MASTER’S DEGREE IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES AND COMMUNICATION IN LANGUAGE EDUCATION AND PROCESSING (UNED)
The structure of this section is as follows:
1. The general structure of the master’s degree organised in modules and the duration of the course
2. Description of the subjects: content, ratio between levels, requirements, characteristics, number of credits, timing and evaluation
3. Degree routes: professional and academic master’s. Internship
4. Master’s thesis
1. GENERAL STRUCTURE OF THE COURSE
The master’s degree consists of 60 credits and is divided into four subject modules, a module of internship and the master’s thesis as the last module:
A core module with subjects of generic content, useful for other specialties in the master, and also for other master’s degrees at the Faculty of Philology at UNED.
A training module with subjects that are fundamental for the objectives of the master’s degree.
Four itinerary modules: one specifically oriented towards ICT-based language education while the other with broader content is oriented towards computational linguistics with strong demand and relevance in academic, research, professional and social areas. Each of these can be undertaken following either the professional or the research route.
A practicum or tutored internship period, mandatory for students who have chosen the professional route while not obligatory for students who opted for the research route.
A master’s thesis, mandatory for all students of the master’s degree.
The master’s degree can be completed in one academic year, although it is advisable to do it in two to sequence the study of some subjects more evenly and facilitate the assimilation of its contents. It is also possible to complete the master over a larger time period, in which case, students have to comply with official regulations of the UNED regarding the maximum period of study in official postgraduate programmes (approved by the Governing Board, 28 June 2011):
1. Students of the UNED on official university master’s degrees have a maximum of four examination sessions per subject and two per academic year to sit an exam, regardless of the session (ordinary exam sessions in February / June or the retakes in September).
2. In order to limit the number of examination sessions, in the official postgraduate programmes, only those sessions that have been graded will be regarded as valid, and count to toward the total. In the event that a student does not attend an examination session, "Not presented" will be recorded in the minutes. No prior warning will be needed by the student of his/her intention not to sit the examination.
3. UNED believes that students should be required a minimum academic performance in order to benefit from the master’s degree, and therefore the following maximum period of study should be:
Master’s student with a workload of 60 ECTS credits: 4 years.
Master’s student with a workload between 61 and 90 credits: 5 years.
Master’s student with a workload between 91 and 120 credits: 6 years.
4. Students who exhaust the maximum number of four exams per subject, or exceed the maximum period of study must apply for an additional exam (extraordinary) before October 31 through a request addressed to the Dean of the Faculty (or Program Coordinator) to be able to continue on the same master’s degree.
5. If a student has exhausted the maximum number of exam possibilities or exceeded the maximum period of study, the student’s record in the initiated master’s degree shall be closed, with the possibility of beginning studies in other official programmes of the UNED, if a new admission is made.
Applicable regulations: RD 426/2005 of 15 April Statues and Regulations of the National University of Distance Education. Art. 20.3 "Following a report from the Coordination Board, the Governing Board may propose the rules governing the students’ progress and maximum period of study at the University to the Board of Trustees, depending on the characteristics of the student’s corresponding studies and academic record."
2. DESCRIPTION OF THE SUBJECTS
This master’s degree in question aims to cover the major language applications in the professional field and the main research areas for which ICTs represent a qualitative and quantitative improvement. All subjects on this master’s degree are optional, since all modules leave enough margin for free choice, so students with different skills (e.g. programming skills) and interests (e.g., teaching, research, etc.) can design their own curriculum. The only thing that must be completed by all students is the master's thesis.
All subjects are both theoretical and practical (albeit to varying degrees), last for a term and are worth 5 credits. Only the internship for students on the professional route, and the master’s thesis, obligatory for all students, are awarded 10 credits each. The 10 credits awarded for the internship are compensated for students on the research route by the 15 credits awarded for scientific and technological research of languages ÂÂÂÂÂ(core module), for which students on the professional route receive 5 credits.
· Distribution of the curriculum in ECTS credits, according to the module.
TYPE OF MODULE
5 credits for students on the professional route and 15 for students on the research route
20 credits (a total of 70 credits divided into sub-modules of 30 and 40 credits, of which the student must gain 20; 15 must correspond to the same sub-module)
10 credits (only for students on the professional route)
Summary of the modules and distribution of ECTS credits
The subjects corresponding to core modules and training modules should be completed prior to the subjects in the modules of the chosen itinerary, which will be completed in the second quarter. The internship and the master’s thesis are awarded 10 credits respectively and should be completed in the latter part of the course.
3. DEGREE ROUTES
The master’s degree offers two possible routes for students: professional or research. In case of opting for the first, the student is required to complete an internship, and has the support of companies and institutions related to the world of e-learning or distance language learning, translation, lexicography, speech technologies, documentation, etc. Those companies and institutions take on our graduate students for a period of approximately 250 hours (distributed conveniently as agreed by the parties, but in any case, towards the end of the course). The objective is that students complete an internship – face-to-face or online – on a topic related to some aspect of their studies (which will also be agreed on by the company tutor, the coordinator of the corresponding module of the master’s degree, and with the approval of the student). As our institution has students all around the country (and some abroad), it has become necessary to have contacts with various centres to ensure adequate national coverage. Numerous companies and relevant institutions already have a cooperation agreements with the UNED for internship for all of its qualifications.
All partner companies are committed to the following:
To help students become familiar with the environment of their internship and provide them with all the available tools and resources needed for the designed practice.
To appoint a company tutor for each student, who will be responsible for ensuring everything related to his/her internship, namely:
to make a detailed prior proposal of the activity for a period of 250 hours (with objectives, methodology, timing, etc.), to negotiate with the relevant course coordinator and reach an agreement with the student.
monitor and advise the student according to his/her needs during the practice.
submit a report with an evaluation at the end of the internship according to the template provided by the course coordinator.
This master’s degree has been designed in a way that, after the completion of the subjects and the master’s thesis, students who wish to complete their research training by writing a doctoral dissertation, supervised by a professor of the course, on a research area related to the studied contents, such as: computer-assisted language teaching: methodology, development of different skills, its application in the classroom and in distant educational environments, processing and digitising printed, audiovisual, educational and CLIL materials, and individual and collaborative language learning in virtual environments (cognitive and constructivist approaches, web 2.0); computational linguistics, natural language processing and main applications: information management, semantic network, lexicography and computational lexicography (including restricted domains and ontologies), machine translation, speech technologies, computer-assisted language analysis (research methodology, corpus linguistics, diachronic studies, variety, dialectology and multiculturalism), etc.
4. MASTER’S THESIS
By regulating the official university education, the Royal Decree 1393/2007, of 29 October, establishes, in the case of studies leading to a master's degree, that "these studies may conclude with the preparation and public defence of a master’s thesis worth between 6 and 30 credits", and the need to create regulations that unify criteria and procedures to ensure consistent performance in the planning and evaluation of the thesis, without prejudice to any specific characteristics of each master’s degree.
The thesis coordinator of the master’s degree is in charge of this subject. If you have any questions, please contact him/her through the virtual course forum or using his/her contact details (available in the Coordination and contact section of this guide).
If a student wishes to change research areas, topic or tutor of their thesis, they must apply by completing a new Request Form for Tutor and Topic (http://portal.uned.es/portal/page?_pageid=93,49459446&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL), posted on the website of the Faculty of Philology. If, on the other hand, a student wishes to continue with the same thesis coordinator for the next course, they must complete the Tutor Declaration Form beforehand.
The defence will take place at the main campus of UNED in Madrid unless the sudent lives abroad or there are major reasons that justify undertaking it by videoconference. In this case, a specific authorisation must be requested from the Organising Committee of the master’s degree, explaining the case. If this is granted, the student must manage the act of defence well in advance, since it will take place in a public body (e.g. a support centre of the UNED), where an authority will ensure and certify the reliability of the act by sending the corresponding document to the UNED thereafter.
5. CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN MODULES AND SUBJECTS
This master's degree programme is divided in subjects (except for the internship and the master’s thesis) distributed in three modules, which are shown in the following table with their main objectives:
Core module or scientific and technological language research, within the subject area of principles and techniques of scientific research in the field of different types of computer-assisted language learning.
Training module or Fundamentals of language technologies and its education within the subject area of common theoretical base of different ICT applications related to language education and processing
Itinerary module, divided into two sub-modules:
ICT in language education within the subject area of procedures involved in the performance of concrete, specialised tasks and activities related to language learning and teachingwith maximum rigor and optimal use of currently available ICTs.
ICT in language processing within the subject area of procedures involved in the performance of concrete, specialised tasks and activities related to language learning and processing with maximum rigor and optimal use of currently available ICTs.
Students should remember that, additionally, the master’s degree offers a module to level or update linguistic and technological knowledge with the academic purpose of updating or reinforcing basic knowledge, essential for completing the master’s degree. The two subjects, offered in the levelling course module, are worth 5 credits each:
Introduction to linguistic theory and its applications and
Introduction to the information and communications technology.
A correspondence list between modules and subjects can be found below, indicating the number of credits that must be gained in each module (each subject is worth 5 credits):
Core Module: Scientific and Technological Research for languages (to choose between the ones offered by the master’s degrees of the Postgraduate Program in European Languages ÂÂÂÂÂand Literatures at the Faculty of Philology) 5 credits for students on the professional route and 15 for the ones on the research route (a total of 15 credits)
o Linguistic research methodology
o Corpus-based language analysis: techniques and resources
o Internet in teaching and research
Itinerary module: Fundamentals of language technologies and its education - 15 credits (a total of 20 credits of which students must gain 15)
o Introduction to computer-assisted language teaching
o Mobile Assisted Language Learning (in English)
o Preparation and publication of printed and audiovisual materials
o Natural Language Processing
Itinerary module - 20 credits (a total of 60 credits of which students must obtain 20; 15 of which must correspond to the same sub-module: A or B):
A. ICT in Language Teaching
o Open language learning (in English)
o Tools for developing oral skills
o Practical methodology for teaching foreign languages online
o Preparation and digitisation of CLIL materials
o Intercultural projects of collaborative learning in virtual environments
B. ICT in Language Processing
o The semantic network
o Limited computational ontologies, dictionaries and lexicons
o Phonetics and speech technology
o Machine translation and computer-assisted translation
ICT applications for a cross-cultural study of language varieties
ICT applications for the study of diachronic linguistics
ICT applications for Italian studies (bilingual Spanish or Italian)
Internship - 10 credits (only for students who choose the professional route)
Master's thesis - 10 credits (compulsory for all students)
The total number of credits is as follows:
For students on the vocational route:
5 c. for Core Modules + 15 c. for Training Modules + 20 c. of Itinerary Modules + 10 c. for Internships + 10 c. for the Master’s thesis = 60 credits
For students on the research track:
15 c. for Core Modules + 15 c. for Training Modules + 20 c. for Iinerary Modules + 10 c. for the Master’s thesis = 60 credits
In this document the term subject refers to a thematic area and the term module to a group of subjects with a common fundamental objective. As reflected in the description below, the distinction between these two concepts allows for essentially capturing the hybrid nature of the training module of the master’s degree:
The name of the subject, Scientific and technological research of languages, reflects the dual, scientific and information technological approach to language learning (its principles, techniques, methodologies, etc.). It is taught to the students in order to be subsequently adopted and adapted in different specific applications covered in the rest of the master’s degree. It is covered in the first quarter of the course through the three subjects of the core and training module with the same name.
The name of the subject, Computer-assisted language teaching, clearly reflects its academic discipline and professional activity. It is covered in the first quarter of the course through three of the four subjects of the training module of the master’s degree, called Basics of language technology and its teaching, and, subsequently, during the second quarter of the course through the six subjects of itinerary module A: ICTs in language didactics. This module covers different aspects of CALL related to methodological, cognitive, social and cultural aspects that intervene in language teaching and other related services, such as project management and the development of materials.
Finally, the name of the subject, Linguistic engineering and language industries, clearly reflects the multiple facets of basic and applied research and professional and business activity underlying the area on the computerisation of languages. It is covered in the first quarter of the year through two of the five subjects of the training module of the master’s degree, called Basics of language technologies and their teaching, and during the second quarter through the six subjects of itinerary module B: ICTs in language processing, in which different techniques related to computerised language processing are covered, which apply to the spoken language processing, written text processing, translation, specific linguistic studies, etc.