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COURSE TITLE Master of Arts in English Language








Second Cycle

Level 7

3 Semesters

Full-time Evening


This programme of study is also offered on a part-time basis. Please consult the Registrar’s website for more information pertaining to courses offered by the University.

The Taught MA in English Language provides an opportunity for closely mentored postgraduate learning and research in theoretical and practical aspects of English Language Studies generally and in applied contexts relating to Maltese linguistic environments. It offers a postgraduate pathway for work in English-language use across a variety of contexts and genres and offers students the possibility of focused work in areas relating to grammar, bilingualism, pragmatics, stylistics, corpus linguistics, language change, language acquisition, literary linguistics and cognitive poetics. This makes for an exciting blend of units which is also designed to address demands in the contemporary workplace for enhanced English-language use.
LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of the course, students will be able to:

• identify the key interdisciplinary elements of the different foci (grammar, bilingualism, stylistics, cognitive poetics, language change, corpora and their applications, usage, etc) offered by the programme,

• evaluate the importance of learner motivation in language learning,

• identify key issues related to language planning and language policy in bilingual countries,

• analyse bilingual education programmes such as immersion education, heritage language maintenance and dual language programmes,

• conduct large-scale scientifically-representative language surveys,

• develop a keen sense of self-evaluation in their knowledge and use of the English language,

• communicate flexibly and incisively in English in professional settings,

• reflect on and analyse the use of English inbilingual settings,

• develop metalinguistic and metadisciplinary awareness in relation to English Language Studies and the diverse approaches represented therein,

• integrate the different theories and practices of the disciplines introduced by the programme,

• create and redesign approaches to describing/analysing/teaching language in different contexts,

• delineate and mediate the convergence between disciplines,

• identify criteria for establishing terminologies and methodologies in English Language Studies,

• describe essential concepts and categories of English grammar,

• demonstrate sensitiveness to different expectations and requirements in language policy,

• demonstrate sensitiveness to different perceptions about English language use in different contexts,

• assess and account for different aspects of change in English language use across different contexts,

• have an eclectic appreciation of complementary and contrasting approaches in English Language Studies.

In terms of Subject Knowledge and Understanding, the programme provides opportunities for students to demonstrate the ability to:

• identify the methodologies necessary for producing and interpreting sets of language data,design different research questions and refine their terminologies for conceptualising and testing specific aspects of language,

• identify the effects of bilingualism on the social and cognitive development of children and the ways in which bilingualism is measured in both individuals and society,

• describe how the language of texts is processed at the levels of reception/cognition,

• identify the major learning problems learners have with grammar,

• develop an understanding of the role of conversational interaction and corrective feedback in ELT,

• identify tools and resources used for corpus analysis.

In terms of Intellectual Development, students will be helped to:

• use grammar as a system of resources for creating meaning in context,

• analyse the grammatical patterns of various texts and how they are organized,

• assimilate and adapt theoretical models within practical analysis,

• critically examine a range of significant research studies and findings across English Language Studies,

• generate interdisciplinary dialogue across the different components of the programme,

• apply a range of methodologies, sub-disciplines and theoretical approaches in language research,

• adapt methodologies to new contexts,

• analyse methods in relation to spoken and written discourse stored in electronic and non-electronic formats.

Key Transferable Skills imparted during the programme include:

• development of independent learning, self-evaluation, and critical and analytical thought,

• enhanced and effective communication in spoken and written English,

• generation of tenable hypotheses for research purposes,use of computer-mediated research skills,

• use of language resources (language corpora) and evaluation of material collected.

Skills relevant to employability &Personal Development nurtured during the programme include:

• development of professional writing skills in the discipline, • development of oral presentation skills,

• development of metalinguistic abilities,

• development of independent research skills and critical thinking,

• appraisal of the relationship between academic, professional, public and user conceptions of language,

• undertaking of practice-oriented research in language,

• development of new theoretical directions in emerging fields of study.
COURSE INTENDED FOR Past and current undergraduates, teachers in schools, representatives from the language schools, NGOs, the ESU and other professional bodies.
The Course shall be open to applicants in possession of one of the following qualifications:

(a) the degree of Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in the same or in a closely related area of study as the area of study applied for, provided that applicants in possession of a Third Class Honours qualification shall satisfy the Board that they are in possession of other qualifications, including relevant experience, obtained following the first cycle degree or

(b) the degree of Bachelor of Arts in the same or in a closely related area of study as that applied for, with an average mark of not less than 65% in that area or

(c) a degree from this or from another university which the Board considers as comparable to any of the degrees indicated in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) above.

In the case of a mainly taught course and depending on the nature of the programme, the Board may allow applicants possessing a degree other than those specified in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) to join the Course subject to an interview to establish whether they have sufficient proficiency and background to be able to profit from the Course. In certain such instances the Course Co-ordinator may recommend that applicants follow part or all of the relevant preparatory programme.

Preparatory Programme

Applicants admitted under sub-paragraphs (b) and if necessary (c) shall be required to complete a preparatory programme, comprising not less than 30 and not more than 60 credits as directed by the Board, depending on the number of credits already obtained in that area of study, with an overall average mark of 55% or better, prior to their registration as regular students on the Course.

The Board may grant applicants full or partial exemption from the requirement of the preparatory programme if it is satisfied that the applicant possesses post first cycle degree work experience that is relevant to the area of study applied for.

The admission requirements are applicable for courses commencing in February 2013.

For more detailed information pertaining to admission and progression requirements please refer to the bye-laws for the course available here.



Last Updated: 11 November 2014
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
Unless for exceptional approved reasons, no changes to the programme of study for a particular academic year will be made once the students' registration period for that academic year begins.

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