Research in Developmental Science Research Department:
focuses on understanding typical and atypical human development using a variety
of approaches, including developmental experimental psychology, neuropsychology,
psycholinguistics, and cognitive neuroscience. Members of the Department make up a unique mix of developmental
scientists and clinicians. Close links and collaborations exist with other
groups studying Development in Research Departments within the Division of
Psychology and Language Science,
as well as with clinical Institutions such as the Institute of Child Health
(ICH), Nuffield Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic (ENT), Institute of Ophthalmology, University
College Hospital (UCH) and Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). Research
facilities available to members of staff comprise state-of-the-art equipment
for most behavioural research, facilities for neuroimaging (ERP, MRI), and facilities
specifically designed for the study auditory and speech perception.
information about the Research Department, including a list of members of staff
and their research interests, please see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychlangsci/research/dev-sci
Information about Studying for an MPhil/PhD in our Division:
The MPhil/PhD programme begins in late September
for full-time students. As a research
student you will be working in an active and exciting research environment, and
you will be part of a lively and friendly group of graduates. You will have
access to a variety of state-of-the-art facilities with accompanying technical
assistance, library facilities (including access to an extensive range of
e-journals) and computing facilities.
The UCL regulations require that initial
registration as a research student is for the MPhil degree. As part of the
programme students take a range of courses designed to equip them for research.
In particular, they take a selection of research methods courses appropriate
for different backgrounds, designed to help them develop key research skills,
such as the ability to evaluate critically the literature in an area or to
perform advanced statistical analyses. In addition students are encouraged to
attend the wide range of Divisional research seminars in and around UCL.
The full-time PhD typically lasts for 3 years,
including the time registered as an MPhil student, and if the thesis is not
submitted within this time then students may register as Completing Research
Students for 1 additional year. The Division is assessed on how many PhD
students finish on time.
A research student works with a staff member who is
their principal supervisor, responsible for directing their research training,
and a second supervisor. Other staff members, as part of a research group, may
be closely involved with their work and students are encouraged to discuss
their research widely with anyone having relevant experience. The Division of
Psychology and Language Sciences contains expertise on a wide range of topics,
so that students usually have little difficulty in finding someone who can give
good advice. The Graduate School also offers a range of skills development
courses for graduate students. Many full-time research students take some part
in departmental teaching by giving tutorials and/or demonstrating in practical
classes; payment is made for this work.
Each Research Department has a Graduate Tutor who
is in charge of academic and pastoral arrangements for MPhil/PhD students. They
can provide advice, support, and if necessary action, if any problems arise
with respect to research, supervision or other academic problems.
Part-time study for a research degree
The Division offers the MPhil/PhD programme on a
part-time basis, although the majority of students register on a full-time
basis. The academic criteria and selection process are identical to those for
the full-time PhD.
The programme of study for a part-time PhD may be
completed in a minimum of 3 years; it typically lasts for 5 years, and if the
thesis is not submitted within this time then students may register as
Completing Research Students for 2 additional years. The Division is assessed
on how many PhD students finish on time.
Candidates are expected to work no less than 50% of
full-time on the PhD project for the duration of the PhD. Part-time PhD
students need to demonstrate that they will be able to actively pursue the PhD
project throughout the relevant period, and will have sufficient time and
commitment to sustain the amount of research activity needed to complete their
studies. For many part-time PhD students, the PhD project is linked to
employment on a funded research project involving the supervisor.
Research Topics within the Department of Developmental Science
Auditory Processing and Language
Augmentative and Alternative
Autism Spectrum Disorders:
Social Communication, Attention & Perception
Development: Causal Reasoning & Perception
Deafness: Speech Processing,
Language Development, Bilingualism
Mathematical Cognition and Language
Reading and Language Skills –
Speech and Language Impairment
Visual Development &
Developmental Science Careers
Many students who complete a PhD in the department
stay in academia, either going on to become postdoctoral researchers or
research assistants, and ultimately lecturers. Some go on to further training
in fields such as clinical psychology, educational psychology, consultancy or
applied research. A PhD degree taken here is recognised both nationally and
internationally as a qualification of the highest status.
Funding and Scholarship Opportunities
To be admitted as a research student, applicants
usually obtain a source of funding from a recognised funding body. Self-funded students
will only be admitted on a full-time basis if they can provide evidence that
they will have sufficient funds to support themselves for a minimum of three
UCL has been selected as a Doctoral Training Centre by
the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Division can offer a
small number of ESRC funded PhD Studentships. These are available to UK/EU
The Division also awards a number of
Demonstratorships/Teaching Assistantships. These involve a set number of hours
teaching but also allow time for MPhil/PhD study. These awards include a
stipend and tuition fees for MPhil/PhD. They are open to UK/EU and International Students.
UCL also awards a small number of Graduate School
Research Scholarships on a competitive basis. Students must be first nominated by the Research Department in order to
apply. These Scholarships are open to UK/EU or Oversees students (full stipend,
or fees only).
Other sources of funding include the UCL Grand
Challenges studentship programme, The Crucible Scholarship, The Stiftung
Foundation, the 4 year Welcome Scholarship. Prospective supervisors may also be able to suggests sources of funding
related to their specific topic of interest.
Individual members of staff may sometimes be able to
support students with the help of research funds that they have obtained from
the Research Councils or from various charities or other funding bodies. In
this latter case, students usually enrol on a part-time basis.
There are several sources of funding available specifically
for overseas students to undertake graduate training in the UK. Some funding is
awarded on a competitive basis by UCL to students nominated by their
Departments (e.g. UCL Graduate School Scholarships). Other sources of funding
require students to apply independently, (e.g. British Council, Commonwealth,
Chevening, WHO and NATO Scholarships, Government or Employers' Schemes). It is
important to make early enquiries about these independent schemes (up to a year
The following Research Councils have in the past
funded research students in Developmental Science: ESRC, MRC. For these and
other scholarship opportunities for UCL research degree programmes, please
select the link below: