2019 start

English Language and Linguistics

School of English, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Share your love of language with some of the most enthusiastic experts in the world.
English language and linguistics students sitting around table with laptop

Course description

You’ll study the sociocultural, historical and structural complexities of the English language with the option to study other modern languages as well.

There are four flexible pathways available within the course, and you can follow one exclusively or combine different areas of study.

Literary Linguistics Pathway

This pathway examines a range of approaches to literary linguistic study including cognitive poetics, corpus stylistics and narratology.

Social and Historical Approaches Pathway

This pathway investigates complex real-world language problems in different social and historical contexts.

Structural and Theoretical Linguistics Pathway

This pathway explores the foundational mental structures and processes underlying language.

Modern Languages Pathway (co-run with the School of Languages and Cultures)

This pathway offers students the opportunity to study similar aspects of Slavic, Germanic and/or Romance languages.

As your understanding of theory develops, you’ll learn how to analyse language and how to carry out research projects. If you choose a work placement, you might also develop skills in marketing, archiving, teaching or publishing.

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Core modules

  • Research Methods
  • Dissertation

Optional modules

  • Linguistics in Context
  • Linguistics in Practice
  • Research Practice
  • Literary Language: Narrative and Cognition
  • Literary Language: History and Culture
  • Work Placement with Research Project


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. You’ll benefit from our expertise in many fields, from language variation and change, psycholinguistics and syntax to conversation analysis, dialectology and the language–literature interface. Our enthusiastic staff publish internationally. Within the School of English, we hold weekly research seminars which give you the chance to hear about the latest developments.

You’ll be taught through seminars and workshops. There are also work placement opportunities in schools, museums, libraries or local businesses.


Assessment varies by module, but includes essays and presentations.


  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time

Entry requirements

A minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree in linguistics, English language and/or literature, or a modern language.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in the other components, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

Fees and funding

There are a number of studentships and fee bursaries available, funded by either the University or the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Deadlines for funding applications are usually in winter/early spring.

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses

Dr Emma Moore, Department of English Language and Linguistics

I have always been interested in social variation and have been keen to find ways to address social inequality. Using language as a measure of social difference, it is possible to provide empirical data that can be used to challenge prejudice and evaluate social change.

Dr Emma Moore
Teaches: Linguistics in Context; Linguistics in Practice; Research Methods.


You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

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+44 (0)114  222 0220

The course information set out here may change before you begin, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the start date.