Ulster University - Belfast


Both the academic and the geographical context make this course unique. The course is distinctive in its breadth, offering modules in core theoretical generative linguistics, conversation, and discourse analysis.

You will develop many transferable skills including:
• Constructing and managing an argument
• Working as a team to achieve common goals
• Recognising and solving problems
• Using initiative and working independently
• Self-management with the ability to carry out personal reflection
• Time management and organisation skills

The course team has strong links with speech and language therapy, and several members are involved in research with clinical applications regarding language and communication disorders and multilingualism.

The course develops knowledge in the study of language and can lead to doctoral study in linguistics or careers in publishing and teaching. Many graduates have chosen this course as a stepping-stone towards a career in speech and language therapy.

For further course details please see "Course Web Page" below.

Subjects taught

Year one
Structure and History of English
The module provides a thorough overview of the structure and the history of the English language from 500 BC until the present. It also raises critical awareness by the students of core concepts used in the analysis of language change. Furthermore, it presents in detail a wide array of morpho-phonological, syntactic and semantic changes in the history of English. During this module, students will learn to use descriptive tools in order to observe and describe language change phenomena in the morphology, syntax and semantics of English. in addition to that, students will have to critically evaluate cutting-edge research and advanced scholarship in the area of historical linguistics and engage creatively with current issues in the field.

English & Comparative Syntax
Syntax is a rapidly developing discipline with many unsolved problems which are subject to hot debates in the literature. This module focuses on the current discussions in syntactic theorizing introducing students to work at the cutting edge of theoretical syntax with special reference to the syntax of English.

Language Acquisition
This module covers current theoretical and methodological issues in first and second language acquisition research.

Spoken Discourse
This module aims to develop students' understanding of the dfferent theoretical approaches to the analysis of spoken discourse and also to facilitate students' engagement with current epistemological and methodological debates. The module will focus on Conversation Analysis as an analytical approach to understanding institutional talk in interaction.

Research methods in linguistics
This module aims to facilitate the students' critical engagement with the research process by supporting them in reviewing the current theoretical literature and research methods for a topic of their choice in English language and/or linguistics. This module supports the students' development as researchers by engaging students in methodological debates and by making explicit those approaches to data that are predominantly implicit

The Communication dissertation aims to enable students to design and carry out an independent piece of research. It is intended that this will strengthen their ability to interpret and apply research data to a work environment. The research will focus in depth on one area of communication.

Linguistics Interfaces
This module is optional
This module supports the students' abilities of knowledge transfer and application by engaging students in current debates of linguistic interface issues and how they might solve problems which have previously created challenges for non-integrated approaches in traditional framework of generative grammar.

This module is optional
It is generally accepted that the majority of the world's population speaks more than one language and that the monolingual situation is now rather uncommon. This module focuses on recent advances on multilingualism and introduces post-graduate students to topical current theoretical debates. Apart from its interest for theories of language acquisition, a more sophisticated understanding of the phenomenon of multilingualism can assist teachers, speech and language therapists and other language professionals when they have to deal with multilingual children and adults. This module focuses on recent advances on multilingualism and introduces post-graduate students to topical current theoretical debates. The module can also be delivered as a stand-alone CPPD module for language professionals that wish to advance their knowledge on aspects of multilingual development.

Semantics and Pragmatics
This module is optional
Semantics is an important area in theoretical linguistics. This module builds on the descriptive understanding of linguistic and non-linguistic meaning developed in Year one and it aims to further and deepen the study of this components of our linguistics knowledge, knowledge of word and sentence meaning.

Formal pragmatics
This module is optional
The module introduces students to the concepts and methods of semantics and pragmatics. The main emphasis is on understanding the nature of the semantic enterprise, in order that students can work from a thoroughly grounded framework in selecting various analytic concepts for use within their future research work.

This module is optional
This module is an introduction to sociolinguistics, within which students will be familiarised with linguistic variability and the social use of language, as part of the scientific study of the relationship between language and society.

Entry requirements

To apply to our postgraduate taught programmes, you must meet the University's General Entrance Requirements and any course-specific requirements.

These vary depending on the course and are detailed online.

A successfully completed undergraduate Honours degree with a final classification of 2:2 or higher.

If English is not your first language this course requires a minimum English level of IELTS (academic) 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5, or equivalent.

Visit for more details.

This course is open to international (non-EU) students (full-time only).

For full entry requirements please see "Course Web Page" below.

Application dates

Your Application
Application is through the University's online application system (see "Application Weblink" below).

Post Course Info

Career options
The programme develops students knowledge in the study of language and can hence lead to the following career options:

PhD in Linguistics

Many of our past graduates have chosen this course as a first stepping stone towards a career in Speech and Language Therapy.

There are also other generic and transferable skills that the student will develop from studying a linguistics degree. They include:

- the ability to construct and manage an argument;
- working as a team to achieve common goals;
- the ability to recognise and solve problems;
- using initiative and working independently;
- self-management with the ability to carry out personal reflection;
- time management and organisation skills.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma at UK Level 7,Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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