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Graduate Admissions

About the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics

The Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages (MML):

The Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages is the home of language and linguistics teaching and research at the University of Cambridge. With more than 770 undergraduate students, 65 MPhil students and 140 PhD students we are one of the largest humanities Faculties in the University and one of the largest languages Faculties nationally.

The Faculty comprises of six departments, which cover a range of languages and subject areas. The Faculty regularly tops a number of university and research rankings, and is home to a number of groundbreaking projects and initiatives.

 

The Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics:

The Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics was created on 1 August 2011 by merging the former Department of Linguistics and the Research Centre for English and Applied Linguistics. The Department is part of the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages.

The Department pursues an interdisciplinary approach to theoretical and applied linguistics and avoids uncritical adherence to particular views and theories. Building on the strengths of the previous institutions, the department covers a comprehensive range of the language sciences and offers excellent theoretical and empirical research in a broad spread of fields from historical linguistics and comparative syntax to language processing and computational linguistics.

4 courses offered in the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics

The PhD in Computation, Cognition and Language is a PhD track for students who conduct basic and applied
research in the computational study of language, communication, and cognition, in humans and machines. This
research is interdisciplinary in nature and draws on methodology and insights from a range of disciplines that
are now critical for the further development of language sciences, including (but not limited to) Linguistics,
Cognitive Science, Computer Science, Engineering, Psychology and Neuroscience.

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The Linguistics Section is unique in the UK in that it integrates theoretical and applied linguistics in a single section. The Section provides great variety and flexibility in course contents as well as subject-specific training and diversity of intellectual interactions. PhD topics in the range of research specialisms represented in the section and beyond the section in the Faculty of MMLL are accepted. Thus, students may choose to focus on a theoretically oriented study of the language sciences (eg interest in the syntactic organisation or sound structure of different languages), but may also be interested in a more applied direction of Linguistics (language acquisition, language processing, data mining of language corpora), or may choose to look at Linguistics from a specific language point of view (Italian linguistics). 

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The course integrates the study of linguistic theory, broadly understood, and applied linguistics, in a single programme. It provides great variety and flexibility of content, with subject-specific training and the opportunity for diverse intellectual interactions. These can occur across the wide range of research specialisms represented in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics (TAL) and beyond - especially elsewhere in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics (MMLL). Thus, students can explore theoretical and descriptive linguistics (e.g. the syntactic organization, or sound structure and phonetics, of different languages, or the principles that govern the historical development of languages); they can study how linguistics and phonetics can be applied to areas such as language acquisition, language processing, data mining of language corpora, or forensics; and they can choose to look at linguistics from the point of view of a specific language or language family (e.g. Italian linguistics, Germanic linguistics, etc.). Those who wish to focus their study in a particular language area can select courses that constitute a 'Pathway' in that area, such as Celtic Linguistics or English Linguistics. 

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The MPhil by Thesis allows students to carry out focused research on a specific topic in a way that foreshadows a potential PhD. The area can be chosen from a wide range within linguistics or overlapping with other areas of the linguistic sciences. Students are provided with subject-specific training and the opportunity for diverse intellectual interactions. These can occur across the wide range of research specialisms represented in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics (TAL) and beyond - especially elsewhere in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics (MMLL). Thus, students can explore theoretical and descriptive linguistics (e.g. the syntactic organization, or sound structure and phonetics, of different languages, or the principles that govern the historical development of languages); they can study how linguistics and phonetics can be applied to areas such as language acquisition, language processing, data mining of language corpora, or forensics; and they can choose to look at linguistics from the point of view of a specific language or language family (e.g. Italian linguistics, Germanic linguistics, etc.). Those who wish to focus their study in a particular language area can select courses that constitute a 'Pathway' in that area, such as Celtic Linguistics or English Linguistics. 

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Department Members


David Willis
Graduate Teaching and Examining Officer (2017/18)

Napoleon Katsos
Graduate Teaching and Examining Officer (2018/19)

  • 13 Academic Staff
  • 18 Postdoctoral Researchers
  • 72 Graduate Students
  • 82 Undergraduates

http://www.mml.cam.ac.uk/dtal/

Research Areas