(MA) Master of Arts
University of Essex
University of Essex
Language and Linguistics
Full-time or part-time
A 2:2 degree (or international equivalent) in the following disciplines: English Language studies – including education, English language and Literature, Teaching(English),Linguistics or Modern Languages.
We will accept applicants with a degree in an unrelated area but which contains a substantial element of education, Linguistics, Language studies and Teaching .
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code
IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5 except for 6.0 in writing
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.
Rules of assessment
Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.
Dr Louise Jane Mycock
Associate Professor in Linguistics University of Oxford
External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment.
External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course.
They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards.
External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.
This graduate programme provides students with the opportunity to:
Acquire systematic understanding and knowledge of approaches to the study of language adopted in contemporary work in Linguistics, and especially of approaches to the study of syntax and phonology.
Acquire advanced training in methods used to formulate, test and critically evaluate research hypotheses about of syntax, phonology and other areas of language, and in data collection, analysis and presentation techniques used in relevant empirical research.
Acquire a systematic understanding of styles of argumentation and evaluation criteria used in research into syntax, phonology and other areas of language, and of methodological, theoretical and descriptive issues arising out of that research.
Develop a critical appreciation of a selection of recent research in syntax, phonology and other areas of language.
Undertake (one or more small-scale pieces of) advanced research, showing originality and creativity.
Acquire a wide range of advanced cognitive skills, practical skills and key skills.
Acquire a foundation for further study, employment and lifelong learning.
Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods
On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:
A: Knowledge and understanding
A1: Systematic understanding and knowledge of approaches to the study of language adopted in contemporary work in Linguistics
A2: comprehensive understanding of key concepts, issues, ideas, theories, styles of argumentation and evaluation criteria used in contemporary linguistics, and of associated methodological, theoretical and descriptive issues
A3: advanced training in methods and tools employed in contemporary linguistics to collect, analyse and present data with the goal of formulating and testing research hypotheses
A1-3 are addressed in lectures, as well as seminar, class and tutorial discussion.
Web and instructional course materials, including library and internet materials are used to achieve A1 and 2.
There is also office and email consultation with staff as well as written and oral feedback on work.
A1-3 are assessed by written coursework in the form of essays (usually a 3000 word essay per course) and exercises.
The dissertation is instrumental in the achievement of A3, being the most significant form of assessment with respect to knowledge and understanding acquired in the taught part of the course.
B: Intellectual and cognitive skills
B1: Critically evaluate theories, accounts, explanations, approaches, demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between theory and data
B2: Abstract and synthesise complex information from a range of sources (lectures, seminars, classes, journals, books, internet etc.), making a critical assessment of its significance
B3: Make systematic observations and insightful generalisations about complex behaviour (or data, or other materials), and analyse the relevant material using advanced specialised techniques
B1 - B3 are developed in seminars, classes and tutorials.
B2 is developed in directed reading of library and internet materials, as well as printed instructional course materials.
There is also office and email consultation with staff, as well as written and oral feedback on work.
B1-3 are assessed by written coursework in the form of essays (usually a 3000 word essay per module) and exercises.
In its development of advanced intellectual and cognitive skills, the dissertation is central in assessing B2 and B3.
C: Practical skills
C1: Retrieve information from a variety of sources (e.g. Library, WWW, CD-rom)
C2: Utilise advanced techniques and tools relevant to the collection, analysis or presentation of linguistic data, with a minimum of guidance
C3: Plan, undertake and present an original piece of advanced work (e.g. on a topic researched individually or in collaboration with others), with a minimum of guidance
Throughout the scheme practical skills C1 - 3 are developed through independent learning in preparation for classes, seminars, essays and presentations.
In particular, these skills are mobilised in preparation for tutorials for the dissertation.
Office and email consultation with staff, as well as written/oral feedback on work is provided through both the coursework and dissertation phases of the degree.
Coursework and essays play an important part in the assessment of all skills C1-3.
It is in marking of the dissertation, however, that these skills - particular C2 and C3 - become particularly salient.
D: Key skills
D1: Communicating complex ideas effectively in writing, writing essays, reports and reviews using the appropriate register and style
D2: Using advanced computational tools and software packages to obtain, store and process information stored in electronic form (e.g. from the Library, WWW or CD-rom), and (where appropriate) to analyse data and results
D3: Analysing complex data-sets or behaviour, abstracting insightful generalisations and testing abstract hypotheses
D4: Undertaking advanced work with others to achieve common goals e.g. in research planning, management and presentation
D6: Under guidance, working independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time-management in tackling and solving complex problems
The key skills, D1, D2, D4 and D6 are taught throughout the scheme in preparation for lectures, seminars, tutorials and coursework assignments.
Oral presentation in class may be used to develop skills of oral communication in parallel with D1; students are also encouraged to collaborate with others to achieve common goals e.g.
In project planning, management and presentation.
Seminars and tutorials are used to develop D3 and D4.
There is also office and email consultation with staff, as well as written/oral feedback on work.
Coursework essays are used in the development of all key skills D1 to D4 and D6.
Coursework exercises specifically develop D3 and D4.
The dissertation constitutes an overall assessment of these skills in judging communication, problem solving and independent learning.