MSc Computational and Corpus Linguistics

Please note that this course is subject to approval.

Year of entry: 2024

Overview

Degree awarded
Master of Science
Duration
1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
Entry requirements

We normally expect students to have a First or Upper Second class honours degree or its overseas equivalent. Typically this will be a degree that in some way involved the study of language, including linguistics or a specific language.

Strong applicants with degrees in other areas (e.g. philosophy) will be considered.

The application form includes a personal statement section in which you must demonstrate your knowledge of and interest in the subject. Please be explicit as to how your academic background and experience to date prepare you for this course. 

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply online

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MSc Y Y N N

Course overview

• Gain a thorough understanding of natural language processing technologies and the data-driven study of language

• Develop the necessary skills to build and understand a range of systems for the computer generation or understanding of language, including large language models and their applications

• Learn to use corpus data to develop and test hypotheses in areas such as language variation, language change and psycholinguistics

• Apply these skills in a research project suited to your interests supervised by area experts

• Prepare for a career in data-driven linguistic research in academia or industry

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MSc Computational and Corpus Linguistics

Open days

Find out what it's like to study at Manchester by visiting us on one of our open days.

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2024, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £13,500
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £30,000
  • MSc (part-time)
    UK students (per annum): £6,750
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £15,000

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Scholarships/sponsorships

Information about funding and scholarships can be found here .

Contact details

School/Faculty
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
School/Faculty

See: About us

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

We normally expect students to have a First or Upper Second class honours degree or its overseas equivalent. Typically this will be a degree that in some way involved the study of language, including linguistics or a specific language.

Strong applicants with degrees in other areas (e.g. philosophy) will be considered.

The application form includes a personal statement section in which you must demonstrate your knowledge of and interest in the subject. Please be explicit as to how your academic background and experience to date prepare you for this course. 

English language

We will only consider a minimum overall grade of 7.0 in IELTS with 7.0 in writing and no skill below 6.5 or 100+ in the TOEFL iBT with a minimum writing score of 25 and no skill below 22.

If you have obtained a different qualification, please check our English language requirements to ensure that it is accepted and equivalent to the required standard.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

How your application is considered

Applications are mainly considered on the basis of an assessment of past and predicted academic achievements, the academic reference(s), the personal statement and any other supplementary evidence that supports the application.

Once we have an application that is ready for a decision, the admissions tutor (often the Programme Director) will relay the decision to the admissions team, who will send you this decision.

Please note that your application is usually received by the School 24 to 48 hours after the time you submit it. If you have not provided documentation that allows the admissions tutor to make a decision, we will contact you.

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries that equate to a UK 2.1. For these and general requirements including English language see entry requirements from your country .

If English is not your first language, please provide us with evidence of:

  • an overall grade 7.0 (with a minimum writing score of 7) in IELTS; or 100+ in the IBT Internet-based TOEFL).

The other language tests we accept can be found here .

Exceptions to needing a language test (if English is NOT your first language) are:

  • if you have successfully completed an academic qualification deemed by UK NARIC as equivalent to at least a UK Bachelors Degree or higher from one of the following countries:

Antigua & Barbuda; Australia; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Ireland; Jamaica; New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; UK; USA.

Course details

Course description

Our MSc Computational and Corpus Linguistics provides a thorough training in natural language processing technologies and the data-driven study of language.

You will learn about areas such as:

- Machine learning models for the classification, understanding and generation of texts.

- Natural language applications such as dialogue systems and machine translation.

- Corpus-driven approaches to linguistic questions in areas such as syntax, semantics and pragmatics, phonology and phonetics, historical, socio and psycholinguistics.

You will acquire programming skills in Python and statistical analysis skills in R. You will learn how to use high performance computing facilities, and how to document and present your work.

All students will take five core units:

Computational Linguistics 1

Computational Linguistics 2

Foundational Statistics

Corpus Linguistics

Research Methods in Computational and Corpus Linguistics

Students without a first degree in Linguistics will also take Describing Language, a foundational module that will provide the linguistic knowledge required for the other components of the course. Subject to guidance and approval of the programme coordinator, students will also be able to take modules from our general MA in Linguistics such as:

Forensic Linguistics

Topics in Language Acquisition

Topics in the Study of Meaning

Experimental Phonetics

Discourse as Social Practice

Finally students undertake an independent research project under the guidance of an area expert. The department is able to offer supervision for projects focusing on a diverse range of languages, including (in addition to English) Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic, as well as lesser studied languages.

Aims

The programme offers a comprehensive training in computational linguistics - the study of the processing of human languages by machines - and corpus linguistics - the scientific study of human languages via databases of texts.

Students will learn the theoretical foundations of computer natural language processing, a field of artificial intelligence, and of the data-intensive study of language. They will also acquire constitutive techniques in computer programming, statistics, and research design, and reflect on the ethical implications of these applications.

The course will particularly suit those with undergraduate degrees in Linguistics (or related disciplines) who want to develop quantitative and computational skills, and those with some quantitative skills who are seeking training in linguistics and computation.

Teaching and learning

You will learn on the programme through a variety of methods including lectures, computer-lab based workshops and independent research. The teaching team have interdisciplinary expertise across linguistics (including cross-linguistic research), psychology and computer science.

Coursework and assessment

Course units will be assessed via the development and documentation of computational linguistic systems, the conducting and documentation of corpus linguistic research projects, and via written examinations.

Course content for year 1

All students will take five core units:

Computational Linguistics 1

Computational Linguistics 2

Foundational Statistics

Corpus Linguistics

Research Methods in Computational and Corpus Linguistics

Students without a first degree in Linguistics will also take Describing Language, a foundational module that will provide the linguistic knowledge required for the other components of the course. Subject to guidance and approval of the programme coordinator, students will also be able to take modules from our general MA in Linguistics such as:

Forensic Linguistics

Topics in Language Acquisition

Topics in the Study of Meaning

Experimental Phonetics

Discourse as Social Practice

Finally students undertake an independent research project under the guidance of an area expert. The department is able to offer supervision for projects focusing on a diverse range of languages, including (in addition to English) Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic, as well as lesser studied languages.

Scholarships and bursaries

The Manchester Alumni Scholarship offers eligible applicants a £3,000 reduction on tuition fees.

The Manchester Master's Bursary is a university-level award, which applicants to this course are elibile to apply for.

Additionally, a number of bursaries are normally available each year, set at the Home fees level and will be available to all applicants (including overseas students) applying for a place on a master's course in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, on a competitive basis. Students wishing to apply for these awards must have applied for the master's course by the funding deadline

Information about funding and scholarships can be found here

Facilities

Students will have access to the University of Manchester's High Performance Computing facilities and to corpora of modern and historical texts as well as to the state of the art resources of the Department of Linguistics and English Language, including our psycholinguistics and phonetics laboratories, with facilities for eye-tracking, electroencephalography, functional near-infrared spectroscopy, laryngography and electropalatography.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

Artificial intelligence is being used ever more widely and natural language processing skills are in high demand among employers. The skills gained during this course would help prepare you for data science and natural language engineering positions in the many sectors that make use of NLP and/or the analysis of language data.