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MA Ed dissertation: applied linguistics

The dissertation in applied linguistics module builds on your learning by extending your repertoire of skills in empirical research design. It offers you the opportunity to carry out a small-scale research project in a formal or informal educational context in which you explore the role of language in teaching and learning. The specific focus of your project is chosen in consultation with your tutor, and must be within the practical scope of the degree programme. 

Vocational relevance

On completion of the MA Ed in Applied Linguistics, you will have a qualification which is increasingly required for entry to, and promotion in, various language-related professions, as well as being able to progress onto EdD or PhD programmes. 

Qualifications

EE819 is a compulsory module in our:

Postgraduate Loans

If you study this module as part of an eligible qualification, you may be eligible for a Postgraduate Loan. For more information, see Fees and funding.

Module

Module code
EE819
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
60
Study level

Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.

OU Postgraduate
SCQF 11
FHEQ 7
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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What you will study

This module is divided into four sections which guide you through the process of designing, carrying out and evaluating a small-scale research project into a teaching and learning context with which you are familiar.

In the first section, Getting started, you will learn about the nature of applied linguistics research within education, explore some of the relevant theoretical issues and terminology, and consider the importance of empirical research in this field. At this stage, you will also be guided to consider the scope of your own small-scale study, to choose an appropriate topic and, with reference to the research literature, to formulate your research questions.

Section 2, Research approaches and methods, allows you to explore a range of research designs and methods for collecting data. We recognise that students come to this module with different interests and experiences, and so this section is designed to enable you to choose what you are interested in studying.

You can learn more about the research approaches of your choice, from among linguistic ethnography, case study and action research, as well as quantitative and longitudinal methodologies; and you can focus on the research methods that interest you, including observation, questionnaires, interviews, and written data analysis. You will also explore the ethical issues associated with applied linguistics research in education.

In Section 3, Analysing and presenting your data, you will be guided through the issues related to analysing the data you have collected and presenting your findings.

Finally, in Section 4, Writing your dissertation, you will learn about planning, structure and writing style, as well as developing a suitable abstract for your study.

In guiding you to design, carry out and write about your own small-scale research project, the module aims to stimulate critical analysis, debate and reflection, rather than providing cut-and-dried solutions. 

The module is also designed to be inclusive, incorporating a range of international contexts and informal as well as formal education roles and settings, and drawing on generic ideas applicable across sectors and settings. This relates to a third principle, that of valuing diversity. The module recognises that significant insights and new understandings can come not just from comparing ideas with those in institutions that are similar to ours, but also from comparing views and perspectives with colleagues in different countries, settings, sectors and professional groups.

This module is therefore designed for a diversity of participants from a wide range of countries and professional settings, forming a rich community of learners.

You will learn

The aims of this module are to:

  • provide theoretical and practical understanding of established techniques of enquiry in the field of applied linguistics research
  • support you to carry out a small-scale study in an area of interest to you, either at your workplace or in a suitable formal or informal educational context
  • guide you in writing about your study as you carry it out, and bringing it all together into a 12,000-word dissertation.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material, and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. Your tutor is also responsible for advising you as you design and carry out your small-scale research project and write your 12,000-word dissertation. You and your tutor will primarily communicate with each other through email, forums and tutorials. Tutorials are offered via online meeting rooms and support is also facilitated asynchronously in tutor group forums.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Course work includes

2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Future availability

MA Ed dissertation: applied linguistics (EE819) starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2018. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2024.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Essential Documents website.

    Entry requirements

    Language, literacy and learning (EE818) – you must have:

    • started in February 2018 and still be studying, or
    • started in October 2017 and be waiting for your result, or
    • started in February 2017 and be waiting for your resubmission result, or
    • started in February 2017 and passed.

    You need to be able to spend approximately 12-15 hours per week on studying for this module.

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

    Register

    Start End England fee Register
    06 Oct 2018 Oct 2019 £2040.00

    Registration closes 20/09/18 (places subject to availability)

    Register
    This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2024.

    Future availability

    MA Ed dissertation: applied linguistics (EE819) starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2018. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2024.

    Additional costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    Ways to pay

    We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.

    That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options. To find out more see Fees and funding.

    Study materials

    What's included

    All study materials are provided on the module website.

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module.  Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with either:

    • Windows 7 or higher
    • macOS 10.7 or higher

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To participate in our online-discussion area you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones. 

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students. 

    If you have a disability

    If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Find out more about our services for disabled students.