Q1S1(full-time); Q1S2(part-time) MA One year full-time, two years part-time
This programme is designed to offer you advanced training in the core subject areas of linguistics (Formal Linguistics and Sociolinguistics). You will be taught by the department's internationally recognised staff, and be part of the vibrant research culture of the department.
This degree also offers you the opportunity to gain practical experience in both conducting and applying linguistics research. In addition to your dissertations, you will have the option to work as a Research Assistant on one of the department's ongoing research projects and/or to pursue an industry partnership with one of our private or public sector partners.
Upon acceptance, you will work with an academic advisor to tailor a programme of study that corresponds to your experience and research interests. We strongly encourage cross-disciplinary interaction and welcome students with diverse interests. You can aim for a cross-disciplinary programme or choose to specialise in formal linguistics or in sociolinguistics.
Why study with us?
We are one of the very best linguistics departments in the country - in fact, in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008), we were ranked number one in the UK.
What I really liked about the MA Linguistics at QMUL was that it offered a great deal more module options than other Masters programmes I had seen at other universities.
- Our academics publish influential papers and books, participate in conferences, work in the media and inform government policy - they are also friendly and approachable.
- Our location in the heart of the East End, offers an incredibly rich and diverse cultural environment for linguistics research. Over 110 languages are spoken in the local borough.
- We organise a range of stimulating events and talks. Recently, Noam Chomsky spoke at the College, and no wonder - he taught several members of our team!
- The MA is linked to our accredited Economics and Social Research Council (ESRC) Doctoral Training Centre, run in partnership with Goldsmiths, University of London.
You will have access to a range of facilities, including:
- Phonetics and experimental linguistics laboratories
- The Lock-keeper's Cottage, a Graduate Centre for humanities and social sciences students housed in a refurbished Victorian lock-keeper's cottage on the Regent's Canal
- Specialist library resources.
For more information please visit the Linguistics website.
Undertaking a Masters programme is a serious commitment, with weekly contact hours being in addition to numerous hours of independent learning and research needed to progress at the required level. When coursework or examination deadlines are approaching independent learning hours may need to increase significantly. Please contact the course convenor for precise information on the number of contact hours per week for this programme.
Part-time study options often mean that the number of modules taken is reduced per semester, with the full modules required to complete the programme spread over a number of years. Teaching is generally done during the day and part-time students should contact the course convenor to get an idea of when these teaching hours are likely to take place. Timetables are likely to finalised in September but you may be able to gain an expectation of what will be required.
- Trends in linguistic research
- Concepts and consequences in grammatical theory
- Sociolinguistic theory
- Dissertation proseminar
- Formal methods and theory
- Quantitative methods
- Qualitative methods
- From morpheme to meaning
- The lexicon
- Formal semantics
- The syntax-semantics interface
- Philosophy of language
- Unfamiliar languages and linguistic theory
- Research practicum
- Experimental linguistics
- Applied sociophonetics
- Ethnography of communication
- Language style and stylisation
- Youth language
- Language policy and planning
- Pidgins and creoles
- Sex, gender and language
- Topics in the grammar of a language
The Research Practicum module is a unique opportunity for students on the MA to work in partnership with either a member of academic staff on one of their current projects or to work with an outside organisation with whom our department has an established partnership arrangement. In 2011-12, students did very successful Research Practicum projects in partnership with the British Library and the British Museum, and we also have arrangements for an MA thesis project linked to the BBC Pronunciation Unit. We aim to offer a range of such academic and non-academic partnership options to students each year, as these increase employability and help students apply their knowledge in real world contexts.
Teaching and assessment
Teaching for all modules includes a combination of lectures, seminars and a virtual learning environment. You can expect 2-3 hours of contact time per module, per week.
A wide range of assessment techniques are used, including:
- Poster presentations
- Technical exercises
- Critiques of methodological and theoretical proposals in literature
- Extended written analyses of data.
You will also be assessed on a 10,000-12,000 word dissertation. Students are currently researching a range of topics for their dissertations including:
- The syntax of the Japanese genitive marker
- Masculinity Performance and Perception
- The way of wáy: Building locatives in Tewa
- The effect of age of acquisition and use on degree of foreign accent
- Investigating feminist ideologies in media and translated literature discourses
- The effects of L2 acquisition on L1 phonological structures
- A language attitude survey of neutral tone variation in Modern Standard Chinese
- Upper second class honours degree (or international equivalent) with a significant linguistics component
- Where English is not your first language, IELTS 7.0 (with 7.0 in writing). For more information on international entry requirements, see www.qmul.ac.uk/international
Students from outside of the UK help form a global community here at Queen Mary. For detailed country specific entry requirements please visit the International section of our website. If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English language proficiency. You can find details on our English language entry requirements here: www.qmul.ac.uk/international/languagerequirements
If you are unable to find the information you require, please contact the Admissions Office for assistance.
The study of linguistics at this level develops a unique set of skills and knowledge, including:
- Numeracy skills
- Sophisticated data collection and analysis techniques
- Logical and critical thinking
- Communication, presentation and IT skills.
Where linguistics graduates work
Your skills and knowledge will be valuable in any field where a sensitivity to language and the ability to use evidence are important, in particular:
- Directly related fields such as teaching, translating, lexicography and speech therapy
- Areas such as social research, the media, PR, publishing, marketing, branding (eg in helping to develop new brand names), cultural institutions, and IT (eg in the development of voice recognition or predictive texting software).
Continuing onto further research
You will also be ideally placed to pursue further research; each year, a good percentage of our MA students continue onto PhD studies (in 2011, it was 25 per cent).
Our links with industry
A number of our academics take on consultancy work with industry, for example:
- Developing and researching new global brand names
- Working as pronunciation specialists for news organisations, such as the BBC.
Staff draw on this industry experience to inform and enrich their teaching, bringing theoretical subjects to life. These links can also lead to opportunities to work with external organisations as part of the Knowledge Transfer Placements option.
Careers support from Queen Mary
QM Careers provides careers information, advice and guidance to all students of the College on everything from choosing a career to finding work. We run employer events on campus, manage full and part-time vacancy information and offer one-to-one careers advice; practice interviews, CV checks, psychometric test preparation and lots more.
We are part of The Careers Group, University of London the largest careers service in the country, and we are accredited by the Matrix quality standard which assures quality of advice, information and guidance.
What our graduates say
Alice Greenfield: "Of the modules I chose a favourite of mine would have to be the Research Practicum. I chose to take part in a practicum with Voices of the UK Project at the British Library, where I worked to linguistically describe BBC interviews from around the UK. It was a fantastic opportunity that I would thoroughly recommend to anyone."
Daniella Samos: "What impressed me most was the quality of the teaching. Modules are very well organised and the lecturers enthusiastic and inspiring."
Kyle Helke: "All of the instructors are well-qualified and thoroughly knowledgeable in their subject fields, and this really shines through in the classroom. It was clear all of my instructors put a lot of time and effort into structuring the lectures and modules. More important, however, was the instructors' willingness to help outside of the classroom - they always took the time to help clarify anything I had difficulty understanding, as well as provided feedback and advice regarding assignments and dissertation or research issues. They were always approachable, available, and maintained excellent communication with all of their students."
David Hall: "The Research Practicum module of the MA in linguistics was an excellent opportunity to take part in a research project being carried out in the department. Not only did it allow me to further my theoretical knowledge of the topic being researched, but it also allowed me to get some hands-on experience in which I set up and run an experiment, and learned how problems are overcome throughout the process. It was an invaluable experience, and I cannot recommend the module, and the MA as a whole, highly enough."