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Home>Study at York>Postgraduate taught>Courses 2019/20>Sociolinguistics (MA)

MA Sociolinguistics

Investigate the relationship between language and society

Year of entry: 2019

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

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Explore the social aspects of language and communication. Consider the roles of society, social class and gender in the context of a speech community. Investigate social motivations for language change.

Our course will provide you with a detailed foundation in the key theories and questions in sociolinguistics, while giving you practical training in the techniques, methodologies, and quantitative analysis methods associated with this field.

You’ll analyse the ways in which social factors affect language, and investigate the social, geographical and stylistic differences in spoken language. You'll have the opportunity to develop your interest in areas such as including language change, language and gender, attitudes to language, language planning, bilingualism and sociophonetics. You will be able to study contemporary and historical data.

With world-class tutors you'll gain up-to-date knowledge of the field, and be introduced to research questions and methodologies. You'll also have the opportunity to conduct original research in sociolinguistics, and apply your skills and knowledge to linguistic data.

 

World-class faculty

The Department is part of our Faculty of Arts and Humanities, ranked 34th in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

World top 100

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

Course content

You'll gain an intensive foundation in core areas through the Autumn Term modules Language Variation and Change, Syntax, and Phonetics and Phonology. In the Spring Term, you will deepen and refine your knowledge through the advanced modules Sociophonetics and Topics in Language Variation and Change. At the same time, you will develop statistical analysis skills through the Quantitative Methods module. A Research Training module runs over all three terms, offering training in linguistic writing and presentation skills, research design, software for data collection, and other practical skills. You will apply your skills and knowledge to your own research project: a dissertation of between 12,500 and 15,000 words, which concludes the course.

Modules

Term 1

Term 2

Terms 2–3

Terms 1–3

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:

  • A sociolinguistic study of the phoneme /t/ in the accent of Poles living in Nottingham
  • Attitudes, Exposure, and the English Pronunciation of Dutch Learners
  • The Only Way is Essex: a case study exploring what 'constructed reality' television programmes are doing for attitudes towards and awareness of different varieties of English in the United Kingdom
  • Language Choice and Language Use in Computer Mediated Communication: Code Switching and Script Switching in Libyan Arabic

Recent MA dissertation topics.

I liked that the programme offered the opportunity to build a foundation in core areas of linguistics, such as phonetics and syntax, as well as intensive research training, so that I could embark within months on my own research project.
Theresa, MA Sociolinguistics

Read more on what our students say about us.

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 teaching periods, to support your development in academic skills as a linguist.

All modules, including the Research Training module, offer formative assessments that do not contribute to your final mark. These provide a chance to practise 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 essays, or take examinations, for your Autumn Term modules. You'll produce 5,000 word essays for your Spring Term modules, or complete a series of written assignments. 

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 of up to 15,000 words.

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.

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
  • 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.

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

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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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