Psychology and Language Sciences MSci

London, Bloomsbury

Become the next generation of psychology and language sciences experts by studying UCL's Psychology and Language Science MSci course. We are ranked fourth in the world for Psychology in the ShanghaiRanking Global Ranking of Academic Subjects for 2023.

On this integrated Master's course, accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), you will study modules across psychology, language sciences, and linguistics. The first three years are identical to our undergraduate BSc course, but in your fourth year, you will gain additional experience by completing a placement either with a UCL research group or in a workplace (applied) setting, in addition to completing another research project.

UK students International students
Study mode
Full-time
Duration
4 academic years
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
£9,250
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
£37,500
Programme starts
September 2025
Application deadline
29 Jan 2025
UCAS course code
CB87

Entry requirements

Grades
A*AA
Subjects
To include one subject from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics or Psychology.
GCSEs
English Language, Mathematics and two Sciences (double award acceptable) at grade B or 6.

Contextual offer information

Contextual offers are typically one to two grades lower than the standard offer. Grade and subject requirements for contextual offers for this programme will be published in Summer 2024.

Points
39
Subjects
A total of 19 points in three higher level subjects to include grade 6 in one subject from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics or Psychology, with no higher level score below 5. If Mathematics is offered at higher level, the programme will accept either 'Analysis and Approaches' or 'Applications and Interpretation.

Contextual offer

Contextual offers are typically one to two grade boundaries (equivalent to A levels) lower than the standard offer. IB Diploma grade and subject requirements for contextual offers for this programme will be published in Summer 2024.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

D2,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, including one subject from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology.

A1,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A1,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher), including A in one subject from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology at Advanced Higher.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades A*AA, including one subject from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology.

International applications

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

Access and widening participation

UCL is committed to widening access to higher education. If you are eligible for Access UCL you do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application. Your application will be automatically flagged when we receive it.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPC) prepare international students for a UCL undergraduate degree who don’t have the qualifications to enter directly. These intensive one-year foundation courses are taught on our central London campus.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

The English language level for this programme is: Level 3

Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Course overview

The Psychology and Language Sciences MSci is a four-year course that develops students’ knowledge and expertise in psychology, language sciences, linguistics and communication. You can also find out more about the three-year undergraduate BSc course here.

Communication and language are fundamental to human behaviour, how we perceive the world, and how we interact with one another. By studying Psychology and Language Sciences, you will gain a unique perspective and education that opens up a wide variety of further study and career destinations.

The first two years of your degree comprise mainly compulsory modules taken by all students. These will develop your broad knowledge of psychology and language sciences. You will study fundamental topics such as the neural basis of perception, memory and language, social psychology, individual differences, speech production and perception, and the development of communication and cognition.

Skills in planning, running and analysing experiments are taught in research methods modules and laboratory classes in Year One and Year Two. You will start writing your own research lab reports early in your studies, developing your confidence in statistical research and data analysis.

Students in the second year can complete a weekly observational placement with children in an early years’ setting (for which a DBS check is required). This is offered to students as part of the Development of Communication and Cognition module which enables you to develop observational research techniques and relate developmental models of play and language to your real-life observations.

In your third year, you will choose a research project (similar to a dissertation in other courses) to be completed under the supervision of an expert in your chosen field. Your research project is the culmination of your studies where you will demonstrate the knowledge and skills gained throughout your studies. Alongside your research project, you will select six optional modules from a broad range of specialised areas, many of which relate to professional and research interests (e.g., educational psychology, behaviour change, speech and language therapy, neuroscience of language). This allows you to specialise your studies in the areas that interest you, with many students selecting modules that are tied to their future postgraduate study and career ambitions.

The final year consists of a project based either on research conducted at UCL (in the research pathway) or on a workplace setting (the applied pathway). Students on both pathways each take a different research methods module. Students then take additional Master’s-level modules to make up the remainder of their credits. These are mostly taught modules, but the Practical Research Skills module also offers additional mini placements working in UCL labs.

Students on both pathways with at least a 2.2 class degree award will receive a BPS-accredited MSci qualification.

What this course will give you

The UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences is known worldwide for its teaching and research in the fields of psychology, speech sciences, and linguistics. The work of our staff appears in internationally acclaimed journals and books. You will be joining a community of academics and researchers who are actively involved in the subjects that they teach.

Our departments continuously produce innovative, cutting-edge, and highly cited research. Students are encouraged to engage with our research community and will be invited to research lectures throughout the year, as well as there being opportunities to apply for research internships.

