The combined specialisation in language development 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 language development research, and their technological applications.
Modes and duration
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).
Tuition fees (2018/19)
- £10,140 (FT) £5,060 (PT)
- £25,880 (FT) £12,950 (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 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:
About this degree
Students take a core set of modules building a foundation to study current issues and research in the language sciences, specialising in language development. 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 UCL Division of Psychology & Language Sciences.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two mandatory modules (45 credits), three specialisation modules (45 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a research project (60 credits).
- Introduction to the Brain and Imaging the Brain
- Research Methods: Principles, Skills and Applications
- Students select three specialisation modules from those below:
- Developmental Language Disorders and Cognitive Neuroscience
- Developmental Disorders of Language, Learning and Cognition
- Development of Speech Perception and Production
- Language Acquisition
- Introduction to Children's Language Development
- Semantic and Pragmatic Development
Students select two modules from all those offered within UCL Psychology & Language Sciences, subject to availability and agreement with the Programme Director. A list of possible options is listed below:
- Neuroscience of Language
- Deafness - Cognition and language
- Speech Processing
- Conversation Analysis
- Second Language Speech Learning
- Phonetic Theory
- Phonetic Theory
- Foundations of Linguistics
- Issues in Pragmatics
- Current Issues in Syntax
Not all modules will run every year; some modules may require a minimum number of registered students.
All students undertake an independent research project in an area of language science which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, small-group teaching and a virtual learning environment. Some modules also involve workshops or practical classes. Student performance is assessed through coursework, examinations and the research project.
Up to four departmental scholarships are available. All candidates holding an offer of admission by 1 June (for year of entry) will be considered based on academic merit. There is no need to make a separate application for these opportunities.
It is strongly recommended that applications are submitted no later than four weeks before this deadline.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
The majority of students who graduate from Language Sciences MSc programmes go on to further study or research. Recent graduates have gone on to PhD study in UCL, and in other UK and overseas institutions. Others have gone to work in related industries (for example in speech technology industries, cochlear implants manufacturers) or in education. The skills that the MSc develops - independent research, presentation skills, and statistics - are transferable skills that are very highly sought after outside academia.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Secondary School Teacher (Greek Language), Lysse Lanco Hellenique
- Speech and Language Therapist, West London Mental Health NHS Trust
- PGCE Early Years Teaching, Canterbury Christ Church University
- PhD in Biomedical Science - Speech and Hearing, Harvard University
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?
The UCL Division of UCL 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.
Department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences
Student / staff numbers
› 181 staff
including 173 postdocs
› 780 taught students
› 440 research students
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: Division of Psychology & Language 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
"UCL is simply the best place to do speech research, with great links to other departments (linguistic, cognitive science, hearing research, developmental research). UCL has supported in setting up a TMS laboratory devoted to the study of speech science and I feel privileged to work with some very talented UCL students. Also, I organise the yearly meeting of the Experimental Psychology Society in London. UCL is great for collaboration, as there are many scientists working in overlapping fields. "
Patti AdankLanguage Sciences MSc
UCL Psychology & Language Sciences
"UCL is a world-class university with a variety of resources for a multi-disciplinary approach to research. In my research I am interested in the neural correlates of unimodal and multimodal speech perception (for example, when you hear and see speech at the same time and how these sources of information interact)."
Dr Jyrki TuomainenLanguage Sciences MSc
Speech Hearing and Phonetic Sciences, UCL Psychology & Language Sciences
"My research focuses on speech and language therapy with people who have aphasia (an acquired language disorder) following a stroke. I carry out research into alternative strategies to help them communicate, such as drawing and gesture. I also collaborate with a number of voluntary and NHS organisations to evaluate the service they offer to people who have had a stroke, based on the perspective of the users of that service. Being in London allows me to access a range of professional networks. I have developed very strong links with NHS and other clinical placement providers ensuring that our students benefit from high quality placement experiences. "
Carol SacchettSpeech and Language Sciences MSc, Language Sciences MSc
UCL Division of Psychology & Language 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.
Application fee: There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. More details about the application fee can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
This programme is designed for students with a background in a related discipline who wish to deepen their knowledge prior to registering for a research degree in language development. It may also appeal to individuals currently working in areas such as education, speech and language therapy, audiology and speech technology.
- All applicants
- 27 July 2018
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
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.