Our English Language and Linguistics postgraduate degree gives you an excellent opportunity to study the complex workings of language and explore its central role in society. With the guidance of expert staff, you’ll explore how language works, how people use it, what people use it for, where it came from and how it changes.

You’ll learn to carry out independent research and engage with other researchers by writing, debating and delivering oral and written presentations.

The course also provides a grounding in theories and methods that are essential for a range of careers. You’ll graduate with an expert knowledge of contemporary linguistic theories and their application in a wider cultural context – including both generative and cognitive approaches to linguistic description, as well as the contexts in which these theories operate.

Top reasons to study with us

#1 You’ll play an active part in our regular Language Research Group meetings, which discuss articles on important and controversial linguistic topics

#2 The breadth and range of topics covered on this course make it an ideal introductory Masters to the subject of Linguistics

#3 Develop the crucial skills employers are looking for – including motivation, intelligence and the ability to meet tight deadlines.

Course objectives

You’ll gain knowledge and understanding in specialist selected areas of study, such as:

  • historical, social and regional varieties of English
  • language and cognition
  • evolutionary linguistics

You’ll be able to apply a variety of descriptive linguistic tools to language data and linguistic theories to selected specialist areas of study within English Language and Linguistics, according to your areas of interest.

You’ll plan and manage a research project under supervision. This involves independent research, including keeping track of relevant developments in your chosen field(s) and being able to set them in an appropriate context. By the end of the course, you’ll be able to:

  • structure and communicate ideas effectively
  • gather, evaluate and organise information from multiple sources
  • engage with other researchers by writing, debating, and delivering oral and written presentations

Flexible learning

If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.


Research in the Division of Literature and Languages scored impressively in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, with 81 percent of our research viewed as world-leading or internationally excellent. In the 'Research Impact' category of the assessment, almost 90% of our work was considered internationally excellent.

Course details

The full-time teaching year at Stirling is divided into two semesters – which run from mid-September to late December, and from January to the end of May.


Teaching takes place in the form of small group tutorials, seminars and lectures. Lab sessions could also be included, depending on the modules you’re taking. All modules offer close and careful supervision from tutors, but you’re also expected to take responsibility for your own studies. You’ll be able to access online course content such as study resources, lecture slides and discussion boards via the University’s online learning platform.

You’ll play an active part in our regular Language Research Group meetings, which discuss articles on important and controversial linguistic topics. You’ll also have the opportunity to introduce articles of your choice to the group, and will develop important skills in leading and managing open-ended discussions.


Assessment is via module coursework and your dissertation. Each module is assessed by means of one assignment, some of which may involve practical research investigations. The most significant piece of work on the course will be a 15,000-word dissertation that you’ll write under supervision during the summer.

Course director

Dr Andrew Smith

+44 (0) 1786 467516


Dr Bethan Benwell

+44 (0) 1786 467976


Fees - 2018/2019

  • Overseas £13,650
  • Home/EU £4,700
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Last updated November 14, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2019
12 - 27 months
4,700 GBP
Home/EU: £4,700 - Overseas: £13,650
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