Master of Arts in Linguistics

  • Programme Code: MAL
  • Duration: 2 Years
  • Study time: Weekend/Holiday
  • Intake: August


The importance of buttressing the study of languages with a linguistics base can never be overemphasised. Linguistics is the scientific study of language. It involves analysing the many different aspects that make up human language, such as its form, structure and context. Linguistics also looks at the interplay between sound and meaning, and how language varies between people and situations. Linguistics is the gateway to the informed analysis and description of languages as tools of human communication and, therefore, of the effort to understand cultural and societal issues and needs. The programme examines the principles and theories of linguistic inquiry as well as their application to the major branches of linguistics, namely: Syntax, Morphology and Phonetics (i.e. Descriptive Linguistics); Sociolinguistics; Psycholinguistics; Applied Linguistics; Comparative and Contrastive Linguistics; Semantics; Lexicography; Translation and Interpretation; Pragmatics; et cetera. Other emerging areas in the study of Linguistics, such as Gender Linguistics and African Linguistics are also incorporated. Students are further exposed to current issues in language planning and development (including language policy development). [cm_show_info] This M.A. in Linguistics Programme is meant to be a focal theoretical linguistic base for all students pursuing Master’s studies in any of the languages offered in the Institute of Language Studies:  English, French, Kiswahili and Runyakitara. This will enable the Institute to start training its own cadre of qualified members of staff. All the core theoretical courses of the Programme will be taught in general classes while the language-specific components will, if necessary, be dealt with in the individual language subjects. The objective of the Programme is to train students to become skilled empirical linguists with a deep understanding of linguistic theory and its application. The specific objectives of this programme are:
  • (i) To train high-level linguists, focusing on both theoretical and practical aspects of the discipline of Linguistics.
  • (ii) To equip students with the attitude and the ability to integrate linguistic knowledge and skills with knowledge and skills from other fields, thereby enabling them to manage complex societal issues.
  • To provide language-specific knowledge that goes deeper into aspects of students’ chosen areas of interest.
  • (iv) To train a pool of linguists who will generate data through research into the national and regional language situation dynamics so as to inform policy.
The programme shall run for a period of two academic years consisting of four semesters. Each semester will be made up of 17 weeks, of which two are for examinations. The first year will constitute attendance of courses, including crosscutting courses, and in the second year the students will write their master’s thesis based on original research on a topic of their choice in their area of specialization. [/cm_show_info]

Entry Requirements

The University regulations and guidelines will apply with regard to application,
registration, examinations, research and graduation. The common regulations for all Masters degrees in the University shall apply.

  1. The applicants should have at least a Second Class (Lower Division) in Bachelor of Arts (general) or Education with a bias in languages from Kabale University or any other institution recognized by the National Council for Higher Education.
  2. However, other equivalent qualifications may be considered for admission.
  3. For those who have a Pass degree, they should be able to demonstrate academic growth by some other means designed by the University.

There shall be three categories of enrolments as follows:

  • Full-Time Day enrolled students: who shall attend classes between 8.00 am and 5.00
    pm from Monday to Friday.
  • Full-time Weekend enrolled students: who shall attend classes from Friday to Sunday.
  • Modular (Recess) programme – students who may wish to join shall attend classes for two years for coursework and a minimum one year for project.

Fees Structure

  • Tuition Fees per Semester (East African): UGX 1,325,000
  • Tuition Fees per Semester (Non East Africans): $730

Application and selection

Course details

Course Code Course Name LH PH CH CU
MAL8101 Advanced Phonetics and Phonology 45 30 60 4
MAL8102 Advanced Morphology 60 60 4
MAL8103 Sociolinguistics 60 60 4
MAL8104 Research Methods 45 30 60 4
MAL8105 Lexicography and Terminology Development 60 60 4
MAL8106 Onomastics 60 60 4
MAL8107 Language Policy  Development 60 60 4
MAL8108 Comparative and Contrastive Studies 60 60 4
Sub-total CU 330 60 360 24
Course Code Course Name LH PH CH CU
MAL8209 Advanced Syntax 60 60 4
MAL8210 Theory of Translation and Interpretation 45 30 60 4
MAL8211 Advanced Semantics and Pragmatics 60 60 4
MAL8212 Language and Gender Analysis 60 60 4
MAL8213 Applied Linguistics 60 60 4
MAL8214 Discourse Analysis 60 60 4
MAL8215 Psycholinguistics 60 60 4
MAL8216 African Linguistics 60 60 4
Sub-total 345 15 360 5
Course Code Course Name LH PH CH CU
MAL8117 MA Thesis 360 360 24
LH = Lecture Hours; PH = Practical Hours; FH = Field Hours; CH = Contact Hours;  CU = Credit Units

Career opportunities