Core modules

7LN002 Corpus Linguistics with R

A corpus is a large body of text stored on the computer, sampled for a specific purpose or linguistic analysis. The aim of the module is to introduce you to the foundations of Corpus Linguistics. You will acquire knowledge and skills required both for carrying out statistical analyses of corpora, and learn how corpora are used in specific applications, including machine translation, the study of the human translation process, and in finding the characteristics of learner language.

7EN009 Words, Meanings, and Linguistic Creativity

This module focuses on the ways in which we use words, idioms, and metaphor, and how we exploit the norms of language for creative purposes. This module will introduce you to key theories of language relating to the study of lexis, with particular emphasis on the ways in which phraseological and syntactic patterns interact to create meanings. You will be introduced to the core concepts and techniques of corpus analysis, learning how to interpret concordance data, and you will explore the ways in which meanings are exploited in texts.

7LN006 Research Methods and Professional Skills

The primary aim of this module is to develop your knowledge and experience of research methods and techniques in the field of computing and information systems. In particular, to develop professionalism in the acquisition and deployment of appropriate research skills in areas such as ethics, data collection, documentation, and presentation.

7LN009 Dissertation

This module will allow you to produce a major piece of independent study, combining original research with thorough analysis of the established literature in the chosen area (i.e. corpus linguistics, lexicography, translation studies, or language teaching). You will work independently, under the guidance of a supervisor. In the dissertation, you will demonstrate comprehensive theoretical and practical knowledge of a specific linguistic topic, as well as effective use of subject-specific and transferable research skills, including corpus linguistic methods and academic writing. The ability to successfully complete the dissertation is a significant component in demonstrating Masters level study.

Supervisors drawn from RIILP.

Elective modules

Based on their research interests, students will select three modules from the list below:

7LN010 Lexicography: Theory and Practice

In this module, you will learn how to use corpus data and tools to create electronic dictionaries and lexical resources. You will learn how word senses and patterns of word use are identified and presented in a dictionary. This module will cover key concepts in the study of vocabulary and grammar such as collocations, idioms, phrasal verbs, and word history. You will learn how to use a great historical dictionary such as the OED, and how it differs from a corpus-based dictionary, which is a tool for language learning. By the end of the module, you will be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to compile and edit dictionary entries in English or any other language.

7LN011 Using Corpus Data for ELT

In this module, you will learn how to use corpus data and tools in language teaching. The module will enable you to develop knowledge and skills necessary to:

  • understand, evaluate and use corpus-based teaching techniques and resources;
  • use corpus data and tools in the preparation of teaching material and in the classroom; and
  • carry out small-scale corpus linguistic research projects.

7LN005 Translation Tools for Professional Translators

The aim of this module is to introduce you to the theoretical and practical aspects of translation technology (TT). You will acquire knowledge and skills of electronic tools used by professional translators, such as translation memories systems (TMS), on-line resources and corpus management. Formative assessments including plans for essays and portfolios will allow you to receive feedback on your work at different points during the semester before the final summative assessments are due.

7EN010 The Forms and Functions of English

The aim of this module is to introduce you to the functional approach to describing the grammar of English. The module draws on a systemic theory of meaning and real texts for its analysis of language. The module will give you knowledge and understanding of key concepts in functional grammar and will equip you with the appropriate terminology with which to describe the structures of English. You will study the ways in which English is structured at the levels of sound, the word, the phrase, and the clause, and you will analyse the ways in which choices made at these levels contribute to making diverse meanings in genuine examples of English texts.

7LN001 Python Programming

The module will enable you to acquire basic and intermediate concepts of computer science and programming in Python. The module is intended for linguists and other non-computer-scientists who have no programming experience, but computer scientists interested to learning Python and how it can be used in corpus linguistics can also benefit from it. Its special focus will be on Python and how it can be used to solve problems from corpus linguistics. Topics to be covered include: how to analyse the problem to be solved, fundamental data types, control structures, functions, regular expressions, simple tokenization, arrays, dictionaries, files, and corpora. Laboratory sessions will give participants hands-on experience in writing Python programs individually and in teams. The module will also introduce you to NLTK, a powerful package for language processing.