Applied Language Studies Specialisation - Master of Arts

Take your study of language to a higher level. The Master of Arts in Applied Language Studies covers language and discourse analysis, aimed at graduates of English and other languages.

Through your studies you explore the impact language, culture and communication have on our society. Papers include general and social linguistics, discourse analysis, intercultural communication and research methodology in preparation for your thesis. Research is a significant component of this qualification, giving you the chance to investigate a topic of your interest.


This is part of the Master of Arts.

Start date: 2018

Start date: 2019

This programme brochure will be available soon.

You can specialise in one of the following areas:

  • Second-language teaching and learning (including ESOL)
  • Translation
  • Interpreting
  • Literacy development
  • Discourse studies
  • Sociolinguistics
  • New Zealand English
  • Academic literacies
  • Digital literacies
  • English
  • Japanese
  • Chinese culture and language
  • Intercultural communication and competence

Papers you can study

You need to complete 120 points from the papers below. You should discuss your paper choice and study sequence with the programme leader before enrolling in papers.

LING810 Language Analysis
LING811 Language, Culture and Communication
LING812 Discourse Analysis
LING820 Specialty Reading Paper
TRIN802 Translation: A Critical Approach
ENMS802 Language in Virtual Worlds: Presence, Theory, Practice
TRIN801 Interpreting: A Critical Approach
LING814 Special Topic in Applied Language Studies
SOSC880 Qualitative Research Methods
SOSC881 Quantitative Research Methods
SOSC884 Social Research Design and Analysis
POLS880 Policy Research and Evaluation
MAOR810 Research Methods and Indigenous Methodologies

If you have successfully completed the taught papers and decide that you don’t wish to continue with a thesis (or don't meet the grade criteria) you can exit with a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts in Applied Language Studies.

Thesis (equivalent of one year of full-time study)

CLSY999 MA Thesis

Recent graduates completed theses in the following topics:

  • Aspects of discourse in advertisements
  • Politeness strategies in film subtitles
  • The effectiveness of increasing awareness of learning strategies
  • First and second language development from birth
  • Task-based instruction in second language classrooms
  • Ethnographic investigations of literacy in the workplace
  • The academic writing challenges faced by Saudi students
  • Perceptions of supervisory relationships between Chinese-speaking students and English-speaking supervisors
  • Challenges of court interpreters in New Zealand courtroom settings
  • First and second language education
  • Literacy development (school to workplace settings)
  • Translation and/or interpreting
Key features
  • Suitable for professionals and graduates with a background in languages, education, translation and interpreting
  • A wide range of topics, from second language teaching to social linguistics and intercultural communication
  • Staff who are globally known as experts in this field
See yourself as

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.