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MA Computational Linguistics

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  • Objectives
    This graduate programme provides students with the opportunity to: Gain a theoretically grounded appreciation of contemporary work in Computational Linguistics (CL) Develop practical skills in writing and implementing grammar fragments in mainstream CL formalisms, and in implementing systems Become familiar with styles of argumentation and evaluation criteria used in CL research Become familiar with contemporary computationally oriented grammar formalisms and linguistic descriptions using these formalisms Develop a critical appreciation of a selection of recent research in CL Undertake a small-scale piece of original research Acquire a wide range of transferable cognitive skills, practical skills and key skills Acquire a foundation for further study, employment and lifelong learning
  • Entry requirements
    Entry Qualifications A good BA honours (or equivalent) degree (2:1 or above). For non-native speakers of English, an IELTS score of 6.5, or a TOEFL score of 570 (computer based 230). Some prior knowledge of Computational Linguistics is useful.
  • Academic Title
    MA Computational Linguistics
  • Course description

    Course Description
    The MA in Computational Linguistics provides an advanced introduction to the techniques required for work in computational linguistics, with a range of contemporary grammatical formalisms.

    Modules and Options

    The lists of modules below represent the range of options available for each year of study. This may not be a complete list of the options you will study, and may be subject to change, so please contact the department for further details.

    Stage 1

        Compulsory: PROLOG I
        Core: DISSERTATION: MA
        PROLOG II

    Teaching and Assessment Methods
    A: Knowledge and Understanding
        Learning Outcomes
        A1 : familiarity with approaches to the study of language adopted in contemporary work in CL
        A2 : knowledge of key concepts, issues, ideas, theories, techniques styles of argumentation and evaluation criteria used in contemporary CL
        A3 : knowledge of methods and tools employed in contemporary CL research in relation to collection, analysis and presentation of data, programming, system development and evaluation

        Teaching Methods
        A1-3 are addressed in lectures, as well as seminar, class and tutorial discussion. Web and instructional course materials, including library and internet materials are used to achieve A1 and 2. A3 is largely achieved through computer laborary practicals. There is also office and email consulation with staff, as well as written and oral feedback on work.

        Assessment Methods
        A1-3 are assessed by written coursework in the form of essays (usualy a 3000 word essay per course) and exercises. The dissertation is instrumental in the achievement of A3, being the most significant form of assessment with respect to the knowledge and understanding acquired in the taught part of the course.

    B: Intellectual/Cognitive Skills
        Learning Outcomes
        B1 : Critically evaluate contrasting theories/accounts/explanations/approaches, demonstrating an understanding of the relationship between theory and data
        B2 : Abstract and synthesise information from a range of sources (lectures/seminars/classes, journals, books, internet etc.) identifying those ideas or findings which are most significant
        B3 : Write programs in a high level programming language

        Teaching Methods
        B1 and B3 are developed in seminars, classes and tutorials. B2 is developed in directed reading of library and internet materials, as well as printed instructional course materials. B3 is developed in computer laboratory practicals. There is also office and email consulation with staff, as well as written and oral feedback on work.

        Assessment Methods
        B1-3 are assessed by written coursework in the form of essays (usually a 3000 word essay per course) and exercises. In its development of advanced intellectual and cognititve skills, the dissertation is central in assessing B2 and B3.

    C: Practical Skills
        Learning Outcomes
        C1 : Retrieve information from a variety of sources (e.g. Library, WWW, CD-rom)
        C2 : Utilise advanced techniques and tools relevant to the collection, analysis or presentation of linguistic data, with a minimum of guidance
        C3 : A wide range of Information Technology skills (e.g. ability to work in a variety of programming environments)
        C4 : Propose, plan, undertake, write up and present an independent programming project or report (e.g. on research undertaken individually or in collaboration with others,), with a minimum of guidance

        Teaching Methods
        Throughout the scheme practical skills C1-4 are developed through computer laboratory practicals, as well as independent learning in preparation for classes, seminars, essays and presentations. In particular, these skills are mobilised in preparation for tutuorials for the disseration. Office and email consultation with staff, as well as written/oral feedback on work is provided through both the coursework and dissertation phases of the degree.

        Assessment Methods
        Coursework and essays play an importatn part in the assessment of all skills C1-3. It is in marking of the dissertation, however, that these skills - particular C2 and C3 - become particularly salient.

    D: Key Skills
        Learning Outcomes
        D1 : Communicating complex ideas effectively in writing, writing essays, reports and reviews using the appropriate register and style.
        D2 : using appropriate computational tools and software packages to obtain, store and process information stored in electronic form (e.g. from the Library, WWW or CD-rom), and (where appropriate) to analyse data and results
        D3 : Under guidance, interpreting relevant statistical information and, where required, showing familiarity with complex procedures of symbol manipulation
        D4 : Analysing data-sets, abstracting generalisations and testing hypotheses, analysing problems, developing algorithms
        D6 : Under guidance, working independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time-management, and undertaking a self-critical programme of self-directed study

        Teaching Methods
        The key skills, D1, D2, D4 and D6 are taught throughout the scheme in preparation for lectures, seminars, tutorials and coursework assignments. Oral presentations in class may be used to develop skills of oral communication in parallel with D1; students are also encouraged to collaborate with others to achieve common goals e.g. in project planning, management and presentation. Seminars and tutorials are used to develop D3 and D4. There is also office and email consulation with staff, as well as written/oral feedback on work.

        Assessment Methods
        Coursework essays are used in the development of all key skills D1 to D4 and D6. Coursework exercises specifically develop D3 and D4. The dissertation constitutes an overall assessment of these skills in judging communication, problem solving and independent learning.

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