UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


MPhil/PhD Speech Hearing and Phonetic Sciences

  • Our internationally leading research on the perception and production of speech spans the disciplines of phonetics, hearing, perception, neurobiology and computational modelling.
  • Basic science connects to practical applications addressing hearing impairment, atypical perceptual and cognitive development, language training, and security/forensic technologies.
  • We share a refurbished building and state-of-the-art laboratory facilities with UCL Developmental Science, Language and Communication, and Linguistics.
  • We have close ties to the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and the UCL Ear Institute, and industrial links with major cochlear implant manufacturers and companies in the speech technology sector.

Full-time: 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.

Part time: 5 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 2 additional years.


Graduate Tutor: Paul Iverson

PhD Administrator: Richard Jardine

A full list of all academic staff (and their research interests) in the Research Department of Speech Hearing and Phonetic Sciences can be found here: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/pals/research/shaps/people

Research Topics
Accents, sociophonetics, and talker interaction
Patti Adankp.adank@ucl.ac.uk
Bronwen Evansbronwen.evans@ucl.ac.uk
Paul Iversonp.iverson@ucl.ac.uk
Carolyn McGettiganc.mcgettigan@ucl.ac.uk
Audiovisual speech perception
Carolyn McGettiganc.mcgettigan@ucl.ac.uk
First and second language acquisition
Bronwen Evansbronwen.evans@ucl.ac.uk
Paul Iversonp.iverson@ucl.ac.uk
Yi Xuy.xu@ucl.ac.uk


Hearing, hearing impairment, and language disorders

Stuart Rosens.rosen@ucl.ac.uk
Neuroimaging of speech processing
Patti Adankp.adank@ucl.ac.uk
Paul Iversonp.iverson@ucl.ac.uk
Carolyn McGettiganc.mcgettigan@ucl.ac.uk
Stuart Rosens.rosen@ucl.ac.uk
Speech recognition in noise and degraded conditions
Bronwen Evansbronwen.evans@ucl.ac.uk
Carolyn McGettiganc.mcgettigan@ucl.ac.uk
Stuart Rosens.rosen@ucl.ac.uk
Speech technology
Yi Xuy.xu@ucl.ac.uk
Chris Carignanc.carignan@ucl.ac.uk
Tone, prosody, emotion and pitch processing
Yi Xuy.xu@ucl.ac.uk
Carolyn McGettiganc.mcgettigan@ucl.ac.uk
Speech articulation and acoustics 
Chris Carignanc.carignan@ucl.ac.uk
Sound change and evolution 
Chris Carignanc.carignan@ucl.ac.uk
Carolyn McGettiganc.mcgettigan@ucl.ac.uk



Recent graduates have secured academic positions in speech or hearing science in the UK at institutions such as Kingston University, City University, Manchester University, and UCL; and across the world at the University of Canterbury (New Zealand), and University of Washington. They have secured positions in the speech technology industry in companies such as Microsoft and Toshiba UK.

How to Apply

 Before applying, you should:

  • Have or expect to have a relevant first degree or Master's degree of 1st class or 2.1 standard in UK system, or equivalent for overseas degrees.
  • Have a commitment to and demonstrated ability in research. Often your previous experience and performance, such as in an undergraduate or a Master's research project, will show whether research is right for you and you are right for research.
  • Overseas applicants also need to satisfy the English Language requirement.

If you meet the above criteria, the next step is to check whether we can supervise research in your chosen area. We only take MPhil/PhD students to whom we can offer expert research supervision from one of our academic staff. Therefore, your research question needs to engage with the research interests of one of our staff.

Select one or at most two potential supervisors whose research interests are related to yours, and send them an email containing:

  • a brief CV
  • a clear statement that you are interested in studying for a PhD, stating when you would start, and how you would plan to fund the research
  • a brief statement of your research question or interest, and how you think the question could be investigated.

Our academic staff are quite happy to receive approaches like this, in order that they can liaise with you to identify a potential research focus of mutual interest.

Once a supervisor has been found you will be asked to submit a formal UCL application form.     You should provide a research proposal of between 1000-1500 words with your application form.

To be considered for most funding opportunities you will need to have submitted an application form by early January of the year you wish to start.  Please check specific funding webpages for exact deadline dates.

Scholarships/Funding and Application Deadlines

To be admitted as a research student, applicants usually obtain a source of funding from a recognised funding body. To be eligible for any funding opportunities it is essential that you have identified a research supervisor and have agreed a research project with them. Details of the main funding opportunities that are available are listed below.

Graduate Research Scholarships (GRS and ORS)

UCL awards a small number of Graduate Research Scholarships on a competitive basis.  These Scholarships are open to UK/EU (GRS) and Overseas students (ORS).

The Graduate Research Scholarships cover the cost of UCL's tuition fees and provide a maintenance stipend (2017/18: £16,777) for full-time study. The scholarship also includes an allowance for additional research costs of up to £1,000 per year for the stated duration of the programme.

Further information about the Graduate Research Scholarships and other UCL scholarship opportunities can be found here.

ESRC - Economic and Social Research Council

The ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership invites applications for studentships in language sciences (e.g., speech, language and communication; experimental phonetics, linguistics and pragmatics; developmental and acquired disorders; and hearing impairments). The funding can be for three years (+3) of PhD study, or include funding for a masters degree year (1+3).

The preliminary application form and full details about this funding including the eligibility requirements can be found on the UCL, Bloomsbury and East London (UBEL) ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership website.

AHRC - Arts and Humanities Research Council

The AHRC funded London Arts & Humanities Doctoral Training Partnership (LAHP) will be awarding studentships to UK and EU research students studying arts and humanities disciplines. Candidates should be aware that the LAHP studentship competition is a twin-track process, and you will need to apply for a place of study on your chosen PhD programme and to LAHP for a studentship. 

Please go to the LAHP website here to find the application form and further information on the application process and eligibility requirements.


The Division often awards a number of Demonstratorships/Teaching Assistantships. These posts involve a set number of hours of teaching or other work each term but  allow time for the completion of a MPhil/PhD programme over 4 years. These awards include a maintenance stipend and the payment of UCL's tuition fees. They are only available to students from the UK.

Other Funding

Individual members of academic staff may sometimes be able to support students with the help of research funds that they have obtained from the Research Councils, various charities or other funding bodies.  You should ask your prospective supervisor if they have any other funding options available.

Overseas Students

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 above). 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 inquiries about these independent schemes (up to a year in advance).

Self Funding

It is possible for students to self-fund their PhD studies,  either as a full-time or part time student.  However, 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 years.
English resident UK students will have the option of a PhD government loan from 2018 onwards.  Further information about the loans can be found on findaphd.com.

Self funded students should submit an application form by 30 June 2022 in order to start in September 2022.

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