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 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.
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 34th in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
We are in the world top 100 for linguistics (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019).
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.
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
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:
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.
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.
|Full-time (1 year)||£8,040||£18,240|
|Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
Students on a 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/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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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|
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|
|PTE Academic||67, minimum 61 in each component|
|C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency||185, minimum 176 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 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.
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.
Get in touch if you have any questions
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