Linguistics and English Language

MSc Applied Linguistics

This programme has a strong emphasis on developing skills and knowledge that can be applied in professional settings

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Introduction from the Programme Director

This is an intensive one-year programme in what may be termed 'socially relevant Linguistics'. In Applied Linguistics, we draw on knowledge about language, how it works and how it is used in order to contribute to real life issues.

We examine language use in a variety of social settings (e.g. language use in everyday conversation, in educational settings, in medical settings etc.). We focus on language variability (e.g. bilingualism, accents, dialects, etc.) versus social diversity (e.g. gender, class, ethnicity etc.). We also consider how knowledge about language as it is actually used in real social settings can (be made to) impact on people's lives.

The programme benefits from a long and respected academic tradition. Edinburgh was the first UK university to offer a course in Applied Linguistics and the first ever School of Applied Linguistics was founded in 1957 by the late Professor Ian Catford.

The MSc/Diploma in Applied Linguistics, as described in these pages, is delivered by some of the world leading experts in their fields. The programme is also supported by a vibrant research environment characteristic, not just of the Linguistics community, but also of the University of Edinburgh as a whole.

A distinctive feature of the MSc/Diploma in Applied Linguistics is the diversity of its student population. In any given year, no less than five language groups are represented. On the programme, this diversity is highly valued and is used as a resource as some of the richest debates on various courses emerge from the comparison of linguistic phenomena across cultures.

Whether you are a prospective student or whether you are just a visitor, I hope these pages answer all the questions you might have about the MSc /Diploma in Applied Linguistics. However, if after reading these pages, there are aspects of the programme you are still not clear about, please do not hesitate to contact me personally or the programme secretary, Miss Toni Noble.

Dr Joseph Gafaranga Programme Director

Programme structure

The programme divides into two parts: a taught component, corresponding to the Diploma, and a dissertation component. Progression to dissertation is conditional on successful completion of the taught component. The dissertation requirement, if successfully met, leads to the award of the MSc in Applied Linguistics.

The taught component of the programme divides into two parts. The first part, conveniently termed core courses, introduces students to the basic concepts, issues and methods in Linguistics. This part of the programme is compulsory. In the second part of the taught component, conveniently termed options, each student chooses from a pool of available courses and, under guidance, tailors a programme to suit their particular interests.

The dissertation consists of a piece of independent research of around 8,000 words intended to demonstrate knowledge of the literature and research skills in a particular area of Applied Linguistics.

Core and option courses

Full programme structure

Find out more

Fees, funding and how to apply