How do children learn to reason in increasingly abstract ways? How do they learn language with such remarkable speed and fluidity? How do children use their reasoning and language skills to help them explain and understand people’s behaviour and emotions? Why does the amount of information that we can hold in mind at once increase from early childhood to adulthood? Why does children’s ability to control their own thinking, attention and behaviour improve as they get older? How does the development of children’s brains affect their behaviour, memory and ability to learn?
In this taught programme on Developmental Cognitive Science, you will learn how questions like these can be addressed using research techniques from several inter-related disciplines (e.g., Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Computational Science, Neuroscience, Linguistics).
This programme aims to enhance your understanding of key theoretical and practical issues about typical and atypical development in children and young people, from a cognitive science perspective. It also aims to equip you with the skills required to conduct independent scientific research that addresses key issues in developmental cognitive science.
The University of Edinburgh has a long tradition of research expertise in developmental psychology and in cognitive science. This programme brings these two strands together focusing on a developmental cognitive science approach to both typical and atypical development in children and young people.
You will benefit from the breadth and strength of the interdisciplinary academic community at Edinburgh, for example by having the opportunity to select option courses and attend research seminars across different disciplines.
You will undertake the following:
Core courses (worth 100 credits in total):
2 option courses worth 20 credits in total:
And a Dissertation in Developmental Cognitive Science (60 credits)
The overall aim of the proposed programme is to advance students’ understanding of how questions about developmental changes in children’s cognitive abilities can be addressed using scientific methods drawn from a range of fields, including developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, computational modelling, neuroscience and linguistics. More specifically, the programme aims to:
Students who successfully complete the programme will be able to:
Career opportunities for graduates from this programme include:
This MSc gives students all of the intellectual and practical skills to engage in linguistics research, either for its own sake, or as part of cross-disciplinary research.
Students graduating from our programme will understand how to analyse key data in syntax, semantics, phonology, and morphology, how to theorise such data, and how to exploit empirical methods to test their theories.
The key aims of the programme are to:
We offer a strong focus on theoretical understanding: students will learn how to analyse data in the context of current theoretical understanding of linguistic structure at all levels, drawing on the expertise of the department, which is particularly strong in theory development, and will be well placed to compare and evaluate competing proposals, both from within the same theoretical model, and from competing models. Additionally, students will acquire the necessary data-elicitation skills, and skills in naturally occurring data in corpora.
All of these skills provide a firm foundation for further PhD study, either in Linguistics or in a related discipline that makes heavy use of core Linguistics (e.g. Developmental Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, etc.).
The programme is best suited to applicants whose academic background is in Linguistics, English Language, Philology or Cognitive Science.
The programme (a total of 180 credit points) requires students without a background in Linguistics to take the following five core courses totalling 50 credits:
Students with a background in Linguistics may be exempted from any or all of the courses at the Programme Director’s discretion.
Students will also need to choose, under the guidance of the programme director, additional course options (totalling 70 credits for students with no background) from an approved list of level 11 courses; students who are exempted from any of the courses listed will have to choose courses to ensure that their total number of credits excluding the dissertation comes to 120.
All students are expected to take Introduction to Language Research.
It is possible for students to take up to 20 credits of their optional courses from other MSc options offered within the School subject to the Programme Director’s approval.
All students will be required to write a dissertation of approximately 8,000-10,000 words.
Students graduating from this new programme will understand how contemporary research approaches the study of language.
Students will acquire and enhance the following professional/subject-specific/practical skills:
De Master of Arts in Advanced Studies in Linguistics is directed to students who want to acquire research competencies in linguistics. In this interuniversity, third cycle programme, internationally renowned researchers from the University of Leuven and the University of Ghent collaborate to initiate students into advanced linguistic research. At the University of Leuven two specializations are offered: Cognitive and Functional Linguistics and Multilingual Language Learning and Teaching. Students put together an individual programme from background courses and specialization courses, which will enable them to develop theoretical insight and methodological and analytical expertise. In function of their own research interests, they can choose to follow intensive courses taught by international scholars or to do an internship in one of the many research groups at the universities of Leuven and Ghent. Special attention goes to the writing up of research results and participation in the international scientific debate.
The programme aims to provide those who acquired a general knowledge of linguistics in their undergraduate education with the professional and creative skills required to carry out research, emphasizing sound methodological foundations for identifying and analyzing linguistic patterns, a sense of precise and systematic language description and the ability to develop theory and criticize it.
By the end of the programme, students will have acquired:
Graduates are thoroughly familiar with leading contemporary research in a particular field of linguistics and are thus well-equipped for research at a higher level (PhD programmes / research projects, etc.). Graduates also develop the communicative skills required to report, both orally and in writing, on research findings and insights. Those skills can be used in a broad range of professional contexts where the ability to understand, synthesise, and present complex phenomena is essential.