Master's Programme in English – English Linguistics

120 credits

In the Master's Programme in English, specialising in English Linguistics, you will learn about the history and development of the English language from its earliest days up to the present, including the spread of the language around the world, leading to its unique global status. You will gain insight into the social significance of variation in English - how the language is used in developing identities - both in countries where it is traditionally spoken and around the world.

Autumn 2023 Autumn 2023, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

Autumn 2024 Autumn 2024, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

Specialising in English Linguistics helps you to become an expert on the English language by studying its history, its structure, its global distribution, its social significance, and its acquisition in language classrooms around the world. You will study how individuals learn English, and how teachers can best facilitate the process of language acquisition.

You will be trained in the methods of corpus linguistics, which make use of the vast databases available for testing hypotheses about the language and learn how to write research papers in English linguistics, adhering to high standards of academic writing and responsible citation practices. You will also be encouraged to specialise in an area of English linguistics that particularly interests you, developing a tailor-made reading course that prepares you to perform a smaller independent research project, which in turn prepares you to carry out a larger project and write a Master's thesis.

During the programme, you can expect to:

  • specialise in the area of English linguistics that interests you,
  • study history, structure, global distribution, social significance and learning of the English language in one programme,
  • learn methods for carrying out empirical studies and contribute to our understanding of this uniquely global language.

Student profile

Your command of the English language is already very good and you are naturally curious about nuances in language. You enjoy studying in a cosmopolitan environment and articulating complex ideas in challenging seminar settings. You are extremely motivated and willing to take responsibility for your success, and you are used to planning your own work and keeping deadlines.

Your social skills are very good and you enjoy articulating your thoughts and expressing your opinion in front of your fellow students. A PhD is a distinct possibility in your future so you value coming in close contact with current research and prominent researchers in your field.


The programme leads to the degree of Master of Arts (120 credits) with English as the main field of study. After one year of study, it is possible to obtain a degree of Master of Arts (60 credits).

The Master's Programme in English, specialising in English Linguistics, consists of two years of full-time study. In the first two semesters, you will take eight core courses (each worth 7.5 credits) in areas such as language in society, World Englishes, corpus linguistics, the history of English, and second language acquisition. Many of these modules include elements of both modern and historical periods of the English language, allowing you to study English from both a synchronic and a diachronic perspective.

The third semester comprises two courses in English. You also take two elective courses from the offerings of the Faculty of Languages. Another option is to do an internship, worth 7.5 credits in your third semester, or study abroad. In the fourth term, you will do a personal degree project culminating in a Master's thesis.

Courses within the programme

Semester 1

  • Language in Society: Theory, Analysis and Interpretation, 7.5 credits
  • World Englishes: Social and Linguistic Perspectives, 7.5 credits
  • Introduction to Corpus Linguistics, 7.5 credits
  • From Project to Paper: Writing about Linguistic Research, 7.5 credits

Semester 2

  • Second Language Acquisition: Theoretical and Practical Approaches, 7.5 credits
  • Teaching English in Language Classrooms Today, 7.5 credits
  • English in Transition I, 7.5 credits
  • English in Transition II, 7.5 credits

Semester 3

  • Stylistics, 7.5 credits
  • Communicating Linguistics, 7.5 credits
  • Elective course I, 7.5 credits
  • Elective course II, 7.5 credits or Practical Placement

Semester 4

  • Degree project, 30 credits

In the core courses, you will meet with your teacher and fellow students in small groups in a seminar setting. At the same time, you will be engaged in independent research and writing under the guidance of your teacher. Every course emphasises original research, slowly building up the skills required to undertake your Master's thesis project.

The MA thesis, which is written during the final term, is a text in which you will demonstrate your ability to make a contribution to a specific area within English linguistics. In it, you will present original research in solid academic prose, adhering to the highest standards of intellectual and scholarly rigour. This will demonstrate your ability to embark on a career as a scholar or in any other area in which a thorough mastery of English and intellectual work at a high level are required.

English is the working language of the Department of English. In the Master's programme, instruction, class discussions, and examinations are in English, as are all teaching materials.

Completing the Master's Programme in English, specialising in English Linguistics, will help you to develop intellectually, refining your research and analytical skills in ways that will prepare you either for doctoral study or for employment beyond the university in a wide array of fields.

Our programme has been producing successful graduates for over ten years. The skills they have learned in the programme are those required in a host of areas such as journalism and media, publishing, library work, tourism and creative industries, translation, and many more. If you are keen on pursuing a career in academia, the programme will provide excellent preparation for further studies at the doctoral level. Several of our graduates have gone on to do a PhD and become university lecturers.

Career support

During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.