University of Canterbury


University of Canterbury

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Master of Linguistics

Key information

Level of study:
Master's Degree
Tuition fees:
1 year
Start date: 17-February-2020
University of Canterbury
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Course details


This 180-point master’s degree is an advanced programme offering specialised courses in linguistic analysis and a significant research component. Master of Linguistics (MLing) students will analyse the relationship between a language and its 'social life'. In a New Zealand context, this means understanding how English has developed over time, and how it continues to change as a marker of NZ identity, as well as understanding the relationship, both past and present, between English and Te Reo Māori.

How do I plan my degree?

The MLing is a 180-point programme that consists of:

  • three 30-point courses
  • a compulsory thesis, worth 90 points.

Subjects and courses

Students choose from any three courses (90 points in total) from 400 or 600-level Linguistics courses (excluding LING 400 and LING 480), and complete the thesis course LING 691 MLing Thesis.

It is recommended you take no more than two taught courses in a given semester.

Further study

Students can study a Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics.

Career opportunities

Graduates of the Master in Linguistics will be highly trained in the theories and contemporary methodologies of Linguistics and skillful in a range of complementary analytical, critical and linguistic skills. These will include an understanding of:

  • the internal structure of language and languages, including knowledge of phonetics, phonology and syntax
  • the relationship between English and other languages, including Te Reo Māori
  • key geographical and social determinants of variation in language
  • the role of language in constructing individual and group identities
  • how language produces and reflects cultural change and difference.

Start date: Monthly by arrangement with supervisor

Entry criteria

A student for this degree needs to have either:

  • a bachelor’s degree with a major in Linguistics, with at least a B+ Grade Point Average in 60 points in Linguistics at 300-level; or
  • any bachelor’s degree, and a Graduate Diploma in Arts in Linguistics, with at least a B+ Grade Point Average in 60 points in Linguistics at 300-level; or
  • a bachelor’s degree with a major in Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Philosophy, Computer Science, a language, or a different major approved by the Head of Department of Linguistics, with at least a B+ Grade Point Average in 60 points of 300-level courses in the majoring subject, and achieved at least a B+ in LING 400 English Structures (a distance-learning course which runs over the summer); or
  • been admitted Ad Eundem Statum (with equivalent standing).

In addition, all students must be approved by the Head of Department of Linguistics and the Dean of Arts (Academic).

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements

  • IELTS (Academic): Minimum overall score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • TOEFL (IBT): Minimum overall score of 90, with a minimum score of 19 in Reading, Listening and Writing.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): Overall score of 58 and no communicative skills score below 50.


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