UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


MSc Language Sciences (Sign Language and Deaf Studies)

Key Information

Programme starts

28 September 2020

Modes and duration
Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Final research project submissions are in August, meaning that the programme runs over the course of 12 months (full-time) or 24 months (part-time).

Tuition Fees (2020/21)
£11,170 (FT) £5,555 (PT)
£28,530 (FT) £14,320 (PT)
Application deadlines
All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 24 July 2020

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 in a language-related area such as deaf studies, linguistics, speech sciences, English language, psychology, cognitive science, or a cognate discipline.

Country-specific information, including details of international equivalence and when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

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.


MSc Language Sciences provides an opportunity for in-depth study in one or more areas of the language sciences with five separate specialised routes that follow a common structure.  All students on the programme take a core set of modules and then have the opportunity to tailor their degree in a specific area of the language sciences which is aligned to their interest. Through these specialised modules you will develop or build upon existing research interests and work collaboratively with a member of academic staff to complete an independent research project investigating a specific aspect of human language or communication.

This specialisation in Sign Language and Deaf Studies is unique amongst existing Master's degrees in including components in the psychology and linguistics and neuroscience of deafness and sign language, taught by staff at the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre. Students also have the opportunity to study introductory British Sign Language.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The division 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.


The MSc in Language Sciences (Sign Language and Deaf Studies) includes mandatory modules, core modules and optional modules.

Compulsory modules

PALS0001: Introduction to the Brain and Imaging the Brain - 15 credits
PALS0002: Research Methods - Principles, skills and applications - 30 credits
PALS0025: Research Project - 60 credits

Optional modules

In consultation with the Strand Coordinator, you will register for up to 60 credits chosen from the following modules:
PALS0020: Deafness - Cognition and Language - 15 credits
PALS0026: Introductory British Sign Language (BSL) - 15 credits
Students who already have BSL CACDP level 1 should choose 45 credits from optional modules and 30 credits from elective modules.
PALS0032: Introduction to Deafhood - 15 credits
PLIN0036: Linguistics of Sign Languages - 15 credits

Elective modules

Finally, students register for 15 credits from the modules below, or other suitable modules from other departments at UCL (Students who have BSL CACDP level 1 or equivalent should choose 30 credits)

CMII0107: Interaction and Language Management of Interpreting (15 credits)
CMII0108: The Historical and Social Context of Interpreting (15 credits)
CCME0098: Multimodal Communication and Cognition (15 credits)
PLIN0008: Introduction to Children's Language Development (15 credits)
PLIN0032: Sociolinguistics (15 credits)
PLIN0048: Foundations of Linguistics (15 credits)

Not all modules will run every year.


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 related background who wish to deepen their knowledge prior to registering for a research degree in a related area. It may also appeal to individuals currently working in areas such as education, interpretation, speech and language therapy, audiology and speech technology. Applicants should have a degree in a language-related area such as linguistics, speech sciences, English language, psychology, cognitive science, deaf studies or a cognate discipline.

Applications from deaf students are particularly encouraged. Information about communication support (e.g. British Sign Language interpreters, notetaking, etc) can be found on the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing site. Sign language interpreting support is provided between British Sign Language and English; students will be expected to have learnt and be able to communicate in BSL before they start the course.

Application deadlines
All applicants
24 July 2020

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 this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this 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.


The majority of students who graduate from MSc Language Sciences programmes go on to further study or research.  Recent graduates have gone on to PhD study in UCL, other UK institutions and prestigious overseas universities. Other students have gone on to diverse roles related to Language Sciences such as audiology, education and speech and hearing technology.
Many students, especially studying Neuroscience and Communication are already working as Speech and Language Therapists and see MSc Language Sciences as an opportunity to deepen their knowledge in a specific area and gain research skills.

We also have a number of students who see the value of having a postgraduate degree when looking for employment and want to study something they find interesting, while not necessarily related to their field of work.

UCL provides advice, guidance and workshops on Careers and Employability through its Careers service.

Contact us

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

Register your interest

Programme Director: Dr Bronwen Evans

The programme director has overall responsibility for the programme, it's students and teaching.  Each specialisation also has a Strand Coordinator who is the member of academic staff you are likely to interact with most often.  Strand Coordinators are responsible for the students and teaching on each of the individual specialisations.

The flexibility of the programme means that modules are taught by academic staff drawn from across the Division of Psychology & Language Sciences.

In addition, we can call on the support of visiting lecturers, Teaching Fellows and Postgraduate Teaching Assistants.

Teaching Administrator: Pete Buchanan

Postgraduate loan for master's degrees (UK/EEU students)

Eligible Students starting a postgraduate degree can apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 to help with programme fees and living costs.
You can find more information on the UK Government website:

MSc Language Sciences departmental scholarships

Up to four departmental scholarships of £2,400 will be available for students applying for the MSc in Language Sciences. Candidates holding an offer of admission to UCL for the MSc Language Sciences by 1 June in the year of entry will be considered for these awards. It is therefore strongly recommended that applications for admission to UCL are submitted as early as possible, and certainly no later than six weeks before the 1 June scholarship deadline. These scholarships will be primarily awarded on the basis of academic merit rather than according to financial need. Successful applicants will be students with outstanding academic potential and will have achieved excellent results in the qualifications already obtained. Please note that these scholarships cannot be held in conjunction with other scholarship/studentship funding.

UCL Scholarships

For information on general scholarship opportunities, please select the link below:


More information

UCL Language Sciences – Teaching Philosophy

Staff and students discuss teaching philosophy for language sciences at UCL

UCL Language Sciences – Chandler House Tour

MSc Language Sciences is based in Chandler House in Bloomsbury, London; take a tour of the building in our new video.