Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

Applied Linguistics and Communication

The postgraduate programme in applied linguistics and communication began at Birkbeck in 1965, making it one of the oldest and most established linguistics courses in the world. It is unique, as it provides students with opportunities to explore many topics in applied linguistics and communication in a comprehensive and interdisciplinary manner. Furthermore, lecturers specialise in various areas of multilingualism and multiculturalism, offering a range of modules to suit individual interests. You first complete 2 compulsory modules - Introduction to Applied Linguistics and Research Methods and Design - but then you are able to choose from a range of option modules, including, for example: Second Language Acquisition; Bilingualism; International Management Communication; Sociolinguistics; Language, Culture and Communication; Language Teaching and Learning in a Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts; and Linguistic Description and Corpus Application. The core module Research Methods and Design aims to equip you with professional and technical knowledge in qualitative and quantitative research methods. It will also prepare you for undertaking your own empirical and/or theoretical research into language and language behaviour in the form of an extended literature review or dissertation. The programme aims to introduce you to multiple sub-domains and topics that reflect the research interests of staff, e.g. code-switching, first and second language acquisition, intercultural communication, language pedagogy and assessment, language impairment, language policy, language and identity, corpus linguistics, and speech production and perception. All academic staff are active in state-of-the-art teaching and research. Applied linguistics and communication at Birkbeck enjoys a strong international reputation for its quality teaching and research. The programme is suitable for people with diverse career goals: those who wish to further their career prospects and professional development, or those who have an interest in doctoral research and aspire to work in higher education. In particular, the programme is beneficial for those who do not have specific research interests at the beginning of their degree, but who intend to identify and focus on an area of research after exploring various disciplines in applied linguistics and communication and immersing themselves in the research and learning culture of a renowned department.

Entry requirements

Usually an upper second-class honours degree or above, or overseas equivalent, in a relevant subject and/or professional training and expertise.

You will be asked to undertake a short admissions task of no more than 500 words, to support your application.

You must also provide 1 academic reference.If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English: IELTS Academic Test score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Course modules

Compulsory modules:

Introduction to Applied Linguistics;
Research Methods and Design .

Option modules:

International Management Communication;
Introduction to Intercultural Communication in Business Contexts;
Language Teaching and Learning in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts;
Language, Culture and Communication;
Linguistic Description for Language Teaching;
Marketing Communications: An Introduction;
Second and Additional Language Acquisition;
Sociolinguistics .

Dissertation/Independent Literature Review:

Independent Literature Review .

Assessment methods

Coursework, including a dissertation of 12,000-15,000 words or an independent literature review of 4500-5000 words.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time October 2017 - 1 years
MA Part-time October 2017 - 2 years

Campus details

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Key information

Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication
Telephone number: 
020 7631 6499