Linguistics for English Language Teaching MA

Year of entry

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)
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

This unique course bridges the gap between linguistic theory and language teaching practice to enable you to develop a career in language teaching or research.

Whether you’re already a teacher or you plan to become one, this degree offers you an in-depth theoretical and methodological understanding of how language is structured, used and interpreted and how this can inform language teaching. Core modules will introduce you to key topics in linguistics such as syntax, phonetics and phonology, as well as teaching methodologies and how they are applied. You will also improve your knowledge of research methods in language sciences.

To enhance your knowledge, you will choose from optional modules to suit your career plans or interests, on topics such as second language acquisition or pragmatics and discourse analysis. With support from expert tutors within the Language at Leeds research network, you will gain valuable skills and a sound knowledge base to prepare you for further research or to inform your teaching practice.

Specialist facilities

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'll 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 is an academic course which approaches language teaching from the perspective of linguistics, providing a solid theoretical basis for further career development in language teaching. It is therefore not intended for those who are seeking vocational teacher training or classroom experience.

As part of this MA course, you will take seven compulsory modules and 30 credits of option choices.

Core modules in your first semester will give you a good grounding in key topics and approaches in linguistics, introducing you to theoretical syntax, phonetics, phonology and language acquisition. You will also develop the skills you need to study linguistics effectively.

In the following semester you’ll build on this foundation, improving your linguistic research skills while learning about language teaching methodologies and practices. You will also choose from optional modules to focus on topics that interest you, such as pragmatics and second language acquisition.

Throughout this course you will develop sophisticated research and analytical skills, as well as a wealth of subject knowledge and teaching techniques. You will demonstrate this in your dissertation, where you will independently research a topic of your choice and submit the finished product by the end of the course in September.

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.

Year 1 compulsory modules

  • Dissertation (Linguistics and Phonetics) (45 credits)

  • Foundations of Phonetics and Phonology (15 credits)

  • Foundations of Syntax (15 credits)

  • Approaches to Linguistics and Language Acquisition (30 credits)

  • Academic Skills in Linguistics (15 credits)

  • Methodology in Language Teaching (15 credits)

  • Language Teaching in Practice (15 credits)

Year 1 optional modules

  • Second Language Acquisition (30 credits)

  • Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis (30 credits)

  • Topics in Syntax (30 credits)

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 combine 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, which gives 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 portfolios. Optional 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.

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.

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)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

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

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.