Master of Arts in Language Studies

Programme Director: Prof WEE, Lian Hee (from 1 September 2019 to 14 January 2020)
                                       Dr WAKEFIELD, John (from 15 January 2020 to 31 August 2020)

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.

The MA in Language Studies 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. The aim is to train graduates who can adapt to a range of language situations and to address questions of language description and language use. Teaching is carried out through lecturers, workshops and student-centred discussions.

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


The MA in Language Studies is a taught degree programme comprising part-time study over a normal period of two academic years, or full-time study over a normal period of one academic year (non-dissertation option) or one and half years (dissertation option). With the approval of the Programme Director, students can request to 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 will be delivered on weekdays, and/or weekday evenings, and/or Saturdays.

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
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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