English Linguistics - Master's Programme in English

Academic year 2023/2024

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In the Master's Programme in English, specialising in English Linguistics, you will learn about the history and development of the English language from its earliest days up to the present, including the spread of the language around the world, leading to its unique global status. You will gain insight into the social significance of variation in English - how the language is used in developing identities - both in countries where it is traditionally spoken and around the world.

Why this programme?

Specialising in English Linguistics helps you to become an expert on the English language by studying its history, its structure, its global distribution, its social significance, and its acquisition in language classrooms around the world. You will study how individuals learn English, and how teachers can best facilitate the process of language acquisition.

You will be trained in the methods of corpus linguistics, which make use of the vast databases available for testing hypotheses about the language and learn how to write research papers in English linguistics, adhering to high standards of academic writing and responsible citation practices. You will also be encouraged to specialise in an area of English linguistics that particularly interests you, developing a tailor-made reading course that prepares you to perform a smaller independent research project, which in turn prepares you to carry out a larger project and write a Master's thesis.

During the programme, you can expect to

  • Specialise in the area of English linguistics that interests you.
  • Study history, structure, global distribution, social significance and learning of the English language in one programme.
  • Learn methods for carrying out empirical studies and contribute to our understanding of this uniquely global language.

Student profile

Your command of the English language is already very good and you are naturally curious about nuances in language. You enjoy studying in a cosmopolitan environment and articulating complex ideas in challenging seminar settings. You are extremely motivated and willing to take responsibility for your success, and you are used to planning your own work and keeping deadlines. Your social skills are very good and you enjoy articulating your thoughts and expressing your opinion in front of your fellow students. A PhD is a distinct possibility in your future so you value coming in close contact with current research and prominent researchers in your field.


The programme leads to a Master of Arts (120 credits) with English as the main field of study. After one year of study, it may also be possible to obtain a Master of Arts (60 credits).

All specialisations of this programme


The Master's Programme in English, specialising in English Linguistics, consists of two years of full-time study. In the first two semesters, you will take eight core courses (each worth 7.5 credits) in areas such as language in society, World Englishes, corpus linguistics, the history of English, and second language acquisition. Many of these modules include elements of both modern and historical periods of the English language, allowing you to study English from both a synchronic and a diachronic perspective.

The third semester comprises two courses in English. You also take two elective courses from the offerings of the Faculty of Languages. Another option is to do an internship, worth 7.5 credits in your third semester, or study abroad. In the fourth term, you will do a personal degree project culminating in a Master's thesis.

Courses within the programme

Semester 1

Language in Society: Theory, Analysis and Interpretation 7.5 credits

World Englishes: Social and Linguistic Perspectives 7.5 credits

Introduction to Corpus Linguistics 7.5 credits

From Project to Paper: Writing about Linguistic Research 7.5 credits

Semester 2

Second Language Acquisition: Theoretical and Practical Approaches 7.5 credits

Teaching English in Language Classrooms Today 7.5 credits

English in Transition I 7.5 credits

English in Transition II 7.5 credits

Semester 3

Stylistics 7.5 credits

Public Linguistics 7.5 credits

Elective course I 7.5 credits

Elective course II 7.5 credits or Practical Placement

Semester 4

Degree project 30 credits

Learning experience

In the core courses, you will meet with your teacher and fellow students in small groups in a seminar setting. At the same time, you will be engaged in independent research and writing under the guidance of your teacher. Every course emphasises original research, slowly building up the skills required to undertake your Master's thesis project.

The MA thesis, which is written during the final term, is a text in which you will demonstrate your ability to make a contribution to a specific area within English linguistics. In it, you will present original research in solid academic prose, adhering to the highest standards of intellectual and scholarly rigour. This will demonstrate your ability to embark on a career as a scholar or in any other area in which a thorough mastery of English and intellectual work at a high level are required.

English is the working language of the Department of English. In the Master's program, instruction, class discussions, and examinations are in English, as are all teaching materials.


Completing the Master's Programme in English, specialising in English Linguistics, will help you to develop intellectually, refining your research and analytical skills in ways that will prepare you either for doctoral study or for employment beyond the university in a wide array of fields.

Our programme has been producing successful graduates for over ten years. The skills they have learned in the programme are those required in a host of areas such as journalism and media, publishing, library work, tourism and creative industries, translation, and many more. If you are keen on pursuing a career in academia, the programme will provide excellent preparation for further studies at the doctoral level. Several of our graduates have gone on to do a PhD and become university lecturers.

Career support

During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.


Below you will find details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria and tuition fees. For information on how to apply and what general documents you need to submit, check the application guide. Besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit two programme-specific documents: 1. a statement of purpose (1 page) in which you clearly indicate which specialisation or specialisations of the programme you are applying to; 2. one or two independently written academic essays totalling no less than 8,000 words. The issues treated in the essay and the method used should preferably be relevant to the selected specialisation of the Master's programme.

These two programme-specific documents should be sent via email to masters@engelska.uu.se. Submit all other supporting documents with your application to universityadmissions.se as instructed in the application guide.

Please note that the language requirement for this programme is proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 7. The requirement can be met by achieving the required score on an internationally recognised test, such as IELTS or TOEFL:

IELTS for English 7: an overall score of 7.0 and no section below 6.

TOEFL iBT for English 7: Score of 20 (scale 0-30) in written test, total score of 100.

Students with a Swedish Kandidatexamen in English (as the main field of study) also fulfil this requirement. For questions, contact the study counsellor at the Department of English: studievagledare@engelska.uu.se

English Linguistics

120 credits

Autumn 2023, 100%, Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application deadline: 16 January 2023

Application code: UU-M5560 Application

Language of instruction: English


Academic requirements

A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university, with English (or an equivalent) as the main field of study.

Language requirements

Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 7.

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • an overall appraisal of previous university studies with emphasis on the quality of the Bachelor's thesis (or equivalent project work); and
  • a statement of purpose.

Tuition fee-paying students and non-paying students are admitted on the same grounds but in different selection groups.


If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.

Application fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 50,000

Tuition fee, total: SEK 200,000

Contact and further resources


For programme-specific questions, please contact the Study Counsellor:


+46 18 471 12 47

For admissions-related or general information, please contact our applicant support team:


Department of English

Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3 L

Box 527, 751 20 Uppsala

018-471 1247 018-471 1245