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MA Linguistic Studies

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  • Objectives
    To offer students postgraduate level training in one or more areas of Linguistics, where students choose from a wide range of modules to put together a Masters programme suitable to their individual needs and interests. Any acceptable curriculum will have one or more core domains, and will be constructed with guidance from the Programme Director. To develop an understanding of the central issues in need of explanation within the domains providing coherence to the scheme. To develop appropriate skills of argumentation and descriptive and analytic techniques. To provide basic training in research skills, enabling students to carry out a piece of individual research. To provide students with a foundation for further study, employment and lifelong learning.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry Qualifications A good first degree in a relevant discipline. For applicants whose native language is not English, an IELTS score of 6.5 or a TOEFL score of 580 (computer based 230). Some prior knowledge of Linguistics is useful but not essential.
  • Academic Title
    MA Linguistic Studies
  • Course description

    Course Description
    The MA in Linguistic Studies offers students postgraduate level training in linguistics with a wide choice of modules from which to put together a programme suitable to their individual needs.

    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

        ACQUISITION OF SECOND LANGUAGE PHONOLOGY
        APPROACHES TO SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION
        BLACK ENGLISHES
        CHILDREN'S ENGLISH
        COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TESTING
        COMPUTATIONAL LINGUISTICS I
        COMPUTATIONAL LINGUISTICS II
        COMPUTER ASSISTED LANGUAGE LEARNING: THEORY, RESEARCH AND PRACTICE
        CONSTRAINT BASED PHONOLOGY
        CONVERSATION AND SOCIAL INTERACTION
        Core: DISSERTATION: MA
        CORPORA IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING
        CULTURE IN SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING AND TEACHING
        DESCRIPTIVE SYNTAX
        DESIGN OF LANGUAGE TEACHING PROGRAMMES AND MATERIALS FOR YOUNG LEARNERS
        DEVELOPMENT OF LANGUAGE PROCESSING
        DEVELOPMENTAL LANGUAGE DISORDERS
        DEVELOPMENTAL SECOND LANGUAGE SYNTAX
        DISCOURSE AND LANGUAGE TEACHING
        ELT PROFESSIONAL CONCERNS
        ENGLISH PHONOLOGY
        ENGLISH SYNTAX
        EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN AND ANALYSIS
        FOUNDATIONS OF COMPUTER ASSISTED LANGUAGE LEARNING
        FOUNDATIONS OF ENGLISH FOR SPECIFIC PURPOSES
        FOUNDATIONS OF INTERCULTURAL AND PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION
        FOUNDATIONS OF LANGUAGE FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHERS
        FOUNDATIONS OF LINGUISTICS
        FURTHER QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS IN LANGUAGE STUDY
        GRADUATE RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT
        GRAMMATICAL DEVELOPMENT IN FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD LANGUAGE LEARNERS
        INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN L2 LEARNING
        INPUT IN LANGUAGE LEARNING AND TEACHING
        INTERCULTURAL PRAGMATICS
        INTRODUCTION TO HEAD-DRIVEN PHRASE STRUCTURE GRAMMAR
        INTRODUCTION TO LEXICAL FUNCTIONAL GRAMMAR
        LANGUAGE ACQUISITION AND THE CRITICAL PERIOD
        LANGUAGE AND GENDER
        LANGUAGE DISORDERS IN ADULTS
        LANGUAGE LEARNERS IN CLASSROOMS
        LANGUAGE PROGRAMME EVALUATION
        LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION
        LANGUAGE TEACHERS IN CLASSROOMS
        LANGUAGE TEACHING
        LANGUAGE TESTING
        LEARNER AUTONOMY
        LEARNER PERSPECTIVES ON VOCABULARY
        LEARNER STRATEGIES AND METALINGUISTIC KNOWLEDGE: EXPLICIT ASPECTS OF L2 LEARNING
        LEXICAL CHANGE IN THE HISTORY OF ENGLISH
        LITERACY DEVELOPMENT AND TEACHING OF READING TO YOUNG LEARNERS
        MATERIALS DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT
        MATERIALS EVALUATION
        MINIMALISM SYNTAX II
        MINIMALIST SYNTAX I
        MORPHOLOGY
        MULTILINGUALISM
        NON-EXPERIMENTAL QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING
        PEDAGOGICAL GRAMMAR
        PHILOSOPHY OF LINGUISTICS
        PHONOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT AND PHONOLOGICAL DISORDERS
        PHONOLOGICAL THEORY AND SECOND LANGUAGE PHONOLOGY
        PHONOLOGY-SYNTAX INTERFACE
        PIDGIN AND CREOLE LANGUAGES
        PRAGMATICS: DISCOURSE AND RHETORIC
        PROLOG I
        PROLOG II
        QUALITATIVE METHODOLOGY IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING/APPLIED LINGUISITICS RESEARCH
        RELEVANCE THEORY
        RESEARCH TOPICS IN ENGLISH FOR SPECIFIC PURPOSES
        RESEARCHING WRITING IN EFL/ESL
        SEMANTICS
        SENTENCE PROCESSING
        SOCIOLINGUISTIC METHODS I
        SOCIOLINGUISTIC METHODS II
        SOCIOLINGUISTICS I
        SOCIOLINGUISTICS II
        SOCIOPHONOLOGY
        SOCIOPHONOLOGY RESEARCH
        SYLLABUS DESIGN
        TEACHING PRACTICE I
        TEACHING PRACTICE II
        TEACHING WRITING IN EFL/ESL
        TEACHING, LISTENING AND SPEAKING
        THE MENTAL LEXICON
        THEORETICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE PHONOLOGY
        TOPICS IN HEAD-DRIVEN PHRASE STRUCTURE GRAMMAR
        TOPICS IN LEXICAL FUNCITIONAL GRAMMAR
        TOPICS IN PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION
        VARIATION IN ARABIC 1
        VARIATION IN ARABIC II
        VARIATION IN ENGLISH I
        VARIATION IN ENGLISH II
        VERB MEANING AND SENTENCE STRUCTURE

    Teaching and Assessment Methods

    A: Knowledge and Understanding
        Learning Outcomes
        A1 : Students will acquire advanced understanding of the major research questions in the domain(s) forming the core of their programme.
        A2 : Students will acquire advanced understanding of processes of formulating and testing hypotheses in the domain(s) forming the core of their programme.
        A3 : Students will be aware of the limits of knowledge in the domain(s) forming the core of their programme and be familiar with current controversies.

