MA Linguistics / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

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Course unit details:

Unit code LELA70000
Credit rating 60
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Linguistics & English Language
Available as a free choice unit? No


The dissertation unit consists of an independent research project, designed and executed by the student, which leads to a 12,000 to 15,000 word dissertation. The project includes original research that contributes to the field of Linguistics or English Linguistics. The student is expected to identify and develop a dissertation topic appropriate to the scale of the project which is focused into a specific research question providing scope to explore the most sophisticated kind of evaluative and critical issues. A dissertation supervisor provides guidance on research methods, research ethics, analysis of data, and academic writing. Student and supervisor will arrange three to five planning and supervision meetings. Three lectures will address the technical aspects of planning a dissertation project, writing a research proposal, and oral dissemination of dissertation research. This unit involves significant independent research. 


  • Successfully designing and conducting an independent, original research project in the fields of Linguistics and/or English Linguistics
  • Writing a successful research proposal
  • Disseminating research findings in an oral presentation and a written dissertation


Knowledge and understanding

After successful completion of this unit, students will

have increased their knowledge and understanding of the chosen research area

have a thorough understanding of the theories, methods, and ethical issues relevant to their chosen area of research


Intellectual skills

After successful completion of this unit, students will be able to

  • identify, delineate and develop a research topic appropriate to the scale of a project
  • evaluate and synthesize a substantial body of primary research literature
  • describe and analyse substantial data sets using an appropriate theoretical framework
  • develop an extended written argument of depth and complexity


Practical skills

After successful completion of this unit, students will be able to

·       design and manage an independent research project

·       write a research proposal

·       identify and access relevant primary sources and critical literature

·       collect and analyse substantial data sets using an appropriate methodology complying with ethical standards

        present a 12,000-15,000 word piece of writing with a high standard of scholarly presentation of the material produced


Transferable skills and personal qualities

On successful completion of the course the student will have acquired

  • the ability to engage in significant independent research and to design and execute a large research project
  • the ability to communicate a coherent and critical argument of depth and complexity in written form
  • proposal writing skills
  • presentation skills
  • advanced project planning and time-management skills


Employability skills

This course is especially relevant to students who plan to pursue a career that involves research skills. It prepares students for postgraduate research programmes, but the skills acquired will also be relevant for careers that involve non-academic types of research, for example, journalism, civil service, or law. The experience of managing a project independently will be an asset for many careers across different sectors. The course unit also enhances the students¿ formal writing skills and their ability to give oral presentations in a formal or professional environment.

Assessment methods

Dissertation 100%
Research proposal 0%
Oral presentation of research-in-progress 0%
Draft piece (submission deadline to be agreed with the supervisor) 0%


Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Written and/or oral feedback on the formative pieces of assessment as agreed with your supervisor, e.g. via Turnitin, in a face-to-face meeting, etc. Please note that different arrangements may be made by different supervisors.


Individual written feedback will be provided in Turnitin on the dissertation.



Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 4.5
Practical classes & workshops 3
Project supervision 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 586.5

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