This course provides experiential learning in our research specialisms, emphasising the complementary nature of psychology, speech sciences and linguistics, and providing special insights into the human mind, language, and communication.

There are two specialist routes to this programme: research and applied.

  • Students on the research route will be embedded within a UCL research lab or department for most of their final year, working alongside world-leading researchers and their teams to produce an independent piece of research.
  • Students on the applied route will gain experience of applying psychology and language science theory within a workplace setting and will also be exposed to the challenges of carrying out research within a work environment. Typical applied setting routes include NHS Trusts, partner research institutes, charities, and the private sector.

Please note, it is not possible to guarantee a particular workplace or research lab setting for your final year placement. Although we will try to support you in finding a placement option that best fits with your future study and career ambitions, placements are limited by local availability.

If you choose the research route in the fourth year, you will gain advanced research skills and join world-leading researchers in the lab. Students on the applied route will meet the challenges of carrying out research in the workplace, for example, in a clinical or educational setting.

As this is an integrated Master’s course, students will graduate with a Level 7 qualification (the same level of standalone MSc courses) and is a great option for students looking to pursue both a clinical or research career. Many of our students pursue careers in clinical and educational psychology, teaching, speech and language therapy, or audiology. The skills and knowledge you gain from this course will prepare you well for applying to PhD programmes or professional programmes like the DClinPsy.

Reflecting the many transferable skills you will gain, 85% of graduates are working or in further study 15 months after graduating, with many in diverse fields including business, research, therapy, public services, and health (GOS 2020-21).

You will benefit from excellent resources including our virtual learning environment (VLE), which makes all teaching materials (including course outlines, lecture presentation slides, handouts, video recordings of lectures) available to all students. Research lab spaces and computer rooms are available during your studies. The Division of Psychology and Language Sciences is also home to the departmental Psychology Society which is student-run and has many social activities as well as external guest lecturers and talks presented throughout the year.

Additionally:

  • We are top in the UK for research power in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, with more than 90% of our research rated as world-leading or internationally excellent (UK Research Excellence Framework 2021).
  • UCL is consistently ranked as one of the top ten universities in the world (QS World University Rankings 2010-2024).
  • We are ranked 5th in the world for Psychology (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023).
  • UCL is 2nd in Europe and 3rd in the world for Psychiatry / Psychology in the National Taiwan University Rankings for scientific papers (2023).

Teaching and learning

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Upon successful completion of 480 credits, you will be awarded a MSci (Hons) in Psychology and Language Sciences.

Modules

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. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

The first two years of your degree comprise mainly compulsory modules taken by all students which will provide you with broad-based knowledge of psychology and language sciences.

You will develop your core knowledge of psychology and language sciences by studying the neural basis of perception, memory and language, social psychology, individual differences, speech production and perception, and the development of communication and cognition.

You will also study research and statistical methods, reflecting the research-intensive community you will be joining. Additional academic writing support is provided for students to develop their confidence in these areas. Your research methods learning provides many transferable skills, including developing your own hypotheses, data gathering, data analysis, and problem solving.

In your second year, you will complete a weekly observational placement with children in an early years’ setting (for which a DBS check is required). You will enhance your empirical research skills by developing observational research techniques and relate developmental models of play and language to your real-life observations.

In your third year you will choose a research project to be completed under the supervision of an expert in your chosen field. You will be embedded into one of the research groups within the department, gaining exposure to experienced researchers as part of your own learning. Alongside your final research project, you will be able to select six optional modules from a broad range of specialised content areas. These will allow you to develop your own interests within the fields of psychology and language sciences, and many students select modules that are directly related to their future career goals. For example, you will be able to study clinical and educational psychology, teaching, speech and language therapy, or audiology.

The final year consists of a 60-credit project based either on research conducted at UCL (in the research pathway) or on a workplace setting (the applied pathway). Reflecting the advanced level of study, your research project in your final year accounts for half of your credits in Year Four and double the credit value of the research project on the Psychology BSc. Students on both pathways each take a different research methods module. Students then take additional Master’s-level modules to make up the remainder of their credits.

These are mostly taught modules, but Practical Research Skills also offers additional mini-placements working in UCL labs. Students on both pathways receive a BPS-accredited MSci qualification.

Students on both pathways with at least a 2.2 class degree award will receive a BPS-accredited MSci qualification.

Your learning

Your learning will be dynamic and engaging, making use of different study modes. You will attend lectures (sometimes shared with students on other courses), smaller laboratory classes, and back-up classes. Regular group tutorials with a member of academic staff will provide an opportunity to integrate your learning and discuss the topics you have studied in more detail. Each student has regular meetings with a personal tutor to discuss academic progress.

