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Postgraduate course

Language & Social Justice MA

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

Student reading in the library

On this Language & Social Justice MA you will examine the contribution of Applied Linguistics to a range of social justice agendas. Benefitting from studying within a School which is renowned for its excellence and innovation in learning and teaching, as well as its world-leading research in language and social justice, you will become part of our thriving research community.

York campus

  • Duration – 1 year full-time | 2 years part-time
  • Start date – September 2022
  • School – School of Education, Language and Psychology

Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:2 undergraduate degree from an approved institution

    6.5 IELTS If your first language is not English

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £6,500 full time

    International 2020-21 £12,750 full time

Course overview

By choosing to study this course, you will have the opportunity to significantly contribute to the well-being of local communities by engaging these groups with a range of collaborative activities. This is also a key aim of our new Research Centre in Language and Social Justice, based within our School.

The programme is informed and taught by our expert staff, who are internationally recognised for their research in language and social justice in a range of contexts.

Specialist research areas on the programme 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 BME communities; inclusion and social justice issues relating to languages beyond English in schools; social evaluations of accent, dialect and multilingualism; inclusive/emancipatory (re)conceptualizations of English as an additional language.

We know that Postgraduate students often have jobs, families or other commitments to juggle alongside their studies, which is why we are proud to be able to offer this programme with both full-time and part-time options.

Course structure

Level 1


Credits: 30


This module raises your awareness of language myths. 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


This module introduces you to theories and approaches in Critical Discourse Analysis. We will cover discourse and the politics of identity, discourse and power, multimodal critical discourse analysis and critical appraisal analysis.

Credits: 30


Apply the knowledge from your previous module to specific populations and contexts. Content may include:

  • 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: 30


This module explores the implications of research findings in language and applied linguistics for future professional practice. It encourages you to exercise an enquiring approach to issues of language and social justice in your current or future career. We will prepare  you to conduct research and project work 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. The dissertation provides 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. The module will allow you to 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 & Learning

Throughout the programme, you will be encouraged to play an active role, critically reflecting on subject input and contextualising it through structured and assessed reflection on how your reading and discussion connects with your own experience. Module tutors will take the role of facilitators, encouraging you to think outside your own sphere of reference and maximising the development of your subject knowledge and understanding. You will be encouraged to share your experience and reflections through in-class dialogue and a proactive approach to learning will be promoted.

The teaching strategy typically employs a range of teaching and learning methods including:

  • Lectures (with supporting materials posted on the VLE)
  • Tutor and student-led seminars
  • Workshops and discussion groups
  • Independent study and research
  • Collection and analysis of linguistic data
  • Submission of module assessments will be wholly online via the VLE.

Assessment and Feedback

Modules are assessed by a range of methods including but not limited to essays, data analysis, and oral presentation. You may choose to complete your programme by conducting a final research project or by planning a language and social justice campaign.

Formative assessment, using a variety of assessment strategies, will be used within some modules for feedback purposes. Where appropriate, you will be encouraged, via negotiation with the module tutors, to link your professional practice with the academic content of the programme so that one may inform the other.

Entry requirements


Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:2 undergraduate degree from an approved institution

    6.5 IELTS If your first language is not English


Entry onto this postgraduate course requires a minimum of a 2:2 undergraduate degree. This must be obtained from an institution approved by York St John University.

International Students

If you are an international student, you will need to show that your qualifications are equivalent to those above.

If your first language is not English you must show evidence of English Language competence at IELTS level 6.5 overall, with no skill below 6.0, or equivalent.


APEL policy

If you can't meet these minimum requirements it may be possible to take into account evidence of Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) as an alternative method of meeting the programme’s entry requirements. In such a case, appropriate references and records of employment might be presented to support the applicant’s case for admission.

Fees and Funding

UK & EU 2021 - 22

The tuition fee for 2021 entry to this postgraduate course is £6,500 for full-time UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

For UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students studying part time, the tuition fee for 2021 entry to this postgraduate course is £3,250 per year.

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

International (non-EU) 2021 - 22

The tuition fee for 2021 entry to this postgraduate course is £12,750 for international students.

Due to immigration laws, international students on a Student Visa must be studying full-time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

More information about funding your studies is available on our International Fees and Funding page.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £6,500 full time

    International 2020-21 £12,750 full time

Alumni Scholarships

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

Scholarships for Alumni

Additional costs and financial support


Whilst 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.


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

Apply for this course

You can apply directly to the course via our Apply Now links. Please select the variant of the course that you intend to undertake (e.g. full time or part time) as the link will take you to a customised form for the specific course. You will need to create a login and password and complete the online form. Please contact two referees in advance of submitting your application as an automated request will go out as soon as you submit, and your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.


Apply now: Full time

Apply now: Part time


We are not currently taking applications for September 2021 entry to this course. Applications for September 2022 entry will open later in 2021.

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