MA English Language and Linguistics


Join staff and students from around the world in the School of English. The variety of fresh perspectives you’ll find here will make your masters a unique experience.

MA English Language and Linguistics

World-class teaching and facilities

The MA offers world-leading expertise in all areas of English language and linguistics, and is therefore capable of offering the best possible support for students' interests on any topic.

It will deepen your existing knowledge of the field and provide ideal preparation for research study at MPhil/PhD level, if that is your goal.

Your future

This MA can help develop the range of transferable skills at your disposal, giving you a wide variety of career options. Some of our modules have been designed specifically to provide opportunities for reflecting on the role of English in the public sphere and to enable you to develop different kinds of skills and experience. These can be especially valuable for those considering a career in English outside academia.

In our taught course we include a mix of core and optional modules. In addition, you’ll research your own interests in an extended dissertation.

Module-specific contact hours usually take the form of small group discussions. Students on this programme may sit in on the wide range of lectures and other classes on offer to undergraduates to supplement existing knowledge of the field. During your dissertation you’ll be supervised by one of our academic staff, who’ll provide you with guidance on your topic and methodology. You will have access to a dedicated computer room for students.

Assessment is by coursework assignments and a dissertation.

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Fast facts

Title: MA English Language and Linguistics

Award: Master of Arts

Duration: Full-time - 1 year, Part-time - 2 years

Entry: Minimum 2:1 honours degree, or equivalent. Overall IELTS grade of 7 with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in each other component, or equivalent.

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Full-time structure

A full-time student will follow the model of study below:

Semester one
Core module and one optional module.

Semester two
Two optional modules and write a dissertation over the summer.

Part-time structure

A part-time student will follow the model of study below:

Year one
Core module and plus an optional module.

Year two
Two optional modules and write a dissertation over the summer.


The course structure of this programme offers a great deal of student-led flexibility supported by the guidance of staff. All students meet for the 30-credit core module Research Methods. You will then select further modules according to your individual interests:

EGH624 'Linguistics in Context' focuses on close-reading, critical evaluation of different kinds of evidence, and/or historical and contextual analysis

EGH625 'Linguistics in Practice' focuses on the handling and management of linguistic datasets

EGH626 'Research Practice' enables students to work on a practical research project

EGH610 'Literary Language: History and Culture' focuses upon the investigation of literary language with reference to its historical and cultural contexts

EGH623 'Work Placement with Research Project' allows students to work with, and undertake a short research project related to an external organisation (for example, a library, archive, gallery, theatre, or school)

You also have the option to choose modules (dependent upon yearly availability) from other postgraduate programmes in the University, such as English Literature, School of Languages and Cultures, History, or Human Communication Sciences.

Dissertation - a 15,000-word supervised project

Course content: Course content refers to academic year 2017/18. The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Our campus and how we use it: We timetable teaching across the whole of our campus, the details of which can be found on our campus map. Teaching may take place in a student’s home department, but may also be timetabled to take place within other departments or central teaching space.


Entry requirements

A minimum of a 2:1 honours degree (GPA 3.0) in English literature, language, linguistics, or a related discipline (e.g. history, philosophy, modern languages) is usually required. Find out more about EU and international student entry requirements.

English language requirements:

For applicants whose first language is not English, IELTS is the preferred test of language. You need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with at least 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in each other components. Further information can be found here.

English language support

The English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) provides language support and development for students whose first language is not English. See their services here.

Disability support

We welcome applications from disabled students and students with a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia. Information for disabled applicants.

Fees and funding:

Find information on fees and the sources of funding that can help you pay for your postgraduate studies.

Faculty of Arts & Humanities scholarships.

How to apply:

Apply online

Applying to start in over 12 months time?

Please feel free to submit your application via our online system, however please note that we will not be able to process your application for this course until 12 months before your proposed start date.

Visit us:

If you’re considering a postgraduate programme at Sheffield, you are very welcome to visit us. You can attend an open day or a visit afternoon, which will include a tour of the University campus and the department, or contact the department directly ( to arrange a personal visit to meet with the director of your chosen programme.

More information and booking.

Further information:

If you have questions about the academic content of this course please contact Dr Christine Wallis.

If you need further information about studying at Sheffield, visit AskUS to browse our frequently asked questions or to ask a question.

For any other queries please email


Core teaching staff:

Staff profiles

Professor Joe Bray: stylistics, narrative and cognition, experimental literature
Professor Susan Fitzmaurice: historical sociolinguistics, corpus linguistics, historical pragmatics
Professor Joanna Gavins: literary-linguistics, cognitive poetics, text-worlds, absurdist literature, contemporary poetry
Dr Kook-Hee Gil: syntax, semantics, generative second language acquisition
Professor Jane Hodson: literary linguistics, corpus linguistics, digital language
Dr Gerry Howley: sociolinguistics, sociophonetic, second language aquistion
Dr Chris Montgomery: dialectology, sociolinguistics, varieties of English, perceptual dialectology, folk linguistics, language attitudes
Dr Emma Moore: language variation and change, style and identity, gender, ethnicity
Dr Jane Mulderrig: critical discourse analysis, corpus linguistics, identity, political discourse
Dr Robyn Orfitelli: syntax, post-lexical intonation, generative first language acquisition
Dr Gabriel Ozon: sociolinguistics, corpus linguistics, grammar, world englishes
Dr Ranjan Sen: phonology, phonetics, historical linguistics, psycholinguistics, comparative philology and Indo-European linguistics
Dr Richard Steadman-Jones: digital language, language and arts practice, colonial/postcolonial culture
Dr Gareth Walker: phonetics, conversation analysis, phonetics of talk-in-interaction
Dr Sara Whiteley: stylistics, cognitive poetics, emotion, reader response
Dr Graham Williams: history of English(es), historical (im)politeness, ethnopragmatics, early English letter-writing