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Graduate Diploma Applied Linguistics with English for Academic Purposes

Why we're great

  • Our courses provide an excellent preparation route into a wide range of Masters degrees.
  • Successful completion of our courses guarantees you entry to your chosen Masters degree.
  • Become a member of both the International Academy and the department of your subject area.

Course options2017-18

Duration: 9 months
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: International Academy
Fee (Home/EU): £4,900
Fee (International): £10,045
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
PGT fees information

Course enquiries

Telephone 01206 872719

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About the course

This course is for you if you need to improve your English language skills and subject knowledge of applied linguistics before going on to a Masters course. You improve your language fluency and academic vocabulary, develop your academic skills, and gain experience of western methods of teaching and learning so that you can progress onto a relevant Masters course in our Department of Language and Linguistics.

At Essex, you can progress onto our MA Applied Linguistics, or our MA TEFL/TESOL.

Our International Academy offers some of the best routes for international students to enter higher education in the UK. Our innovative courses and programmes have proved very successful with international students and have also attracted UK students because of the distinctive learning environment we offer.

If you are an international student, you may find that the education system in the UK is slightly different from other countries and, sometimes, that the transition to the British system can be challenging. Our courses help you to settle in and adapt to life in the UK.

Our applied linguistics modules examine topics related to second language acquisition and learning, and the principles of teaching English as a foreign language. They also deal with the relationship between learning a first and a second language, language aptitude, language teaching methods, techniques, materials and testing.

We have one of the largest and most prestigious language and linguistics departments in the world, a place where talented students become part of an academic community in which the majority of research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, placing us firmly within the Top 10 departments in the UK for research quality (REF 2014) and among the Top 150 departments on the planet (QS World University Rankings 2016).

You'll also be part of our Centre for Research in Language Development throughout the Lifespan (LaDeLi), a unique research centre specialising in all aspects of language learning and development.

Our expert staff

Our staff maintain excellent student-staff ratios with capped language-specific seminars.

In applied linguistics, Florence Myles, Monika Schmid, Sophia Skoufaki, Karen Roehr-Brackin, Adela Gánem-Gutiérrez, and Roger Hawkins focus on the learning of second and further languages, whilst Julian Good and Christina Gkonou focus on issues to do with the classroom teaching of English as a foreign language.

Specialist facilities

By studying within our International Academy, you will have access to all of the facilities that the University of Essex has to offer:

  • We provide computer labs for internet research; classrooms with access to PowerPoint facilities for student presentations; AV facilities for teaching and access to web-based learning materials
  • Our new Student Services Hub will support you and provide information for all your needs as a student
  • Our social space is stocked with hot magazines and newspapers, and provides an informal setting to meet with your lecturers, tutors and friends

Within our Department of Language and Linguistics, you have access to a range of world-class facilities including:

  • Weekly multilingual interpreting conferences, and workshops and field trips led by internationally renowned experts from the industry
  • Our Languages for All programme offers you the opportunity to study an additional language alongside your course at no extra cost
  • Our ‘Visual World’ Experimental Lab records response times and eye movements when individuals are presented with pictures and videos
  • Our Eye-Tracking Lab monitors eye movement of individuals performing tasks
  • Our Psycholinguistics Lab measures how long it takes individuals to react to words, texts and sounds
  • Our Linguistics Lab has specialist equipment to analyse sound
  • Our Albert Sloman Library houses a strong collection of books, journals, electronic resources and major archives

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Example structure

Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

For many of our courses you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from – those listed in this example structure are, in many instances, just a selection of those available. Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current postgraduate students, including details of all optional modules.

Year 1

Want to improve your English? Keen to practise your language skills? Revise your existing understanding of English grammar and vocabulary. Extend your knowledge of academic English. Learn to deliver an effective presentation and to communicate clearly in seminars or tutorials. Develop your independent enquiry and learning skills.

What qualitative and quantitative research methods are available to scientists and social scientists? And what theoretical enquiry can be used in humanities research? Examine the practical use of specific research methods. Understand the ethical issues related to undertaking research.

The module introduces you to the field of second language learning, from an applied linguistics perspective. You will cover key topics and questions in the field, such as how second language learning differs from first language learning, the role of the learner's age in the second language learning process, the influence of the first language on the second (and vice versa), the role of the learning context and social dimensions of second language learning, cognitive processes underpinning language learning, the stages of development of learner language, and the role of individual learner variables.

Want to work as a language teacher? Or conduct second language vocabulary research? Study how second language vocabulary can be taught, assessed and researched. Examine the latest research on how second language learners use vocabulary. Learn how to examine the vocabulary knowledge of EFL learners.

Now it’s time for a longer assignment. You will work with the support of your EAP lecturer to write a 2,500 word compare and contrast essay using academic sources. You will also develop your ability to give a presentation on an academic topic and develop your awareness of the reporting and referencing strategies needed to present a range of views while avoiding plagiarism.

What interests you? Undertake an in-depth investigation on a topic related to your course that you have chosen. Research, review and complete a 2,500-3,000 word assignment, that presents a balanced opinion while evaluating current knowledge. Deliver a presentation of your findings to the rest of your group.

How do you select literature for a language class? What are the distinctive features of literature for classroom use? What practical activities can language teachers undertake using literature? Learn to incorporate literature into the language classroom. Examine novels, poetry and drama, and understand how to use drama in the classroom.

Building on your existing knowledge of Psycholinguistics, this module aims to familiarise you with processes of language development and language change that may occur throughout the lifespan of an individual. You will look at some of the most common theoretical approaches to language learning and gain an insight into both monolingual and bilingual language development from infancy to puberty. You will also look into how and why some parts of language proficiency may be lost.


  • Your teaching consists of interactive classes, workshops and tutorials
  • There will be an emphasis on learner independence, peer- and self-assessment
  • You will also have the opportunity to attend seminars organised by our Department of Language and Linguistics


  • Your assessed coursework will generally consist of essays, in-class tests and individual oral presentations
  • You may be required to sit exams during the third term of your academic year

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UK entry requirements

This course is not available to UK applicants.

International and EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Email for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.

IELTS entry requirements

IELTS 5.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

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Visit us

Open days

We hold postgraduate events in February/March and November, and open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.


Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.


You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.

There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

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The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

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