Taught course

Applied Linguistics

Trinity College Dublin - the University of Dublin · School of Linguistics, Speech and Communications Sciences

Entry requirements

Students need not have any background in linguistics or applied linguistics. They are normally expected to have language teaching experience. Indeed, many of our students have been practising teachers who wish to expand their career horizons by deeper study of the current state of the art in language education. Applicants are normally required to possess a good primary degree or equivalent qualification. Previous knowledge of applied linguistics is not a requirement. Normally only graduates with language teaching experience are admitted to the course in Applied Linguistics. Students who are not native speakers of English are expected to attend the orientation course in English for Academic Purposes in CLCS in the month preceding the start of the academic year. Applicants must complete the Personal Statement section of the application form and explain their motivation in applying for their chosen course(s). Applications are made online at: www.tcd.ie/courses/postgraduate/az

Months of entry


Course content

This long-established course is aimed at teachers of second
and foreign languages. The discipline of applied linguistics
investigates a range of issues around language in contemporary
society. Among these, the most prominent issues – and the
central topics of the M.Phil. in Applied Linguistics – are those
surrounding second and foreign language education. It is often
said that globalisation has made the learning of additional
languages an essential goal in education, but in truth, language
learning has been important in most places at most times.
In spite of this, language education in its various aspects was
under-researched until the 1960s, so that applied linguistics is a
relatively young, but increasingly important field.
There are two central strands in the applied linguistics of
language teaching and learning. One, usually called second
language acquisition, investigates the psychology of language
learning, which is a phenomenon that is not confined to the
classroom or other instructed contexts. The other, second
language pedagogy, focuses on instruction at various different
scales: language education policy, curriculum, teaching methods,
and learning tasks. Given this educational focus, applied
linguistics draws not only on linguistics, but also on educational
psychology, educational philosophy, social psychology, and
cognitive psychology, among other disciplines.
Our alumni have followed various career paths in language
education and other language professions, with many opting to
pursue research at a higher level through the Ph.D., here in CLCS
or elsewhere. For some, Ph.D. research has led to professional
academic employment. For more information be sure to visit
the course website, and don’t forget to read the frequently asked
questions. If you can’t find the answer to your questions, feel free
to contact the course coordinator.

Information for international students


Fees and funding

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Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Dr Breffni O'Rourke
+353-1-896 1560