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2020/21 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

LING5480M Research Methods in Linguistics

15 creditsClass Size: 36

Module manager: Clare Wright

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

In this module , students are given an overview of research methodologies commonly used in linguistic studies, and are given detailed guidance on how to approach the design and planning of their own original study, which they will undertake after completing this module, as their dissertation project.


This module aims to:
1. provide students with a broad understanding of research methodologies in the social sciences as well as an understanding of specific approaches to research in a range of linguistic topics
2. prepare students for undertaking their own piece of original research in the post-requisite module LING5350M Dissertation (Linguistics and Phonetics)

Learning outcomes
On the completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. understand how research is undertaken in the main sub-disciplines of linguistics (including theoretical and empirical approaches)
2. understand the importance of interpreting, synthesising and critically evaluating source literature appropriately
3. show an appreciation of issues surrounding the collection, transcription and analysis of various types of language data both qualitative and quantitative
4. demonstrate awareness of the need to design research projects in terms of research questions that can be systematically 'operationalised'
5. interpret statistical/quantitative information presented in research papers on language related topics


The first part of the lecture programme is team-taught, with staff members covering issues of research methodology that are relevant to specific areas of linguistics in which they have expertise: for example language acquisition, language teaching, phonetics, pragmatics and sociolinguistics. The second part of the lecture programme prepares students for undertaking their own research and writing it up in the form of a dissertation, as part of the post-requisite module LING5350M Dissertation (Linguistics and Phonetics). Among other topics, it covers research ethics and planning, basic statistical and data analysis skills, and presents students with dissertation outlines appropriate for various types of project.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours40.00
Private study hours95.00
Total Contact hours15.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Students are expected to spend 135 hours of independent work on this module, with the following suggested breakdown:
- self-study using online resources: (10x4=) 40 hours
- reading to keep up with lecture content: (10x4=) 40 hours
- preparation of the essay: 55 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The lectures incorporate practical activities, which yield opportunities for monitoring students’ progress and providing formative feedback.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Critique1,500 - 2000 word critical source comparison100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 26/01/2021 12:51:21


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