Understand and investigate the building blocks of language through linguistics.
Our course provides 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.
The Department of Language and Linguistics has the second highest proportion of world-leading linguistics research in the UK (Research Excellence Framework 2014).
The Department is part of our Faculty of Arts and Humanities, ranked 45th in the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
We are in the world top 100 for linguistics (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021)
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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In Autumn Term you'll study modules in key areas of linguistics. In Spring Term you'll choose two modules from a range of options. You’ll take a research training module over Autumn, Spring, and Summer terms, and you'll write a research dissertation to complete the course.
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 take five 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:
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.
Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.
In Summer Term and over the vacation you'll prepare and complete your dissertation of between 12,500 and 15,000 words, supervised by a member of staff. You'll submit your dissertation in September.
Topics have ranged from:
Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.
|Study mode||UK (home)||International and EU|
|Full-time (1 year)||£8,440||£18,700|
|Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
Students on a Student Visa (formerly Tier 4 Visa) are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.
For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase (no more than 2% each year).
UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status
Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.
Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.
We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2021/22 throughout the year.
If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.
Find out more about funding specific to Language and Linguistic Science.
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.
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.
We've made some changes to the way our courses are delivered to minimise potential disruption from the ongoing global pandemic.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Read more on what our students say about us.
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.
|Undergraduate degree||2:1 or equivalent|
|Other international qualifications||Equivalent qualifications from your country|
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, minimum 6.5 in each component|
|C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency||185, minimum 176 in each component|
|Duolingo||120, minimum 110 in all other components|
|PTE Academic||67, minimum 61 in each component|
|TOEFL||96, minimum 23 in each component|
|Trinity ISE III||Distinction in all component|
For more information see our postgraduate 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 English language test 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.
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