        Teaching Methods
        There is considerable variation in the teaching strategies employed across the full range of available postgraduate modules. Depending on numbers of registered students, modules may be presented as formal lectures, lecture plus follow up class or small group discussion. In all cases, teachers of modules also provide opportunities for one-to-one interaction

        Assessment Methods
        Typically by an essay of 3000 words or some equivalent assignment. Depending on the modules followed, there may be elements of oral and/or group assessment

    B: Intellectual/Cognitive Skills
        Learning Outcomes
        B1 : Students will be familiar with the relationship between theory, data and evidence in the domain(s) forming the core of their programme.
        B2 : Students will be familiar with the process of reviewing a specific problem area, carefully assessing existing accounts of relevant phenomena and offering a balanced, if not comprehensively-based, judgement on the current state of research
        B3 : Students will have the ability to analyse and describe complex linguistic data from the domain(s) forming the core of their programme.
        B4 : Students will be able to assess the well-formedness of complex arguments, identify suppressed premises, and locate fallacies.
        B5 : Students will be able to formulate hypotheses in the domain(s) forming the core of their programme, and assess their initial plausibility.

        Teaching Methods
        Depending on the domain(s) forming the core of the program, more or less emphasis on conceptual foundations, etc. as compared to low-level empirical studies and data manipulation. Opportunities to manipulate data at first-hand in appropriate contexts. Opportunities to critically review existing primary literature.

        Assessment Methods
        A variety of methods, including conventional essays, exercise-based material equivalent to essays in the amount of work demanded, some opportunities for oral presentation and group assessment, depending on the domain(s) forming the core of the programme. The dissertation, containing elements of individual research, is assessed with respect to each of these outcomes.

    C: Practical Skills
        Learning Outcomes
        C1 : Students will know how to use text-based and on-line library resources.
        C2 : Students will be able to use the Web to access materials.
        C3 : Students will be able to analyse linguistic datasets and understand the significance of numerical data in the domain(s) forming the core of their programme

        Teaching Methods
        Independent, self-directed learning after initial induction via the relevant modules. Extended direction beyond basic reading lists in appropriate contexts.

        Assessment Methods
        Assessment of standard essays considers the adequacy of bibliographies and takes account of individual resourcefulness on the part of students. Manipulation of datasets forms the basis of much exercise-based assessment; assessed reviews of empirical studies takes account of students' abilities to understand statistical aspects of such studies. All these factors play an important role in the assessment of the dissertation.

    D: Key Skills
        Learning Outcomes
        D1 : Students will be able to write in a coherent, concise and informed way on topics in the domain(s) forming the core of their programme. Students will be able to contribute to discussion of a topic in the domain(s) forming the core of their programme.
        D2 : Students will have basic word processing skills, including the manipulation of text objects where appropriate. Students will be able to use the internet for information searches. Students will be able to use on-line data sources if this is necessary for the domain(s) forming the core of their programme
        D3 : Depending on the domain(s) forming the core of their programme, students will be familiar with relevant statistical techniques, complex procedures of symbol manipulation, or both.
        D4 : Students will be able to extend problem solving techniques in the domain(s) forming the core of their programme to novel problems. They will be aware of the difference between success and failure in solving a problem, and will bring this awareness to their own efforts.
        D6 : Improving own learning and performance:

        Teaching Methods
        D1. Students are given guidance on academic writing, and subsequently receive extended feedback on their essays, much of this focusing on structure. D2. Initial guidance on general presentational aspects of dissertations, essays and other work is provided, and feedback on these matters is full and systematic. D3. Statistical techniques are presented via dedicated modules and, to some extent, in the modules where they play a role. Complex procedures of symbol manipulation are carefully introduced via lectures, with students given ample opportunity to deepen their understanding via one-to-one discussion or e-mail correspondence. D4. Lectures and classes are 'problem driven,' i.e. they follow a structure whereby a problem is posed and a variety of alternatives are pursued in seeking to throw light on it. It is made clear to students that their dissertation must have this overall character. D6. Essay and exercise topics avoid the formulaic, encouraging students to begin from a starting point defined by a module (reading list, lectures, etc.) but then to embrace a topic as their own, pursuing it via there own devices (library and internet searches) with whatever guidance is appropriate. The dissertation represents the apogee of this strategy.

        Assessment Methods
        D1. For some choices of core domain(s) for the program, there is the opportunity for limited assessment of oral presentations or contributions to discussion. D2. The standards of bibliographies and the resourcefulness displayed in compiling them is a factor in the assessment of all work for which extensive consultation of sources is expected. D3. Different aspects of numeracy are assessed in different ways. Statistical competence is a factor is reviews of existing studies, in some exercises and in many dissertations. More formal symbol manipulation is assessed via exercises and within the structure of certain types of dissertation. D4. All exercises involving novel materials see the assessment of problem solving. The dissertation provides an opportunity for a student to investigate a high level problem and develop a set of lower level problems in the context of this investigation. D6. 'Disciplined' originality is assessed very positively in the context of all types of written work; some measure of it is expected in the dissertation.

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