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Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
CUAP Proposal-New Qualification/Subject/Endorsement 2015
Section A
Proposal Description
Purpose of the proposal
To introduce a new 180 point degree of Master of Linguistics (M.LING).
The Master of Linguistics is proposed as a 180 point, 12 month qualification. It is an advanced programme offering
specialised courses in linguistic analysis (90 points) and a significant research component (90 points). The programme
will enhance students’ critical thinking and communication skills via e.g. training in oral presentation, creation of
research posters and writing research reports. Students will also be trained in how to give and respond to peer
evaluation and feedback. A core aspect of a Linguistics qualification is that graduates will understand the relationship
between a language and its “social life”. In a New Zealand context, this means understanding how English has developed
over time, and how it continues to change as a marker of NZ identity (a core part of LING412), and also understanding
the relationship, both today and in the past, between English and Te Reo Māori (part of LING410, LING412, LING403,
LING407 and LING615). Students are therefore given the opportunity to examine this relationship across the majority of
courses. A special feature of the programme will be the opportunity to study the languages of the Pacific region. For
example, in one course (LING407 Field Methods), students work with a language consultant – a native speaker of a
Pacific language – to document the characteristics of that language. The actual language differs from year to year, but
the focus on the Pacific region will be a constant theme. Graduates of the M.LING will therefore be highly trained in the
analysis of English and other languages, and they will have gained a special awareness and appreciation of the linguistic
situation in New Zealand and the Pacific.
The proposed M.LING is expected to contribute to the UC goal of attracting increased numbers of both domestic and
international students.
The M.LING will be of considerable interest to domestic students, as they will be able to achieve a Master’s degree in
the 12 months following their undergraduate qualification. Importantly, the M.LING includes a significant research
component, which at 90 points is three times larger than the current Honours research essay. This will provide crucial
training for students who plan to go on to further postgraduate work. The M.LING is also expected to attract enrolments
from overseas students:
An Honours year is not a visible or attractive option for most international students, not least because they
typically find it very difficult to secure funding in their home country for Honours level study. Moreover, the
Honours year is typically viewed by international students as an undergraduate level qualification. There is more
funding available for Master’s level study, and a Master’s degree is considerably more prestigious
The Department will also provide preparatory training for applicants who have some training in Linguistics, but
not enough to qualify them for direct entry to the Masters programme (i.e. they do have an undergraduate
degree but not one which majors in Linguistics – see the proposed regulations for details). We regularly receive
inquiries from overseas applicants who fall into this category of e.g. having some linguistics background but not
enough to gain entry to the Linguistics Honours year. The course ‘English Structures’, introduced as part of the
Master in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (M.TESOL) (see separate CUAP proposal) will be
available as a qualifying course for the M.LING, increasing the available pool of international students. Students
who have an undergraduate degree in field other than linguistics but achieve a B+ grade or better in ‘English
Structures’ will be eligible to enter the Master’s Programme. (See below for further details.) Students who have
an undergraduate degree in a field outside of linguistics and who do not achieve an adequate grade in this
course will be given the opportunity to complete a Graduate Diploma in Arts (Linguistics) in order to gain entry
to the M.LING degree.
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The M.LING will compete with the existing Honours programme in Linguistics, but with no other programmes. We
propose initially to continue to run the Linguistics Honours year alongside the M.LING, the main differences being (1)
Honours is a two-semester programme but M.LING is a full 12 month programme, and (2) the research component is 30
points at Honours level and 90 points in the M.LING. There are several reasons for our proposal to continue Honours
alongside the M.LING, namely: (1) as the two programmes are served by the same suite of taught courses, running them
both involves little extra cost, (2) we have current students who are studying Honours courses part time, and we do not
want to discontinue the programme before they have graduated, (3) it is possible that the two programmes will be
attractive to different groups of students, with the 90 point thesis component being attractive to those who want to
continue with further research, but actually being a disincentive to others. The decision to run Honours alongside the
M.LING will be assessed after 3 years. If the number of enrolments to the Honours programme is low, it will be
discontinued in favour of the M.LING.
The programme aims to meet the components of the UC Statement of Strategic Intent in the following ways:
 Challenge, Recruit: Our research suggests that programme will recruit domestic and international students.
 Concentrate, Research quality: The significant research component will likely lead to a research output,
strengthening PBRF entries. As the research component is worth 90 points, the M.LING is eligible for PBRF
completion funding.
 Concentrate, Effective teaching: The M.LING is a development of the existing Linguistics Honours pathway,
making it more attractive to international students (cf. Connect, Internationalisation) without adding additional
taught courses.
 Concentrate, Effective teaching: The M.LING relies on a suite of courses which are also available for other
existing or planned programmes (e.g. Honours, Master of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages,
Master of Sociophonetics [currently being planned for 2017]). This ensures a highly effective use of teaching
time and will likely mean that all of our postgraduate courses exceed minima requirements.
 Connect, Internationalisation: The international student market will be opened up further by allowing students
who do not have exactly the right background (i.e. an undergraduate degree in Linguistics) to enrol in a
qualifying course: LING 400 English Structures. This is a distance-learning course, which runs over summer.
Students have an undergraduate degree (in a field other than linguistics) and who achieve a B+ grade or better
in this course would be admitted to the M.LING, beginning in Semester 1. (See below for further details.)
 Connect, Māori & Pacific engagement: The thesis course (LING691), which is a compulsory component of the
programme, will include research training related specially to working with Māori and Pacific communities
(including issues of ethics, and how to work with and support relevant communities).
The M.LING will meet the UC Graduate Profile in the following ways. Graduates are expected to be:
Attribute 1: Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their degree. The M.LING is an advanced programme
offering specialised courses in Linguistic analysis and a significant research component.
Attribute 2: Employable, innovative and enterprising. The programme will enhance students’ communication skills in a
number of ways (e.g. via oral presentation, creation of academic posters, writing research reports). Students will also be
trained in how to give and respond to peer evaluation and feedback.
Attribute 3: Bi-culturally Competent and Confident. A core aspect of a Linguistics qualification is that graduates will
understand the relationship between a language and its “social life”. In a New Zealand context, this also means
understanding the relationship, both today and in the past, between English and Te Reo Māori. Students can examine
this relationship across almost all courses (e.g. LING403 Syntax, LING410 Variation Theory, LING412 Sociophonetics,
LING615 World Englishes). Also, the thesis component includes research methods training relative to Māori (and Pacific)
Attribute 4: Engaged with the community. As with attribute 3, the study of language and the communities in which it is
used is tightly interwoven, so this relationship will permeate the M.LING. A concrete example of how this attribute will
be met can be seen in the course LING407 Field Methods where, after exploring and documenting the linguistic
structure of a Pacific language, students present their research findings to native speaker community members at an
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informal social event. At these events, the student presentations are typically accompanied by speeches from
community elders and informal discussion about the language in question.
Attribute 5: Globally aware. This programme focuses on the advanced analysis and comparison of languages and on the
relationships between language and society. Global awareness is at the core of a qualification in linguistics.
The programme meets the NZQF requirements for a Master’s degree. It comprises 180 points/1.5 EFTS and builds on a
three-year undergraduate degree. Half of the qualification, 0.75 EFTS/90 points, consists of a thesis set at NZQF Level 9.
Acceptability of the programme and consultation
Consultation has taken place with:
Dr Julia Gillen, University of Lancaster, UK, Director of Studies for MA in Language and Linguistics, Dr Patrick Honeybone,
University of Edinburgh, UK, Professor Paul Foulkes, University of York, UK, Dr Meredith Marra, Victoria University of
Wellington, UCSA, AVC Māori, Jeanette King, Aotahi, UC, Elizabeth Cooke, Library Liaison for Linguistics, UC International
Office and UC Faculty of Arts staff
Professor Paul Foulkes, University of York, UK, is in support of the proposal. He points out that in the UK the taught
masters is the standard route via which students enter PhD programmes, and notes that the NZ Honours year is typically
viewed by international students as an undergraduate, rather than a postgraduate, qualification. Professor Foulkes
asked whether there would be research training provided, and this is indeed the case – research training is incorporated
into all taught courses, and the LING691 thesis course has an additional programme of research training classes.
