Close icon
Close icon

MA in Applied Linguistics

  • Programme Overview
  • Programme Content
  • Entry Requirements
  • How to Apply
  • Ask a Question
  • Programme Overview

    The Master's in Applied Linguistics provides a broad-based course of study in language description (language systems: grammar, lexis and phonology), theories of Applied Linguistics, theories of Second Language Acquisition, frameworks for the study of discourse, sociolinguistics, as well as specialist research skills for the empirical analysis of language in context. While its main focus is on the use and teaching of the English language in a global context, it will address a national and international need for professional development among language teachers and language professionals.

    Key Features

    The programme offers a professional development opportunity for language professionals including:

    • Teachers in the fields of ELT (English Language Teaching) and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).
    • Language teachers
    • Primary school teachers 
    • Translators
    • ELT materials editors, course developers and sales teams

    The aims of the MA in Applied Linguistics are to:

    • Enhance the professional knowledge of Language Teachers and language professionals by focusing on the core features of language (grammar, lexis and phonology)
    • Develop participants’ ability to utilise theoretical frameworks for the analysis of discourse to enhance their ability to address specific language-related real-world problems concerning the learning, use, teaching and assessment of language
    • Provide a broad understanding of the key issues and debates in language teaching and learning
    • Develop specialist skills in the empirical analysis of language in context using corpus linguistics
    MA in Applied Linguistics
    Programme Coordinator, Dr Joan O'Sullivan, talks about the Master's programme
    A Professional Development Opportunity
    A Professional Development Opportunity
    Recently conferred MA in Applied Linguistics graduates in 2018 with MIC staff members

    Strong International Reputation

    The programme lecturers include internationally renowned Dr Anne O'Keeffe and Dr Brian Clancy (both from Mary Immaculate College). The course will also include guest webinars by Prof. Michael McCarthyScott ThornburyProf. Steve WalshGeraldine MarkDr Ivor Timmis, and others.

    Mary Immaculate College has a strong international reputation for research in the area of Applied Linguistics, especially in its sub-field of Corpus Linguistics, and it has a vibrant doctoral level research profile within its Inter-Varietal Applied Corpus Studies (IVACS) research centre. Its degrees are awarded by the University of Limerick and are internationally recognised.

    Student Profile & Perspective

    The MAAL is aimed primarily at Language Teachers and other language professionals. To offer the optimum flexibility, the course is offered in three possible delivery formats: face-to-face on campus, fully online or blended (a combination of face-to-face and online delivery).

    These options:

    • Allow you the flexibility to continue working  throughout the course
    • Allow you to integrate professional development into your professional working context
    • Allow you the flexibility to study at a time and place that best suits you
    • Provide a solution to travel and Visa issues

    The programme can also create a structured pathway to further research at doctoral level (see here), which is essential for a career in teaching and researching at third level.

    A Student Perspective
    Giovani Santos talks about his experience with the MA in Applied Linguistics


    Dr Joan O'Sullivan, Programme Coordinator

    T: +353 61 774735


    Programme Content

    Typically, the course will run over three 12-week semesters. Semesters 1 and 2 will each have four taught modules (lectures and course work). Semester 3 will be dedicated to the writing of a dissertation. The three semesters can be taken back-to-back in one calendar year (September–August), using the summer period for the dissertation module.

    Alternatively, the course can be taken over one and a half years. Part-time options are also available. Each module will involve ongoing assessment, such as essays and oral presentations. For those students opting for the blended and online delivery formats, the assessments will have online options for completion.

    Semester 1
    Core Features of Language: Grammar, Vocabulary and Phonology
    Research Methods in Applied Linguistics 
    Academic Writing: Lexiogrammar and Discourse
    Plus one elective module* from this list:
    Introduction to Sociolinguistics
    Second Language Acquisition 
    Classroom and Learner Discourse
    Introduction to Irish English
    Semester 2
    Approaches to Language in Context
    Issues in Applied Linguistics
    Research Methods
    Plus one elective module* from this list:
    Corpus Linguistics and Language Teaching
    Phonetics and Phonology 
    Discourse and Pragmatics
    Analysing Media Discourse

    * Electives will be offered on the basis of there an adequate level of student uptake.

    Semester 3
    Dissertation (20,000 words)


    Entry Requirements

    • A 2.2 honours primary degree, plus two years’ experience in Language Teaching, publishing or translation, or related fields.
    • Relevant prior experience in Language Teaching, publishing or translation, or related fields considered on a case-by-case basis.

    English Language Requirements

    Applicants for whom English is not a first language must provide evidence of their proficiency level English in the form of an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) composite score of 6.5 – 7.0 with no less than 6.0 in any one component, or IELTS equivalent accepted by UL. Such applicants will also be required to undergo an interview through English.

    How to Apply

    Closing Date for Applications: 4 January 2019 (for January intake) & 30 August 2019 (for September intake)

    Fees: Click here.

    Download and complete the application form here.

    • The application form must also include your university transcripts.
    • In the case of non-native English speakers, a copy of IETLS is also required, or equivalent.

    Pay the application fee* and return the application form by email to: or by post to: Admissions Office, Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Ireland, V94 VN26.

    *Pay your application fee (EU: €33; non-EU: €55) using Realex here. Please note down the payment reference number, make a screenshot or print a copy for your own records.

    Programme Coordinator
    Dr Joan O'Sullivan
    +353 61 774735

    Ask a Question

  • Programme Overview
  • Programme Content
  • Entry Requirements
  • How to Apply
  • Ask a Question