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Department of Linguistics

MA Applied Linguistics and Language Pedagogy

Duration: One calendar year (full-time), two or three years (part-time daytime only)


Minimum Entry Requirements: Upper second or equivalent in a BA in a relevant discipline (linguistics or applied linguistics), or a BA in other disciplines including some relevant units, and some relevant professional qualification (e.g. teacher training qualifications) or exceptional and documented experience in language teaching. Native or native-like proficiency in the language of the chosen path.

Start of programme: From 2016/17 this programme will be replaced by the following programmes:

New programmes from 2016 onwards:

MA Arabic Language Learning and Teaching

MA Chinese Language Learning and Teaching

MA Japanese Language Learning and Teaching

MA Korean Language Learning and Teaching (from 2017/18)

The MA provides advanced training in the field of Language Pedagogy with a specialization in Chinese, Japanese, Korean or Tibetan. The programme provides an appreciation of the concepts, modes of analysis and theoretical approaches in the area of Language Pedagogy, including second language learning theories and teaching methodologies. Students will also be familiarised with the general areas of linguistic inquiry (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and discourse structure) and how they are relevant to the study of second language acquisition.

As a practical component, students will also become familiar with the intent and design of instructional material and teaching/testing techniques, and will evaluate second language learners’ performance through the analysis of empirical data and adequate descriptive terminology; they will also be able to design appropriate lesson plans, and will have carried out a certain amount of practice in the language of their chosen pathway.

Graduates will be qualified and well prepared for such professions as teaching the target language in higher education in the UK or in other countries, North America, and other parts of the world, teaching the target language at private institutions or at company, administrative or consultative staff at educational organizations, and editing staff at publishers related to language teaching.


The MA Applied Linguistics and Language Pedagogy consists of three components: core courses, option courses and dissertation research. This degree programme is currently formulated with four different pathways;  specialising in Chinese, Japanese, Korean or Tibetan.

Compulsory Core Unit

Core courses must be passed to gain the degree

Choose one core unit from the following

As determined by your language pathway. NB:Korean Linguistics and Language Pedagogy and Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism must be taken together to gain a full unit.

For students with a background in Linguistics

Entering students who already hold an undergraduate major in linguistics/applied linguistics, or an MA in linguistics take the equivalent of one full unit of option courses from the list below or from any linguistics course approved by the programme convenor.

For students with NO background in Linguistics

The following course is compulsory.


All students on the MA Applied Linguistics and Language Pedagogy must complete a 10,000 word Dissertation which counts for 25% of the overall degree.

Programme Specification


Teaching & Learning


An MA in Applied Linguistics and Language Pedagogy from SOAS equips students with essential skills such as competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Postgraduate students gain linguistic and cultural expertise enabling them to continue in the field of research or to seek professional and management careers.

MA Applied Linguistics and Language Pedagogy graduates leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek, including written and oral communication skills; attention to detail; analytical and problem solving skills; and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources.  A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

I enjoy the student atmosphere here. The Students’ Union bar and café is cozy and friendly and I’ve enjoyed getting involved in the knitting for peace club. Also I have been impressed by the array of specialists in the department of Linguistics.

Birgul Yilmmaz