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English Language MA

Deepen your knowledge of the linguistic study of the English language, while developing your independence as a learner and researcher.

Winner: Best University Careers and Employability Service
NUE Awards, 2021
Learn more



With specialist training in the linguistic study of the English language, this course offers the best of both taught and research-focused postgraduate courses.

The course covers concepts and methodologies in linguistic description and analysis, including methods used to study linguistic structure and variation, and approaches in semantics, pragmatics and discourse analysis. You will also have the option to explore psycholinguistics or receive training in event organisation and presentation, with practical hands-on experience organising a conference.

Whatever your area of interest, we will give you the opportunity to develop your own specialisms and build on your skills in writing for publication, presenting work, publishing and researching. This course is taught by staff who are active researchers with expert knowledge across a range of fields in English language and linguistics, including sociolinguistics, pragmatics, lexical semantics, language and sexuality, corpus linguistics, and influence and persuasion.

With us you will build on strong research skills, including literature review and critical analysis of research methods, to enable you to build an interesting, thorough independent research proposal to explore in your final dissertation. The course is ideal for students who are self-motivated, with good time management and the ability to work independently, as these skills will be developed throughout. This is an excellent stepping stone to either research at PhD level or a career in teaching, publishing or research.

The English Language MA is a degree in linguistics. If you are interested in becoming an English Language teacher, then please see our English Language Teaching MA. If you are a non-native English speaker and you would like to improve your English language skills, our dedicated Centre for English Language Learning (CELL) offers a range of courses.

Key features

  • Focus on key concepts and methodologies in the core areas of linguistic description and analysis.
  • Tailor the curriculum to your own specialist interests to meet your individual learning goals.
  • Receive expert teaching and supervision for your dissertation from our specialist academics who are active researchers with expertise spanning a range of English language and linguistics subfields.
  • Benefit from both collaborative teaching and individual learning experiences and receive personalised feedback to help you to reach your independent research goals.
  • Practical training in presenting work, writing for publication, research and organising a conference gives you real-world skills for a career in teaching, publishing, research or event management.
  • The focus on individual research and fostering your skills as an independent learner provides ideal preparation for progression to PhD.



At DMU, we are committed to helping our graduates enhance their careers and personal development through further study.

Postgraduate Alumni Scholarship
Up to 30 per cent of tuition fees offered to DMU alumni who wish to continue their studies at DMU by enrolling on a Postgraduate taught course. For more information visit our Postgraduate Alumni Scholarship page.

Sports Scholarship
Apply for the DMU Sports Scholarship, worth up to £6,000.

More courses like this:

English MA
Humanities research degree MPhil/PhD
English Language Teaching MA

  • UK
  • EU/International

Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time.

Start date: September 2021

Fees and funding: For 2021/22 tuition fees for UK/EU students will be £8,350 (full-time) per year

Part-time fees will be £695 per 15 credits across all of our courses

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Contact us: For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

Duration: One year full-time

Start date: September 2021

Fees and funding: 

2021/22 tuition fees for EU and international students: £14,600

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

You should have the equivalent or above of a 2:2 UK bachelor’s honours degree.

We encourage and welcome applications from applicants with a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives and all non-standard applications will be considered.


Non-standard applicants will be invited to attend an interview.

International students

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with 5.5 in each band, or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English Language tuition, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments


Core modules

  • Structure and Variation in Language
  • Meaning in Language
  • Research Methods
  • Dissertation

Optional modules

  • Psycholinguistics
  • Conference Organisation and Presentation

Click here to see more detailed module information.

Note: All modules are subject to change in order to keep content current



As well as traditional essays, assessed work includes presentations and blog posts. The 15,000-word dissertation is guided by one-to-one tutorial contact, placing emphasis on independent study with the tutor monitoring your progress.

Contact hours

In your first two terms you will normally attend around four hours of timetabled taught lectures, workshops and tutorials per week, and be expected to undertake around 31 hours of independent study each week. Your third term will be pre-dominantly self-directed (including meetings with your supervisor), during which you can expect to undertake 35 hours of independent study each week.

Part-time study is normally undertaken on a half-time basis.



Full-time students:

Semester 1 has been designed to introduce students to methodologies in English and to provide both practical and theoretical training in developing research to Masters Level. You will be taught in lunchtime sessions two modules, English Research Training and Putting Methods into Practice. You will meet your personal tutor in the first week of term and design a learning contract, outlining the areas you wish to cover over the three semesters.

Semester 2 develops from the first semester and offers you a taught module on Conference Organisation and Presentation and a self-directed study in which you prepare the groundwork for your final dissertation, in a critical survey and/or case study.

Semester 3 is devoted to the final 15,000-word dissertation that should build on the work completed over the previous semesters.

Part-time students:

Year 1 Semester 1 offers support alongside full-time students in English Research Training and Putting Methods into Practice. These modules will be taught back-to-back during lunchtimes each week during term and you will submit work for English Research Training in Year one, first semester and for Putting Methods into Practice in Year one, third semester.

Year 1 Semester 2 focuses on the development and consolidation of practice from semester one in Conference Organisation and Presentation.

Year 1 Semester 3 provides you with an opportunity for independent learning and reflection based on the workshops in Putting Methods into Practice. You are offered this time to prepare your assessments.

Year 2 Semester 1: During this semester you will complete the Project Research Training module, a self-directed study in which you prepare the groundwork for your final dissertation, in a critical survey and/or case study.

Year 2 Semester 2 and 3 are devoted to the final 15,000-word dissertation that should build on the work completed over the previous semesters.

Facilities and features

Library and learning zones

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including Blackboard, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a ‘Just Ask’ service for help and advice, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that give you the chance to ask the library teams for help.


More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.

Campus centre

The home of  De Montfort Students' Union, (DSU) our Campus Centre offers a welcoming and lively hub for student life. Conveniently located at the heart of campus, it includes a convenience store, a Subway and a Starbucks. Here you can find the DSU-owned charitable accommodation service Sulets and DSU’s shop, SUpplies, selling art supplies, stationery and clothing, and printing and binding services. The building is also home to the DSU officer team. 


Opportunities and careers

Winner: Best University Careers and Employability Service
NUE Awards, 2021
Learn more


During this course you will have the option to complete a placement year, an invaluable opportunity to put the skills developed during your degree into practice. This insight into the professional world will build on your knowledge in a real-world setting, preparing you to progress onto your chosen career.  Placements will normally take place between semester two and three.  

Our careers programme DMU Works can help to hone your professional skills with mock interviews and practice aptitude tests, and an assigned personal tutor will support you throughout your placement.  


DMU Global

This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

While overseas DMU Global opportunities are not currently possible, DMU will continue to review government advice and if travel is permitted, we hope to offer a small number of extra-curricular opportunities in the summer of 2021. 



Graduate careers

The course helps you develop high-level linguistic, reasoning, analytic and presentation skills, and we expect graduates to go on to careers in areas such as teaching, publishing, media, and research.

The course also offers an excellent transition from postgraduate to PhD level study, ideal if you wish to advance your studies to the next level.

DMU Open events

These events are a great way for you to find out more about postgraduate study at DMU.  

See when our upcoming events are taking place. 

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Order a prospectus

Our prospectus will give you a clearer idea of what it's like to live and study at DMU and a snapshot of the courses we offer.

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How to apply 

We welcome applications from students with a wide range of qualifications and experience.

Find out more

More about your DMU

Postgraduate events
Research at DMU


Our dedicated Postgraduate Alumni Scholarship provides DMU graduates with a tuition fee discount of up to 30 per cent. The discount is available on selected full-time and part-time postgraduate taught courses running across multiple start dates in the 2021/22 academic session, with the first intake in September 2021.

The scholarship, based on academic achievement and merit, applies automatically to all DMU UK, EU and international students who are graduating in 2021.



The best way to find out more about DMU is to attend one of our postgraduate events to find out how our courses can enhance your knowledge and benefit your career path.

These events are a chance to learn more about our extensive careers and employability support, as well as fees and funding opportunities such as scholarships. They're also an opportunity to speak with current students and academics to really get a feel for studying your course. You can also take a tour of our beautiful campus and facilities from the comfort of home via our Virtual Open Day.



The Faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities is home to research staff with international reputations in a wide range of creative and scholarly fields, blending traditional disciplines of critical enquiry and analysis with practice-based research and creative work employing cutting-edge technology. Find out more.


Leicester guide

Studying here gives easy access to the vibrant hub of entertainment, shopping and culture that is Leicester. There are clubs, bars and pubs, as well as festivals, live music, theatres and cinemas. Leicester City Football Club play in the Premier League while Leicester Tigers are one of Europe’s biggest rugby clubs. Find out more.