Developmental Science MPhil/PhD

Research areas:

  • Assessment and intervention for children with speech production difficulties
  • Development of language and communication (e.g. in dyslexia)
  • Development of language and mathematical skills
  • Development of perceptual and attentional abilities in children with autism spectrum disorders
  • Development of social communication skills in children with autism spectrum disorder
  • Development of the child’s understanding of causality
  • Normal and abnormal development of vision: sensory, perceptual, cognitive (including visual attention). This includes the Visual Development Unit with significant research funding from the Medical Research Council.

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Visit the IRIS research portal to learn more about researchers' activities, research groups, research centres and interdisciplinary networks across the whole of UCL.

IRIS department: Div of Psychology & Language Sciences

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree or a taught Master’s degree, or the overseas equivalent, in a relevant subject.

English level expected: Good


  • All applicants: 30 June 2014
  • Scholarship applicants: 31 January 2014
Applications for competitive funding awarded by UCL must arrive by 31 January in the year you wish to start. If other sources of funding are being considered, it is still in your interest to apply by the 31 January deadline, but later applications can sometimes be considered. Applications should be made as soon as possible, and not later than 30 June for entry in September/October.


  • UK/EU Full-time: £4,500
  • UK/EU Part-time: £2,250
  • Overseas Full-time: £20,900
  • Overseas Part-time: £10,450

Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL Scholarships website


Recent graduates have taken up academic posts at the University of Oxford, University of Sheffield, and UCL, while others have taken up professional occupations within organisations such as the NHS.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • Institute of Education, University Lecturer, 2009
  • University of Oxford, Scott Junior Research Fellow, 2009
  • ESRC Centre for Deafness, Cognition and Language (DCAL), Postgraduate Research Assistant, 2010
  • Institute of Psychiatry, Clinical Psychology Training, 2010
  • UCL Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences, Postgraduate Research Assistant, 2012


During the programme you will gain practical research experience, designing experiments and conducting research with children either in a clinical or non-clinical setting. Taught elements include advanced research skills, for example in statistics, research methods and programming. Students also attend elective MSc modules, gaining theoretical expertise in their chosen field (e.g. autism, SLI, deafness).


Research students have a fantastic opportunity to network with the many different world-class researchers and research teams at UCL. There are also close connections with staff and clinical units at Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Institute of Neurology and the Institute of Child Health. Top international researchers regularly give talks in the division and throughout UCL.

Next steps


Dr John Swettenham

T: +44 (0)20 7679 4220


Developmental Science

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Prospectus subject

Developmental Science

Faculty overview

Brain Sciences


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Student View

"I have attended a few scientific meetings during my first year at UCL; a particular highlight was attending the Royal Society Discussion Meeting on language in developmental and acquired disorders. London is a brilliant place for attending national events."

Francina Clayton

Degree: Developmental Science PhD

Student View

"The neurology cluster at Queen Square means you can bump into world leaders in your field just by crossing the road."

Tara Noone

Degree: Advanced Neuroimaging MSc

Subject: Neurology, Faculty: Brain Sciences