worth 120 credits, and complete your dissertation which is worth 60 credits.

Modules

Core modules

You'll take six core modules, covering topics from a broad introduction to sociolinguistics, to the meaning in natural language; from the scientific methodology in syntax, to practice at using articulatory and acoustic phonetic terminology. You'll gain an overview of some key ideas in linguistic research from the 20th century and beyond, and explore a wide range of literature in linguistics. You'll also cover research design and writing skills in linguistics, with subject-specific workshops. The typical modules are:

Option modules

You'll choose two 20-credit modules in Spring Term. Your options may include:

If you have covered substantial parts of the taught MA programme in your undergraduate degree, please talk to us about whether one of our specialist degree programmes may be more appropriate.

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 8,000 and 10,000 words (60 credits), supervised by a member of staff. You'll submit your dissertation in September.

Topics have ranged from:

  • Production and Perception of Smiling Voice
  • Phonological Memory and Language Development in Late Talkers
  • The Acquisition of Geminates in Japanese
  • Preservation of Syntax in Alzheimer's
  • Clicks in Chilean Spanish Conversation.

More recent 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 accommodation costs and estimated social costs.

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. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

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 teaching periods, 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.

We have our own departmental e-Lab for the teaching and study time of our students. Here you will have 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

A range of assessments formats are used. You’ll submit exercises or short essays, or take examinations, for your Autumn Term modules. You'll produce 5,000 word essays for your Spring Term option modules. You'll submit four short assignments over the course of the Key Ideas in Linguistics module. 

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

The support from the staff, especially those lecturers who I have had contact with, has been excellent. I have always been welcomed into their offices to talk about both academic and personal aspects. During the masters degree, I constantly asked myself a question: and now? what's next? Staff in the department have given me excellent advice and encouraged me to trust myself.
Eloi, MA Linguistics

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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, often going directly into employment. 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.

Find out more about how we can help make you more employable 

Career opportunities

  • Marketing and communications
  • Publishing
  • Broadcasting and journalism
  • Academic research and higher/further education
  • 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
  • You'll be able to develop 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.

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. Visit general guidance on international entry requirements or email international@york.ac.uk for further details for this course.

  • IELTS: 7.0, with a minimum of 7.0 in Writing and Speaking and no less than 5.5 in all other components
  • PTE: 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

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

Geoff Krause Postgraduate Administrator

Learn more

Department of Language and Linguistic Science

Related courses

If you are new to the field or have only minimal prior background:

If you have considerable prior background we offer two specialist MA programmes:

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