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English Linguistics (Distance Learning) - MA

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry. Switch to 2023/24 Entry

The MA in English Linguistics is a flexible distance-learning programme. You can work at your own pace fitting your study around work and other commitments. The programme is well established, having been introduced in 1992, but it continues to evolve. It’s now delivered via the Moodle virtual learning environment with interactive content being developed exclusively for MA students.

  • Level Postgraduate Taught
  • Study mode Distance Learning
  • Award MA
  • Start date October 2024, January 2025, April 2025, July 2025
  • Fees View course fees
  • School School of English
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

This course is:

Open to International Students

Overview

The MA in English Linguistics is a flexible distance-learning programme. You can work at your own pace fitting your study around work and other commitments.

The programme is well established, having been introduced in 1992, but it continues to evolve. It’s now delivered via the Moodle virtual learning environment with interactive content being developed exclusively for MA students.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

This programme will enable you to develop advanced analytical skills and in-depth linguistic knowledge, and to gain experience as an independent researcher.

It begins with the Language Description module, designed to give you confidence in working with the essential building blocks of linguistic analysis: grammar, morphology, and phonology. You’ll then study Data, Theory & Method, covering topics such as hypothesis testing, the role of linguistic theory, data collection, academic referencing and research ethics. There are optional modules too, covering topics such as sociolinguistics, second language acquisition, spoken discourse analysis, and the history of the English language. In choosing three of these modules you can tailor your studies to your individual interests and career aspirations. The final dissertation is a piece of original research on a topic of your choice.

One of our key strengths is that the programme is taught by leading authorities on the subjects covered. Our teaching staff are active researchers who, according to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, publish world-leading journal articles, chapters and books. This research feeds directly into the MA learning materials.

You’ll be fully supported by a tutor assigned to you when you begin each module who can be contacted by email or telephone. There’s no requirement for you ever to attend the University, but there are ample opportunities for you to do so if you wish.

This is a staged qualification, meaning you can choose to exit with either a Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma or you can continue to the MA stage.

The modules are diverse and very interesting yet challenging as well. The teaching staff are brilliant and easy to communicate with via email, phone and even face to face if you make an appointment. I love that the staff are not only approachable but they offer superb feedback on formal and informal assignments. They challenge you in order to draw out your creative side and produce high level of work. The course is well structured and the modules are broad so you're covering a lot of different aspects of linguistics.

MA Linguistics graduate, 2016

Why Choose Us?

  • Our teaching staff are expert researchers in English Language and Literature. 94% of research in English at BCU was judged to be either world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) in REF2021.
  • You'll be given support and guidance from our dedicated team of staff throughout.
  • The MA is delivered entirely through distance-learning with no requirement for you ever to attend the University.
  • The course is designed for maximum flexibility, with a generous time limit of 6 months for each module (16 months for the dissertation) and a 5 year maximum enrolment period overall.
  • Fees are charged on a modular basis as you progress through the course, with no up-front costs.
  • This is a chance for you to study a subject you love at your own pace, anywhere in the world.

Similar Courses

Entry Requirements

Essential Requirements
Essential

You would normally have a UK or internationally recognised honours degree, or its equivalent, in any relevant subject.

An alternative would be an ordinary degree/teaching certificate and two to three years' teaching experience.

Extra information for EU/International students
Essential

For anyone who has studied at undergraduate level in a non-English-speaking country, we also require an English Language qualification equivalent to a British Council IELTS score of 7.0.

International Students

Entry requirements here

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: MA

Starting: Oct 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Distance Learning
  • 2-5 years
  • £845 per 20 credit module

Award: MA

Starting: Jan 2025

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Distance Learning
  • 2-5 years
  • £845 per 20 credit module

Award: MA

Starting: Apr 2025

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Distance Learning
  • 2-5 years
  • £845 per 20 credit module

Award: MA

Starting: Jul 2025

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Distance Learning
  • 2-5 years
  • £845 per 20 credit module

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: MA

Starting: Oct 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Distance Learning
  • 2-5 years
  • £845 per 20 credit module

Award: MA

Starting: Jan 2025

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Distance Learning
  • 2-5 years
  • £845 per 20 credit module

Award: MA

Starting: Apr 2025

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Distance Learning
  • 2-5 years
  • £845 per 20 credit module

Award: MA

Starting: Jul 2025

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Distance Learning
  • 2-5 years
  • £845 per 20 credit module

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.

