Language Sciences (with specialisation in Language Development) MSc

The combined specialisation in Language Development provides a thorough multi-disciplinary 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.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: 2 years

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£9,550 (FT) £4,770 (PT)
£24,400 (FT) £12,310 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 5 October 2015
Close: 29 July 2016

Entry Requirements

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.

International students

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:

Degree Information

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 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).

Mandatory Modules

  • Introduction to the Brain and Imaging the Brain
  • Research Methods: Principles, Skills and Applications
  • Students select three specialisation modules from those below:
  • Development of Speech Perception and Production
  • Developmental Disorders of Language, Learning and Cognition
  • Developmental Language Disorders and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Language Acquisition
  • Semantic and Pragmatic Development


  • Students select 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 listed below:
  • Conversation Analysis
  • Current Issues in Syntax
  • Deafness, Cognition and Language
  • Foundations of Linguistics
  • Issues in Pragmatics
  • Neuroscience of Language
  • Phonetic Theory
  • Second Language Speech Learning
  • Speech Processing
  • Stuttering


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.

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Language Sciences (with specialisation in Language Development) MSc


Four departmental scholarships are available. Candidates holding an offer of admission by 1 June (for year of entry) will be considered.

It is strongly recommended that applications are submitted no later than four weeks before this deadline.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below. 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 tho further study or research. Recent graduates have gone on to PhD study in UCL, other UK institutions 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.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • PhD Student, Harvard (2014)
  • Speech Therapist, NHS Whittington Trust (2013)
  • Research Associate, University of Cambridge (2014)
  • Research Associate, Birkbeck-UCL Centre for Neuroimaging (BUCNI) (2014)
  • Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), Ambitious About Autism (2014)

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 including 129 postdocs › 741 taught students › 439 research students

Department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

Degree reviews

Staff review

"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 Adank

Language Sciences MSc
UCL Psychology & Language Sciences
Staff review

"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 Tuomainen

Language Sciences MSc
Speech Hearing and Phonetic Sciences, UCL 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.

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.

Application deadlines

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
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.


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

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