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Linguistics with a specialisation in Phonology - MA

Course Description

The Linguistics MA with specialisation in Phonology is a research-oriented programme designed for students looking for concentrated study in phonology, with a focus on theoretically-driven empirical research. Students will use typological comparison, data collection, experimental methods, or modelling techniques and will receive extensive training in research methods and the scholarly presentation of ideas.

Degree information

Students gain knowledge and understanding of current research in phonology and are prepared for independent research. On completion of the programme, they will be able to formulate appropriate research questions, find and evaluate relevant literature, develop and test new hypotheses, and produce cogent, structured and professionally presented reports.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five pathway modules (60 credits), three optional modules (30 credits) and a dissertation/report (60 credits).

Pathway modules - students select three from the list below:
-Intermediate Phonetics and Phonology A
-Intermediate Phonetics and Phonology B
-Advanced Phonology Theory A
-Advanced Phonology Theory B

In conjunction with the Programme Co-ordinator, students select two from a list which includes the following:
-Phonetic Theory
-Phonology of English
-Intermediate Generative Grammar A
-Current Issues in Syntax
-Readings in Syntax

Optional modules - a further three modules are selected, either from the list of non-compulsory core modules above or from the list of optional modules below:
-Advanced Semantic Theory
-Advanced Semantic Theory B
-Animal Communication and the Human Language
-Communication and Human Language
-Issues in Pragmatics
-Language Acquisition
-Pragmatic Theory
-Semantic-Pragmatic Development
-Semantics Research Seminar
-The Linguistics of Sign Languages
-Topics in Semantics and Pragmatics
-Or any statistical training outside the department

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and learning
The teaching and assessment of this programme is strongly research-oriented. It is delivered through a combination of lectures, small-group teaching and a virtual learning environment. Some modules also involve workshops or practical classes. Assessment is through take-home and unseen examination, essays, presentations, assignments and the dissertation.


Although the degree can be an end in itself, this advanced programme is an excellent preparation for independent doctoral research in phonology. Graduates from our specialised Master's programmes in linguistics have a very strong track record of securing funded doctoral studentships and have in recent years gone on to research at UCL, MIT, Cambridge, University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.

This Linguistics MA equips graduates with the necessary skills to carry out research in the subject of phonology.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Division of Psychology & Language Sciences undertakes world-leading research and teaching in mind, behaviour and language.

Our work attracts staff and students from around the world. Together they create an outstanding and vibrant environment, taking advantage of cutting-edge resources such as a behavioural neuroscience laboratory, a centre for brain imaging, and extensive laboratories for research in speech and language, perception, and cognition.

Our world-class research is characterised by a tight integration of theoretical and experimental work spanning the full width of the linguistic enterprise and forms the bedrock of the department’s eminent reputation which is also reflected in other markers of excellence such as its editorial involvement with top journals in the field.

Visit the Linguistics with a specialisation in Phonology - MA page on the University College London website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is required.

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