UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


MSc Language Sciences - New students

Module Selection on MSc Language Sciences

Degrees at UCL are made up into a number of taught modules. Some are specified as part of the degree, and some you will be able to choose yourself. For students joining MSc Language Sciences choosing modules can seem a little daunting, whilst the programme has a defined structure which makes up the five different specialisations (sometimes called "strands"), there is also a lot of flexibility and it's easy to be a little overwhelmed by the range of modules on offer.

You can see the structure of your individual specialisation on the programme websites, but let's take a more general look at the way the programme is made up and how you will choose the modules you want to follow in 2018/19.

Banner image - programme structure

Mandatory modules

These are the modules that all students on the programme or specialisation follow. PALS0001: Introduction to the Brain and Imaging the Brain and PALS0002: Research Methods are the two taught modules which everyone will attend and make up the two biggest modules on the programme.  Individual specialisations also have mandatory modules which everyone follows: Neuroscience and Communication students all attend PLIN0047: Syntax and Linguistics with Neuroscience students will all be enrolled in PALS0005: Neuroscience of Language.

Core modules

This is where the taught component of your programme begins to specialise. You will choose a number of modules from a set list of options. For some specialisations there are more to choose from than others. Linguistics with Neuroscience students choose based on their specific linguistics interests so have a list of modules in different areas.  Sign Language & Deaf Studies students have a more prescriptive list with less flexibility dependent on previous sign language experience.

Optional modules

This is where the real flexibility is.  Depending on your specialisation, you will choose between one and four modules from any postgraduate modules currently offered in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences (and sometimes wider afield).  You won't have to make this decision alone.  You will meet with your Strand Coordinator to talk about what you are interested in; what research you might want to do and what you have previously studied before making your final decision.

Space will be limited on all optional modules, and space cannot always be guaranteed so, whilst there is no rush to decide, it's good to think about what you might like to do before arriving and come to your meeting with your Strand Coordinator prepared.

On your programme website, under the programme structure you will see we have listed optional modules.  These are just suggestions for suitable, popular modules.  You do not have to choose from this list, and you are also able to choose modules which are listed as Core modules.

banner image - choosing modules

So, where can you find information about modules and how will you actually choose them?

Once you have completed enrolment you'll be able to complete the process of module selection using UCL's student portal, Portico. The actual process is straightforward, but we'll be here to help you through it.  You are not expected to choose modules before you arrive at UCL, but it's good to familiarise yourself with what's available.

You will choose modules for both terms when you enrol, with an opportunity to make amendments before term two begins.  Part-time students only select modules for their current year of study.

The best, quickest source of information on modules in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences is the Module Database. You can use the Module Database to search for keywords or specific module titles and then see a short description; see who teaches the module and how it is assessed.  You can also see the timetable for the module, though the 2018/19 timetable may not be visible yet, the 2017/18 should be a reliable guide for most modules.  Your programme website will also include links for each module to the Module Database entry.

There are also published Module Information Sheets for an increasing number of the postgraduate modules in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences. These have similar information to the Module Database but are more descriptive and likely to include things like planned lecture lists and methods of feedback.

2017/18 module information is available now as a guide, all information for 2018/19 will be updated for the end of July.

Module Database

Module Information Sheets - Language Sciences

Module Information Sheets - Linguistics

If you have any questions about module selection before you arrive you can contact the Programme Administrator (p.buchanan@ucl.ac.uk, 020 7679 4274)