Postgraduate Blog

3 Jul 2018

Jennifer O’Donovan; MA Applied Linguistics

I decided in 2016 to apply to undertake a Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics after a four-year gap in my studies. I graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce International with Italian from UCC and proceeded to move to Italy to continue my studies of the Italian language. After spending four years there teaching English I found the field of Linguistics and I knew immediately I wanted to study it more in depth.

Linguistics is the study of language. We don’t just study one language in particular but we look at different aspects of language including language in social context, why we choose the words we do in certain situations, the effects of language on our perception of identity and our attitudes and prejudices towards language. For me, the course has completely changed not only the way I view language but the way I view the world as language is inherently important in everything we do or come into contact with. One thing I will take away from it is the importance of carefully choosing the words we use and, carrying on from this, I eventually decided to analyse political campaign language for my thesis studies.

UCC has always been one of my favourite places. I spent four years here between 2009 and 2013 and it was my first choice once I decided to undertake a Master’s degree. After the year that I have had, I know this was the correct decision. I came back to UCC not knowing anybody in the university and I have found myself surrounded by new friends and new opportunities. In September, I decided to join the UCC Choral Society, never having sung in a choir before. Through this I was lucky enough to be chosen to be part of the International choir and go to Verona, Italy, to represent UCC in an international choral competition where we were placed in the silver category. We sang in St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice and the Arena in Verona. It was an absolutely fantastic experience and something I will never forget. It really gave me a sense that university does not only have to be about studying and exams but also about meeting new people and creating new life experiences.

As a result of undertaking this course and this year in UCC I am hoping to continue my studies and pursue a PhD in Critical Discourse Analysis. I have come from not knowing what my next step in life would be to having quite a good idea of where I would like to go. All in all, this year has gone by far too quickly but it has been enormously rewarding and eye-opening. The Quercus Scholarship made it possible to do this course and, for me, it has been invaluable.

Jennifer O’Donovan; MA – Applied Linguistics


To find out more about the MA – Applied Linguistics, please click here

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