Professor Foulkes also asked about the split of taught courses between semester 1 and semester 2. As students do three
taught courses, there is an inevitable imbalance. Foulkes recommends that students are advised to do two courses in
semester 1 and one course in semester 2, when they can then focus on their thesis. All students will discuss their
interests and course options with the Head of Department of Linguistics, when these issues will be considered. As the
LING691 thesis course will be a full year course, students will be able to work on it in all semesters, and will be
encouraged to focus on it in whichever semester they have the lighter load in terms of taught courses.
Dr Patrick Honeybone, University of Edinburgh, UK, is also in support of the proposal. He says: “This looks like an
excellent proposal for a taught Masters degree. The basic framework is broadly comparable with the equivalent degrees
that we have at the University of Edinburgh (which are designated 'MSc' as our undergraduate degrees are MAs). Our
MScs have proven to be successful, attracting a good number of applicants (which convert to healthy recruitments of
actual students) each year…Overall, this proposal look like a sensible use of existing resources to offer something extra.
A taught Masters degree of this type is something that a department with a reputation of the type enjoyed by
Linguistics at the University of Canterbury really should be offering”.
Dr Julia Gillen, Director of Studies of the taught Masters in Language and Linguistics at Lancaster University, UK, says
that the programme is ‘well designed, distinctive in character and appears likely to appeal to students from abroad as
well as domestic graduates’ and is also ‘likely to lead to the development of greater research expertise in English and
the languages of the Pacific region’. Dr Gillen comments on our requirements for competencies in English. We will
follow the standard UC requirements on this, which is why it is not stipulated specifically in the programme regulations.
Dr Gillen also comments on the need for research training, which will indeed be provided, and also for the possible need
for assistance with academic writing skills. M.LING students will have access to UCs Academic Skills Centre for additional
help with this. Finally, Dr Gillen asked whether we should establish a halfway point review mechanism for the LING691
thesis. This is now something we plan to implement, and we have amended the proposal to reflect this.
Dr Mary Boyce, Director of Teaching and Learning, Office of the AVC Māori, UC, offered the following feedback
(responses follow each point):
 I think you should clarify in a couple of places earlier in the document that a Bachelor’s degree is a necessary
prerequisite – to do the online course, or to get into Grad Dip Arts. That is clear only at the stage when you
specify the calendar form.
o We have added more references to this requirement in the document (e.g. pg 1, pg 2)
 Under Connect – in the Proposal Description – you could state here how this connects with Māori.
o The graduate profile section has been amended to better state this connection.
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Is there a possibility that students can have te reo Māori as their focus - do their substantial project work,
assignments etc. in courses and their research paper with te reo Māori as the focus in every year this is offered?
Instead of the annual Pacific language in focus?
o It is possible that students could work on Te Reo Māori every year, as it’s a possible focus across a range
of courses. It is not possible to focus on Māori instead of Pacific languages in LING407, however, as the
main idea is that students learn to document a language which is unfamiliar to them. Since most NZ
students are familiar in some way with some linguistic structures of Te Reo Māori, this would not be
possible here. In addition, the Pacific Language Consultant Award, which enables the students to work
with a native speaker of a Pacific language in LING407, is granted on the understanding the language in
focus changes each year, for reasons of equity, so that no single language/community is given undue
Indigenous research methodologies – are these part of the research training?
o Relevant material is covered in taught courses. In addition, we will include training in indigenous
research methodologies as part of the LING691 thesis course.
Associate Professor Jeanette King, Aotahi, UC, provided the following feedback: “With regard to the biculturalism
aspects, it’s pleasing to see that four out of the five current courses that students would have the opportunity to study
for in this qualification address the ‘bicultural competent and confident’ pillar of the UC Graduate Profile. However, the
phrasing ‘students [in these courses] are given the opportunity’ to study the relationship between English and Te Reo
Māori is a little vague and makes this element sound optional rather than integral to the courses”. We have rephrased
the relevant section a little, but it is indeed true that students will have some flexibility to increase or reduce their focus
on these issues. This is unavoidable in a programme where students take just three taught courses – they must be
flexible enough to allow students to follow their interests. However, there is lecture content about the relationship
between English and Te Reo Māori in almost all courses, so students are exposed to and will discuss these issues even if
they are assessed on them in some but not all courses. Also, in response to the consultation process, we have added
research training related to Māori in the LING691 course.
Associate Professor Meredith Marra, Victoria University of Wellington, raised three questions (responses follow each
 Will you have staff to supervise the thesis component over the summer? (This was a concern for many schools
here who don't typically teach Masters across all three trimesters at present). I couldn't work out exactly where
the thesis component fits around the other courses. Do they do courses first and then the thesis so that they can
develop knowledge further? Or are they co-enrolled for the entire year? And adding 10 new students for a
significant piece of supervised research is something which will be tough to just absorb into current workloads.
Students enrol on the thesis course for a full year, and work on it alongside their taught courses. As
such, supervision will take place throughout the year. The point about the extra workload is well taken,
and it has been considered carefully. Students will be assigned two supervisors in cases where one
supervisor is likely to be away. Staff will be present over the summer, have involvement in summer
school classes, and will take on supervision duties alongside that.
Is there enough breadth in three courses to suffice for a Masters level qualification? (This question is really about
the idea that they could specialise if they choose certain courses)
o Although students take just three taught courses, the topics in each course are inherently broad and
wide ranging. While students have some flexibility in terms of their areas of focus, for example for
assessment, choices are not completely open, so a fully narrow and specialised programme is not
One possible expectation for a taught MA is a research methodology course. Is that covered already in the
existing Hons courses?
o Yes, research training is covered in specific courses, and also as part of the LING691 thesis course.
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We would like to thank colleagues who provided us with their valuable feedback.
Treaty of Waitangi
This proposal is consistent with the university’s commitment to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. Courses such as
LING403 Syntax, LING410 Variation Theory and LING412 Sociophonetics involve studying the linguistic and sociolinguistic
structures of English and Te Reo Māori, and many other languages, from a comparative perspective. Understanding
these language systems, and their inherent complexities, is important so that no language is seen to be ‘inferior’ to
another. In connection to this, students are also taught about the relationship between language and its social context.
Students are given the opportunity to examine this relationship across almost all courses, especially LING410 Variation
Theory, LING412 Sociophonetics, LING615 World Englishes). This means that the M.LING raises students’ awareness of
the linguistic contexts of New Zealand (including both historical and contemporary issues) as well as their cultural
understanding of, for example, the relationship between English and Te Reo Māori.
Goals of the programme
The goals of the programme are as follows (course codes signal how each goal is aligned with particular courses):
1. To equip students with methodological and analytical expertise in linguistics, especially in phonetics, phonology,
syntax and sociolinguistics
Demonstrated in: LING400, LING403, LING407, LING410, LING412, LING615, LING691.
2. To train students to be able to think critically about language.
Demonstrated in: LING400, LING403, LING407, LING410, LING412, LING615, LING691
3. To provide students with practical training in techniques used in linguistic analysis
Demonstrated in: LING400, LING403, LING407, LING410, LING412
4. To equip students with the skills required to perform original research in linguistics
Demonstrated in: LING400, LING403, LING407, LING410, LING412, LING615, LING691.
Outcome statement
Graduates of the Master of Linguistics will have advanced knowledge and understanding of current research in
linguistics. They will have the skills necessary to understand how linguistic systems operate, and to appreciate the
connections between a language system and its social context. Graduates will also have carried out a substantial piece
of independent research, so will have expertise in the formulation of research questions, data collection, statistical
analysis and hypothesis testing. Graduates will also be excellent communicators, having been trained to produce cogent
and well-structured research reports.
University graduate characteristics and Qualification graduate profile
In connection to the UC Graduate Profile, graduates of the Master of Linguistics will:
1. Be highly trained in the theories and contemporary methodologies of Linguistics.
2. Be effective communicators, in a variety of modes (e.g. oral delivery, academic writing, poster delivery,
engagement with non-experts in the field).
3. Understand that all languages are equally structured and complex, and that they are intricately embedded in
their social context.
4. Be able to relate and engage with the views of non-experts (e.g. general community members) and be able to
discuss, in an informed way, typical language attitudes.
5. Understand the similarities and differences in linguistic systems across the world’s languages, and how
languages are embedded into their local, national and global contexts.
