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Postgraduate Course

Language and Social Justice MA

If you are interested in how language can affect wealth, opportunities, disadvantage and privilege in society then this is the course for you.

Visual on language

On this Language and Social Justice MA you will examine the impact of applied linguistics on a range of social justice agendas. You will join a department renowned for its excellent teaching and leading research, and become part of our thriving research community.

York campus

  • Duration – 1 year full time, 2 or 3 years part time
  • Start date – September 2023
  • School – School of Education, Language and Psychology

Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:1 honours degree in a related subject

    Written task If you do not meet these criteria

Tuition Fees

    UK 2023-24 £7,000 full time

    International 2023-24 £13,000 full time

Discover why York St John University is The One

Course overview

On this course you will study how applied linguistics can positively impact social justice. Examine the theories and approaches in language analysis and apply this knowledge to specific social justice contexts. You will engage with communities and contribute to their wellbeing.

You will have the chance to organise and contribute to our annual conference, the Postgraduate Forum in Applied Linguistics. You can also apply to be part of the students as researchers scheme. This allows you to work alongside staff on their research projects.

We know that you might be looking to fit your studies in around jobs, families or other commitments. That's why we offer this course with both full time and part time options. We believe learning is for everyone and are proud to make our postgraduate courses accessible for all.

Our teaching staff are active researchers and their findings influence their teaching. Staff research areas include:

  • Language, social justice and deaf communities
  • Language, gender and sexuality-related inclusion in schools
  • Language and in/equalities in higher education
  • Language-based analysis of York’s and the North East region’s BAME communities
  • Inclusion and social justice issues relating to languages beyond English in schools
  • Social evaluations of accent, dialect and multilingualism
  • Inclusive and emancipatory (re)conceptualizations of English as an additional language

Course structure

How you will study

You can study this postgraduate course full time or part time. This allows you to fit your studies around other commitments.

If you choose to study full time the course will take 1 year to complete. You will study:

  • 4 compulsory modules
  • An independent research project or dissertation

If you choose to study part time the course will take 2 or 3 years to complete and the modules will be split across the years.

You can find out which modules are available in each term in the Course Specifications.


Credits: 30


On this module you will gain awareness of myths surrounding language. By critiquing these myths we will introduce you to theoretical frameworks and detailed methods of language analysis. This will prepare you for further study of these in subsequent modules.

Credits: 30


On this module we will introduce you to theories of critical discourse analysis, an essential method of research. You will develop a theoretical framework to carry out practical analyses or public engagement activities further along in the course. You will also cover topics such as:

  • The politics of identity
  • Discourse and power
  • Multimodal critical discourse analysis
  • Critical appraisal analysis.

Credits: 30


This module follows from the knowledge gained in the Approaches to Critical Discourse Analysis and the Language Myths modules. You will examine the relation between language and social justice within specific populations and contexts such as:

  • Socio-economic status
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Speakers of minority language varieties
  • Language and language-related disorders
  • Defendants and plaintiffs
  • Non-native speakers
  • Ethnicity and race.

Credits: 15


On this module you will explore the implications of research findings in language and applied linguistics for future professional practice. We will encourage you to exercise an enquiring approach to issues of language and social justice in your current or future career. We will also prepare you to conduct research project work or a campaign in the field of language and linguistics.

Credits: 60


Your final piece of work will either explore a specific research question about a topic within language and social justice. Alternatively, you will produce this in the form of a campaign. This is an opportunity for you to show that your knowledge of language and social justice can be applied to research. You will be supervised by an academic member of staff but will be guided towards taking independent responsibility for your own work. You will provide evidence of your ability to pro-actively formulate research plans, independently carry these out and critically reflect on your findings.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

Teaching will consist of a mixture of group seminars and individual tutorials.

You will be encouraged to take responsibility for your role in managing your own learning and its outcomes. Our Academic Support team can help with written English, study, research and technology skills if needed.

We keep our group sizes small so we can get to know your creative personality and support your aspirations.

You will learn through:

  • Workshops
  • Guest speakers
  • Field visits
  • Work related learning
  • Seminar discussions
  • Supervised projects

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.


There are no formal examinations on this course. We use a range of assessment methods on the course. These include:

  • Portfolio work
  • Content analysis
  • Subtitled video
  • Presentation
  • Essays
  • Project proposal
  • Dissertation or campaign

Entry requirements


Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:1 honours degree in a related subject

    Written task If you do not meet these criteria

If you do not meet this criteria, either because your undergraduate degree is not in a related discipline or you do not have a 2:1, you are still encouraged to apply. We will ask you to submit a piece of written work that we will consider as part of your application.

You can find an example of the sort of task we would ask you to complete here:

Task for MA Applicants (Doc, 17KB)

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.5 (with no skill below 6.0) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

If you do not have traditional qualifications, you might be able to provide evidence of professional experience in the subject as an alternative way to meet the entry requirements. This is called Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL). Appropriate references and records of employment would need to be presented to support your case for admission. 

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and Funding

UK 2023 - 2024 entry

The tuition fee for 2023 entry to this postgraduate course is:

  • £7,000 for full time study
  • £3,500 per year for part time study

These costs apply to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Postgraduate loans are available to help you pay for your master’s course. Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

Funding opportunities

International 2023 - 2024 entry

The tuition fee for 2023 entry to this postgraduate course is:

  • £13,000 for 1 year of full time study
  • £6,500 for 2 years of part time study

These costs apply to all students living outside the UK.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a student visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

International Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees

    UK 2023-24 £7,000 full time

    International 2023-24 £13,000 full time

Alumni Scholarships

If you are alumni of York St John University we have scholarships available to help you continue your studies.

Scholarships for alumni

Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Career outcomes

Where could Language and Social Justice take you?

This degree could lead you to a career related to Language and Social Justice, in a number of fields, such as working in local government, education, the charity sector or the police. Or it could take you in a completely different direction, using the many transferrable skills you will develop. This will give you an advantage in careers such as:

  • A political party
  • Local government
  • Policy development
  • The Civil Service (they offer a Fast Stream graduate scheme)
  • Political and social research
  • Charities

Stand out from the crowd with postgraduate study.

Far fewer people have postgraduate degrees than undergraduate qualifications. This gives you something extra to set yourself apart in a competitive graduate job market. Those with a postgraduate qualification will earn an average of £7,000 a year more than those with only an undergraduate degree. (Department For Education Graduate Labour Market Report 2020)

Our careers service, LaunchPad, provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice

This support does not end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain the experience and confidence you need to succeed.

Apply for this course

For postgraduate degrees you must apply directly to York St John University using the links below. This will take you to the application form you need to fill out for this specific course.

To complete the online application form you will need to create login details.

Please contact 2 referees before submitting your application. An automated request for a reference will be emailed to them as soon as you submit. Your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

Apply now: Full time

Apply now: Part time

Course highlights

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