Linguistics MA

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
24 months part time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a related subject.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components
UK fees
£12,000 (Total)
International fees
£25,750 (Total)

Course overview

Students in the Language Zone

The MA in Linguistics will give you an in-depth theoretical and methodological grounding in linguistics and phonetics – analysing how language and speech sounds are structured and used.

Core modules will introduce you to key aspects of the discipline, such as syntax, phonetics and phonology. You will also develop your knowledge of a broad range of theoretical and empirical research methods. You will then choose from optional modules to suit your interests or career plans, such as language acquisition or discourse studies. You will be trained to carry out sound research and complete a final dissertation based on original work, under the guidance of a personal supervisor.

Spanning the arts and sciences, linguistics is a challenging and rewarding discipline that allows you to gain a real understanding of human communication as well as a wide range of transferable skills. Taught by experts in top-class facilities and supported by the Language at Leeds research network, this programme will give you a good foundation in the subject informed by the very latest research.

Specialist resources

Leeds is a fantastic place to study linguistics and phonetics. Our tutors and research students are active members of the wider Language at Leeds network which brings together researchers from across the University. You will be able to enhance your learning with an array of research events throughout the year.

Postgraduates also have access to our extensive facilities, including a recording studio, PCs running specialist software, and online corpora. You can make use of our phonetics lab and the Language Zone, a state-of-the-art space where you can use a range of language-based teaching materials whenever you want.

Course details

This programme is suitable for people who will have studied some linguistics during their first degree and provides ideal preparation for further research in linguistics. If you have a substantial background in linguistics or phonetics, you may prefer to study for an MA by Research.

As part of the MA programme, you will take five compulsory modules and 60 credits of option choices. Core modules will allow you to develop your knowledge of key aspects of linguistics, focusing on both formal syntax and phonetics in semester 1. You will build on this foundational knowledge in the following semester, progressing onto an advanced module in syntax and/or phonetics. You will also take core modules to develop your academic and research skills in linguistics.

In addition, you will expand your understanding of areas that suit your interests when you choose from optional modules on topics such as pragmatics and discourse analysis, first and second language acquisition, and sociolinguistics. By the end of the programme, you will be able to demonstrate the skills and knowledge you’ve gained when you complete an independently researched dissertation on a linguistics topic of your choice.

The MA is one calendar year of full-time study. If you choose to study part-time, you will take fewer modules in each year so you can study over a period of 24 months.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Linguistics MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Linguistics MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Dissertation (Linguistics and Phonetics) 30
Foundations of Phonetics and Phonology 15
Foundations of Syntax 15
Topics in Phonetics and Phonology 15
Topics in Syntax 15
Academic Skills in Linguistics 15
Research Methods in Linguistics 15

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Technology Enhanced Language Learning 30
The Practice of Supporting Language Teacher Learning 15
Introducing a Task-Based Curriculum in Classrooms and Systems 15
Teaching Academic English 15
Corpus Linguistics in the Classroom 15
Current Issues in Second Language Teacher Education 30
Materials Development for TESOL 15
Teaching Languages to Young Learners 30
Languages in Contact 30
Second Language Acquisition 30
Approaches to Linguistics and Language Acquisition 30
Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis 30
Rhetoric and Public Speaking 15
Managing Business Across Cultures 15
International Organisations: Context, Theory and Practice 15

Learning and teaching

We use diverse and inclusive teaching and learning methods to help you benefit from our tutors’ expertise. They include seminars, lectures, online learning, tutorials and practicals. Most of the compulsory and optional modules will run from September to January (semester 1) or from February to June (semester 2), combining lectures with weekly or fortnightly seminars. Independent study is also a vital element of the course. You’re also encouraged to sit in on classes in modules that you’re not taking, giving you a great opportunity to gain a broad base of knowledge in linguistics and phonetics.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


You will be assessed by a wide variety of assessment methods, giving you opportunities to develop key skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, the ability to analyse authentic language data, synthesise information from multiple sources and evaluate current theoretical debates.

Core modules will be assessed by analysis tasks, practical assignments, exams and research papers. Option modules may also include research proposals, critiques, presentations and collaborative projects, introducing you to a broad range of research methods in linguistics.

You will also be assessed on your individual summer project (dissertation), allowing you to conduct original research on a linguistic topic of your choice.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (Hons) in a relevant subject such as languages, English, education, psychology, speech therapy, including at least one linguistics module, passed with a good grade. Relevant professional experience will also be considered. Applicants must demonstrate familiarity with the discipline of linguistics and the aims of the course in their supporting statement.

Applying from China

Due to the large numbers of applications we receive, we’re only able to offer places to applicants who have attended selected Chinese institutions.With regret, any applications we receive from applicants awarded a qualification in China from an institution that isn’t on this list will be rejected.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Please see our How to Apply page for information about application deadlines.

Applications will not be considered until required documents (see below) have been submitted.

We recommend that you provide evidence of English language proficiency at the point of application, however, it is not a requirement to do so. Applicants must meet the English language requirement, submit their application and submit all required supporting documents by the course deadline. Applicants applying for funding/scholarships are advised to apply at least eight weeks ahead of any deadline.

Application Deadlines for International applicants: 12 August 2024

Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information you'll need

You must upload the following documents before we will assess your application:

  • Official degree certificate(s) and transcript of marks or enrolment certificate and partial transcript of marks
  • Evidence of English language proficiency
  • Personal Statement
    Visit the course catalogue page and select modules to learn about them in detail before you compose your statement. This should be approximately 500 words and must (A) explain why you want to study the course; (B) outline your background and previous study in this area in relation to the course content and particular modules; (C) demonstrate an understanding of the modules, which you would opt to study and why; (D) explain how the course will benefit you in your future career; and (E) explain why you are interested in the specific programme offered at Leeds, mentioning in particular why our theoretical focus will be relevant for you.

The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures receives very large numbers of high-quality applications and regrets that it cannot make offers to all of its applicants. Some particularly popular schools may have to reject many that hold the necessary academic qualifications.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies

Contact us

Taught Postgraduate Admissions Team



UK: £12,000 (Total)

International: £25,750 (Total)

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Part-time fees
Fees for part-time courses are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Find out more about Funding and Scholarships.

Career opportunities

This course will give you a sophisticated understanding of human communication, as well as valuable transferable skills in areas such as use of quantitative and qualitative data, research, interpretation, oral and written communication and analysis, which are highly attractive to employers in a wide range of industries.

Many of our graduates pursue a career in education and language teaching, working as language teachers or EFL instructors in schools and universities. Our MA will also give you valuable skills to continue onto further training and specialisation in areas such as translation/interpretation, computational linguistics and natural language processing, forensic linguistics, or speech and language therapy.

Our best graduates pursue careers in academia working as professors or researchers at universities, specialising in linguistics teaching and research in areas such as theoretical syntax, phonetics, discourse analysis and psycholinguistics. Many also find opportunities in a variety of sectors that involve language and communication, such as publishing and editorial, market research and analysis or intercultural training.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.