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Speech, Language and Cognition MRes

This interdisciplinary MRes is aimed at applicants whose interest in language spans more than one discipline. Building on a first degree in linguistics, speech sciences, psychology, cognitive science, or a cognate discipline, students plan their own programme of study, selecting from a range of courses in several different UCL departments.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£9,840 (FT) £4,645 (PT)
£25,130 (FT) £12,020 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 28 July 2017

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.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

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.

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 are introduced to academic and key skills essential for all fields of research in Speech, Language and Cognition, gain research training with relevant supervisors from the UCL Centre for Human Communication, and are able to assess and critically appraise theoretical and applied research relevant to speech, language and cognition.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits), four options (30 credits), a research project (105 credits) and plan (15 credits).

Core modules

  • Foundation Course in Research
  • Research Methods
  • Theoretical Frameworks
  • Research Plan

Optional modules

As part of Theoretical Frameworks, students follow teaching in a total of four modules across the Division of Psychology and more widely at UCL. These modules are chosen from at least two from the following fields of study:

  • Auditory Processing
  • Speech Processing: Perception and Production
  • Phonetics and Phonology
  • Syntax and Morphology
  • Semantics and Pragmatics
  • Language Development
  • Language Processing and Pathology
  • Cognition and Communication
  • Neurobiology of Language
  • Theory Construction and Modelling

There is no set list for these modules and students will choose modules which complement their intended research in consultation with the Programme Director.


All students undertake an independent research project on an aspect of speech, language and cognition which culminates in a research plan of 3,000–6,000 words and a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of small group teaching, seminars, student-led research tutorials, self-study materials, supervised laboratory placement, lectures and computer-based practical classes. It is largely assessed by coursework, with only the statistics component being assessed by exam. The research project is assessed by dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Speech, Language and Cognition MRes


A small number of ESRC studentships may be available each year. These are generally based on a combined application for PhD and taught postgraduate study over four years.  Students interested in these studentships should contact the Research Department where they are interested in PhD 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.


A large proportion of our students go on to study for a PhD and pursue a career in academia. The MRes is excellent preparation for a PhD degree and we have been very successful at getting candidates onto funded programmes. A number of graduates have returned to clinical practice as specialised speech and language therapists, or have gone on to work as researchers. Others go on to work in other fields ranging from business to education. The skills that the MRes develops – independent research, presentation skills, and statistics – are very highly sought-after outside academia.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Teacher, Queen Mary University of London (QML)
  • Researcher, University of Cambridge and studying PhD Autism, University of Cambridge
  • PhD Researcher, Universiteit van Amsterdam (University of Amsterdam)
  • MPhil/PhD Speech Hearing and Phonetic Sciences, University College London (UCL)
  • PhD Education, University of Oxford

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 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL 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, from basic processes to applied research. The division offers a supportive environment including numerous specialist seminars, workshops, and guest lectures.

Department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

Student / staff numbers › 185 staff including 129 postdocs › 635 taught students › 477 research students

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

Staff view

"The outstanding postgraduate students that come to UCL make it an intellectually exciting and stimulating place to study. My research team primarily studies adults who are very skilled at comprehending language, with the longer-term aim of understanding how and why these abilities are sometimes impaired so that appropriate interventions can be developed for those individuals who struggle with language comprehension."

Jennifer Rodd

Speech, Language and Communication Needs in Schools: Advanced Practice MSc, Speech, Language and Cognition MRes
UCL Experimental Psychology
Staff view

"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?

The programme is aimed at students with a first degree in a language-related area, and provides excellent preparation for further research in a language-related field of study, and may form the basis of a 1+3 or 4-year PhD programme in one of the contributing departments.

Application deadlines

All applicants
28 July 2017

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 Speech, Language and Cognition at graduate level
  • why you want to study Speech, Language and Cognition 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

Page last modified on 27 October 2016 at 11:10 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.


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