MRes Corpus Linguistics

This programme is relevant for those who have a professional interest in language, for example as teachers or translators; for those who have studied language at university and who wish to extend this knowledge further; and for those who have an interest in language and computers and who wish to bring these two areas together in an innovative and exciting field. 

Course fact file

Type of Course: Combined research and taught

Study Options: Full time, part time

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Start date: September


The programme aims to:

  • Allow you to develop an academic interest in the use of corpora in a variety of approaches
  • Provide research training in the growing area of corpus linguistics, as a basis for more advanced research in this area

You take three taught modules as part of the Corpus Linguistics MRes. These are:

  • An Introduction to Corpus Linguistics – topics covered in this module include the use of corpus access techniques; interpretation of corpus data; corpus-based theories of language.
  • Research Methods in Corpus Linguistics – topics covered in this module include statistics, use and design of programs, corpus collection and research project design. The module content is flexible to cater for the needs and interests of individual students.
  • Advanced Corpus Linguistics – topics covered in this module again reflect students’ interests, but usually include corpora in translation; cultural studies; historical studies; language teaching; and language processing.

You also write a 20,000-word thesis on a subject of your own choosing.

Why study this course

The Department English Language and Applied Linguistics at the University of Birmingham is one of the leading centres for the study of Corpus Linguistics in Britain. In the 1980s and 1990s it was the home of the Cobuild project, under the direction of Professor John Sinclair. This project led to the publication of the famous Cobuild dictionaries and grammars which are widely used today in English Language Teaching.

Today the Department hosts the Centre for Corpus Research, the purpose of which is to further the use of corpus analysis in research, teaching and learning. The Centre provides resources, facilities, and technical and scientific advice to members of staff, students, and visitors on a variety of issues concerning the study of textual data.

Members of staff in the Department offer expertise in the use of corpora in various fields, such as English language teaching, translation, lexicography, historical linguistics, literature, grammar, forensic linguistics, language processing, psycholinguistics and discourse analysis. The Departments of German and Italian also have interests in corpora. Other Schools in the university, notably Computer Science and Engineering, also offer expertise in computational linguistics and natural language processing.

Students at Birmingham have free access to the 450 million word Bank of English corpus, and to the hardware, software and data resources held at the Centre for Corpus Research.

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2015/16 are as follows:

  • Home/EU: £6,840 full-time; £3,420 part-time
  • Overseas: £14,140 full-time

For part-time students, the above fee quoted is for year one only and tuition fees will also be payable in year two of your programme.

Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments.

Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students

Learn more about postgraduate tuition fees and funding

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

Birmingham Masters Scholarship Scheme

For 2015 entry the University has 224 new £10,000 scholarships available for Masters students from under-represented groups. These scholarships have been jointly funded by the British Government; the allocation of the awards, which is the fourth highest in the UK, further cements Birmingham?s place amongst the very best higher education institutions for postgraduate study. The application deadline is 31 July 2015.

Entry requirements

Learn more about entry requirements

International students

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

Before you make your application

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

Making your application

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

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Learning and teaching

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the vibrant international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.

Related research


The University of Birmingham has been ranked 8th in the UK and 60th in the world for post-qualification employability in the latest global survey of universities commissioned by the International Herald Tribune.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by the employability skills training offered through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School.

Birmingham?s English Language and Applied Linguistics postgraduates develop a broad range of transferable skills that are highly valued by employers, particularly in relation to verbal and written communication. They also develop crucial skills in organisation, time management, analysis and interpretation of information.

Over the past five years, over 92% of English Language and Applied Linguistics postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Some of our graduates enter roles for which their programme has prepared them, such as translation, interpreting or teaching; others use their transferable skills in a wide range of occupations including journalism, marketing, publishing and media.