MSc Computational and Corpus Linguistics / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

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.


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 six core units:

- Computational Linguistics 1

- Computational Linguistics 2

- Foundational Statistics

- Corpus Linguistics

- Research Methods in Computational and Corpus Linguistics 1

- Research Methods in Computational and Corpus Linguistics 2

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


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: