Graduate Studies in English Language


The concentration in the English Language and Linguistics degrees can be generally described as English in multilingual settings. Peoples, languages and situations have always interacted but globalisation has made the study of such interactions of particular and pressing importance. Singapore is ideally positioned for that study. It is a natural language laboratory in which students and researchers can observe the causes, effects and functions of languages interacting with the social and cultural in complex and interesting ways. The Department numbers experts of various kinds among its faculty who bring different perspectives to bear on the phenomenon of language in social life. All our graduate students should expect to acquire a developed expertise in this area of language studies.

To support and sustain this area of concentration, the Department provides three foundational modules. These enable students to work in rigorous, informed and appropriate ways. One module deals with the grammatical structure of language (mainly syntax and semantics). Another concerns the sound structure of the language (phonetics and phonology), and the third explores language use in social context (discourse and sociolinguistics). Together, the three foundational modules provide expertise at an advanced level in key areas of language study.

To be educated in an academic discipline is to have more than a developed interest and the key skills to pursue it. The educated specialist needs to possess an understanding of the discipline’s wider concerns and of the points of intersection with other disciplines. Our interface modules cover, in varying degrees of detail, language use and its connections with the mind, physiology, computer applications, knowledge and ideology. There is also the possibility for graduate students to take modules from other departments in the Faculty.

Our level 6000 modules are tailored to the needs of research students, especially those doing PhDs. The Graduate Research Seminar is designed to introduce students to the approaches and expectations of the research communities within language studies. The advanced seminars focus on different areas of language studies. These are organised each year to reflect the interests and developing expertise of the students.

The Department offers three graduate degrees in English Language and Linguistics:
• MA (by Coursework)
• MA (by Research)
• PhD