MA Linguistics & Applied Linguistics

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

Course Overview

The MA in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics gives students a solid grounding in current research, approaches, methods and theories in core areas of linguistics and encourages their effective application to a wide range of language-based phenomena in areas such as language technology, translation, language learning and teaching, the psychology of language, language planning and development, and to Law.

The MA in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics does not focus on any specific language, but explores phenomena across a range of languages.

What will students learn?

The programme nurtures essential academic values such as systematic and empirically-based investigation, critical reflection, interdisciplinarity and enquiry-based learning. It provides a flexible learning environment and encourages students to identify and pursue their own research interests. Modules apply a range of teaching and learning approaches and are taught by experienced and easily approachable academic staff.

Students acquire fundamental skills in linguistic analysis and its effective application to a wide range of real life language-based phenomena and issues from around the world. It develops critical transferable skills such as academic communication, presentation skills, group learning and project design.

How will learning be facilitated?

Learning takes place through a variety of teaching and learning approaches. They include critical assessment of existing studies, methods and theories, hands-on group and individual project work, problem-based research approaches, group discussions, and oral presentations.

The program provides a flexible learning environment. It encourages students to identify and pursue their own research interests through a wide range of option modules, while at the same time acquiring in-depth subject knowledge and competence as well as indispensable transferrable skills.


The modules in Trimesters 1 and 2 introduce students to a range of methods of data collection and analysis skills, referencing skills, research project development skills and ways to presenting research findings. The modules in Trimester 3 allow students to further deepen these skills in specific areas of student interest through an internship, a minor thesis or shorter research papers in several areas.

Curricular information is subject to change

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

The MA in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics is open to graduates (BA or equivalent) from all disciplines who have an interest in Language. It is suitable for those with some prior knowledge of Linguistics as well as those with little or no prior knowledge of Linguistics.

This programme provides a flexible learning environment in that it encourages students to identify and pursue their own research interests in relation to language through a wide range of option modules, while at the same time acquiring in-depth subject knowledge and competency as well as indispensable transferrable skills. These skills are acquired through module-based learning and significantly enhanced through work on a substantial independent research project, the minor MA thesis, during semester three.

NEW! Internship opportunities in Linguistics [this is a new alternative to the MA thesis module]

Copy Z360 (F/T equivalent of Z361 which is P/T)

  • Students will be able to critically analyse secondary sources, primary empirical data and existing research methods.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and the ability to systematically apply ethical standards in Human Subject research.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the scientific principles, processes and approaches that underpin linguistic reasoning, analysis and research.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to use electronic research tools commonly used in linguistics.
  • Students will be able to design coherent studies on a wide range of language-based phenomena, systematically analyze such phenomena and coherently communicate the findings.
  • Students will be able to systematically apply language-based theories, approaches and research methods to a wide range of related contexts such as language learning, language documentation, language awareness, language technology, language planning
  • Students will be able to •demonstrate the ability to apply key transferable skills – presentation, information gathering and assessment, group-work and academic writing skills.

Linguistics interfaces with a range of areas. It can lead to careers in:

  • language teaching

  • data mining

  • localisation

  • computer science

  • cognitive science

  • education

  • speech and language therapy

  • speech processing

  • artificial intelligence

  • publishing  and media

View All Modules Here

Students take modules in core areas of linguistics such as Syntax, Phonology, Sociolinguistics and Corpus Linguistics. A further two or three elective modules are selected from a list that includes (but is not limited to) Global English, Minority Languages, Intercultural Communication, Language and Law, Second Language Acquisition, Translation, Language Impairment, Human Language Technologies and a selection of post-graduate modules on TESOL. Other options may be made available upon request.

MA Linguistics & Applied Linguistics (Z361) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 4950
nonEU    fee per year - € 10250

***Fees are subject to change

The first time I visited UCD, I immediately fell in love with the University’s warm international community atmosphere. The MA was appealing to me as it covered many areas of my primary degree which mainly related to languages (Portuguese and English). I had great interest in learning more about language acquisition, teaching and learning a second language and therefore this masters programme was the perfect fit for me. I also thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the new reality I was experiencing in multicultural Dublin. The MA has helped me in a variety of areas related to languages. Thanks to the MA, I have worked as an interpreter, translator and a teacher of Brazilian Portuguese as a foreign language and I have since chosen to be a university lecturer.
(Clarissa de Sousa Oliveira, Brazil, PhD Candidate)

I was always obsessed with languages. Not only the language itself, but also language acquisitions and use in various contexts. After completing my BA in Russian Literacy, I spent a year working for a language school in China before deciding to do my masters. The year in the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics is one of my most cherished experiences. An important element distinguishing UCD from other universities is its flexible curriculum. Doing my MA Applied Linguistics, I also chose modules from Linguistics and TESOL, which enriched my knowledge and enhanced my language teaching skills as well. I really appreciated the support offered as the courses are taught in small groups, with professional and accessible teachers.
(Yawen Ren, MA 2017)

When I applied for the MA Linguistics at UCD, I had ideas and assumptions of what kind of linguistics I would be studying. All of them did not turn out to be true as the programme exceeded my expectations and covered different angles of linguistics I never thought of before. Since it deepened my appreciation of linguistics, I am now looking for opportunities to take a PhD in linguistics.
(Jonathan Hardjopranoto, MA 2018)

  • GradDip in Linguistics (exit strategy only): Students who decide no to complete the MA in Linguistics after the first two trimesters, can let us know as early as possible and receive a Graduate Diploma.

The following entry routes are available:

MA Linguistics & Applied (Z361)
2 Years
Part Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised

*Please note that the part-time option is not available for non-EU students on a student visa.

No prior knowledge of Linguistics is required for admission to the MA programme.

Competence in a language other than English is not required but useful.

Applicants must have a BA or equivalent, having normally reached a 2H1 or better. Applications with a 2H2 average are considered on a case-by-case basis.

All students must normally supply references from two academic referees who are able to provide details about the applicant’s academic abilities and motivations. Work references are accepted on a case-by-case basis.

Students whose first language is not English and who did not complete their prior education through English (or Irish) must take an IELTS test to provide proof of their English language skills. Students are expected to reach a minimum overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.5 (particularly in writing and speaking).

Students who fall a bit short (0.5 in one band) of the required scores may consider attending a five-week pre-sessional Academic English course in the Applied Language Center prior to the start of the MA programme.[1]

[1] In order to be admitted to the programme, students have to reach a C overall and no band below C- for the final assessment of the course.

How are applications processed?

Applications must be made online. Once the complete application has been received, it is reviewed by the international office and/or the School. Applications are accepted throughout the year and are reviewed on a rolling basis generally until early August.

Non-EU students should try to apply as early as possible – between January and March, and ideally no later than early May – as most of the scholarship competitions take place between February and April and the issuing of visas may take up to three months, particularly during the summer when there is usually a high volume of applications. For details, please contact the UCD international office.

For any technical and administrative help with the application, please contact

For any additional information about academic issues relating to the programme, please contact

Who teaches on the MA in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics?

The core modules and some of the option modules are taught by staff in Linguistics.

Prof Bettina Migge Room A312 (

Mr Feargal Murphy Room A321 (

Dr Máire Ní Chiosáin Room D308 (

Prof Jamal Ouhalla Room A315 (

Dr Sandrine Peraldi Room D313 (

Dr Sarah Kelly Room A316 (

Option modules are offered by Prof Vera Regan, Julie Bernsdsen, and Prof Tina Hickey among others.