Course information

Department

English and Creative Writing
Computing

Length

1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Course overview

Have you ever wondered how personal assistants like Siri and Alexa work, or how humans interact with chatbots and apps using natural language? Are you interested in how language is structured, what its social functions are, or how to build formal models of it? If so, then this programme is for you.

Why study MA in Computational Linguistics

  • Our interdisciplinary programme will enable you to acquire the theoretical understanding and practical skills you’ll need to succeed in the academic and professional fields of natural language processing and computational linguistics.
  • The programme is based on an inter-departmental collaboration between the Department of Computing and the linguistics team at the Department of English and Creative Writing, giving you a chance to explore the fascinating relationship between language and technology.
  • You’ll have access to modules that explore the core areas of language structure and meaning, the relationship between language, society and culture, linguistic analyses of text and speech, Natural Language Processing, core programming skills, Corpus Linguistics, as well as a further range of option modules available at the two Departments.
  • You’ll gain a solid understanding of how language technologies can be applied to diverse language processing tasks and will be able to steer your studies towards your primary interests and professional ambitions.
  • This program focuses on the intersection of linguistics and computation and is suitable for students coming from either of these disciplines or from related disciplines with strong interests in this domain, with good numeracy skills.

Ethical and social perspectives

Throughout the programme, we encourage you to develop an understanding of the ethical and social dimensions of computational linguistics and its applications. Our graduates will be challenged to confront the many ethical issues in artificial intelligence and computational linguistics. In the modern era of data availability, it is vital that all participants involved in the acquisition and analysis of language data are aware of potential biases and the impact of their actions on privacy, anonymity, and personal security.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Geri Popova or Tony Russell-Rose.

What you'll study

You'll take the following compulsory modules

Module title Credits
Core Issues in English Language & Linguistics 30 credits
Data Programming 15 credits
Corpus Linguistics 15 credits
Machine Learning 15 credits
Data Science Research Topics 15 credits
Final Project 60 credits

You'll also take a further 30 credits of optional modules from across the two departments. You can find out an indicative list of these modules in the Programme Specification below.

Download the programme specification. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

For 2021-22 and 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the programme changes page.

Entry requirements

We would accept applicants with an Upper Second-Class Bachelor’s or equivalent degree in either a humanities or a science subject.

Degree results below the upper second class would be considered where there are indications of academic strength.

Although we don't require prior study of linguistics or computer science, whilst evaluating applications, we do look for evidence of the following:

  • Strong numeracy skills and basic knowledge of programming
  • An aptitude for computational thinking
  • An interest in and capability for working in interdisciplinary contexts

A high level of competence in written and spoken English is also required.

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

To find out more about your fees, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

How to apply

Careers

Prepare yourself for a career in Computational Linguistics

You’ll learn to manage and process language data, extract meaning from raw information, and reflect on the insights you have gained and their implications. You’ll develop the empathy and awareness you need to communicate the results of the analyses and tools you develop, as well as their applications, to a wide range of potential stakeholders and users.

These skills lead naturally to a variety of careers with employers from the technology sector, financial sector, biomedical research, the charitable and voluntary sector, and academic research.

The programme's structure, in particular the final project and preparation for it, encourages you to engage with external organisations and provides networking opportunities to help you identify your preferred career path. In addition, we'll engage with local employers and global organisations to develop partnerships and internship opportunities for students to further develop their professional skills and competencies. 

Engage in real-world learning

The programme team consults with senior researchers and practitioners from the profession to make sure that the programme remains relevant to the needs of current and future employers. We also make extensive use of guest speakers throughout the programme to provide you with varied professional perspectives.

Staff

You'll learn from experts across the Department of Computing and the Department of English and Creative Writing.

Programme staff include:

  • Dr. Pia Pichler
  • Dr. Geri Popova
  • Dr. Tony Russell-Rose

For a full list of staff, please visit the Computing staff page and the English and Creative Writing staff page.

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