Strongly interdisciplinary in nature, the Institute for Language, Cognition and Communication (ILCC) is dedicated to both basic and applied research in the computational study of language, communication, and cognition, in both humans and machines.
As technology focuses increasingly on language-based communication tools, research into the automation of language processing has become vital. ILCC offers you the broadest research scope in the UK, and a strong computational focus.
Our primary areas of research are:
Much of our research is applied to software development, in areas as diverse as social media, assisted living, gaming and education.
You may find yourself working closely with other departments of the University, particularly the School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences.
Many of our researchers are involved in two cross-disciplinary research centres:
The Centre for Speech Technology Research (CSTR) is an interdisciplinary research centre linking Informatics and Linguistics. Founded in 1984, it is now one of the world's largest concentrations of researchers working in the field of language and speech processing.
CSTR is concerned with research in all areas of speech technology including speech recognition, synthesis, signal processing, acoustic phonetics, information access, multi-modal interaction and dialogue systems.
The Centre is home to state-of-the-art research facilities including specialised speech and language-orientated computer labs, a digital recording studio, perception labs and a meeting room instrumented with multiple synchronised video cameras and microphones. There is also access to high-performance computer clusters, the University storage area network, a specialist library, and many speech and language databases.
The Human Communication Research Centre (HCRC) is an interdisciplinary research centre at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow that brings together theories and methods from several formal and experimental disciplines to understand better how this happens.
We focus on spoken and written language; we also study communication in other visual, graphical and computer-based media.
You carry out your research within a research group under the guidance of a supervisor. You will be expected to attend seminars and meetings of relevant research groups and may also attend lectures that are relevant to your research topic. Periodic reviews of your progress will be conducted to assist with research planning.
A programme of transferable skills courses facilitates broader professional development in a wide range of topics, from writing and presentation skills to entrepreneurship and career strategies.
The School of Informatics holds a Silver Athena SWAN award, in recognition of our commitment to advance the representation of women in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. The School is deploying a range of strategies to help female staff and students of all stages in their careers and we seek regular feedback from our research community on our performance.
The award-winning Informatics Forum is an international research facility for computing and related areas. It houses more than 400 research staff and students, providing office, meeting and social spaces.
It also contains two robotics labs, an instrumented multimedia room, eye-tracking and motion capture systems, and a full recording studio amongst other research facilities. Its spectacular atrium plays host to many events, from industry showcases and student hackathons to major research conferences.
Nearby teaching facilities include computer and teaching labs with more than 250 machines, 24-hour access to IT facilities for students, and comprehensive support provided by dedicated computing staff.
Among our entrepreneurial initiatives is Informatics Ventures, set up to support globally ambitious software companies in Scotland and nurture a technology cluster to rival Boston, Pittsburgh, Kyoto and Silicon Valley.
While many of our graduates pursue an academic career, others find their skills are highly sought after in the technology industry. A number of our students serve internships with large UK and international software developers, while others take up positions with major social media companies.
As an MSc Social Psychology student you will learn theories, methods, and empirical findings in the field of social psychology, which are relevant to current social issues.
These include: prejudice and discrimination; the relationship between moral judgement and emotions; the study of how individuals and groups interact to construct and maintain identities; and how these are related to social change and influence in contexts such as family systems and romantic dyads.
The programme aims to provide you with an awareness of the historical and philosophical background of social psychology, an in-depth knowledge of contemporary theoretical and methodological approaches and research findings, and the ability to conduct quantitative and qualitative research in the field.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
Occasionally, students receive financial support from industry through sponsorship, negotiated by individual students.
This would involve students undertaking research for their dissertation which would be of interest and value to industry or commerce, in return for which they will be given a grant by the commissioning company. In practice, though, most students are self-funded.
The social psychologists at the University of Surrey have an international reputation in research and teaching. Students on the MSc in Social Psychology are encouraged to participate in the School of Psychology’s ongoing activities, particularly research seminars.
The social psychologists at Surrey have undertaken research for the EU, UK research councils, government departments and agencies, industry and commerce, and the charitable sector. They have attracted a large number of research projects to the School, including:
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Intellectual / cognitive skills
Professional practical skills
Key / transferable skills
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
This programme provides an intensive grounding in the philosophy of embodied cognitive science, its methodologies, research questions and techniques of research.
You will study among one of the world’s largest and most vibrant postgraduate communities in philosophy, alongside internationally recognised leaders in the study of mind, of language, and of situated and embodied cognition. By choosing this programme, you will be entering an increasingly popular field in which many large unsolved problems remain.
This programme comprises two semesters of taught courses followed by a dissertation of between 8,000 and 10,000 words written at the end of the second semester. You will be assigned a dissertation supervisor with whom you meet to plan your reading and discuss your work.
A wide range of optional courses is offered in the philosophy, psychology, language sciences, informatics and music subject areas. Options may include:
This programme will provide you with the training necessary to undertake research in philosophy of cognitive science, and ultimately to pursue a career in academic philosophy. You will also acquire an understanding of the central debates in the sciences of the mind today.
If you do not intend to follow an academic route, the study of philosophy helps to develop general intellectual abilities and enhance analytical, critical, interpretive and problem-solving abilities.