M.A. Linguistics

SOAS, University of London | London , United Kingdom
MA Linguistics at SOAS is a modular programme which combines the intensive study of the core areas of formal linguistics - phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics - with a choice of options in different areas of the discipline.



Modern linguistics is the scientific study of all aspects of the worlds languages from their sound systems and grammatical structure through to the interaction of language with culture, the study of meaning in language, and the use of language in modern technology. Linguists try to establish what types of structures are shared by different languages and the extent to which language may differ from each other.

The programme is run on a modular basis to suit the needs of the following four categories of students:

  • Those with a degree in linguistics who wish to pursue more regional and language-based study;
  • Those with a degree in linguistics who wish to pursue more research-oriented topics before proceeding to a research degree;
  • Those with little or no previous training in linguistics who wish to acquire a knowledge of the discipline;
  • Those with little or no previous training in linguistics who wish to take the degree as a conversion course before; proceeding to a research degree.

The course can be taken full time over one calendar year or part time over two or three years (daytime only.) The taught part of the course consists of core lectures which introduce basic concepts, theory and methodology; and additional seminars which extend the core material into other areas. A 10,000-word dissertation written over the summer offers students the opportunity to develop original research in an area of special interest.

MA Linguistics is for students who would like to acquire general postgraduate-level training in formal linguistics (perhaps as preparation for further training or research).

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline June 30
Tuition fee
  • GBP 16090 Year (Non-EEA)
  • GBP 7260 Year (EEA)
Part Time 2 Years
  • EU: £3,630;
  • Overseas: £8,045
Part Time 3 Years
  • EU: £2,420
  • Overseas: £5,364
Start date
Duration full-time 12 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Part-time, Full-time
Intensity Flexible
Duration part-time 24 months
Part-time variant Flexible

Course Content

This track is for students who would like to acquire general postgraduate-level training in formal linguistics (perhaps as preparation for further training or research). The core courses are:

  • Phonology (Masters) and Advanced Phonology (0.5 unit each), are intended to introduce students to the general principles and properties which characterise (i) possible sound systems in human languages and (ii) the structures and processes which build words and determine their realisation. Topics covered include: the scope of phonology and morphology; theoretical foundations; the nature of phonological and morphological representations units, constituents and structure; inflectional and derivational morphology; the phonology-lexical interface.
  • Syntax (Masters) (0.5 unit) plus one more 0.5 unit course in syntax or semantics (see below). The syntax courses address questions of the nature of grammatical representations, the relationship between morphemes, words, grammatical structures and their corresponding semantic counterparts. Syntactic constructions across different languages are investigated, introducing the fundamental concepts of syntactic theory within the generative paradigm.
  • Topics in Lexical Semantics (Masters) (0.5 unit). The course examines a range of core topics concerning word meaning and how this is related to sentence meaning in contemporary semantics, with the focus both on understanding the analytical issues and on the tools for their description. The course introduces basic concepts in semantics including sense, denotation and reference, and the kinds of meanings associated with predicates. With regard to the meaning of sentences, the topics of thematic roles, event structure, tense and aspect are introduced.
  • One extra course in syntax or semantics: Advanced Syntax, Dynamic Syntax, or Issues in Semantics.
Core Compulsory Courses
  • Phonology (Masters) - 15PLIH041 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
  • Syntax (Masters) - 15PLIH040 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
  • Core Optional Course

Students must choose one 0.5 unit course from the following list.

  • Advanced Phonology - 15PLIH042 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
  • Advanced Syntax (Masters) - 15PLIH008 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
  • Dynamic Syntax (Masters) - 15PLIH031 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
  • Issues in Semantics (Masters) - 15PLIH012 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2

Dissertation in Linguistics - 15PLIC999 (1 Unit) - Full Year

English Language Requirements

TOEFL iBT® test (read more)

IMPORTANT NOTE: The UK government confirmed new requirements for secure English language testing for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more


Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)

Interview Policy: Candidates with non-standard qualifications usually invited

English language requirements

In order to ensure that SOAS students have a sufficient standard of English to study effectively, we require overseas students to submit evidence, during the application process, of their current level of proficiency.

Score for Unconditional Entry

  • IELTS: Overall 7+ with at least 7 in all sub scores
  • TOEFL: iBT105+ with at least 25 in all sub scores
  • Pearson Test of English - Academic: Score of 75 or above with at least 70 in all sub scores

Work Experience

No work experience is required.

More Information

We Are Helping Thousands of Students to Find a University Abroad!

Fortunately enough I was able to find StudyPortals. Right from the start of the application to getting the confirmation of admission I was using StudyPortals.
Shivprasad - India

Sign up for your personal newsletter and we will help you too.

We will send you all the information you need to find your dream study programme!

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS we offer you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.

Prepare yourself for Master degree

Find a Preparation Course
  • Reset