MA English Language (by distance learning)

The MA English Language is a blended learning scheme, consisting of a number of intensive one-day residentials and distance learning. It is designed for part-time study alongside a full-time job. A feature of this programme is that the residentials take place in London.

The MA reflects the scholarship of the English Language department at Lancaster and takes a broad view of what constitutes English Language studies. It focuses on the description and explanation of the English language, including its structure, functions and social contexts of use. This MA is designed to appeal to a wide audience, including people who want to gain a further qualification in English Language or those, such as teachers of the A-level in English Language in the UK, who have taught English Language and want to consolidate their background. (N.B. English language here refers to the study of the English language as an academic subject, not the practice of English).

Our Department is well-known for its advanced study and research in English Language. Our staff members have produced major descriptions of English grammar and phonetics, as well as studies in areas such as discourse analysis, sociolinguistics (including the study of accents and dialects), literary stylistics and English language teaching. Staff members include leading figures such as Jonathan Culpeper, Elena Semino, Paul Baker and Veronika Koller.

Each of the six modules, which take place in series over two years, begins with a one-day face-to-face session on a Saturday at Lancaster University’s outlet in London. The remainder of the course is taught via the web, with assessment via coursework and learning supported by an online forum. The final year involves a dissertation supported by an individual supervisor.

Aims

This scheme takes a broad view of what constitutes English language studies. It focuses on the description and explanation of the English language, including its structure, functions and social contexts of use. The main subject specific aim will be to instil a knowledge and understanding of:

  • the structure of English at all linguistic levels,
  • the uses of English,
  • the history of English,
  • the regional and global varieties of the English language,
  • the genres of English, including their variation across speech and writing, various media, and so on,
  • the socio-historical contexts of English.

Structure

We have a tried and tested formula, devised to accommodate busy people (most of our students have full-time jobs). To graduate with an MA you must do six modules and a dissertation in an area of your choice. You do three modules in Year 1, 3 modules in Year 2, and in Year 3 you work on your dissertation, with regular online supervision (and face-to-face meetings, as available). Modules run over the course of a whole year, and consist of 9 x 2 hour 'slots'.

You will study the following modules: 

  • Corpus Linguistics
  • Discourse Analysis
  • English Grammar
  • History of English
  • Investigating Spoken English
  • Stylistics

In addition to these modules you will receive Research Methods support, especially in your third year, in order to facilitate your dissertation.

As well as distance learning, there will be three 'face-to-face' days per year, which will each be held on a Saturday. This is so that each module can be started in face-to-face mode, and also so you get to meet your colleagues in 'real life' before you chat and debate with them online. It's good to put a face to the pseudonym! Please note, Lancaster University has recently acquired state-of-the-art lecturing facilities at the Work Foundation near Westminster. We have decided to take advantage of this and the residential sessions for this programme will be in London.

The dates of the 2014-2015 residentials in London are as follows:-

  • Saturday 13 September 2014
  • Saturday 10 January 2015
  • Saturday 9 May 2015

Key Facts

Director of Studies: Jonathan Culpeper

Programme length: 36 months part-time, by distance learning

Audience: Anyone with a scholarly interest in the English Language and its structure, functions and social contexts of use. The programme content also accommodates the UK's A Level English Language curricula, and so will especially benefit teachers of English Language as an academic subject (this programme is not about the practice of speaking/hearing English, e.g. TEFL, TESOL - we have other schemes catering for these interests). 

Assessment:: Coursework and dissertation

Enquiries: Postgraduate Coordinator: Elaine Heron

Application Deadline: The next programme to run will begin in September 2014. We are happy to receive applications for this programme. The deadline for applications is 22nd August 2014

Entry Requirements

Applicants should either...

  • hold at least an upper second class degree or equivalent from an approved university in English Language, a language-related area (e.g. Linguistics), or a modern/classical language. Exceptionally, candidates holding other academic qualifications may also be considered for admission, possibly subject to interview.
  • or have relevant professional experience in teaching English Language (e.g. teaching the English Language A-Level in the UK).

English language level: (for applicants whose native language is not English)

Our official requirement for IELTS is a score of at least 6.5 overall with at least 6.5 in the reading and writing elements and 6.0 in the listening and speaking elements.

The University also accepts internet-based (iBT) TOEFL scores of at least 93 overall (with at least 24 in the reading and writing elements and 22 in the listening and speaking elements), and Pearson Test of English Academic scores of at least 62 overall (with at least 62 in the reading and writing elements and 55 in the listening and speaking elements). Please see the TOEFL.org and Pearson PTE Academic pages for more information.

