Speech, Hearing, and Phonetic Sciences (SHaPS) is an international leader in the study of the perception and production of speech. Our graduates work in academia, industry, and the health and public sectors. We enjoy links to researchers around the world, as well as co-operation with major cochlear implant manufacturers and speech technology companies.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2020/21)
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 Students website.
Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree or a Master's degree in a relevant discipline 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.
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.
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The department combines basic research into the mechanisms of speech and hearing with applications to speech technology and hearing impairment, and takes an interdisciplinary approach to this work including Linguistics and Experimental Psychology. Our methodologies include behavioural experimentation; neuroimaging, neurostimulation and neurophysiology; acoustic and articulatory measurement of speech production; and computational modelling and machine learning. We test early development (infants and children) as well as normal adults and aging; normal hearing, hearing impairment, and speech in noise; and first and second language learning, bilingualism, and comparisons across languages and accents.
- Speech perception and production from infancy through later adulthood
- EEG, TMS and fMRI investigations of speech perception, production and hearing
- Hearing impairment and auditory prostheses for speech communication
- Speaker recognition and paralinguistics
- Sociophonetic analyses of accent change and development
- Second-language learning and bilingualism
- Quantitative modelling of tone, intonation, and rhythm
- Articulatory models of speech production
About this degree
Applications for UCL competitive funding must arrive by late December/early January for entry in September/October the following year. See Graduate Research (GRS) and Overseas Research Scholarships (ORS).
You are strongly advised to contact and work with your potential supervisor when completing your application for funding. ESRC funding is available for three-year MPhil/PhD scholarships and for 1+3 scholarships that include a year of Master's 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.
Recent graduates have secured academic teaching and research positions in speech, hearing science, and phonetics at UK and international universities, and at leading companies in the speech technology industry.
Our programme is distinctive in terms of the depth and variety of approaches to speech research, which gives our graduates varied employment opportunities in teaching, research, health, and industry.
We have strong collaborative links with external research groups, clinicians, and industry, including participation in a Marie Curie training network of European speech researchers. Students are encouraged to attend and present at departmental seminars, as well as participate in international conferences and workshops.
Why study this degree at UCL?
SHaPS focuses on speech research within an interdisciplinary context, with strong links to UCL Linguistics, Language and Cognition, Experimental Psychology, the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, and UCL Ear Institute, as well as international and industrial collaborations. The department shares a newly refurbished building and state-of-the-art laboratories, including facilities for adult and infant EEG, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, and eye tracking.
Department: Speech, Hearing & Phonetic Sciences
What our students and staff say
"The environment at UCL for research in my field (neuroscience) is unparalleled. Across UCL, there is not only tremendous breadth in neuroscience (molecular, cellular, systems, cognitive, computational), but also amazing depth. UCL's neuroscience community is so large and so diverse that even after 10 years at UCL I am still discovering colleagues here whose work is somehow directly relevant to my own."
Dr Jennifer LindenI supervise PhD and MSc students from the Ear Institute and also from the departments of Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology; Cell and Developmental Biology; Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences; and the Institute of Ophthalmology. I also teach topics related to hearing on MSc and BSc modules in many of these departments.
Reader in Neuroscience
"I am a second language learner of English; so learning about how we learn second languages and how people understand accented speech has always been a source of inspiration to me. UCL has amazing researchers and teaching staff as well as research equipment and facilities, which has enabled me to carry out great research. "
Jieun SongSpeech, Hearing and Phonetic 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.
- All applicants
- 30 June 2020
- Scholarship applicants
- 7 January 2020
Applications for competitive funding awarded by UCL must arrive by late December or early January for a September/October start. If other sources of funding are being considered, it is still in your interest to apply by January, but later applications can sometimes be considered. Applications should be made as soon as possible, and not later than 30 June for entry in September/October.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
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