Humans practicing linguistics with an artificial intelligence robot
Course type
Masters degree
Credits
180

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.
How long it takes
3 – 6 years
Read more about how long it takes
Study method
Distance learning
Course cost
Postgraduate loan available
See Fees and funding
Entry requirements
Find out more about
Entry requirements

MA in Linguistics

Course code: F97

This flexible masters degree is suitable for anyone interested in the roles that language plays in society. You’ll begin with the core components of linguistic study, engaging with different approaches to language and looking at how its building blocks are used to create meaning. You’ll also try various methods of language analysis. You’ll then have the choice of two specialist routes. In the Applied Linguistics route, you'll explore how you can apply your specialist knowledge of linguistics in many different professional fields and social contexts, such as politics, healthcare or education. With the Artificial Intelligence route, you'll look at the relationship between language use and changing global technologies. You’ll explore topics such as the challenges of everyday communication for AI, virtual assistants and conversational AI. You’ll learn how to critically evaluate and design natural language processing applications and will consider issues of culture and politics in the development of artificial intelligence. You’ll complete your masters with a small-scale study of a topic relevant to your professional practices or interests.

  • Choose between specialising in applied linguistics or linguistics and artificial intelligence.
  • Improve your professional practice by engaging with contemporary issues, concepts and debates that enrich your knowledge.
  • Apply what you learn to the real world as you conduct a study that fits with your personal and/or professional circumstances.
  • Become an independent and advanced scholar as you learn within and about your own context.
Course type
Masters degree
Credits
180

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.
How long it takes
3 – 6 years
Read more about how long it takes
Study method
Distance learning
Course cost
Postgraduate loan available
See Fees and funding
Entry requirements
Find out more about
Entry requirements

How to register

Select the module you will study first, read the full description, and follow the instructions to register.

Modules

You’ll choose one of two specialisms:

Linguistics (Applied)

To gain this qualification, you require 180 credits from the following modules:

Stage 1 (60 credits)

Compulsory module Credits Next start
Core concepts in linguistics (L804) NEW

This module introduces you to the foundations of linguistic study with a focus on real-world examples where language plays a critical role.

See full description

Register
60 05 Oct 2024

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued module EE817.

Stage 2 (60 credits)

Compulsory module Credits Next start
Applying linguistics in society (L805) PLANNED
60  Oct 2025

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued module EE818.

Stage 3 (60 credits)

Compulsory module Credits Next start
Linguistics dissertation (L807) PLANNED 
60  Oct 2026

Linguistics (Artificial Intelligence)

To gain this qualification, you require 180 credits from the following modules:

Stage 1 (60 credits)

Compulsory module Credits Next start
Core concepts in linguistics (L804) NEW

This module introduces you to the foundations of linguistic study with a focus on real-world examples where language plays a critical role.

See full description

Register 
60 05 Oct 2024

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued module EE817.

Stage 2 (60 credits)

Compulsory module Credits Next start
Language, society, and artificial intelligence (L806) PLANNED 
60  Oct 2025

Stage 3 (60 credits)

Compulsory module Credits Next start
Linguistics dissertation (L807) PLANNED 
60  Oct 2026

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.


Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes.

Credit transfer

If you’ve successfully completed some relevant postgraduate study elsewhere, you may be able to count it towards Stage 1 of this qualification by applying for credit transfer, reducing the number of modules you need to study. Credit transfer will impact the time you have to complete this qualification, and the six-year time limit will start from the time the qualification submitted as credit transfer was completed. So, for example, if you use as credit transfer a qualification that you were awarded two years ago, you would need to complete the remaining 120 credits in four years.

You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible, and before you register for your first module. For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.


On completion

On successfully completing this course, we’ll award you our Master of Arts in Linguistics. Your degree title will reflect your chosen specialist route:

  • MA in Linguistics (Applied)
  • MA in Linguistics (Artificial Intelligence)

You’ll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 


We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 19 March 2024.

To study for this masters degree course you must hold a bachelors degree from a UK university or another recognised degree-awarding body, or a qualification at an equivalent level.

As our modules are taught in English, your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study in the UK. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum score of 7 under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see their website for details.

If you are not sure whether your qualifications and experience are suitable, please contact us for advice.

How long it takes

Most students study the MA in Linguistics, completing 60 credits a year over three years. Typically, this means 13–19 study hours each week.

You must complete the MA in Linguistics within six years.

Career relevance

Throughout the world there is an increasing demand for professionals with a grasp of how language works. You’ll sharpen your IT, writing, and independent thinking skills and develop your ability to respond to feedback as well as demonstrating your time management. These are key skills in complex organisations, greatly sought after in the world beyond study – whether you’re already working, volunteering, or changing career.

This qualification is designed to enrich your knowledge and improve your professional practice. On completing your studies, you should be able to:

  • demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems at a professional or equivalent level
  • reflect critically and constructively, in the light of ideas and frameworks presented in the modules, on how these apply to your practice and organisational context.

You will also acquire qualities and transferable skills that are highly prized by employers within education and related fields, such as:

  • exercising initiative and personal responsibility
  • the ability to make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations
  • the ability to draw on appropriate research and ethical understanding
  • the capacity to produce reports/outputs for academic and professional purposes.

You will be guided through the materials and learn how you can recognise and acknowledge these additional skills.

Please note that this master’s degree does not qualify you for teacher registration in any country.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.

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