The specialisation in sign language and deaf studies is unique amongst existing Master's degrees in providing a thorough multidisciplinary introduction to the psychology and linguistics and neuroscience of deafness and sign language. Students also have the opportunity to study introductory British Sign Language.
Modes and duration
Final research project submissions are in September, meaning that the programme runs over the course of 12 months (full-time) or 24 months (part-time).
Tuition fees (2021/22)
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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.
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 science related area such as linguistics, speech sciences, English language, psychology, cognitive science, or a cognate discipline.
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
UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses
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.
Select your country:
About this degree
Students take a core set of modules building a foundation to study current issues and research in the language sciences, specialising in language development. In selecting the modules for their specialisation, students will be able to take full advantage of the breadth of expertise in language research in the UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two compulsory modules (45 credits), up to four optional modules (45/60 credits), up to two elective modules (15/30 credits) and a research project (60 credits).
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Language Sciences (Sign Language and Deaf Studies).
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
- Introduction to the Brain and Imaging the Brain
- Research Methods: Principles, Skills and Applications
- Students who already have BSL level 1 (or equivalent) select the following three specialisation modules:
- Deafness: Cognition and Language
- Deaf Culture and Identities
- Linguistics of Sign Languages
Students who do not have BSL CACDP level 1 (or equivalent) will also be required to select Introduction to British Sign Language (BSL).
Students select up to two modules from all those offered within UCL Psychology and Language Sciences, subject to availability and agreement with the Programme Director. Students without BSL CACDP level 1 will only choose one elective module. A list of possible options is listed below:
- Interaction and Language Management of Interpreting
- The Historical and Social Context of Interpreting
- Multimodal Communication and Cognition
- Foundations of Linguistics
- Introduction to Children's Language Development
These are suggested elective modules, not a prescribed list
Not all modules will run every year; some modules may require a minimum number of registered students.
All students undertake an independent research project in an area of language science which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, small-group teaching and a virtual learning environment. Some modules also involve workshops or practical classes. Student performance is assessed through coursework, examinations and the research project.
Data collection for some Research Projects may involve contact with children or vulnerable adults. A Discolure and Barring (DBS) check may be required for these projects. As a student you will not incur the cost of this application.
You may incur expenses in completion of your Research Project, for example travelling or paying test subjects. These costs will be approved in advance of being incurred and you will be reimbursed.
For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.
Up to four departmental scholarships of £2,400 are available. All candidates holding an offer of admission by 1 June (for year of entry) will be considered based on academic merit. There is no need to make a separate application for these opportunities.
It is strongly recommended that applications are submitted no later than four weeks before this deadline.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
The majority of students who graduate from Language Sciences MSc programmes go on to further study or research. Recent graduates have gone on to PhD study in UCL, and in other UK and overseas institutions. Others have gone to work in related industries (for example in speech technology industries, cochlear implants manufacturers) or in education. The skills that the MSc develops - independent research, presentation skills, and statistics - are transferable skills that are very highly sought after outside academia.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences and Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre undertake 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.
Department: Division of Psychology & Language 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.
This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
This programme is designed for students with a background in a related discipline who wish to deepen their knowledge prior to registering for a research degree in language development. It may also appeal to individuals currently working in areas such as education, interpreting, speech and language therapy, audiology and speech technology.
- Visa nationals
- 31 May 2021
- Non-visa nationals
- 30 July 2021
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 the chosen programme
- how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this rigorous 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.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.