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MALiterary Linguistics

University of Birmingham
United Kingdom, Birmingham
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This programme explores the language of literary texts from many angles, drawing on linguistic description and insights. You will acquire an understanding of stylistic theory and methodology while studying the role of grammar, semantics and pragmatics in the reading of literary texts. You will also study narratology, applied to prose fiction and film, and in addition, we look at exciting new approaches in stylistics: multimodal analysis, cognitive poetics, and corpus stylistics.

Programme structure

Literary Linguistics is central to the study and understanding of literature and the media in contemporary cultures, themselves profoundly dependent on information, communication and text. It is often invaluable in attempts to identify the essence of an author’s style; it is crucial to understanding how advertisements win us over; it is important in the identification of weak writing, moments of failure or contradiction in political or persuasive language, and in many other contexts. It is newly central to the study and understanding of literature and the media because contemporary cultures are so rooted in information, communication, and text.

This programme is of value to those with an interest in the technique of a particular writer or the grammar of a particular genre of writing; to teachers of A-level courses with an English Language component; or to anyone interested in a systematic, graduate-level exploration of the linguistic bases of literary expression.

The programme includes six taught modules. You will take two core modules [full descriptions available below]:

Language and Literature: Key Topics in Stylistics
Advanced Topics in Literary Linguistics
You will choose your optional modules from a range of topics.

You will complete the programme with a 15,000-word dissertation which is expected to take the form of an in-depth case-study of a unified textual phenomenon (as this appears in one or several texts) and its linguistic description and explanation. The aim of the dissertation is to put to work the insights and skills learned from modules, and to enable you to develop your research ability in a more substantial format.

Career opportunities

The University of Birmingham has been ranked 8th in the UK and 60th in the world for post-qualification employability in the latest global survey of universities commissioned by the International Herald Tribune.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by the employability skills training offered through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School.

Birmingham’s English Language and Applied Linguistics postgraduates develop a broad range of transferable skills that are highly valued by employers, particularly in relation to verbal and written communication. They also develop crucial skills in organisation, time management, analysis and interpretation of information.

Over the past five years, over 92% of English Language and Applied Linguistics postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Some of our graduates enter roles for which their programme has prepared them, such as translation, interpreting or teaching; others use their transferable skills in a wide range of occupations including journalism, marketing, publishing and media.

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
Application period has ended

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
Application period has ended

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States