Psycholinguistics 1 (Distance Learning)
This module considers three fundamental and interrelated questions about psycholinguistics:
- acquisition, or how language is acquired
- comprehension, or how words, sentences, and discourse are understood
- production, or how words, sentences, and conversations are produced
Potential topics include, but are not limited to: lexical influences on sentence comprehension and production; first and second language acquisition; reading; language disorders (e.g., dyslexia, aphasia).
Research Methods in Applied Linguistics (Distance Learning)
The module looks at various approaches of collecting and processing data using both qualitative and quantitative methods of investigation. With a focus on the area of applied linguistics, students will be introduced to the process of hypothesis formulation and testing, issues of interpretation, evaluation and replicability of data and of research results, questionnaire and interview design, data gathering and recording, statistical description and analysis.
Investigating Health Communication (Distance Learning)
This module is intended to introduce students to the rapidly expanding field of health communication. The module focuses on two key areas in the field: narratives of healthcare and healthcare documentation. It will equip students with a high level knowledge of narrative and documentation theory and explore how much of what takes place in healthcare exchanges is governed by the kinds of narratives and documents that are used. Students will also develop and practice skills in identifying and analysing narratives of, and documents relating to, patients, professionals and policy makers. Students will understand how knowledge of healthcare texts can be used to enhance therapeutic interventions and practices across a range of healthcare disciplines. Students will appreciate how healthcare environments, structures and practices are informed by broader, macro-level organisational narratives and policies.
Intercultural Business Communication (Distance Learning)
This module will explore the use of language in interactions between speakers of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds from three different perspectives: Description, Development, and Assessment. With a growing proportion of interactions in the world today taking place between people of diverse cultural backgrounds, it is important to identify and describe language use which may lead to misunderstanding and communicative breakdown. This module will look at ways in which language barriers might be overcome in such interactions, and at the key factors in this process. We will examine intercultural interactions in a variety of contexts, e.g. business and other professional encounters, the language of the media, the foreign language classroom, etc.
Literary Linguistics 1 (Distance Learning)
This module explores the use of linguistic frameworks to investigate literary texts. Through a series of practical analyses, students will be introduced to a range of linguistic explorations of poetry, prose, and drama from a wide range of historical periods. The course will invite students to use the analyses as an occasion for the critical evaluation of the various approaches to language and literature, to investigate the notions of literariness and interpretation, and to consider the scope and validity of stylistics in relation to literature and literary studies.
Literary Linguistics 2 (Distance Learning)
This module further explores the use of linguistic frameworks to investigate literary texts.
Discourse Analysis (Distance Learning)
The module looks at various approaches to the study of spoken language. These include structural models based on the work of the Birmingham discourse analysts, as well as more sociolinguistically inspired approaches to conversation analysis and recent developments in spoken corpus linguistics. Each learning unit takes a different kind of discourse and progressively builds up a classification of discourse types or genres. Real spoken data are used throughout, for exemplification and practical analysis tasks. The implications for language pedagogy and other branches of applied linguistics (e.g.applications in other professional contexts) are considered, and students are encouraged to consider these in their own written work if appropriate.
Vocabulary: Teaching and Learning (Distance Learning)
The course will provide a broad overview of vocabulary studies, including description of how vocabulary is used, exploration of the processes of vocabulary acquisition, and discussions of current best practice in teaching pedagogy. Specific issues covered include: what it means to 'know a word'; how many and which words need to be taught; explicit vs. incidental learning of vocabulary and reading; vocabulary learning strategies; and testing vocabulary.
Language and Gender (Distance Learning)
The course will explore the relationship between language and gender in spoken interaction and written texts, drawing on key approaches in the areas of discourse analysis, sociolinguistics and pragmatics. The extent to which gender affects the language we produce when interacting with one another in a variety of contexts will be focused on, along with the issue of sexism in language use. Various theoretical paradigms that have been presented to explain language and gender differences will be critically examined, along with gender ideologies which operate in society. Students will be encouraged to combine theoretical thinking with hands-on analyses of data from authentic examples of spoken interaction and from a variety of publications including the popular media. The practical consequences of the discipline in terms of how findings can have a political impact on wider society are also discussed.
