University of Essex

University of Essex


Our course gives our students the theoretical and analytical tools to understand and evaluate current work in sociolinguistics, and prepares them to undertake original research. We familiarise them with the foundations of contemporary sociolinguistics (language variation and change, discourse, multilingualism, ethnography of speaking) and offer modules in some of its most prominent sub-disciplines (variation theory, socio-pragmatics, conversation analysis, language contact, language and gender, and language rights). Our students gain 1st hand experience of data collection and learn both quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis.

Entry requirements

Our applicants should have a 1st, 2.1 or high 2.2 degree, or equivalent, in a relevant subject. If English is not your 1st language, then we require IELTS 6.5 with 6 in writing or TOEFL iBT 88.

Course modules

Core modules: Sociolinguistic methods 1 (data collection); sociolinguistic methods 2 (data analysis); sociolinguistics 1 (variationist theory); dissertation. Optional modules include: American languages; ca 1 (conversation and social interaction); ca 2 (media and institutional talk); children's English; description of language for tefl/elt and applied linguistics; English phonology; English syntax 1; English syntax 2; experimental design and analysis; foundations of computer assisted language learning; graduate research assignment; individual differences in l2 learning; language and gender; language learning; language rights; literature and language teaching; materials design and evaluation; morphology; multilingualism and language impairment; philosophy of linguistics; phonetics; phonological development; pragmatics (discourse and rhetoric); relevance theory; research methods 1; research methods 2; 2nd language vocabulary (learning, teaching and use); semantics; sentence processing; sociolinguistic methods 1 (data collection); sociolinguistic methods 2 (data analysis); sociolinguistics 1 (variationist theory); syntactic theory 1; syntactic theory 2; teaching practice 1; teaching practice 2; teaching, listening and speaking; the role of age in bilingual development; theoretical and descriptive phonology; topics in the psychology of language learning and teaching; variation in English 1; variation in English 2; words in the mind.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods include written coursework, class tests and practical testing. Most modules will involve only coursework as assessment.

Sponsorship information

Research councils and some University of Essex studentships available.


Qualification Study mode Fee Course duration
MA Full-time £ 5,665 per Academic year (home fees) 12 months
MA Full-time £ 14,350 per Academic year (overseas fees) 12 months
MA Part-time £ 2,750 per Academic year (home fees) 24 months
MA Part-time £ 6,750 per Academic year (overseas fees) 24 months

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Colchester Campus Colchester CO4 3SQ South East

Key information

Graduate Administrator, Department of Language and Linguistics
Telephone number: 
01206 872719