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Linguistics MPhil/PhD

The Linguistics PhD at UCL provides excellent training for anyone intending to pursue an academic career in research/lecturing in the dynamic field of linguistics (or adjacent areas within cognitive science). It gives students unparalleled contact with the top intellects in the discipline and opportunities to participate in international conferences.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 3 years
Part time: 5 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

UK/EU:
£4,915 (FT) £2,455 (PT)
Overseas:
£17,710 (FT) £9,020 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Close: 30 June 2017
Scholarship applicants
Close: 16 January 2017

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 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.

International students

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.

Select your country:

Overview

The UCL Linguistics research department is known internationally for its outstanding work in all areas of theoretical linguistics and for its growing strength in experimental work. Our staff carry out research aimed at discovering the nature and origin of language, its acquisition by children and its use in communication. We encourage and facilitate cross-disciplinary interaction with psychologists, cognitive scientists and philosophers working on language and communication. Undertaking a research degree in this department means you will be supervised by scholars who are leaders in their field with the expert up-to-date knowledge needed to guide you in shaping your own original research contribution.

Research areas

The research department is pre-eminent in theoretical linguistics, especially in syntax, semantics and pragmatics, phonology, and normal and abnormal language development.
  • Language development: language acquisition (syntax morphology and lexicon); development of communicative and pragmatic abilities; experimental pragmatics; pragmatics and atypical development
  • Neurolinguistics: semantic, syntactic and morphological deficits in aphasia; noun-verb differences in different populations
  • Phonology: relation between phonological representations and the speech signal; syllable typology; phonological variation and change
  • Semantics and pragmatics: relevance theory; philosophy of language; the semantics/ pragmatics interface; formal semantics and pragmatics; foundations of communication; semantic/pragmatic deficits in autism and other syndromes
  • Syntax: relation between syntax and information structure (topic/focus); interactions between different movement types; syntactic and morphological deficits in aphasia and other syndromes; (research is carried out in a broadly Chomskyan framework).
More information can be found on the department website: Linguistics MPhil/PhD

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

Recent graduates have pursued careers in academic teaching and research in linguistics; high school teaching; the civil service; speech and language therapy (for children and adults); experimental work on children’s language development and artificial intelligence (human-machine interaction).

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Teaching Fellow in Linguistics, University of Leeds
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Université Paris Diderot

Employability

The skills and knowledge gained from this research degree include: specialist knowledge of phonology, syntax, semantics or pragmatics as required to become a teacher/researcher in academic linguistics; expert grasp of specific language issues or problems leading to a range of linguistically oriented careers, for example being a legal court interpreter, a speech and communication therapist, a field linguist, translator or recorder of endangered languages; expertise in experimental techniques for studying language processing, which equip the graduate for research work in a language lab; precise knowledge of computational techniques, enabling the graduate to work in IT businesses.

Networking

The opportunities for networking are vast as we invite many eminent international linguists and enable our students to attend seminars and conferences in the UK and overseas. Completion of a research degree with us will give you excellent credentials for entry into the competitive international linguistics job market.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Linguistics is outstanding in itself and also has wide-ranging links with other excellent linguistics departments across London. Our doctoral students are supervised by world leaders in the field. Located within the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, cross-disciplinary training and joint supervision is possible (with scholars in psychology, neuroscience, speech-science, etc.). We run a weekly graduate school, ‘Advanced Core Training in Linguistics’ , and a summer school, both taught by eminent scholars from the UK and Europe.

Department: Linguistics

Student / staff numbers › 15 staff including 4 postdocs › 23 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Linguistics
83% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

What our students and staff say

Student view

"I love the problem solving aspect - finding a set of data and trying to work out an analysis. In some ways my work is very scientific, almost mathematical, and I enjoy spending time thinking in the abstract. At the same time, coming up with good data sets to look for is creative, and lets me play with language in a more artistic way."

Zoe Belk

Linguistics MPhil/PhD
Student view

"The multidisciplinary nature of my degree programme is definitely its most attractive and exciting feature. Linguistics can really cut across several fields: philosophy, medicine, machine learning..."

Caterina Paolazzi

Linguistics PhD
Student view

"There are lots of chances to do interdisciplinary work with the way that the Psychology and Language Sciences division is set up. I started out doing philosophy, then linguistics, and now I'm learning techniques from experimental psychology. These different skillsets have been really useful for my PhD work."

Lewis Pollock

Linguistics PhD

Application and next steps

Applications

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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
30 June 2017
Scholarship applicants
16 January 2017

Applications for competitive funding awarded by UCL must arrive by December 2016 or early January 2017. If other sources of funding are being considered, it is still in your interest to apply by this deadline, 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

Contact information

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