A core component of the second year of the degree is a weekly placement with young children. Students observe and take part in classroom activities as well as carry out tasks with individual children. These activities enable you to relate university-based learning on the development of communication and cognition to real-life observations – bringing to life your studies and developing several transferrable skills (such as critical thinking, reflection, and communication). As the placement involves working with children, all students are required to undergo a check with the UK Disclosure and Barring Service.

In the fourth year during Term 1 and Term 2, students will spend on average three days a week on either their research or workplace (applied) placement. The majority of the placement time will be spent working on a single, substantial research project. On the research pathway, projects are likely to form part of the supervisor's existing research programme. Projects on the applied pathway will be based on a topic generated by the placement provider.

Depending on year of study and module choice, the number of contact hours typically average between 8-12 hours a week with further time spent in self-directed study. A 15-credit module typically requires 150 hours of notional student learning time comprised broadly of teaching time, independent study, assessment and feedback. These reflect nationally accepted norms of 10 hours of student learning for each credit, based on national norms of 120 credits per academic year for undergraduate students.

Assessment

Each module is examined separately, often by a combination of essays, data exercises and examinations and performance is always assessed in the same academic year in which you take it.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

UCL BLOOMSBURY CAMPUS, WC1H 0AH AND UCL EAST, E20 2AE, LONDON, UK - Open day

Undergraduate In-person Open Days

Visit UCL in person to explore the programmes we offer, chat with students and staff, learn about student life at UCL and ask any questions you may have. At this year’s event, you will get the chance to explore UCL’s rich and radical history at both our historical Bloomsbury and the new East campuses. You only need to attend one of the two dates, but you are welcome to visit us at both locations. Book your place and start planning your visit on our Undergraduate Open Days page.

Online - Open day

Undergraduate Psychology at PALS - Virtual Discovery Session

Join the UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences to find out more about studying one of our undergraduate psychology courses. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about studying Psychology BSc/MSci and Psychology and Language Sciences BSc/MSci at UCL. You will get to hear from academic staff who teach on our programmes and get an opportunity to ask them questions.

The foundation of your career

As this is a research-intensive course, students will gain advanced training in qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. Additionally, graduates will have transferable skills in autonomy and responsibility, teamwork, and delivering presentations.

While many of our graduates have gone on to work in the National Health Service (NHS), others have gone on to work in education, social care and research. Our graduates have gone on to work as psychologists, writers, researchers and teachers.

Data is from the Graduate Outcomes survey carried out by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), looking at the destinations of UK and EU graduates from 2017-18 to 2020-21.

The fourth year on the integrated Master’s course will be of particular benefit to those students who wish to pursue a career in research (e.g., progressing to a PhD) or in clinical or educational work. Our aim is to help you develop advanced interdisciplinary research and transferable skills valuable in a wide range of careers.

Employability

The cutting-edge experimental, empirical, and statistical/computational tools employed in this degree will enable you to develop and evaluate ideas across the areas of human psychology and communication, providing you with an exceptional base for further research in these areas.

Accreditation

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society. UK applicants for graduate membership and the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) require a minimum of a lower second-class Bachelor's degree. Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership is required for entry to all accredited postgraduate and doctoral programmes as part of the route to becoming a chartered psychologist. As a graduate, you will be eligible to become a member of the BPS.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £9,250
Tuition fees (2024/25) £37,500

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2024/25 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2024/25 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.

Additional costs

This programme has no additional costs. If you require a DBS check, the cost for this will be paid by UCL.

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).

Funding your studies

Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Scholarships

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Next steps

Your application

Aside from meeting the entry requirements for this course, we particularly welcome applications from students who are passionate about understanding the intersectionality of psychology and language. As our students learn statistical analysis of data, we require our applicants to be ready to engage with quantitative methods. It is also important that you consider the additional academic challenge that comes in your fourth year.

If you have work experience that you want to include in your personal statement, we recommend that you include this, but it is important you to make this relevant to the fields of psychology and language sciences. Applicants are also encouraged to consider the current research output of the department.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Selection

For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.

We invite all applicants who are offered a place to attend an applicant open day. This is intended to allow candidates to make an informed decision about whether the degree programme is right for them. We recommend attending the open day at the university. However, students unable to attend will be offered a virtual open day.

Applicants may be asked for additional information, including the completion of a questionnaire, prior to a decision being made.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.