SHaPS is an international leader in the study of the perception and production of speech. Our graduates work in academia, industry, and the health and public sectors. We enjoy links to researchers around the world, as well as co-operation with major cochlear implant manufacturers and speech technology companies.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2018/19)
- £5,060 (FT) £2,530 (PT)
- £18,240 (FT) £9,290 (PT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.
Normally a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree or a taught Master’s degree, or the overseas equivalent, in a subject relevant to human-computer interaction. Such subjects include Psychology, Computer Science, Information Technology, Engineering Design, or other cognitive or applied sciences. Applicants with other qualifications and sufficient relevant experience and background knowledge may be considered.
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:
Students carry out basic research within varied perspectives (phonetics, hearing, perception, neuroimaging, development, experimental psychology, speech technology and speech production), as well as translational research addressing hearing impairment, atypical perceptual and cognitive development, and language training technologies. The department uses both behavioural and neuroimaging approaches for speech perception and hearing research and 'acoustic analysis' as an approach for speech production research.
- Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) and its role in speech/language development and communication ability
- Auditory prostheses for speech communication and the receptive capacity of the impaired auditory system for acoustic and electrical stimulation
- Computational methods for improving the intelligibility of speech recordings
- EEG, TMS and fMRI investigations of speech perception, production and hearing
- Phonetic variability in connected discourse and its impact on perception
- Plasticity in speech perception during first and second language learning
- Quantitative modelling of tone, intonation, and rhythm
- Sociophonetic analyses of accent change and development
- Development of speech perception in infancy and childhood
Applications for UCL competitive funding must arrive by late December/early January for entry in September/October the following year. See Graduate Research (GRS) and Overseas Research Scholarships (ORS).
You are strongly advised to contact and work with your potential supervisor when completing your application for funding. ESRC funding is available for three-year MPhil/PhD scholarships and for 1+3 scholarships that include a year of Master's study.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Recent graduates have secured academic teaching and research positions in speech, hearing science, and phonetics at UK and international universities, and at leading companies in the speech technology industry.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Postdoctoral Fellow, UCL
- Associate Professor, King Abdulaziz University
- Postdoctoral Research Assistant, UCL
Our programme is distinctive in terms of the depth and variety of approaches to speech research, which gives our graduates varied employment opportunities in teaching, research, health, and industry.
We have strong collaborative links with external research groups, clinicians, and industry, including participation in a Marie Curie training network of European speech researchers. Students are encouraged to attend and present at departmental seminars, as well as participate in international conferences and workshops.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Why study this degree at UCL?
SHaPS focuses on speech research within an interdisciplinary context, with strong links to UCL Linguistics, Language and Communication, Developmental Science, Experimental Psychology, the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, and the UCL Ear Institute, as well as international and industrial collaborations. The department shares a newly refurbished building and state-of-the-art laboratories, including facilities for adult and infant EEG, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, and eye tracking.
Department: Speech, Hearing & Phonetic Sciences
Student / staff numbers
› 20 staff
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Speech, Hearing & Phonetic Sciences
83% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
What our students and staff say
"The environment at UCL for research in my field (neuroscience) is unparalleled. Across UCL, there is not only tremendous breadth in neuroscience (molecular, cellular, systems, cognitive, computational), but also amazing depth. UCL's neuroscience community is so large and so diverse that even after 10 years at UCL I am still discovering colleagues here whose work is somehow directly relevant to my own."
Dr Jennifer LindenI supervise PhD and MSc students from the Ear Institute and also from the departments of Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology; Cell and Developmental Biology; Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences; and the Institute of Ophthalmology. I also teach topics related to hearing on MSc and BSc modules in many of these departments.
Reader in Neuroscience
"UCL is a multicultural world-class research powerhouse, located in one of the most thrilling cities in the world. Choosing UCL for graduate study was the natural path for me, both for the academic environment my research department provides and the experience of living in London. The laboratories that students have access to are just outstanding."
Mauricio Figueroa CandiaSpeech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
"I am doing research in phonetics in order to understand speech and sound deficits. Visits to clinical settings provided by UCL have inspired me to develop specific treatment according to patient symptoms."
Christiane HsuSpeech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
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.
- All applicants
- 30 June 2018
- Scholarship applicants
- 8 January 2018
Applications for competitive funding awarded by UCL must arrive by late December or early January for a September/October start. If other sources of funding are being considered, it is still in your interest to apply by January, 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.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now