Linguistics (M.Phil. / P.Grad.Dip.)

NFQ Level 9
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time


Course Overview

Linguistics is the systematic study of human language. It has its roots in antiquity, though the twentieth century saw an explosion of research and the development of new theories and approaches. Linguistics has become an exciting and vigorous area of study, with strong connections to many fields including psychology, sociology, anthropology, cognitive science, computer science, and philosophy.

Language is complex, and linguistics attempts to describe and explain the full range of that complexity, especially speech sounds, the grammar of words and sentences, and how meaning relates to words, grammar and context.

The M.Phil. in Linguistics has been running for nearly 30 years, offering a leading programme you can tailor to your interests; flexible design shaped by your interests in Linguistics; small class size, taught by experts; and a wide choice of elective modules offered each year.

Is This Course For Me?

Our students — who are not expected to have any background in linguistics — have in some cases come from language professions such as translating, interpreting, teaching, speech and language therapy, and publishing, or directly from undergraduate degrees which include language-centred elements such as English, modern languages and literature, anthropology, classics, psychology, and sociology. In other cases, they have simply been people who are intrigued by language and wish to study it in a more systematic fashion. In general, the Linguistics programme is likely to appeal to students with a talent for careful, systematic argument, and who wish to understand the mysteries of language.

Career Opportunities

Our alumni have followed career paths in various professions, with many opting to pursue research at a higher level. For some, Ph.D. research has led to an academic career.

Course Structure

This course can be taken full-time across one year or part-time across two years.

Each term, full-time students take two core modules and one elective, for a total of four core modules and two electives across the year.

Part-time students take one core module each term in their first year. In their second year, they take the remaining two core modules. They take one elective each year.

Course Content

Students take four core modules: Describing Grammar. Describing Meaning; Describing the Sounds of Languages; and Experimental Analysis of Sound Systems. 

Students then choose two electives from the following menu of electives modules: Corpus Linguistics; Computer Assisted Language Learning; Linguistic Pragmatics; Multilingualism; Psychology of Language Learning and Teaching; Speech and Language Technology in Education; and Technology, Language, and Communication.

In the final phase of the course, students prepare and write a 15,000-word dissertation

Click here for further information on modules/subjects.

Course Details


NFQ Level 9

Next Intake

September 2024

Course Coordinator

Dr Elaine Uí Dhonnchadha

Closing Date

30th April 2024

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Admission Requirements

Applicants should have a good honours degree (at least an upper second or equivalent; GPA of at least 3.2). Previous knowledge of applied linguistics is not a requirement. Normally only graduates with language teaching experience are admitted to the course in Applied Linguistics.

Applicants whose first language is not English and who have not been educated through the medium of English must meet the College's requirements for English-language proficiency, i.e. the minimum acceptable IELTS score is 7.0. For this course, no individual IELTS band can be below 6.5 (or the minimum equivalents in other approved English language proficiency tests listed on the College website). Students whose first language is not English are encouraged to attend our pre-sessional Summer programme to prepare them for postgraduate study in Ireland (see here).

Applicants must provide a Personal Statement explaining their motivation in applying for their chosen course(s).

Course Fees

Click here for a full list of postgraduate fees.

Get in Touch

Telephone Number

+353 (0)1 8962615


Register Your Interest

Register your interest in studying at Ireland’s leading university, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin.

Register Your Interest

My experience pursuing the Master's in Linguistics was incredibly rewarding. The small class size, diverse international environment, and expertise of the lecturers all contributed to making it a fulfilling academic and personal experience. In addition, the School offers a broad range of modules that students can choose from: this was valuable to me as I was able to focus on the areas of Linguistics I was most interested in.

Bruno Spadi