Subject-specific skills
Graduates of the Master in Linguistics will have acquired a range of complementary analytical, critical and linguistic
skills. This will include understanding of:
 the internal structure of language and languages, including knowledge of phonetics, phonology and syntax.
 the relationship between English and other languages, including Te Reo Māori.
 key geographical and social determinants of variation in language.
 the role of language in constructing individual and group identities.
 how language produces and reflects cultural change and difference.
Graduates will also be able to demonstrate the following general and transferrable skills:
 the ability to formulate a hypothesis, gather evidence, and construct an acceptable argument.
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knowledge of the metalanguage appropriate for the discipline and the ability to use correctly a recognized
formal terminology.
critical skills in the close reading, description and analysis of linguistic data.
advanced literacy and communication skills and the ability to apply these in appropriate contexts, including the
ability to construct and present coherent, concise and sustained arguments.
competence in the planning and execution of research.
the ability to abstract and synthesize information, and to organize the results appropriately.
the ability to analyse data quantitatively, and to express the results of that analysis cogently and concisely.
the ability to assess the merits and shortcomings of contrasting theories and explanations.
the ability to acquire complex data and information of diverse kinds from a variety of sources, including
libraries, the internet, corpora, independent fieldwork and data collection.
bibliographic skills appropriate to the discipline, including accurate citation of sources and consistent use of
conventions in the presentation of professional and scholarly work.
skills in accessing and manipulating data electronically, as well as a broad familiarity with information
technology resources.
effective time management and organizational skills, including the ability to work to a deadline and to handle a
number of distinct projects simultaneously.
Programme overview
Admission: Students who have a major in Linguistics at undergraduate level and have achieved an average grade of B+
or above in final year courses will be eligible to enrol in the M.LING. Students without this background may be eligible to
enrol in the M.LING with (a) the approval of the Head of Department of Linguistics, and the Dean of Arts or (b) achieving
a B+ grade or higher in LING400 English Structures.
The M.LING is a 180 point, 12 month programme, beginning at the start of Semester 1 in a given year. Students take 3 x
30 point courses (spread between semester 1 and 2, according to their course choices, see below), and write a thesis,
worth 90 points. The thesis is compulsory. There are no restrictions on which taught courses a student can take, but
they must take no more than 2 taught courses in a given semester. Students are free to choose any 30 point 400 or 600
level LING taught course. The courses which most regularly run are as follows*:
Semester 1:
LING403 Syntactic Theory (30 points)
LING410 Variation Theory (30 points)
LING615 World Englishes (30 points)
Semester 2:
LING407 Field Methods (30 points)
LING412 Sociophonetics (30 points)
Research course:
LING691: M.LING Thesis (90 points)
*The semester in which any given course is taught, is subject to change.
The taught courses will be delivered via three contact hours per week (typically a 1 hour lecture and a 2 hour workshop,
although this may differ across courses). The qualifying course, LING400 English Structures, is an online course, and will
be taught via a combination of online lectures and group discussion via tutorials, each administered via Learn and Echo
Prescriptions for courses
The 90-point thesis is the only new course.
LING691: M.LING Thesis.
90 points/0.75 EFTS
In this course students design and carry out a research project, with the support of an academic
supervisor. The research topic is decided in collaboration between the student and supervisor.
Research training is also provided.
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Assessment and moderation procedures
Assessment will involve written and oral assignments staged through each semester e.g. literature reviews, annotated
bibliographies, reflective journals, seminar presentations, research group reports, conference posters. There will be no
final examinations. Any in-class contributions which amount to more than 10% of a course grade, and all in-class
presentations, will be double marked by the course convenor and an additional independent assessor (who will be a
continuing faculty member in the Department of Linguistics). The thesis will be externally assessed.
Few extra resources are required, as e.g. library holdings already include relevant materials for LING691. The thesis will
however, need to be externally assessed, which introduces some extra cost (compared to the Honours Research Essay
for example, which is externally moderated but internally assessed). The fact that the M.LING thesis attracts PBRF
completion funding should cover the extra costs associated with external assessment.
Plans for monitoring programme quality
Graduating Year Review, student course surveys, staff/student liaison meetings. As well as this, there will be a dedicated
exam board, to confirm final grades. This will involve feedback from students on courses, and a detailed review of the
year’s work. At the midpoint of the year, there will be an interim exam board meeting, where students’ progress on the
thesis component will be discussed.
Review of the programme
The M.LING will be reviewed by a Graduating Year Review and then added to the College and University
Programme Reviews Schedule.
Statement re Section B
Section B has been prepared and is available on request.
For New Qualifications – TEC/NZQA/UNZ Requirements
EFTS value of qualification: 1.5 EFTS
NZSCED code: 091521
NZQA exit level of qualification to go on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework: Level 9
Statement regarding funding: This programme meets the criteria to be funded at the postgraduate level.
Memorandum of understanding: na
Duration of the Qualification-NZQF requirement
Minimum number of points to complete the qualification: 180
Vacation/recess weeks: 7
Work experience/placement hours per week: None
Tuition/teaching (full-time equivalent) weeks (including exam and study weeks): 36
Teaching hours per week: 3 hours per course
Self-directed learning hours per week: 36
Calendar Form
New Qualification Regulations
UC Calendar 2014 Page 336
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The Degree of Master of Linguistics (M.Ling)
See also General Course and Examination regulations
1. Qualifications required to enrol in the degree.
A candidate for the Degree of Master of Linguistics, before enrolling in a programme of study for the degree, shall have
(a) either:
qualified for a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Linguistics, with at least a B+ average in 60 points in
Linguistics at 300 level; or
qualified for a Bachelor’s degree and completed a Graduate Diploma in Arts in Linguistics with at least a B+
average in 60 points in Linguistics at 300 level; or
qualified for a Bachelor’s degree with a major in psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, computer
science, languages, or a different major approved by the Head of the Department of Linguistics, with at least
a B+ average or better in 60 points of 300 level courses in the majoring subject, and achieved at least a B+ in
LING400 English Structures; or
been admitted under the Regulations for admission ad eundem statum as entitled to enrol for the Degree of
Master of Linguistics;
(b) been approved as a candidate for the degree by the Head of Department of Linguistics; and
(c) been approved as a candidate for the degree by the Dean of Arts.
2. Structure of the degree
The course of study for the Master of Linguistics shall consist of LING691 plus any three taught courses at 400 or 600
level from the Linguistics Department (LING). Students must not take more than two taught courses in a single
semester. LING400 is eligible only as a qualifying course for the M.LING, and cannot be taken as one of the three
required taught courses for the degree.
3. Approval of a Course of Study
The course of study for each candidate must be approved by the Head of the Department of Linguistics.
4. Time Limits, Part-Time Enrolment and Repetition of Courses
Full-time students who commence their studies at their beginning of the academic year must complete their degree by
the beginning of the first semester in the following year. Part-time students must complete the degree within two years
of the commencement of study. Students who fail more than one of the courses offered will be withdrawn from the
5. Failed courses and re-enrolling in courses
Candidates may not fail more than one course. A candidate who fails one course for the Degree of Master of Linguistics
may re-enrol in that course only once.
6. Supervision of Theses
(a) A candidate shall, before commencing the research to be described in the thesis, secure the approval of the Head of
the Department of Linguistics for the topic chosen and for the proposed research programme.
(b) Supervisors shall be appointed in accordance with the General Course and Examination Regulations.
(c) The candidate shall meet with and report to the senior supervisor as has been determined under the agreement
signed on registration of the research proposal. The candidate shall normally work on the University campus, and
laboratory work shall normally be carried out within the University institution. The Head of Department may give
approval for work to be carried out at another institution in New Zealand for a period not exceeding one month, but
permission of the Dean of Postgraduate Studies is required if the period exceeds one month, or if any of the work,
including field work, is to be carried out overseas.
7. Examination of Theses
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(a) When a thesis is examined, there shall be two examiners, as specified in the General Course and Examination
(b) A candidate must indicate in the thesis any part which he or she has previously used for another degree.
(c) The examiners may require the candidate to undergo an oral examination on the subject of the thesis or on related
(d) If the thesis at its first presentation is unsatisfactory, the Dean of Arts may, on the recommendation of the
examiners, permit the candidate to revise the thesis and re-submit it by a specified date.
(e) If the examiners' final recommendation is that the thesis be awarded a failing grade, the degree of Master of
Linguistics shall not be awarded.
8. Award of Merit or Distinction
The M.LING may be awarded with Merit or Distinction.

Master of Linguistics - University of Canterbury