Syllabus Design and Methodology 1 (Distance Learning)
The module will examine the theory and practice of syllabus design. The emphasis is on developing practical strategies and thinking in order to design and teach ELT programmes to meet the needs of specific learners in a specified teaching context. The module explores the relationship between syllabus design and methodology, before going on to a critical appraisal of developments in ELT methodology. This includes the humanistic, social-constructivist and lexical approaches, and communicative methodology. Issues relating to the learner-centred syllabus are also be explored.
Syllabus Design and Methodology 2 (Distance Learning)
The module will further examine the theory and practice of syllabus design, building on the knowledge and skills developed in the first module. The emphasis in this advanced course is on developing practical strategies and thinking in relation to a wider range of classroom situations. The student's own teaching environment and context will inform the area of study, and further critical positions are explored.
Narratology (Distance Learning)
This module surveys key work in narratology, from literary, stylistic and sociolinguistic perspectives, with each unit written by an area specialist. The module introduces key approaches to the study of narratology and offers students insight into the development of narrative from Chaucer to the present day. The emphasis will be on literary narratives, though comparative exploration of non-literary and narratives will also appear.
Cognition and Literature (Distance Learning)
This module represents a course in cognitive poetics. It draws on insights developed in cognitive science, especially in psychology and linguistics, in order to develop an understanding of the processes involved in literary reading. The module also develops skills in stylistics and critical theory.
Research Methods: Corpus Linguistics (Distance Learning)
Corpus linguistics provides methods for the study of collections of electronic texts (written texts, including literary texts, material from the internet, transcripts of spoken language, etc.). This module introduces fundamental corpus methods that include retrieving and interpreting word frequency information, studying patterns of words in the form of concordances, and analysing key words. The module will explain basic concepts and illustrate methods through case studies. Through exercises students will have the opportunity to use corpus tools and practise the analysis of data. Students are encouraged to reflect on the applicability of a range of methods to their own areas of interest (e.g. literary linguistics, discourse analysis, ELT, etc.). For the assessment, students will complete a small-scale corpus project. This project can function to test ideas that might be further developed in the dissertation.
The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. This course page may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.
Teaching methods and assessment
Students take 180 credits worth of modules, including the dissertation element. One credit represents 10 hours of student work. Modules are worth 20 credits, and are classified at level 4 (i.e., intended for students who hold a first degree in an appropriate subject at a suitable standard).
Students are required to take the module Descriptive Linguistic Analysis. This is an entry module which must be successfully completed before continuing with the MA. Students can then choose an additional 100 credits from a range of taught elective modules.
Towards the end of the course, you will complete a supervised dissertation. This is a major piece of advanced independent research, which you will undertake with the supervision of a specialist in your chosen area. We will provide you with advice and guidance while you select and refine your area of study, and offer close supervision and support as you complete your research and your MA.
Course materials and teaching for this course are available over the Internet. All taught modules are assessed by written work of around 4,000 words or equivalent. Tutors provide feedback on practice exercises as preparation, and detailed comments on assignments. A final 60 credit dissertation completes the MA.
You will have access to many online resources, as well as your own personal tutor for each module that you take. Particular features of the programme include:
- a theoretical grounding in research methodology and linguistic description
- one-to-one tuition with expert members of staff
- innovative and engaging teaching methods
- access to many online resources
- great flexibility in course content, optionality, and changes in direction.
All MA students in the School of English join a lively and thriving postgraduate community. As such, you will be invited to attend a voluntary `Summer School` each year, giving you a chance to meet other students in the school face-to-face.
Scholarships and bursaries
Please note that distance learning students are charged a standard fee with no differentiation between UK/EU and international students. Fees are paid on a module by module basis.
The majority of postgraduate students in the UK fund their own studies, often from a package made up of personal savings, parental loans or contributions, bank loans and support from a trust or charity. Every year, a number of students are successful in the AHRC, ESRC or other competitions for funding. The school also provides a number of bursaries and scholarships for MA students.
See information on how to fund your masters, including our step-by-step guide.
Government loans for masters courses
Masters student loans of up to £10,906 are available for taught and research masters courses. Applicants must ordinarily live in the UK or EU.
International and EU students
Masters scholarships are available for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure you apply for your course with enough time.
We provide guidance on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study. You can also access specific funding opportunities, entry requirements and other resources for students from specific countries.