Language Sciences (with specialisation in Speech and Hearing Sciences) MSc
The combined specialisation in Speech and Hearing Sciences provides a thorough multidisciplinary introduction to modern knowledge and current research in the inter related aspects of human spoken communication. It prepares students from different backgrounds for work in the rapidly developing fields of speech and hearing research, and their technological applications.
Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in a language-related area such as linguistics, speech sciences, English language, psychology, cognitive science, or a cognate discipline.
English Language Requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
The MSc in Language Sciences will provide students with an opportunity for an in-depth study of one or more areas of the Language Sciences. The MSc in Language Sciences is an ‘umbrella degree’, with a number of specialisation strands that follow a common structure. All students on the programme will take a core set of modules but they will then have an opportunity to specialise in one specific area of the language sciences, such as language development or speech and hearing sciences, which is most tailored to their interest. In selecting the modules for their specialisation, students will be able to takes full advantage of the breadth of expertise in language research in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences. This programme is designed for students who want to deepen their knowledge of one or more areas of the language sciences prior to registering for a research degree and will also be appropriate for individuals currently working in areas such as education, speech and language therapy, audiology, speech technology, who want to deepen their knowledge of the language sciences.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The Division of Psychology & Language Sciences undertakes world-leading research and teaching in mind, behaviour, and language. Staff and students benefit from cutting-edge resources including extensive laboratories for research in speech and language, perception, and cognition.
Opportunities for students to work with world-renowned researchers exist in all areas of investigation. The division offers a supportive environment including numerous specialist seminars, workshops, and guest lectures.
The Language Sciences MSc provides the opportunity for in-depth study of one or more areas of the language sciences. The programme is an 'umbrella degree', with a number of specialisation strands that follow a common structure.
Student / staff ratios › 304 staff › 741 taught students › 439 research students
Department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences
Students take a core set of modules and then have the opportunity to specialise in speech and hearing sciences. In selecting the modules for their specialisation, students will be able to take full advantage of the breadth of expertise in language research in the Division of Psychology & Language Sciences.
The MSc in Language Sciences with specialisation in Speech and Hearing Sciences includes mandatory modules, core modules and optional modules.
PALSG101: Introduction to the Brain and Imaging the Brain
PALSG102: Research Methods - Principles, skills and applications
PALSG199: Research Project
In consultation with the Programme Director, students register for three modules chosen from the following list:
PALSG204: Development of Speech Perception and Production
PALSG206: Introduction to Speech Sciences
PALSG304: Experimental Phonetics
PLING154: Phonetic Theory
Finally, students register for two modules from all those offered within the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, subject to availability and agreement with the Programme Director. A list of possible options is indicated below, these are suggestions only: choices are not limited to the modules on this list.
PALSG201: Deafness, Cognition and Language
PALSG306: Second Language Speech Learning
PALSG308: Web Programming for Psychology and Language Sciences
PLING302: Advanced topics in Speech Perception
Final research project submissions are in August, meaning that the programme runs over the course of 12 months (full-time) or 24 months (part-time).
You can view the timetable for the current academic year at www.ucl.ac.uk/timetable. Click on "degree programme", enter "Language Sciences"; select the specialisation from the dropdown menu; and click on "Show Timetable". You will now see all classes for all obligatory modules for the whole year. You can click on "Change Display" at the top left to see classes for Term 1 and Term 2 separately.
Programme Director: Professor Valerie Hazan
The programme director has overall responsibility for the programme, it's students and teaching. Each specialisation also has a Strand Coordinator who is the member of academic staff you are likely to interact with most often. Strand Coordinators are responsible for the students and teaching on each of the individual specialisations.
Language Development - Dr Nausicaa Pouscoulous
- Linguistics with Neuroscience - Dr Wing Yee Chow
- Neuroscience and Communication - Dr Patti Adank
- Sign Language and Deaf Studies - Dr Kearsy Cormier
- Speech and Hearing Sciences - Dr Yi Xu
The flexibility of the programme means that modules are taught by academic staff drawn from across the Division of Psychology & Language Sciences.
In addition, we can call on the support of visiting lecturers, Teaching Fellows and Postgraduate Teaching Assistants.
Teaching Administrator: Pete Buchanan
- Language Development - Dr Nausicaa Pouscoulous
Applicants should have a degree in a language-related area such as linguistics, speech sciences, English language, psychology, cognitive science, or a cognate discipline
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
Who can apply?
This programme is designed for students with a related background who wish to deepen their knowledge prior to registering for a research degree in speech and hearing sciences. It may also appeal to individuals currently working in areas such as education, speech and language therapy, audiology and speech technology.
- All applicants
- 29 July 2016
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Language Sciences at graduate level
- why you want to study Language Sciences at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
- how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this rigorous programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
The majority of students who graduate from MSc Language Sciences programmes go on to further study or research. Recent graduates have gone on to PhD study in UCL, other UK institutions and prestigious overseas universities. Other students have gone on to diverse roles related to Language Sciences such as audiology, education and speech and hearing technology.
Many students, especially studying Neuroscience and Communication are already working as Speech and Language Therapists and see MSc Language Sciences as an opportunity to deepen their knowledge in a specific area and gain research skills.
We also have a number of students who see the value of having a postgraduate degree when looking for employment and want to study something they find interesting, while not necessarily related to their field of work.
UCL provides advice, guidance and workshops on Careers and Employability through its Careers service.
Application and next steps
Register interest in your chosen subjects.
Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more.
Postgraduate loan for master's degrees (UK/EEU students)
Eligible Students starting a postgraduate degree from August 2016 can apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 to help with programme fees and living costs.
You can find more information on the UK Government website:
MSc Language Sciences departmental scholarships
Up to four departmental scholarships of £2,400 will be available for students applying for the MSc in Language Sciences. Candidates holding an offer of admission to UCL for the MSc Language Sciences by 1 June 2016 will be considered for these awards. It is therefore strongly recommended that applications for admission to UCL are submitted as early as possible, and certainly no later than six weeks before the 1 June 2016 scholarship deadline. These scholarships will be primarily awarded on the basis of academic merit rather than according to financial need. Successful applicants will be students with outstanding academic potential and will have achieved excellent results in the qualifications already obtained. Please note that these scholarships cannot be held in conjunction with other scholarship/studentship funding.
For information on general scholarship opportunities, please select the link below:
- More information
UCL Language Sciences – Teaching Philosophy
Staff and students discuss teaching philosophy for language sciences at UCL
UCL Language Sciences – Chandler House Tour
MSc Language Sciences is based in Chandler House in Bloomsbury, London; take a tour of the building in our new video.
Download a leaflet (pdf) about the MSc Language Sciences programme:
> Am I eligible? / Will my application be accepted?
This is impossible to answer until you have applied. The whole application is used to make a decision on whether to recommend an offer of admission; your academic transcript, past employment, references and personal statement will all play a part. You can ensure you make the best possible application by ensuring that you meet/will meet the academic requirement outlined on the programme website, and by writing a strong personal statement.
> What makes a strong personal statement?
Your personal statement should be concise and clear, you should demonstrate an understanding of the degree programme and its structure. How will completing MSc Language Sciences benefit your further academic or professional career. If you do not have a scientific background or your degree is not directly related to MSc Language Sciences, this is your opportunity to show how your independent study, work-experience or personal interests contribute to your understanding.
> It is a long time since I graduated, do I need an academic reference?
Yes, in almost all cases your undergraduate university will still be able to provide an academic reference, whether this is a tutor or project supervisor. As MSc Language Sciences is an academic programme, these references are very important. If you really cannot get an academic reference, get in touch with us to talk about it.
> How do I apply?
All applications are now completed through the online application system; click on APPLY HERE in the Applications system to access it.
> What are the English language requirements?
Before you enrol you will be expected to evidence English language proficiency at the UCL Good level, UCL now accepts a wide range of tests as evidence, see the required results here.
> I haven't completed my undergraduate degree, can I still apply?
Yes, you will need to provide a transcript of the results you have achieved to date when you apply. If an offer of admission is made it will be on condition that you complete your degree to the required standard before the programme begins.
> When should I apply? / Are there still places available?
The application deadline is given in the Application section and the key information box at the top of this page. It is recommended that you apply as soon as you are able as if you apply later, delays gathering references and completing checks can hinder your application. You should also be aware of any scholarship deadlines that you want to apply for.
> What funding is available?
Their are four departmental scholarships of £2,400 associated with MSc Language Sciences. All students holding an offer of admission by 1st June are automatically considered for this - you do not need to do anything. For all other funding sources, you must seek these out yourself. General funding opportunities at UCL are listed here. Be aware that most scholarships have very early deadlines.
> Do I need to write a research proposal to apply?
No, you are not expected to write a research proposal. If you already have a good idea of how you want to focus your Research Project, then that's great, by all means mention this in your personal statement when you apply. It is not required, and most students find that their initial ideas evolve or change in the first few months.
> Will this degree qualify me as a Speech Therapist?
No, UCL only offers one degree programme which qualifies students to register as Speech and Language Therapists; the two-year professional programme MSc Speech and Language Sciences. Applications to MSc Language Sciences intended for MSc Speech and Lanugage Sciences will be rejected, it is not usually possible to transfer these, as the application requirements are different.
> What do MSc Language Sciences graduates do?
The majority of MSc Language Sciences students go on to further study and research, some at UCL and others at other UK Universities or international institutions. Other graduates have gone on to work in research in neuroscience or language disorders or in varied fields such as teaching, translation and public outreach
Studying MSc Language Sciences FAQs
> How does part-time study work?
Part time students attend the same teaching as full-time students but at a reduced load over two years instead of one. This means part time students are usually expected to attend university from 1.5 to 2 days per week in the first two terms. Part-time teaching does not take place at evenings or weekends. Part- time students complete mandatory taught modules and one or more core or optional module in year one; and the rest of their modules in year two. Because of the range of core and optional modules timetables will vary between individual students.
> Is there a distance learning option?
No, this degree programme is not offered as distance learning. It is available full- or part-time, with most part-time students attending 1.5-2 days per week. Part-time teaching takes place during the day on weekdays, there is no evening or weekend teaching.
> How long is the degree programme?
MSc Language Sciences is a full 12 month degree programme, students attend teaching in terms one (September to Christmas) and two (January to Easter), term three (Summer) is devoted to data gathering and completion of the Research Project submitted in September. For part-time students this schedule is repeated over 24 months.
> How many days will I be expected to attend?
Your exact timetable will vary depending on the modules you choose to complete; but full-time students can expect to attend university 2.5-3 days per week in terms one and two, and part time students 1.5-2 days. In term three you are not expected to attend formal teaching as this time is reserved for data collection and completion of your research project; however, you are still expected to remain engaged with the university and with your Research Project Supervisor.
> What is the timetable for MSc Language Sciences?
This is very difficult to say; MSc Language Sciences students choose from an extremely wide range of optional modules, and often no two students will have the same timetable. Mandatory module teaching usually takes place on the same day, and in term one you can expect to attend for a full day on a Wednesday. You can view the timetable of individual core and optional modules in the Module Database, to help you plan your module selection.
> Do I need to choose my modules in advance?
No, you will select your core and optional modules in the first few weeks of term. However, you should look over the core and most common optional modules: places are often limited and knowing what you want to do in advance can be an advantage.
> Can I have a reading list?
Some information on pre-course reading will be provided to all applicants holding an offer of admission in the summer. This will cover the mandatory modules where students might not have experience of these areas.
> Can I work while I attend MSc Language Sciences?
Many students do, however, you should be aware that a master's programme represents a significant time commitment and we are unable to make allowances for your employment. Some students in the past have found it challenging to continue working while they study.