1.1 These regulations shall be read in conjunction with the University’s General Academic Regulations for Postgraduate Diplomas and Taught Masters degree programmes, hereinafter referred to as the General Regulations.

1.2 The MAAEL degree programme aims at equipping students with the skills needed to apply the insights of contemporary linguistic theories to problems encountered in the analysis and use of English.


2.1 To equip students with research and analytical skills in the various fields of Applied English Linguistics, such as language teaching and language in the workplace.
2.2 To prepare students to solve problems related to the use of English in the current globalised world.
2.3 To conscientise students on the relationship between linguistic theory and linguistic practice.


Entry Requirements


To be admitted into the programme an applicant must normally have a good honours degree in English/Linguistics.


4.1 The Master of Arts in Applied English Linguistics Degree (MAAEL) is studied through taught modules with continuous assessment and examinations will be offered at the end of each semester, and an examinable dissertation.
4.2 Normally, the programme is completed over a period of three semesters comprising two semesters of taught modules and continuous assessment and one semester dedicated to research work (dissertation).
4.3 Each student is required to earn thirty six (36) credits in the taught component of the programme, and twelve (12) credits in the research component.
4.4 Students may select any combination of modules on offer to satisfy the requirements of the degree
4.5 Each module contains material equivalent to forty eight (48) hours contact time.
4.6 The Departmental Higher Degrees Committee shall assign dissertation/thesis supervisors to students.




5.1 Overall assessment shall be based on continuous assessment and formal examination.

Continuous Assessment

 Assignments related to the objectives of the programme will be set. These may include, but not limited to, essays, group presentations tests and reports. A candidate who fails to fulfill continuous assessment requirements may be barred from sitting the examination.

5.3 Examinations

Examinations shall normally be written at the end of each semester.

5.4 Each module will be examined by a paper which is at most, three (3) hours long.

5.5 In determining marks for modules, weighting will be as follows:-

Continuous assessment 30%
Examination 70%



Students will retain credits from modules passed. All module work must be completed before registering for the dissertation.


Refer to Section 22 of the General Regulations.


8.1 No requests for remarks of examinations shall be entertained unless Senate directs such requests.
8.2 However, a student who has been given a withdraw decision may appeal against such a decision to the Registrar, in writing, within 21 days after publication of examination results

80% -100%
Pass with Distinction
Pass with Merit


Programme Structure

Level 1 Semester 1
Module Description
Phonetics and Phonology of English
Syntax and Semantics of English
Theories of Second Language Acquisition

Plus one elective

Level 1 Semester 2

MAAEL704 Genre in English 6
MAAEL705 Discourse Analysis of English 6
MAAEL706 Teaching English as a Second Language 6
Plus one elective

Level 2 Semester 1

MAAEL870 Dissertation 12

The remaining modules necessary to complete the credit requirements of the degree are drawn from the elective modules on offer in any particular semester.

MAAEL707 Variation and Standardization in English 6
MAAEL708 Sociolinguistics of English 6
MAAEL709 Psycholinguistics of English 6
MAAEL710 Theories of Bilingualism 6



MAAEL 701 Phonetics and Phonology of English
The module introduces students to the approaches to studying phonetics and phonology with special reference to and emphasis on the phonetics and phonology of the English language. Students are taught to apply various ideas (views and theories) to established fields of speech phenomena to arrive at, or rather establish the phonemes of the fields under analysis. The module explores the development of the English language both from diachronic and synchronic perspectives with specific focus on the developments in its sound patterns and structure. As such, focus is on enhancing the students’ knowledge of English phonetics and phonology. The module is intended to cover the theoretical and practical aspects of English phonetics and the mechanisms of the production of the sounds of English. Students are trained to distinguish between phonetic sounds and phonemes, on the one hand, and between distinctive and nondistinctive features of the other. The module further explores the trends and developments in phonological theory. It examines the major propositions of a host of theoretical insights and their relevance and applicability to the analysis of English language phonetic and phonological data. While examples will be preferably drawn from the English language, there are bound to be overlaps to other non-English languages for purposes of fully exploring the explanatory potentials of the theories.

MAAEL 702 Syntax and Semantics of English
The module is an exploration of the two levels of linguistics: syntax and semantics of the English language. Focus is on understanding and making critical appreciation of syntactic and semantic concepts and theories. Students will be expected to make an appreciation of the different paradigms in the study of syntax and semantics. The module is also an exploration of the syntax- semantics interface.

MAAEL 703 Theories of Second Language Acquisition
This module is an introduction to current theories of how second languages are acquired and learned and methods in second language acquisition research.

MAAEL 704 Genre in English
The module moves through a theoretical review of the previous genre theoretic propositions, studies and discourse studies. The course thus reviews different traditions of genre theories with the aim of problematizing the genre theory theoretical framework debate. These theoretical traditions mainly cover New Rhetoric (NR), Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), Genre Analysis (GA) and English for Specific Purposes (ESP) perspectives on genre. These
perspectives, in this module, are considered as complementary rather than contradictory in terms of the analytical applications of texts. In pursuance of these goals, the module surveys and differentiates a wide range of genres in English from professional and occupational genres to literary genres. Basing on the fact that genre analysis, as generally theorised by the various genre traditions, can be broken up into four basic categories: (i) rhetorical purpose and audience/speech community (ii) content (iii) structure and (iv) linguistic features, the module also draws largely from stylistic studies paying particular attention to the relationship between linguistic form and textual function. Focus will largely be placed on the functional defining features of the
various genres and how their distinct linguistic forms are used to encode linguistic function.

MAAEL 705 Discourse Analysis of English
The module examines larger linguistic units than the sentence, including conversational structure, speech acts and the ethnography of speaking. It explores concepts in the study of discourse and the role of context in its study. It is a critical appreciation of discourse- linguistic theories and approaches in the study of discourse. The module intends to nurture students who are better communicators and analysts. Taking context into cognisance, the module intends to cover varied areas of discourse analysis and train students to read texts by deconstruction. However, major focus in this module is on the critical evaluation of discourse theories and their applicability.

MAAEL 706 Teaching English as a Second Language
This module surveys current theories and methodologies in the area of teaching English as a second language.

MAAEL 707 Variation and Standardization in English
The module examines variation in a selection of the varieties of English used worldwide in areas including, but not confined to, phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. Also considered is the relation of variation to standardization.

MAAEL708 Sociolinguistics of English
The module analyses current theories and research methodologies within the area of sociolinguistics. Topics include, but are not confined to, phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. Also considered is the relation of variation to standardization.

MAAEL709 Psycholinguistics of English
The module explores current theories and research methodologies within the area of psycholinguistics. Topics include, but are not restricted to frst language acquisition, language impairment, and aspects of neurolinguistics.

MAAEL710 Theories of Bilingualism
The module surveys aspects of bilingualism, including, but not restricted to, bilingual speech communities, code-switching, code-mixing, language maintenance and bilingual education.

MAAEL 870 Dissertation
The dissertation is expected to be between 15 000 to 20 000 words, or 100 pages of font 12 with double line spacing and it should be in the area of Applied English Ling