English Language and Applied Linguistics MA


This course is eligible for Master's loan funding. Find out more.

Start date

19 September 2022


1 year full-time
2-3 years part-time

Places available (subject to change)

10-20 (This number may be subject to change)

About the course

This course is designed to develop your knowledge of how language works, in particular the English language, enabling you to describe and analyse English and other languages with accuracy and insight.

You’ll gain a solid understanding of phonetics and phonology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics, and explore how that knowledge can be applied to the practical analysis of spoken and written, literary and non-literary texts.

We place particular emphasis on analysing language in real-world contexts. Modules reflect staff expertise, which means you have the opportunity to engage with cutting-edge research in your area of interest.

We have a vibrant research community of national and international students, who often collaborate on projects and present their work within the supportive environment of our annual postgraduate conference. We hold a regular research seminar programme, with presentations by staff, students and visiting guest speakers, and organise and host conferences reflecting our own research interests.

Our staff have links with scholars at many top-ranking universities worldwide, from the United States of America to the Far East. Members of staff are on the committees of significant professional organisations (such as PALA – the Poetics and Linguistics Association - and edit major journals such as the leading stylistics journal, Language and Literature.

For more information about our research areas of interest visit our Linguistics and Modern Languages research pages.

Please note: the inclusion of 'Applied' in the course title refers to the application of Linguistics across a broad range of 'real world' activity and does not imply the narrower pedagogical meaning often associated primarily with TESOL. If you are interested in teacher training courses, then please visit the University's School of Education and Professional Development.

I joined the University in 1989 and was Head of English before being appointed to the Research Coordinator post in 2005 and to the Chair of English Language and Linguistics in 2007. I have been Chair of the Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA) and was organiser of the 25th annual conference of PALA in 2005 editing the proceedings (Rodopi 2007) with two colleagues, Dan McIntyre and Derek Bousfield. I am the series editor (with Dan McIntyre) of the Perspectives on the English Language series for Palgrave and a member of the editorial board of the journals Language and Literature (Sage) and English Text Construction (Benjamins). I supervise PhD students on topics in stylistics and critical stylistics ranging from contemporary poetry to political discourse.


Professor Lesley Jeffries, Chair of the University Council of General and Applied Linguistics (UCGAL)

Course detail

Core modules

Descriptive Linguistics

This module provides the theoretical and descriptive foundation that will form the basis of the other English Language and Applied Linguistics Master's modules. It enables you to access and use different models of description of the English language, and to understand the theories underlying those models.

Dissertation in English Language and Applied Linguistics

The module guides you through the process of project-planning, including general research skills background reading, research and writing up. You will be guided in your choice of a project which interests you and allocated a supervisor to oversee your work as you bring the project to fruition.

Option modules

Choose three from a list which may include:


This module provides an introduction to phonetics. We will focus on articulatory, impressionistic and acoustic aspects of phonetics. The module will begin with an introduction to phonetic theory and transcription using the International Phonetic Alphabet, and then followed by an introduction to a new piece of software to conduct acoustic analysis of speech.

Analysing Interaction

This module involves advanced study of the fundamental features of interaction, and exploration of a method for conducting detailed analysis of talk within and across cultures. It covers a range of different kinds of communication (from ordinary talk to formal news interviews) and explores the relationship between language and context in a range of culturally situated settings. You'll study the central underlying patterns by which interaction operates, and examine cutting-edge research on issues such as affiliation and action adjustment. Much of this research is drawn from Conversation Analysis, and we explore and critically assess the main features of its methodology and findings.


This module equips you with the analytical skills to identify the linguistic source of stylistic effects in literary and non-literary texts and to evaluate the interpretative significance of these for readers. You will engage with a range of debates in the field as well as cutting-edge research in cognitive and corpus stylistics to investigate both literary and non-literary style. The module covers both theoretical and methodological aspects of the study of stylistics.

Critical Stylistics

This module equips you with a set of analytical skills used for the identification and evaluation of the linguistic devices which encode ideologies in spoken and written texts. The module’s case studies will include the advanced study of Critical Stylistics in a range of different texts, including both spoken and written texts.

Interpersonal Pragmatics

This module is about understanding and exploring what happens to and between people when they interact (chiefly, but not exclusively, through the use of language): how they convey their ‘meanings’; how they project their views of themselves, of others present, of their relationship with those others and of what is going on; how they interpret and evaluate what other people say; how these understandings make them feel.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are normally:

  • An Honours degree (2:1 or above) in a relevant subject.
  • Other relevant qualifications and/or experience may be considered.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 7.0 overall with no element lower than 6.5, or equivalent will be considered acceptable. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

Student Work

As a postgraduate student in Linguistics and Modern Languages, you'll have opportunities to work within our research centres, some of which have developed partnerships with the public, private and third sectors

Your Career

If you are an educational professional or planning on training as a teacher of English, this is an ideal course for you. It also provides a firm foundation for doctoral research into language and linguistics. It also equips you for careers in PR, marketing, management or any position using high level communication skills.

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

Changes to a course you have applied for

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

We will always try to deliver your course and other services as described. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below:

Changes to option modules

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes

We will only make major changes to the core curriculum of a course or to our services if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change in this context is a change that materially changes the services available to you; or the outcomes, or a significant part, of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), classes, type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum.

For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators; to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body; to improve the quality of educational provision; in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback; and/or to reflect academic or professional changes within subject areas. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but this may not always be the case. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation with affected students. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

Termination of course

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed and we will notify you as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include transferring to a suitable replacement course for which you are qualified, being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered, or claiming an interim award and exiting the University. If you do not wish to take up any of the options that are made available to you, then you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the course without liability to the University for future tuition fees and you will be entitled to a refund of all course fees paid to date. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.

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