SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Dissertation in Linguistics

Module Code:
Taught in:
Full Year

The dissertation is a core component of all Masters programmes at SOAS. The supervised dissertation research requires the ability to work independently on an original piece of research, to demonstrate familiarity with the relevant literature and present the resulting dissertation in a clear and organised format.

The research and writing of the Masters dissertation is a crucial component of Research-based Masters training. 

The dissertation has a 10,000 word limit and counts for 33% of the overall degree. For details on presentation and submission dates, see the Postgraduate Taught Masters Handbook.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the module, students should have:

  • A solid foundational knowledge of the techniques, argumentation and theoretical issues in the core areas of formal linguistics (phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics), applied linguistics, language pedagogy or language documentation and description;
  • The ability to apply their subject knowledge and methodology to a specific research problem in their area of specialism;
  • The skills required to pursue independent research in an academic context;
  • The ability to present their work to different audiences in a clear professional form.


Total of 20 weeks teaching with 2 hours classroom contact per week consisting of a 2 hour seminar.  Three hours individual supervision throughout the year.

Method of assessment

A 20 minute oral presentation on the dissertation in term 3 (5%); attendance of the research foundations seminar (5%); Dissertation Final Submission (90%): 10,000 words, due September following final year of study (exact date determined by School).


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules