SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics

Dissertation in Linguistics

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Full Year

The dissertation is a core component of the MA Linguistics, MA Language Documentation and Description and MA Applied Linguistics and Language Pedagogy programmes. The supervised dissertation research requires the ability to work independently on an original piece of research, to demonstrate familiarity with the relevant literature and present the resulting dissertation in a clear and organised format. The skills necessary for writing a Dissertation in Linguistics are developed in the Research Foundations Seminar (RFS), which deals with the conceptual and practical aspects of doing research.

The research and writing of the MA dissertation is a crucial component of Research-based Masters training. 

The Dissertation in Linguistics has a 10,000 word limit and counts for 25% of the overall degree. For details on presentation and submission dates, see the Postgraduate Taught Masters Handbook.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the course, students should have:

  • A solid foundational knowledge of the techniques, argumentation and theoretical issues in the core areas of formal linguistics (phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics), applied linguistics, language pedagogy or language documentation and description;
  • The ability to apply their subject knowledge and methodology to a specific research problem in their area of specialism;
  • The skills required to pursue independent research in an academic context;
  • The ability to present their work to different audiences in a clear professional form.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules