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MA Language, Community and Development

Christian theology applied.
Our MA in Language, Community and Development is provided as part of our School of Language and Scripture. The programme will provide you with essential tools in community-based development, linguistics, literacy and Scripture engagement and will equip you for service amongst communities across the world.

In collaboration with:

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What is the School of Language and Scripture?

The School of Language and Scripture (SLS) is a collaboration with Wycliffe Bible Translators, training people to work with marginalised communities, to see lives transformed through a relationship with God and his life-changing Word. At the heart of the School’s activities is the MA Language, Community and Development, a programme providing and enhancing the essential tools for community-based development, linguistics, literacy, Bible translation and Scripture engagement. Click here to find out more about our School of Language and Scripture.

Programme content:

The MA in Language, Community and Development* has three stages:

  • Postgraduate Certificate
  • Postgraduate Diploma  
  • Dissertation 

In order to get the most from the programme, we recommend you initially register for the Postgraduate Certificate then work in a professional internship, exploring language and development issues within a new community and culture, before returning to reflect on your experiences as you complete the Masters programme.

However, if, for example, you have already had substantial experience working in a cross-cultural context, you can choose to register for the full MA.

For further information:

The Postgraduate Certificate runs from August – February. During this time, you’ll be introduced to the complex interactions between language, culture, community and development issues. The first modules focus on how to ‘learn’ a new language and culture and how to work well within cross-cultural contexts. You’ll have the opportunity to work in teams and reflect on your own contributions, and to develop practical skills and tools in a mentored environment. In the remaining modules, you’ll develop foundational skills to work in a particular professional area, whether linguistics and Bible translation, Scripture engagement, literacy and community development, or language project management. 

For more information: 

The Postgraduate Diploma stage runs from February – July. Throughout the Diploma, you’ll have the opportunity to reflect on your own cross-cultural experiences and integrate them with theoretical insights into language and culture. The first module focuses on anthropological and sociolinguistic aspects of language, culture, identity and development. After this, you’ll have a choice of modules through which you can more deeply explore a specialised professional area.

For more information: 

Dissertation: For the Dissertation (L90) stage, you’ll embark on the final component: an 18,000 word dissertation. This involves researching and writing about a topic of your choice related to language, communities and issues of development. It offers the option of expanding on your specialised area of study, such as an analysis of linguistic aspects of a specific language, or an exploration of language-related development issues for a community with which you have experience. You’ll be allocated a supervisor appropriate to your field of research who provides you with ongoing support and guidance throughout the process of research and writing. 

*validated by the University of Gloucestershire

Assessment and feedback

Assessment of learning is achieved through a variety of tasks, including exams, portfolios and presentations, but the majority are standard written assignments. These vary in nature: some require reflection on the student’s own practice or development, and some are more theoretical in their orientation. Most modules have one or two summative assessment tasks which are marked by the relevant module tutor and are returned, together with written feedback, within four weeks.


Delivery of the taught components of the MA is in a classroom setting, typically 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday for the duration of the semester.  Each semester has at least 1 week of non-teaching.

Term dates

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Entry requirements

Postgraduate MA programme

  • An Honours degree at 2:2 or above. If your highest level of formal education was taken outside the UK, please see The University of Gloucestershire’s website for detailed information about entry requirements for international students.
  • GCSE in English (Language or Literature) at grade C or above, or equivalent, or an IELTS Academic Certificate with an overall score of 6.0 with at least 6.0 in each of reading and writing, or equivalent from a different testing system.
  • An appropriate understanding of, commitment to and suitability for the range of vocations for which these studies prepare you.
If your formal education does not meet these requirements, but you have experience and non-certificated learning to the appropriate level, please get in touch with us to discuss your options. You will need to show evidence of:
  • Prior learning, including the learning outcomes of the programme that you have achieved, and other relevant qualifications and experience, including evidence of how your studies have remained current.
  • A capacity to benefit from the study of practice, as part of your continuing professional or vocational development.
  • Sufficient academic ability


Location and mode of study

  • September 2019 – July 2020: Gloucester
  • August 2020 onwards: Christchurch




Application deadline

  • Postgraduate Certificate, 15 July 2020
  • Postgraduate Diploma, 11 January 2021


Next steps

If you’d like more information, please contact 

Are you excited by the idea of working cross-culturally and seeing transformation in marginalised communities? If you would like to play a part, the MA in Language, Community and Development is designed for you.
Daniel Paul, Director of School of Language and Scripture and MA Language, Community and Development Course Leader

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