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Saturday 25 October 2014 (booking now)
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Wednesday 5 November 2014 (booking now)

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Course Finder

MA English Language (Subject to approval)

Location: Colchester Campus
Qualification: Master of Arts
Mode of study: Full-time
Duration: 12 months
Tuition Fee: Home/EU, Overseas
Funding available: Find out using our scholarship finder Department: Language and Linguistics
Facebook: University of Essex
Further information: For more information, please e-mail us or see for yourself by booking a place at one of our open days.

About the course

Our MA English Language gives you knowledge of how English language is used both by adults and children, and how it varies across the Anglophone world. You research both general linguistic and social aspects of English language structure and use, so you achieve both a practical and theoretical knowledge of major paradigms and interpretive traditions. Our research skills training covers techniques of methodology and analysis needed for empirical data collection, transcription and investigation of current issues in English language.

Please note that this course is also available on a part-time basis.

Why study MA English Language at Essex?

Our Department of Language and Linguistics offers an outstanding teaching and research environment. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE, December 2008), we were rated as producing the highest proportion of world-leading linguistics research of any university in the UK and we were ranked ninth in the UK in the 2012 National Student Survey.

Our students are taught, supported and supervised by staff with an international reputation for being at the forefront of research in a wide range of areas. This means we provide an active and stimulating environment for your studies. We have a strong research group culture and run a weekly Departmental Seminar, which regularly features eminent outside speakers.

Our facilities

Our University of Essex has excellent library holdings in all areas of linguistics, with online access to many periodicals and resources. Within our Department of Language and Linguistics, we have open access computing labs running many software packages that our research students need in their work. We also have a number of resources for conducting linguistic research in psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics and language acquisition.

Introduction

A Masters course is an academically rigorous programme during which you explore your subject in depth, reaching a high level of specialist knowledge. You draw on knowledge and skills from your undergraduate study or your professional life to produce work of a high academic standard, informed by current thinking and debate.

A full-time Masters course lasts for twelve months, starting in October, and consists of taught modules during your autumn and spring terms, and normally a research-based dissertation or other project-based work submitted in September. A part-time Masters course lasts for 24 months, normally starting in October, and consists of taught modules spread out over two years, with normally a research-based dissertation or other project-based work submitted in September of the second year. Each of the taught modules you take in the Department of Language and Linguistics counts for 15 credits. The total credit weighting for a Masters course is 180: 120 for taught modules and 60 for the MA dissertation. (If you are from the EU, then our Masters courses are regarded as ‘second-cycle’ qualifications under the Bologna Declaration and consist of 90 ECTS credits).

Core modules must be taken and passed.
Core with options modules selected from limited lists must be taken and passed.
Compulsory modules must be taken.
Compulsory with options modules selected from limited lists must be taken.
Optional modules are selected from course specific lists.

Introduction

Your postgraduate study at Essex gives you an opportunity to develop your own ideas and interests, and to engage with thinking at the leading edge of your subject, as part of the research community in our Department of Language and Linguistics, and our wider academic and professional community.

As you are studying a non-science subject, then your teaching mainly takes the form of lectures and classes.

Your assessment is a combination of written coursework, end-of-term tests, practical and laboratory work (where appropriate) and end-of-year exams. During the summer, you will work on a dissertation or individual project included in your final grade.

Teaching methods and styles

Within our Department of Language and Linguistics, our taught courses typically consist of eight one-term modules and a dissertation. The normal format involves a set of four core modules and a choice of four relevant specialist options from more than 100 on offer. This flexible modular structure means that our courses can be followed on a 12-month full-time and a 24-month part-time basis.

Your dissertation

If you are taking a Graduate or Postgraduate Diploma you do not need to do a dissertation.

If you are taking a Masters course, your 16,000-word dissertation allows you to focus in depth on your chosen topic from April onwards. This enables you to gain an in depth knowledge of an area that interests you, with close supervision by a member of staff within our Department.

Methods of assessment

Within our Department of Language and Linguistics, your eight one-term modules are assessed by coursework and you are also assessed on your 16,000-word dissertation, produced during the summer.

Seminars and conferences

Our Department of Language and Linguistics has a strong research group culture. We run a weekly departmental seminar, attended by both staff and students. These give you exposure to cutting-edge research on topical issues, provide a role model for your own presentations and give you the opportunity to meet up with speakers and discuss your own research and ideas with them.

Career destinations

Given the breadth of our provision within our Department of Language and Linguistics, career prospects for our graduates vary depending on the study undertaken. For example, many of our MA courses connect you with careers in computing, language disorders/speech therapy and management.

From most of our taught courses there is a natural progression to PhD study, using the research training in your MA. Often the career destination is university lecturing or research. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the areas of linguistics we cover, this could be in departments of English, linguistics, education, sociology or even cognitive science. Other careers our postgraduates have gone on to, where the generic skills they acquired with us are also valued, include publishing, social work, administration, retail and public speaking.

Your employability

A postgraduate qualification is a major achievement and greatly valued by employers. Recent surveys show that higher degree graduates are more likely to obtain jobs at professional or managerial level and less likely to be unemployed. For some jobs a postgraduate qualification may be essential, for others it offers a competitive edge. Our graduates go into a variety of jobs, where the key employability skills and knowledge they have gained through postgraduate study are put to good use.

Our Languages for All programme lets you study a language, alongside your course, at no extra cost. You can take one of 50 taught language modules on a part-time day-time basis, or undertake flexible web-based learning, or opt for a language module taught in the evening. As employers can struggle to find graduates able to speak more than one language, Languages for All places Essex graduates in a very advantageous position.

If you achieve your Masters, you may wish to extend your knowledge with a research degree and many who graduate from Essex choose to stay here for research study. Some of our Masters may be taken as the first part of an Integrated PhD, leading to your PhD after a further three years of full-time study.

Support for postgraduates

Our University has a range of support services designed to help you to achieve your full potential and get the most out of your studies. These form a co-ordinated network of support, and are an important part of your overall student experience at Essex.

Our staff operate an 'open door' policy so are available to discuss any concerns with you throughout the year.

Research study opportunities

Within our Department of Language and Linguistics, we offer supervision for PhD and MPhil. Comprising 24 academic staff, we offer teaching and research supervision in: language acquisition, language learning and language teaching; culture and communication; psycholinguistics; language disorders; sociolinguistics; and theoretical and descriptive linguistics.

Qualifications

Our applicants should have a 1st, 2:1 or high 2:2 degree, or equivalent, in a relevant subject.

If English is not your first language, then we require IELTS 6.5 with 6 in writing or TOEFL iBT88.

Open Evenings

Come to one of our Open Evenings in Colchester or London to discover what makes Essex an outstanding place to study. Our Open Evenings are your chance to find out what it’s like to be a member of our thriving postgraduate community. Meet our academics and talk informally to current students to find out more about postgraduate life and study at Essex.

Campus Tours

If you can’t make one of our Open Evenings then don’t worry, we offer regular Campus Tours at our Colchester and Southend campuses. Please let us know which campus you want to visit using the email addresses below and we’ll organise a tour with a current student for you.

Please try to give four working days' notice and if you or any of your guests have any specific individual needs. Please include details in your email and we can arrange to tailor your visit accordingly.

Colchester Campus

We offer campus tours from Monday to Friday at 12.30pm. Please email scl@essex.ac.uk letting us know when you would like to come.

Watch our Colchester Campus tour on Vimeo.

See our videos on our University of Essex Vimeo channel.