Personal stationery and study materials (optional)

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £30 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Fees

Fees are displayed per 20-credit module.

The cost of each 40-credit module = 2 X 20-credit modules.

The cost of each 60-credit module = 3 X 20-credit modules.

Personal statement

You’ll need to submit a personal statement as part of your application for this course. This will need to highlight your passion for postgraduate study – and your chosen course – as well as your personal skills and experience, academic success, and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Not sure what to include? We’re here to help – take a look at our top tips for writing personal statements and download our free postgraduate personal statement guide for further advice and examples from real students.

Course in Depth

Modules

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

In order to complete this course you must also successfully complete at least 60 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.

Please note list of optional modules is indicative only. Students’ choice will not be guaranteed for optional modules but a fair and transparent process will be adopted and shared with students.

Download course specification

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Programme structure

The maximum registration period on the programme is 60 months (five years). Application may be made to suspend registration if you are unable to continue for a period. This is called a temporary withdrawal. If you do take a temporary withdrawal, you should be aware that the time you take out is counted as part of the maximum registration period. There is no minimum registration period.

If you leave the course without completing successfully 180 credits, you may be entitled to be awarded an exit award of either Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) or a Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) providing you have passed the relevant modules for these stages.

For the PGCert award, you need to complete 60 credits for two core modules: Language Description (40 credit programme module); Data, Theory & Method in Linguistics (20 credit programme module).

For the PGDip award, you need to complete a further 60 credits by choosing 3 optional modules from the following list (20 credits each): Analysis of Spoken Discourse, History of the English Language, Second Language Acquisition, Sociolinguistics.

For MA award, you also need to complete the 60 credit Major Project (Dissertation).

Successful completion of the five 'taught' modules, including Language Description and Data, Theory & Method and three of the optional modules, enables you to progress to the dissertation stage. The additional successful completion of a dissertation qualifies you for the award of Master of Arts in English Linguistics (total of 180 credits).

Further Study

There are a number of opportunities to consider upon completing your MA course. Popular options include MPhil or PhD studies.

For further information on courses contact Birmingham City University Choices. Tel: 0121 331 6295. Email: choices@bcu.ac.uk, or go direct to the courses section of the website.

View more examples of student work

Employability

Enhancing your employability skills

Although the programme is not designed to train students for a specific career, you will develop knowledge and practical skills that will enhance your employability and help you to progress in a wide range of careers. The key transferable skills you will gain on the MA programme are as follows:

  • communicating in writing in a fluent, concise and precise manner; constructing substantial pieces of prose using appropriate register and style.
  • abstracting and synthesising information; collecting, analysing and manipulating data of diverse kinds.
  • recognising problems and developing problem-solving strategies, and evaluating their effectiveness.
  • working independently; demonstrating initiative and self-motivation; having effective organisational skills and time management.

International

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Out international students

More than 50% of the students on this programme are from outside the UK. All students, wherever they are in the world, have the same access to materials, the same support from tutors and pay the same fees.

Facilities & Staff

Our English Linguistics course is delivered through the Moodle online learning resource, with online study materials to guide you through the appropriate topics, as well as providing links to other resources. You will also need textbooks, and a full reading list is provided with each module syllabus.

Although it is taught by distance learning, you will still have regular contact with your module tutor by email or telephone. We also offer optional periodic seminar talks where you can meet the course team, along with your fellow students.

Our staff

Dr Tatiana Grieshofer (formerly Tkacukova)

Reader in Language and Law

Dr Tatiana Grieshofer (formerly Tkacukova) is Reader in Language and Law at Birmingham City University. Tatiana’s empirically driven quantitative and qualitative research explores a wide range of language and communication related topics within family, civil, tribunal and criminal legal settings, with a specific interest on the interplay between...

More about Tatiana

Professor Andrew Kehoe

Professor of Corpus Linguistics / Director of Research

Andrew Kehoe is Professor of Corpus Linguistics and Director of Research in English. He studied at the University of Liverpool, gaining qualifications in both English and Computer Science. He researches in the field of Corpus Linguistics: the creation and study of a collection of texts (or corpus) in order to extract new knowledge about language in...

More about Andrew

Dr Mark McGlashan

Lecturer in English Language

Dr Mark McGlashan is Lecturer in English Language, Associate Director of Research, and Research Degrees Coordinator in BCU’s School of English. Alongside these roles, he holds the position of Institute Lead for Enterprise and Employability within the Birmingham Institute of Media and English (BIME). Previous positions include periods as Research...

More about Mark