Master of Arts in Language Studies

Programme Director: Dr WAKEFIELD, John 

This is an MA by coursework degree offered to those presently engaged in or planning to engage in language-related professions. The programme considers the needs for linguistic sophistication with regard to Chinese and English language issues for the following professions in particular: language teachers, administrators and language officers, instructors in tertiary and adult/continuing education, translators, and media specialists.

MALS provides comprehensive knowledge about language and prepares students for special applications of linguistic analysis to problems arising from the students' particular interests, careers and concerns. With focus on different dimensions of language, it prepares graduates for a range of jobs which require good language skills and for further studies in linguistics. A wide range of courses is offered in both linguistics and applied linguistics so that graduates can be equipped with the current theories and trends in order to cope with the ever-changing demands in language-related professions.

The structure of the curriculum is as follows:

I) Required Courses 15 units
II) Elective Courses 6 units
III) Dissertation/Two extra elective courses 6 units
    27 units


There is a non-dissertation option that can be done in two years part-time or in one year full-time. There is also a dissertation option that can be done in two years part-time or in one-and-a-half years of full-time study.

The dissertation option is subject to the final approval by the Programme Director, depending on the student's academic results and the merits of his/her research proposal.

With the Programme Director's approval, students can extend their study period to a maximum of three part-time years.

Students are required to take all the five required courses. In addition to the required courses, students may choose to take (1) two electives and a dissertation; or (2) four electives (without a dissertation) to fulfil the graduation requirements. Classes are conducted on weekday evenings and Saturdays, so that both part-time and full-time students can attend. We may offer a few courses in the daytime so that full-time students can be given more choices of elective courses.

Students who have satisfactorily completed all the above requirements and achieved a cumulative GPA of 2.50 or above will be awarded an MA in Language Studies degree. To be awarded Distinction for the programme, students should attain a cumulative GPA of 3.67 or above, with no course grade below B- and no repeated courses. Students attaining a cumulative GPA between 3.40 and 3.66 will be awarded merit. An Interim Award may be granted to those who have completed at least 21 units and attained a cumulative GPA of 2.50 or above, but have not completed the required units of the MALS programme within the normal study period for reasons deemed acceptable by the Programme Management Committee. Interim Award graduates could apply for continuing the study of the MALS programme within 5 years of graduation with exemption from taking courses with grade B- or above. Students intending to return and resume their studies, however, will be subject to the availability of the programme, and should surrender their Interim Award upon their return. Students may also be required to take extra units if the programme structure has undergone subsequent changes.

I. Required Courses 15 units
  LANG7110 Research Methodology 3 units
  LANG7401 Introduction to the Study of Language I 3 units
  LANG7402 Introduction to the Study of Language II 3 units
  LANG7510 Language in Society 3 units
  LANG7610 Discourse Analysis 3 units
II. Elective Courses* 6 units
  LANG7390 Special Topic in Language Studies 3 units
  LANG7530 Language Curriculum 3 units
  LANG7550 English as a World Language 3 units
  LANG7570 Language and Education 3 units
  LANG7580 Language Development 3 units
  LANG7590 Advanced Topics in Discourse Studies 3 units
  LANG7600 Comparative Studies of English and Chinese Grammar 3 units
  LANG7630 Pragmatics in Language Learning and Teaching 3 units
  LANG7640 Grammar of Modern English 3 units
  LANG7650 Advanced Seminar in Language and Gender 3 units
  LANG7660 Linguistics and Liberal Thinking 3 units
  LANG7680 Language, Politics, and Identity 3 units
  LANG7690 The Pronunciation of English 3 units
  LANG7700 Critical Discourse Analysis and Public Policy Engagement 3 units
III. Dissertation 6 units
  LANG7260 Dissertation  6 units
  Two extra elective courses  6 units
    27 units

* With the approval of the MALS programme team and of other departments concerned, students may take one course from other taught postgraduate programmes of the University in lieu of one elective.

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