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Postgraduate Admissions

The MPhil by Advanced Study is offered by the Linguistics Section within the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics (MMLL) as a full-time period of study and research, and introduces students to research skills and specialist knowledge.

The course aims:

  • to provide students with the necessary background in linguistic theory and related topics at an intermediate and advanced level using a range of approaches and methodologies;
  • to give students the opportunity to acquire expertise in their specific research interests in part by offering the opportunity of specialisation through pathways in the linguistics of particular languages (eg English, Romance, Celtic etc.), or areas such as applied linguistics;
  • to provide foundations for continuation to PhD research;
  • to offer the opportunity to participate in the research culture within and beyond the Faculty, within the Language Sciences community, by attending and contributing to postgraduate seminars and reading groups; and
  • to develop the research skills required to conduct independent research such as:
    • formulating a realistic research proposal, with suitably delineated aims, objectives, methods, scope and expected outcome;
    • preparing written work based on the proposal;
    • selecting and mastering suitable research methods;
    • collecting relevant bibliography;
    • using computer databases and corpora;
    • using the relevant software, including statistical packages where appropriate; and
    • presenting well-argued academic material to the wider research community.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the programme students will have developed:

  • a deeper knowledge and understanding of linguistic theories and problems addressed in cutting-edge research in theoretical and applied linguistics and related areas;
  • the skill of critically assessing current research and methods in theoretical and applied linguistics and related areas;
  • the methodological and other technical skills necessary for research in their chosen area;
  • improved presentation skills through presenting their research in progress; and
  • the skills and confidence to engage in scholarly debate.

These outcomes are achieved through participation in lectures, research seminars, individual supervisions, and additionally through subject reading groups, discussion groups and meetings of scholarly societies.

In addition to these subject-specific skills, the following general transferable skills are also acquired.

General transferable skills

  • The relatively intense timetable of the MPhil demands that students develop exemplary time-management skills. They work in collaboration with their supervisors to devise appropriate plans of study, and have to ensure that they meet all deadlines, formal and informal.
  • The compulsory research methods course includes transferable skills, such as how to organise writing, how to formulate research questions appropriate to different methodologies, and general problem-solving skills. Written work is required to be concise, cogent, appropriately structured, and students are asked to adhere strictly to word limits, as in most areas of activity.
  • Students are expected to make regular presentations in seminar situations. This develops their oral presentation skills, as does the assessed oral presentation on their "second seminar" at the end of the Lent term.


For those applying to continue from the MPhil to PhD, the minimum academic standard is normally an overall distinction on the MPhil.

Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the beginning of November. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.


This course is advertised in the following departments:

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Key Information

9 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics This course is advertised in multiple departments. Please see the Overview tab for more details.

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Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2022

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2021
Application deadline
Feb. 25, 2022
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2022

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Graduate Funding Competition
Dec. 2, 2021
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 13, 2021

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2022, Lent 2023 and Easter 2023.

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