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Postgraduate Course

Applied Linguistics MRes

Investigate a topic you are passionate about and produce an extended piece of independent research in the field of Applied Linguistics.

Three students work together on a group project, smiling and chatting.

On this 2 year course you will explore your chosen Applied Linguistics topic in depth. Your first year will be spent taking modules which build the research skills and conceptual understanding needed to produce a thesis at masters level. In your second year you will design and conduct a research project with guidance from a dedicated supervisor. The MRes can be studied as a standalone course or as preparation for a PhD.

York campus

  • Duration – 2 years part time
  • Start date – January 2025, September 2024, September 2025
  • School – School of Education, Language and Psychology

Minimum entry requirements

    2:2 honours degree in a related subject

    Research proposal 500 word research proposal in an area of Applied Linguistics

Tuition fees

    UK 2024-25 £3,500 per year part time

    International 2024-25 N/A per year part time

Course overview

When you study with us you will become part of our postgraduate community, made up of students from both taught and research courses. This gives you opportunities to network and expand your understanding of applied linguistics. In your first year you can choose the modules which will most benefit your specific research topic. You will study alongside students from related courses including TESOL MA and Language and Social Justice MA. While carrying out the research project, you will be offered supervision support by a member of our teaching team with research expertise and/or interest in the same or similar field.

Our expertise in Applied Linguistics at York St John University is wide ranging and you could be working with one of many specialist experts. Our research includes:

  • Ideologies relating to multilingualism and language variation in schools
  • Plurilithic Englishes and English as a lingua franca
  • The construction of gender and sexuality identities in the classroom
  • Language and ecological justice
  • Language policy as it relates to refugees and asylum seekers
  • The experiences of deaf people working in higher education
  • Second language teaching and learning of East Asian languages
  • Home language policies and practices of multilingual, migrant families

Course structure

How you will study

This course is studied part time over 2 years. This allows you to fit your studies around other commitments.

You will study:

  • 1 optional module in the first semester of first year
  • 1 compulsory module in the second semester of your first year

Your second year will be spent on your Thesis.


Credits: 30

Optional module

Myths about language circulate in popular discourse, government and institutional policy, and clinical and classroom practice. For example:

  • Language is confused with thought
  • Sign languages are poorly understood
  • Bi- and multi-lingualism is assumed to be problematic
  • Individuals and groups are described as incompetent users of their language(s)

These myths are used to justify the marginalisation of individuals and groups, and are particularly damaging for those who are already disadvantaged in some way. This module is designed to raise the awareness of students from a wide range of educational and professional backgrounds.

Credits: 30

Optional module

On this module we will introduce you to theories and approaches in Critical Discourse Analysis, an essential method in language and social justice research. It provides a theoretical basis so that you can carry out practical analyses or public engagement activities in the later stage of the course. As well as a theoretical grounding, the module offers an insight into some relevant research methodology.

Credits: 30

Optional module

This module will introduce you to key theoretical issues in second language learning, with a focus on theory development based on research evidence. We will explore comparisons with first language acquisition, and consider the importance of:

  • Cross-linguistic influence
  • Input and feedback
  • Individual learner differences
  • Identity and ideology
  • Instruction

The module will also provide you with opportunities to critically evaluate theoretical frameworks and research methods. You will relate these to your own teaching contexts, as you prepare for the Thesis.

Credits: 15


On this module you will explore the implications of research findings in applied linguistics. It will build a foundation for your future independent research, pedagogical work or public engagement activity. The module will give you the tools to take an enquiring approach in your future professional practice. We will consider key issues, principles and procedures for quantitative and qualitative research in language and linguistics. You will refine your skills in:

  • Critical reading
  • Searching for literature
  • Compiling a bibliography
  • Designing a research study or pedagogical / public engagement activity
  • Writing a proposal
  • Addressing ethical issues

Credits: 120

Compulsory module

On this module you will critically explore a project on a topic of your choice within the field of Applied Linguistics. You will have the opportunity to research your topic in depth over the course of the year. You will work independently to carry out this research, while being supported by a supervisor with expertise in your chosen area throughout the process.

The content of the project will be dictated by your individual specialism, but will probably comprise the following elements:

  • Carrying out a literature and document review
  • Designing your research
  • Implementing your research
  • Analysing results, outcomes and conclusions

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

In your first year you will study a theoretical module and a research methods module. The order you study these in depends on whether you start on January or September, but they work equally well in either order.

Each of the taught modules in your first year will include 3 hours a week of class time. Your independent study will include reading and preparation for the classes as well completing assessments.

You will be assigned a supervisor when you have completed the Research Methods module. The majority of your supervision meetings will be in the second year of the course. At this stage your focus will be on the 120 credit Thesis, a substantial piece of independent research. You will have access to the University Postgraduate Research Skills Programme during your second year. Your supervisor will help you to apply for and secure ethical approval for the research, and give feedback on a draft of your thesis.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.


The assessments are designed to best suit the theoretical content of your research, and will vary between modules. You will normally be assessed via 2 or more of the following:

  • Data analysis
  • An essay
  • A review of a journal article
  • A report
  • Self reflection
  • A video presentation

One of the assessments for the Research Methods module is a 3000 word research proposal. For this you will develop and extend the 500 word research proposal that you submitted in your application.

Entry requirements


Minimum entry requirements

    2:2 honours degree in a related subject

    Research proposal 500 word research proposal in an area of Applied Linguistics

If your degree is in an unrelated subject, but you can provide evidence of relevant professional experience, your application may still be considered.

If you do not have traditional qualifications, you may be eligible for entry on the basis of Recognition of prior learning (RPL). We also consider applications for entry with advanced standing.

International students

Unfortunately, this course is not open to international students. 

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

If you do not have traditional qualifications, you might be able to provide evidence of professional experience in the subject as an alternative way to meet the entry requirements. This is called Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL). Appropriate references and records of employment would need to be presented to support your case for admission. 

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and funding

UK 2024 - 2025 entry

The tuition fee for this postgraduate course in the 2024 - 2025 academic year is:

  • £3,500 per year for part time study

These costs apply to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Postgraduate loans are available to help you pay for your master’s course. Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

International students

Unfortunately, this course is not open to international students. Discover the other courses we offer.

Funding opportunities

Tuition fees

    UK 2024-25 £3,500 per year part time

    International 2024-25 N/A per year part time

Alumni Scholarships

If you are alumni of York St John University we have scholarships available to help you continue your studies.

Scholarships for alumni

Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Career outcomes

Where could Applied Linguistics take you?

This MRes will give you experience of carrying out research at an advanced level. You may want to continue this research path by continuing onto a PhD. The expertise you gain in Applied Linguistics could also enhance a career in:

  • Teacher of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) teacher.
  • A political party
  • Local government
  • Policy development
  • The Civil Service (they offer a Fast Stream graduate scheme)
  • Political and social research
  • Charities

Stand out from the crowd with postgraduate study.

Far fewer people have postgraduate degrees than undergraduate qualifications. This gives you something extra to set yourself apart in a competitive graduate job market. Those with a postgraduate qualification will earn an average of £8,000 a year more than those with only an undergraduate degree. (Department For Education Graduate Labour Market Report 2019)

Our careers service, LaunchPad, provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice

This support does not end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain the experience and confidence you need to succeed.

Apply for this course

For postgraduate degrees you must apply directly to York St John University using the links below. This will take you to the application form you need to fill out for this specific course. 

To complete the online application form you will need to create login details. 

Please contact 2 referees before submitting your application. An automated request for a reference will be emailed to them as soon as you submit. Your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

Fees and key information

Apply now

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