Our Applied Linguistics and ELT Master's programme has been running for 25 years, and has enhanced the careers of hundreds of language professionals who can now be found in high-level teaching, management and research posts in schools and universities across the world.
Why study Applied Linguistics & ELT?
The MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT has helped develop the careers of hundreds of professionals in language teaching, management, publishing and research.
The degree is designed primarily for teachers of English and of other modern languages who are interested in extending their knowledge of language and language teaching.
It provides you with the opportunity to explore developments in applied linguistics and language teaching in the light of their own practical expertise and knowledge.
Why St Mary's?
This is a course with committed lecturers engaging with small groups, usually no more than 10-15 in each year. Compared to many other Master's programmes in the UK this is a very low number and we've deliberately kept it small in order to keep the quality of our teaching high. We know all our students by name and are able to give them a lot of individual attention and support.
We examine not only the subject of teaching, but also the nature of language from diverse theoretical, social and cognitive perspectives. The content is demanding, but support is also strong. The rewards for students are great, both in how they learn to think about language and in their careers.
Full-time students attend three two-hour seminars per week, currently timetabled for Thursdays and Fridays. In the autumn semester, there is an additional Academic Orientation module that runs for six weeks. In the spring semester there is an additional Research Methods module that runs for ten weeks. Tutorials are arranged with individual students at times convenient to them.
We keep the Applied Linguistics course small in order to maintain quality, so that each student can expect support tailored to his or her own needs. Small classes facilitate lively discussion and the forging of close and supportive academic relationships between students. Students should feel free to make tutorial appointments with tutors, who are always happy to meet with them.
To qualify for the MA you will need to be awarded 180 credits. There are six essays to complete, one for each module, and each worth 20 credits. The dissertation is worth 60 credits. The pass mark is 50%. Marks between 60% and 69% are in the merit category; marks over 70% are in the distinction category.
There are no exams in this programme. Modules are assessed by an essay of 4,000-5,000 words. The Research Methods module has no assessment; instead you must produce an 800-word proposal for your dissertation. The dissertation cannot be started without this proposal being accepted.
What is the difference between an essay and a dissertation?
The main difference is length. While an essay is 4,000 to 5,000 word assignment, a dissertation is a much more extended piece of writing at 15,000-18,000 words. We give a selection of possible titles for an essay, but the dissertation topic will be something you yourself choose, and will be based either on a piece of research you carry out, or an analysis and discussion of published material on a particular subject. During the Research Methods course you will be guided towards making a suitable, and suitably interesting, choice of a dissertation topic.
What if I fail an essay or the dissertation?
If your mark is below 50%, it's deemed to be a fail. You will have to write the essay or dissertation again and re-submit it. The maximum mark allowed for a resubmission is 50%. If you fail a second time, you will not be able to achieve the required 180 credits for the award of MA.
I haven't done any academic writing in years! Will you help me?
We might ask you to do a diagnostic essay at the beginning of the course. This will show us if you might need some help with your writing. There is also an “Academic Orientation" course of seminars at the beginning of the programme to guide you through, for example, using the library and the internet to find sources for your studies, also how to use them to construct an essay.
In addition, we have a 'Skills Shop' which offers individual guidance on such things as referencing, bibliographies, and developing an academic writing style.
You'll also get a lot of feedback from your tutors when they have marked an essay, and this should help you in future writing.
- Small student groups, usually no more than 10-15 in each year.
- The content is demanding, but support is also strong.
- Taught on our historic Strawberry Hill campus.