MSc English Language and Linguistics


Program Description

Study the intricate workings of language, explore its central role in society and gain expert knowledge of contemporary linguistic theories.

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 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.

"The course helped me to build upon my previous understanding of language, allowing me to narrow down my research interests. In particular, the Sociolinguistics and Language and Cognition courses enabled me to gain the ability to apply abstract linguistic concepts to real-world applications."
Beth Harvey
English Language and Linguistics 2013

Course objectives

You’ll gain knowledge and understanding in specially 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 per cent 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.

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2:1 preferred) or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C or above
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C or above
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

Pre-sessional English language courses

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

After you graduate

Our Masters in English Language and Linguistics provides you with a solid grounding for a wide range of positions. Many of our graduates go on to careers in areas such as:

  • Teaching
  • Private and public sector management and research.
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Government administration
  • Journalism
  • Banking and finance

Others have gone into specialist areas like linguistic consultancy and speech therapy.

Fees - 2020/2021

  • Overseas £15,250
  • Home/EU £6,000
Last updated Aug 2020

About the School

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA – providing education with a purpose and carrying out research that helps to shape society.

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA – providing education with a purpose and carrying out research that helps to shape society. Read less