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English Language & Linguistics MA,PGDip,PGCert

MA English Language and Linguistics

The Course Programme Structure Staff Profiles Why YSJ ?


Find out more about the Languages and Identities in InterAction Research Unit (LIdIA)

Find out more about the Department of Languages and Linguistics (DoLL)


What will I study?

The MA ELL is a modular course which comprises four taught online modules (see below) plus a dissertation. Since the four modules are all self contained, they do not need to be studied in any particular order. However, the dissertation forms the final part of the programme and is undertaken once the four modules have been completed. It is also possible to replace one of the four taught modules with a negotiated study (see below) which allows you to follow up, for example, a particular professional or academic interest.



  • Language Structure: this module introduces you to core phonological and grammatical terms and concepts, exploring the application of these to language use in its wider context.
  • Texts and Technologies: this module provides you with opportunities to think critically about notions of text, technology and the changing landscape of communication in the 21st century.
  • Language and Cognition: this module gives you a critical appreciation of the cognitive processes of language acquisition and use, as well as the relationship between language and thought.
  • Language and Society: this module gives you an opportunity to investigate how language varies according to who is involved in the communication as well as where, when and why it happens.
  • Negotiated Study: the Negotiated Study allows you to negotiate and undertake a piece of independent work. The module may be taken in place of one of the four taught online modules. 
  • Dissertation: the dissertation will be the final module of the MA ELL and provides an opportunity for you to extend your studies in an area of the programme already completed, or into a new area of study, through negotiating a research topic with your supervisor. 


How will I study?

The programme is designed with the needs of adults in mind. We understand therefore that work and life commitments mean that you may have more study time available at some times than at others. Since the programme is completely online, you can access course material when it’s convenient and work through the modules at your own pace within the boundaries of the module. Every module is supported by a designated tutor who organises times in every week when they can be contacted ‘live’. If these times are not suitable, the tutor can also be contacted via email at other times. All modules are also supported by online discussion groups to encourage you to develop a mutually supportive online community.


How will I be assessed?

The programme uses a wide variety of assessment types. These include written assignments/projects, online tasks, the collection and analysis of language data, a dissertation, discussion postings, formative assessment and online tests. There are no exams.


Level of IT skill

The programme assumes that you have easy access to online facilities and that you are familiar with the internet and email.  Online IT support materials are available to students who are less familiar with online learning environments. A face-to-face induction day also takes place at the beginning of every academic year where you are, amongst other things, introduced to the range of IT facilities used on the programme and the practices of being part of an online study community.


Degree programme information

Programme specifications »