If applicants have taken any of these exams in the last two years we can accept their test scores; otherwise we ask that they take the exam again. If, however, they have done their undergraduate studies in Britain, the US or another English-medium educational system and have successfully completed their degree within the past two years they may not need to submit a test score.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

1. What does the MA English Language by distance cover?

This scheme takes a broad view of what constitutes English language studies. It focuses on the description and explanation of the English language, including its structure, functions and social contexts of use. The main subject specific aim will be to instil a knowledge and understanding of:

  • the structure of English at all linguistic levels,
  • the uses of English,
  • the history of English,
  • the regional and global varieties of the English language,
  • the genres of English, including their variation across speech and writing, various media, and so on,
  • the socio-historical contexts of English.

 

2. How long will the programme last?

The scheme is part-time, taking place over three years (modules in the first two years, dissertation in the third year).

 

3. Who is the programme for?

Anyone with a relevant background can apply for a place on the scheme.  Past students have come from a range of backgrounds, and have worked on the MA whilst in full-time or part-time work. Note that this programme is not about the teaching of English as a foreign language (e.g. TEFL, TESOL), although there are other MA schemes in our department in this area (e.g. MA TEFL, MA TESOL, MA Language Testing).

 

4. How will the programme be structured?

We have a tried and tested formula, devised to accommodate busy people (most of our students have full-time jobs). To graduate with an MA you must do six modules and a dissertation in an area of your choice. You do three modules in Year 1, 3 modules in Year 2, and in Year 3 you work on your dissertation, with regular online supervision (and face-to-face meetings, as available). Modules run over the course of a whole year, and consist of 9 x 2 hour 'slots'.

As well as distance learning, there will be three 'face-to-face' days per year, which will each be held on a Saturday.  This is so that each module can be started in face-to-face mode, and also so you get to meet your colleagues in 'real life' before you chat and debate with them online. It's good to put a face to the pseudonym!

Please note, Lancaster University has recently acquired state-of-the-art lecturing facilities at the Work Foundation near Westminster. We have decided to take advantage of this and the residential sessions for this programme will be in London.

Coursework is worth 60% of the whole programme (each module is worth 10%, and is assessed by one essay of around 5000 words), and the dissertation the other 40%.

There are no exams - all modules are assessed by coursework. Making a contribution to 50% of the distance tasks is compulsory.

 

5. What modules will be offered?

The modules are as follows:

  • Corpus Linguistics
  • Discourse Analysis (subject to approval)
  • English Grammar
  • History of English
  • Investigating Spoken English
  • Stylistics

 

6. Will we receive research methods support?

Yes. In addition to the modules outlined above you will receive research methods support, especially in your third year, which will not only help your own research for your dissertation, but also, if you are a teacher, will provide a good foundation for research your students are likely to want to do in their investigations.

 

7. Can I pursue a particular interest of mine in more detail?

Yes, through the dissertation. With over 30 full-time academics in the department, we are likely to be able to find an expert to supervise whatever you choose to do.

 

8. When will the residentials be held?

COHORT 6 (starting Sept 2013)
  Year 1 Year 2
Residential I: 14 September 2013 13 September 2014
Residential II: 11 January 2014 10 January 2015
Residential III: 10 May 2014 9 May 2015
COHORT 7 (starting Sept 2014)
  Year 1 Year 2
Residential I: 13 September 2014 TBA
Residential II: 10 January 2015 TBA
Residential III: 9 May 2015 TBA

 

 

9. How much are the fees?

The fees for MA English Language by distance learning are the same as for a one-year on campus MA, but are spread over the three years of study. You pay 40% of the fees in year 1, 40% in year 2, and 20% in year 3.

For confirmation of the current tuition fees please see Postgraduate Fees & Funding.

Paying in instalments is possible. For more information about fees, email the Fees Officer, Julia Chadwick (j.chadwick@lancaster.ac.uk ).

 

10. Is there a limit on the number of places available?

Yes. There is an upper limit of 20 places on the programme each year. We encourage you to apply early to guarantee your place. If you are offered a place but the programme for the upcoming year is fully booked, we will add you to the waiting list for the following year. People on the waiting list are offered a place on the next available programme on a 'first come, first served' basis.

 

11. When is the application deadline?

The application deadline for the programme beginning in September 2014 is: 22nd August 2014.

Please note that if you need accommodation for the September residential, you should have applied, and accepted an offer before you book. Note you will need to make your own overnight accommodation arrangements if required. The Residential days will be held at the Work Foundation in Westminster, London.  Details of this venue, including its location, can be found on this website http://www.theworkfoundation.com/.

 

12. How do I apply?

To apply please go to the following website www.postgraduate.lancs.ac.uk and follow the instructions. 

If you have any queries please contact our Faculty PG Admissions team:

Postgraduate Admissions
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
LANCASTER
LA1 4YL

Telephone: +44 (0)1524 510880
Fax: +44 (0)1524 510857
Email:  fass-pg-admissions@lancaster.ac.uk

For more details about how to apply please see our General Application Advice.

 

13. How do I find out more?

If you would like more details, please send an e-mail to the programme coordinator, Mrs. Elaine Heron (e.heron@lancaster.ac.uk), or to the Director of Studies, Professor Jonathan Culpeper

 

 

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