Modern linguistics is the scientific study of all aspects of the world’s languages from their sound systems and grammatical structure through to the interaction of language with culture, the study of meaning in language, and the use of language in modern technology. Linguists try to establish what types of structures are shared by different languages and the extent to which language may differ from each other.
MA Linguistics at SOAS is a modular programme which combines the intensive study of the core areas of formal linguistics - phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics - with a choice of options in different areas of the discipline. The programme is run on a modular basis to suit the needs of the following four categories of students:
- Those with a degree in linguistics who wish to pursue more regional and language-based study;
- Those with a degree in linguistics who wish to pursue more research-oriented topics before proceeding to a research degree;
- Those with little or no previous training in linguistics who wish to acquire a knowledge of the discipline;
- Those with little or no previous training in linguistics who wish to take the degree as a conversion course before; proceeding to a research degree.
The programme can be taken full time over one calendar year or part time over two or three years (daytime only.) The taught part of the programme consists of core lectures which introduce basic concepts, theory and methodology; and additional seminars which extend the core material into other areas. A 10,000-word dissertation written over the summer offers students the opportunity to develop original research in an area of special interest.
MA Linguistics is for students who would like to acquire general postgraduate-level training in formal linguistics (perhaps as preparation for further training or research).
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: September intake only
Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time
- We will consider all applications with 2:ii (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references.
- Interview Policy: Candidates with ‘non-standard’ qualifications usually invited
- One calendar year (full-time), two or three years (part-time, daytime only)
Students on the MA Linguistics take 180 credits, 60 of which are a dissertation and a 120 from taught modules. Students should follow the programme structure set out below.
Students also attend the Research Foundations Seminar. Students may choose 30 credits from the list of approved language open options.
All students take the dissertation module
For students without a background in Linguistics
Students without a background in linguistics take the following two modules:
Students without a background in linguistics take modules to the value of 45 credits from List A below PLUS another 30 credits from either the Open Options list OR List A
For students with a background in Linguistics
Students with a background in linguistics will take the following module:
Students with a background in linguistics will take modules to the value of 45 credits from List A below And another 30 credits from either the Open Options list or List A and B below
List A - Linguistics Modules
The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.
An MA in Linguistics 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 Linguistics 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
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