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Linguistics with a specialisation in Phonology MA

The Linguistics MA with specialisation in Phonology is a research-oriented programme designed for students looking for concentrated study in phonology, with a focus on theoretically-driven empirical research. Students will use typological comparison, data collection, experimental methods, or modelling techniques and will receive extensive training in research methods and the scholarly presentation of ideas.

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)
£18,460 (FT) £9,550 (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 is required.

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 gain knowledge and understanding of current research in phonology and are prepared for independent research. On completion of the programme, they will be able to formulate appropriate research questions, find and evaluate relevant literature, develop and test new hypotheses, and produce cogent, structured and professionally presented reports.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five pathway modules (60 credits), three optional modules (30 credits) and a dissertation/report (60 credits).

Pathway Modules

  • Students select three from the list below:
  • Intermediate Phonetics and Phonology A
  • Intermediate Phonetics and Phonology B
  • Advanced Phonology Theory A
  • Advanced Phonology Theory B
  • In conjunction with the Programme Co-ordinator, students select two from a list which includes the following:
  • Phonetic Theory
  • Phonology of English
  • Morphology
  • Intermediate Generative Grammar A
  • Current Issues in Syntax
  • Readings in Syntax


  • A further three modules are selected, either from the list of non-obligatory core modules above or from the list of optional modules below:
  • Advanced Semantic Theory
  • Advanced Semantic Theory B
  • Animal Communication and the Human Language
  • Communication and Human Language
  • Interfaces
  • Issues in Pragmatics
  • Language Acquisition
  • Neurolinguistics
  • Pragmatic Theory
  • Semantic-Pragmatic Development
  • Semantics Research Seminar
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Stuttering
  • The Linguistics of Sign Languages
  • Topics in Semantics and Pragmatics
  • Or any statistical training outside the department


All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, small-group teaching (tutorials or backup classes) and a virtual learning environment. Some modules also involve workshops or practical classes. Assessment is through take home and unseen examination, essays, presentations, assignments and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Linguistics with a specialisation in Phonology MA


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) 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.


Although the degree can be an end in itself, this advanced programme is an excellent preparation for independent doctoral research in phonology. Graduates from our specialised Master's programmes in linguistics have a very strong track record of securing funded doctoral studentships and have in recent years gone on to research at UCL, MIT, Cambridge, University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.


This Linguistics MA equips graduates with the necessary skills to carry out research in the subject of phonology.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Division of Psychology & Language Sciences undertakes world-leading research and teaching in mind, behaviour and language.

Our work attracts staff and students from around the world. Together they create an outstanding and vibrant environment, taking advantage of cutting-edge resources such as a behavioural neuroscience laboratory, a centre for brain imaging, and extensive laboratories for research in speech and language, perception, and cognition.

Opportunities for graduate 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.

Student / staff ratios › 304 staff including 129 postdocs › 741 taught students › 439 research students

Department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

Degree reviews

Staff review

"I have two broad research areas related to the study of language within the cognitive sciences: (1) learning biases and the role of formal universals as constraints that can focus and filter the generalisations made over statistically evident patterns; (2) shared representations and 'reused' data structures that demonstrate isomorphisms among seemingly distinct linguistic components (e.g. sound structure and phrase structure). I also strive to create resources that will be useful for other researchers with different interests. A recent example is a 61-million word open corpus of Brazilian Portuguese developed from film subtitles. My current doctoral students are using tools such as Amazon Mechanical Turk to run large-scale online experiments and thereby collect linguistic data with a more robust empirical base."

Professor Andrew Nevins

Linguistics with a specialisation in Phonology MA

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?

The programme is designed for students with a background in linguistics, speech and phonetic sciences, or cognitive science who wish to pursue an interest in phonology.

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 Linguistics with a specialisation in Phonology at graduate level
  • why you want to study Linguistics with a specialisation in Phonology 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.

Contact Information


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