Master of Arts (MA) programme in Linguistics


The Master of Arts Programme in Linguistics features an interdisciplinary approach to language study. It is designed to introduce students to current theories in linguistics and their various applications to language typology, language acquisition, language and modality, language teaching as well as culture and society, which are presented in a comparative framework. The programme consists of three streams, namely, (i) the General Linguistics Stream, (ii) the Language Acquisition and Bilingualism Stream, and (iii) the Sign Linguistics Stream.


The programme aims to:

  • Help students develop sensitivity towards the complexities of language structure and use;
  • Develop students’ understanding of the characteristic properties of languages that use the vocal-auditory channel (i.e. typical human language) and languages that use the manual-visual channel (i.e. sign language);
  • Enhance students’ linguistic awareness regarding language development, language acquisition, and bilingualism.
  • Equip students with methodological tools for the analysis of language structure, and for the empirical study on the dynamics of the teaching and learning process.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will achieve a theory-based and informed understanding of the richness of language structure, and of the major findings related to theoretical linguistics, the acquisition of the spoken and/or sign language, and bilingualism.
  • Students will be able to conduct research with selected methodological tools used in the analysis of language form, language acquisition, and language performance, such as computerized corpora, naturalistic and experimental methods of data collection, data processing, and frameworks for analysis.
  • Students will be able to approach a linguistic problem with a deep appreciation of the complex array of variables underlying language form, function, and meaning.

Programme Mode

The programme is offered in both full-time and part-time study modes. The full-time mode covers a normal period of one academic year while the part-time mode covers a normal period of two academic years. Students are required to complete a total of 27 units of courses. The numbers of required courses and elective courses differ from stream to stream.