Goldsmiths, University of London

Degree level: Postgraduate

Sociocultural Linguistics (Taught)

Course options

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Course summary

This Masters programme looks at language from a sociocultural perspective. It's designed for anyone with an interest in the relationship between language, culture and society but also provides a solid understanding of English language and linguistics. Why study MA Sociocultural Linguistics at Goldsmiths

  • This degree focuses on (socio)linguistics and discourse analysis and enhances your analytic and linguistic skills by introducing different approaches to the analysis of written and spoken language from a range of everyday and institutional contexts.
  • You'll cover topics such as language and ideology, linguistic performances of identity (particularly language and gender, sexuality, ethnicity and social class), language and the media, talk at work, English in a multilingual world, intercultural communication, English as a Lingua Franca, multilingualism and code-switching, and attitudes to different varieties of English.
  • You'll be encouraged to engage with these topics by drawing on your own social, cultural and occupational backgrounds in class discussions and in your written work. The opportunity to explore new interests in written work, including the dissertation (dissertation), has allowed many of our students to forge new career trajectories, e.g. in internationalisation, diversity and inclusion, marketing, advertising, journalism, work for NGOs and many different educational contexts, including language teaching.
  • You will be encouraged to engage in hands-on analysis of spoken and written language, after receiving training in how to collect, transcribe and analyse different types of language data, in interviews, natural conversational context, and a various written texts and corpora.
  • You will learn how authentic spoken English is used as a resource by speakers to achieve their goals, signal intimacy or dislike, gossip or report, persuade or interview others, position themselves and their identities in different ways. You will learn how written English and other semiotic practices are used to report and to distort, create ingroups and outgroups, reflect and perpetuate ideologies in a variety of print and social media.
  • You'll draw on findings, theories and methodologies from across multiple disciplines, including sociocultural linguistics, pragmatics, discourse analysis, ethnography, semiotics, multimodal analysis, conversational analysis and narrative analysis.
  • The programme’s distinct interdisciplinary ethos is also reflected in your opportunity to choose one module from a selection of relevant option modules in other departments in Goldsmiths, including sociology, anthropology, media, politics, translation and literature.
  • We also run optional academic and research skills sessions throughout the year on reading and essay writing, conducting fieldwork, transcription, oral presentation skills, preparing for dissertation etc.

Course details


You will complete two compulsory modules, two option modules and one dissertation. Compulsory modules Core Issues in English Language & Linguistics 30 credits Language in its Sociocultural Context 30 credits Option modules You may choose two linguistic options or one linguistic option and one option from other MA programmes within the College, where specifically approved by the Programme Co-ordinator. Discourse and identity in spoken interaction 30 credits English in a Multilingual World 30 credits Intercultural Discourse & Communication 30 credits Language & Ideology in Written Discourse 30 credits English as a Lingua Franca and Language Teaching 30 credits We also run many optional MA linguistic study skills sessions in which we cover topics such as: fieldwork and methodology; using electronic resources; British academic essay writing & referencing at MA level; giving presentations; planning a dissertation in (socio)linguistics. You may also choose one non-linguistics module, either from our own department (English and Comparative Literature) or from another department. Availability of options across the College varies, but typically you can choose from the following selection. Please note that your choice of option module from another department needs to be discussed with the Programme Co-ordinator of the MA Sociocultural Linguistics in advance. Sociology options What is Culture - Key Theoretical Interventions 30 credits Social Media: A Critical Review 30 credits Introduction to Feminist and Cultural Theory 30 credits Gender, Sexuality and Media 30 credits Race, Gender And Social Justice 30 credits Stories and the Social World: Identity, Politics, Ethics 30 credits Media, Communications and Cultural Studies options Political Economy of the Media 15 Credits Race, Empire and Nation 15 credits Gender Affect and the Body 30 credits Social Media in Everyday Life: A global perspective 15 credits Race and the Cultural Industries 30 credits Promotional Culture 30 credits or 15 credits Anthropology options Anthropology and Gender Theory 15 credits Anthropology and Cultural Politics 30 credits Anthropology and History 30 credits Educational Studies options Culture, Language and Identity in Education 30 credits Race, Culture and Education 30 credits English and Creative Writing options: Studies in Comparative Literature & Criticism 30 credits Theories of Literature & Culture 30 credits Modern Literary Movements 30 credits Literature of the Caribbean & its Diasporas 30 credits The Contemporary American Novel in the Era of Climate Change 30 credits Interculturality, Text, Poetics 30 credits Thinking Translation: Introduction to Translation Theory 30 credits Becoming a Translator 30 credits Translation for the Cultural Tourism, Hospitality and Cultural Heritage Sectors 30 credits Postcolonial Fiction: Theory and Practice 30 credits Palestine and Postcolonialism 30 credits Caribbean Women Writers 30 credits Postmodernist Fiction 30 credits We also run an optional MA study skills module in which we cover topics such as: fieldwork and methodology; using electronic resources; British academic essay writing & referencing at MA level; planning a dissertation in (socio)linguistics. *Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Assessment method

Coursework; essays; critical review; blog post; dissertation; presentation

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard, or equivalent. You might also be considered if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level. No prior knowledge of linguistics is required. If you would like to explore the options, given your personal background, please get in touch. 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.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

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Additional fee information

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Sociocultural Linguistics at Goldsmiths, University of London - UCAS