Taught course

Experimental and Theoretical Linguistics

University of Kent · Centre for Language and Linguistic Studies

Entry requirements

A first or second class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject.

International applicants for whom English is not their first language must have IELTS overall 7.0 with at least 6.5 for each component.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.

Months of entry


Course content

The programme is designed for graduates with a background in language and related areas such as English, Modern or Classical Languages, Linguistics, Psychology and Anthropology, looking to explore the theory and methodology of linguistics in-depth. You'll explore the study of sound (phonetics and phonology), the study of words (morphology), sentences (syntax) and meaning (semantics and pragmatics).

If you have a keen interest in language in the broadest sense, and a willingness to explore theories of language critically, this is the course for you. The MA programme also offers a smooth transition to PhD study for those who wish to pursue further research.

You will choose four modules each in the autumn and spring, including core modules on Sounds, Structure, and Meaning, supplemented with options on, for example, psycholinguistics, language acquisition, language learning and teaching, sociolinguistics and stylistics.

This will allow you to develop areas of interest, and engage with aspects of your chosen discipline which are informed by the latest research and scholarship. You then complete a research dissertation of up to 15,000 words over the summer.

English Language and Linguistics at Kent is a dynamic and growing community with a vibrant research culture. We specialise in experimental and theoretical linguistics. In particular, our interests focus on quantitative and experimental research in speech and language processing, variation and acquisition, but also cover formal areas such as syntax, as well as literary stylistics. In addition to English and its varieties, our staff work in French, German, Greek, Romani, Korean, Spanish and Russian.

Staff and postgraduates are members of the Centre for Language and Linguistics (CLL), a research centre that seeks to promote interdisciplinary linguistic research. We also have links with research networks outside Kent, and are involved with national and international academic associations including the Linguistics Association of Great Britain, the British Association of Academic Phoneticians, the Linguistic Society of America, the Association for French Language Studies and the Poetics and Linguistics Association.

Information for international students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Fees and funding

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:

University and external funds

Scholarships specific to the academic school delivering this programme.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Division of Arts and Humanities