The Linguistics Master’s programme at QUB enables you to acquire the research skills and subject-specific knowledge that are essential for driving forward your interest in language-focused research. Our Programme is based in the School of Arts, English and Languages and will be taught by specialists who work on English, French, Irish, Breton and community languages.

You are welcome to follow either a broad-based programme encompassing, for example, structural and formal aspects of linguistic organisation (e.g. phonetics/phonology, morpho-syntax, lexis, discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, variation and change) and their effects on communication; or you may choose to concentrate on areas such as particular linguistic features in English, French, Irish or Breton, or the role of language policies in relation to minoritised languages or particular types of speech.

You will undertake training in research methods so that you can make informed and judicious choices about how to identify, select, capture and analyse linguistic data, and you will learn how to make sense of your data and the results of your analysis.

You will choose modules which address key variables in language organisation from theoretical and practical perspectives, and you will have the option to choose modules which complement and enhance your own emerging research interests and focus on the language(s) in which you are interested. In the dissertation, you will explore a specialist topic of your choice using the skills and knowledge you have acquired in the taught components of the Programme.

Throughout the Programme, you will have access to scholars who are experts in their respective fields and whose work is internationally recognised in research rankings and impact, and who work collaboratively to provide you with the academic support and guidance to help you make a success of your work with us. Your MA in Linguistics from QUB will equip you with a range of subject-specific and transferable skills which enable you to consider employment in diverse areas, including research in speech and language, education, language policy and heritage, marketing and communication, journalism, translation and interpreting and law.

Subjects taught

Year 1
Core Modules
• Dissertation (60 credits)
• Research Methods 1: Research Design in Linguistics (20 credits)
• Research Methods 2: Skills in Linguistic Research and Data Analysis (20 credits)

Optional Modules
• Directed Study in English/French/Irish Linguistics (20 credits)
• Name Studies (20 credits)
• Sociolinguistics (20 credits)
• Discourse Analysis: traditional to digital (20 credits)
• Meaning, Sense, Translation (20 credits)
• Corpus Linguistics (20 credits)
• Discourses of Crime and Deviance (20 credits)
• Phonetics and Phonology: Concepts and Practices (20 credits)

Course Structure
Master’s students will take the compulsory Research Methods 1 and 2, four optional taught modules, and the dissertation; equalling 180 CATS points. Diploma students take all modules except the dissertation (120 CATS points), and Certificate students choose three optional modules (60 CATS points).

Students may enrol on a full-time (1 year) or part-time (usually 2 years) basis. Part-time students typically complete one or two modules per semester. Full-time students typically complete three modules per semester.

The MA is awarded to students who successfully complete six taught modules (120 CATS points) and a 15,000 word research dissertation (60 CATS points).

Entry and exit qualifications are available: students may exit with a Postgraduate Diploma by successfully completing 120 CATS points from taught modules or a Postgraduate Certificate by successfully completing 60 CATS points from taught modules.

Entry requirements

Normally a 2.1 Honours degree or above (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) in English, French or Irish Language and/or Linguistics or related discipline.

The University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy provides guidance on the assessment of experiential learning (RPEL). Please visit for more information.

Application dates

Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 16th August 2024 for courses which commence in late September. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.

How to Apply
Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.

Contact Teaching Hours
Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial
6 (hours maximum)
6 hours per week (seminar-based)

Enrolment dates

Entry Year: 2024/25

Post Course Info

Career Prospects
Those who graduate from Linguistics programmes routinely enter careers in academia, school-teaching, speech and language therapy, translation, forensic linguistics, language planning and policy, government administration, and museums, cultural and heritage organisations. This MA will equip you with the knowledge and skills required for a successful career in these areas, and for further study in your preferred area within linguistics.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider