MA in Linguistics

Application Code: Z028 (full-time) & Z224 (part-time)

The MA in Linguistics gives students a solid grounding in current research, approaches, methods and theories in core areas of linguistics and encourages their effective application to a wide range of language-based phenomena in areas such as language technology, language learning and teaching, the psychology of language, language planning and development. The MA in Linguistics does not focus on any specific language, but explores phenomena across a range of languages.

Who is the MA in Linguistics for?

The MA in Linguistics is open to graduates (BA or equivalent) from all disciplines. It is suitable for those with some prior knowledge of Linguistics as well as those with little or no prior knowledge of Linguistics.

What will students learn?

The programme nurtures core academic values such as the importance of systematic and empirically-based investigation of language phenomena based on critical consideration of existing theories and approaches and the analysis and collection of primary data. It promotes the importance of multi-method approaches to exploring language phenomena and emphasizes the relevance of interdisciplinary and inter-cultural perspectives. Students receive ample training in research and further enhance their research skills when carrying out independent research for their dissertation.

Students develop a range of transferrable skills such as critical analysis, pattern recognition and evaluation, academic communication skills, autonomous individual and group learning and research skills. The programme also enhances empirical study design skills.

How will learning be facilitated?

Learning takes place through a variety of teaching and learning approaches. They include critical assessment of existing studies, methods and theories, hands-on group and individual project work, problem-based research approaches, group discussions, and oral presentations.

The program provides a flexible learning environment. It encourages students to identify and pursue their own research interests through a wide range of option modules, while at the same time acquiring in-depth subject knowledge and competence as well as indispensable transferrable skills.


If you are looking to acquire a deeper understanding of English language teaching and the classroom implications of teaching applied language skills, you might be intersted in the MA TESOL (Applied Language Center).

If you are more interested in analysing practical, everyday problems related to language and communication as well as second language teaching and learning, you might apply to the MA Applied Linguistics.

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Students are liable to pay programme fees to the University which is in line with fees for other MA programmes. For information on fees for Graduate programmes please consult: http://www.ucd.ie/students/fees/index.html

The University and the School offer a number of fellowships for applicants. For information, please go to http://www.ucd.ie/international/study-at-ucd-global/coming-to-ireland/scholarships-and-funding/gt-scholarships-and-funding/ or contact staff in the international office.

What are the requirements for admission?

No prior knowledge of Linguistics is required for admission to the MA programme.

Applicants must have a BA or equivalent, having ideally reached a 2H1 or better. Applications with a 2H2 average are considered on a case-by-case basis.

All students must normally supply references from two academic referees who are able to provide details about the applicant’s academic abilities and motivations.

Students whose first language is not English and who did not complete their prior education through English (or Irish) must take an IELTS test to provide proof of their English language skills. Students are expected to reach a minimum overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.5 (particularly in writing and speaking).

Students who fall a bit short (0.5 in one band) of the required scores may consider attending a five-week pre-sessional Academic English course in the Applied Language Center prior to the start of the MA programme.[1]

 


[1] In order to be admitted to the programme, students have to reach a C overall and no band below C- for the final assessment of the course.

Linguistics interfaces with a range of areas. It can lead to careers in:

  • language teaching
  • computer science
  • cognitive science
  • education
  • speech and language therapy
  • speech processing
  • artificial intelligence
  • publishing  and media

The full-time option (Z028) is a one-year programme and runs from September to the middle of August. Students take taught modules in Semesters 1 and 2, and complete their thesis during Semester 3. Students take the following core and option modules:

Core modules (taught on Wednesdays over 12 weeks)

Semester 1:   

LING 40090 Sociolinguistics (7.5 Credits)

LING 40050 Phonology (7.5 Credits)

Semester 2:   

LING 40110 Syntax (7.5 Credits)

LING40320 Corpus Linguistics (7.5 Credits)

 

LING 40230 Literature Review (10 credits)

Each student selects an area of investigation (in conjunction with a supervisor) between January and early March. Students then critically review the published literature on the topic (March to end of April). Assessment involves a conference-like presentation of academic literature and an outline of the thesis research (middle of May) and a write-up of the literature review.                   

The module may involve a few meetings with the whole group.

Semester 3:   

LING 40240 MA Thesis (30 Credits)

Each student researches and writes a dissertation of 10 000-15 000 words. This aspect of the course gives students the opportunity to begin their own research in an area of Linguistics that is of particular interest to them. Student’s projects must develop one or more issues raised in the Literature Review.

The deadline for submission of the MA dissertation is the middle of August. The late submission of a dissertation could have implications for fees and conferring dates.

Option modules (20 credits in total over Semesters 1 and 2)

The option modules take place on different days of the week – some meet twice a week. The most commonly offered include:

Semester 1:   

LING 40250 Graduate Language Impairment (10 credits)

LING 40220 Minority Languages (10 credits)

LING40330 Intercultural Communication (10 Credits)

PSY 30050 Behavioural Neuroscience (5 credits)

OR modules from Applied Linguistics or TESOL [1]

Semester 2:   

LING40190 Research Issues in Linguistics (5 credits)

LING 40260 Global English (10 credits)

PSY 20060 Psychology of Language (5 credits)

COMP 40020 Human Language Technologies (5 credits)

OR modules from Applied Linguistics or TESOL

 

Note:

Students who for one reason or another are not able to complete the thesis module during Semester 3 can opt to be awarded the Graduate Diploma instead. Students considering this option should discuss it with the Programme Coordinator BEFORE the end of Semester 2.


[1]They are Second Language Acquisition and/or Second Language Teaching and Learning. They are offered in different semesters.

 

The part-time option (Z224) runs for two years (or five semesters). Students take taught modules in Semesters 1 and 2 in year one and in Semesters 1 and 2 in year two, and complete their thesis in Semester 3 of year two.

Core module (taught on Wednesdays over 12 weeks)

Semester 1, year 1:  

LING 40090 Sociolinguistics (7.5 Credits)

OR

LING 40050 Phonology (7.5 Credits)

Semester 2, year 1:  

LING 40110 Syntax (7.5 Credits)

OR

LING40320 Corpus Linguistics (7.5 Credits)

 

Semester 1, year 2:  

LING 40090 Sociolinguistics (7.5 Credits)

OR

LING 40110 Syntax (7.5 Credits)

Semester 2, year 2: 

LING 40050 Phonology (7.5 Credits)

OR

LING40320 Corpus Linguistics (7.5 Credits)

 

LING 40230 Literature Review (10 credits)

Each student selects an area of investigation (in conjunction with a supervisor) between January and early March. Students then critically review the published literature on the topic (March to end of April). Assessment involves a conference-like presentation of academic literature and an outline of the thesis research (middle of May) and a write-up of the literature review.                   

The module may involve a few meetings with the whole group.

Semester 3, year 2: 

LING 40240 MA Thesis (30 Credits)

Each student researches and writes a dissertation of 10 000-15 000 words. This aspect of the course gives students the opportunity to begin their own research in an area of Linguistics that is of particular interest to them. Student’s projects must develop one or more issues raised in the Literature Review.

The deadline for submission of the MA dissertation is the middle of August. The late submission of a dissertation could have implications for fees and conferring dates.      

Option modules (select 20 credits in total over the two years)

They take place on different days of the week – some of them meet twice a week. The most commonly offered every year include:

Semester 1:   

LING 40250 Graduate Language Impairment (10 credits)

LING 40220 Minority Languages (10 credits)

LING40330 Intercultural Communication (10 Credits)

PSY 30050 Behavioural Neuroscience (5 credits)

OR modules from Applied Linguistics or TESOL [1]

Semester 2:   

LING 40260 Global English (10 credits)

PSY 20060 Psychology of Language (5 credits)

COMP 40020 Human Language Technologies (5 credits)

OR modules from Applied Linguistics or TESOL

 


[1]Second Language Acquisition and/or Second Language Teaching and Learning. They are offered in different semesters.

 

What kinds of thesis topics do students write their thesis on?

Students are encouraged to develop and work on topics that reflect their own interests. The precise focus of the thesis is identified based on the literature and in conjunction with the supervisor.

To date students have completed theses on a wide range of topics in the broad areas of sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, syntax and phonetics/phonology. Selected topics include:

  • Computer Mediated Communication in Saudi Arabia
  • Motivation and Language Ideology: Third-level L2 Learners of Minority and Global Languages
  • The Acquisition of Writing and Associated Learning Disorders - An investigation into the acquisition of writing in a primary school classroom
  • Polish-English code-switching in Dublin
  • Style-Shifting in Irish English
  • Language ideology and linguistic variation in Irish English
  • A corpus-based analysis of the presence of sorry in Irish English discourse
  • Language and identity in computer-mediated communication: The representation of dialects in the languages of text messages between young Irish English speakers
  • Language practices and ideologies among members of the Jewish community in Dublin
  • Linguistic Landscaping and Chinese Shop signs in Dublin
  • Emotional Response Language Education
  • The Indigenous minority language business plan: a strategy for promoting bilingualism in Ireland and New Zealand

Who teaches on the MA in Linguistics?

The core modules and some of the option modules are taught by staff in Linguistics.

Prof Bettina Migge Room A312 bettinamigge@ucd.ie

Mr Feargal Murphy Room A321 feargal.murphy@ucd.ie

Dr Máire Ní Chiosáin Room TBC maire.nichiosain@ucd.ie

Prof Jamal Ouhalla Room A315 j.ouhalla@ucd.ie

Sandrine Peraldi Room TBC sandrine.peraldi@ucd.ie

Option modules are offered by Prof Rosario Hernandez, Prof Vera Regan, Julie Bernsdsen, and Prof Tina Hickey among others.

How are applications processed?

Applications must be made online at: http://www.ucd.ie/apply/. Once the complete application has been received, it is reviewed by the international office and/or the School. Applications are accepted throughout the year and are reviewed on a rolling basis generally until early August.

Non-EU students should try to apply as early as possible – between January and March, and ideally no later than early May – as most of the scholarship competitions take place between February and April and the issuing of visas may take up to three months, particularly during the summer when there is usually a high volume of applications. For details, please contact the UCD international office.

For any technical and administrative help with the application, please contact slcl@ucd.ie.

For any additional information about academic issues relating to the programme, please contact bettinamigge@ucd.ie.

Find further information on the MA in Linguistics HERE.