Discourse Studies


  • Entry year 2024
  • Duration Full time 1 year, Part time 2 - 3 years


Take your Master's in Discourse Studies in one of the best Linguistics Departments in the world. We are placed 3rd in the QS World Rankings 2024.

Why Lancaster?

  • Study at the first university in the UK to offer an MA Discourse Studies
  • Be inspired by our world-leading experts in corpus linguistics and related areas such as health and science communication
  • Join our Discourse & Text (DisTex) research group and benefit from a host of additional events, talks and activities to complement and enhance your course
  • Enjoy the flexibility of designing part of your degree based on your specific interests
  • Make the most of our outstanding resources including fully equipped labs for eye-tracking, phonetics and child language analysis
  • Use your degree as a stepping stone to become an expert in communication in the public or private sector

Language is at the heart of human behaviour. We’ll show you methods and techniques for highly detailed analysis of communication, so that you can identify what works and what doesn’t, and help individuals and organisations get their message across more effectively.

Firm foundations

You’ll gain a solid grounding in the key theories and applications of Discourse Studies by studying three core modules. You’ll also be able to develop your research skills in our fourth core module, Research Methods in Linguistics and English Language. Plus, you can focus on one of your special interests in your dissertation. Previous students have chosen to focus on topics as diverse as cryptocurrencies and charities.

We’re well known for our extensive range of modules, from forensic linguistics to corpus linguistics. Through the core modules you’ll have the opportunity to apply discourse analysis methods to real-life contexts such as political communication or media reporting.

Outside the lecture theatre

We pride ourselves on offering much more than high quality teaching. Join one of our many different research groups, such as Discourse and Text, try one of the lively university societies or take part in one of our international summer schools.

Don’t worry if you’re returning to education or aren’t used to studying in the UK – we’re ready to provide extra support if you need it. You can get help with your academic reading, writing and presentation skills. There’s also the option to study part-time and combine your studies with a job.


Your Master’s in Discourse Studies could open the door to a range of interesting careers. See it as a pathway to being an expert in communication, a key role in organisations today.

Prospective employers will value your transferable skills, particularly your focus on research and analysis. Your ability to explain things in accessible terms will also be welcomed, whether you’re acting as a spokesperson for an NGO or helping businesses to function better.

Some of the careers you could go into include:

  • Media
  • Education and teaching
  • Work with a charity, an NGO
  • Marketing and publishing
  • Consultancy
  • Policy making
  • Local government

In addition, many of our Master’s students go on to pursue further research with a PhD.

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements

2:1 Hons degree in a related subject is normally required. We will also consider applications where you have a degree in other subjects, have a 2:2 or equivalent result and/or extensive relevant experience. In these cases, you should clearly demonstrate how your experience and skills have prepared you for postgraduate study.

If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.

English Language Requirements

We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.

We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 6.5, and a minimum of 6.5 in reading and writing and 6.0 in listening and speaking. We also consider other English language qualifications.

If your score is below our requirements, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language programmes.

Contact: Admissions Team +44 (0) 1524 592032 or email pgadmissions@lancaster.ac.uk

Course structure

You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research. Not all optional modules are available every year.



Fees and funding

Location Full Time (per year) Part Time (per year)
Home £11,500 £5,750
International £23,875 £11,935

General fees and funding information

Scholarships and bursaries

You may be eligible for the following funding opportunities, depending on your fee status and course. You will be automatically considered for our main scholarships and bursaries when you apply, so there's nothing extra that you need to do.

Unfortunately no scholarships and bursaries match your selection, but there are more listed on scholarships and bursaries page.

If you're considering postgraduate research you should look at our funded PhD opportunities.

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We also have other, more specialised scholarships and bursaries - such as those for students from specific countries.

Browse Lancaster University's scholarships and bursaries.

Important Information

The information on this site relates primarily to 2024/2025 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.

The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.

More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.

Our Students’ Charter

We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.