Postgraduate study

Psychology of Language

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

Programme website: Psychology of Language

This respected programme provides advanced understanding of current research in psycholinguistics: the study of how the brain learns, uses and reacts with humanity’s most advanced and characteristic feature: language.

The programme is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of current research in psycholinguistics, and is aimed primarily at students who are considering advanced research in the area.

Students are actively encouraged to join in the activities of the Language, Cognition and Communication research group, and to collaborate with staff (many of whom are international experts in the field) and senior postgraduates.

You will gain perspectives on the latest developments, and gain the necessary statistical and methodological skills to conduct your own novel research.

This programme comprises two semesters of taught courses, followed by a dissertation.

The taught component consists of a number of lecture- and tutorial-based courses, which are assessed by essay or exam.

For the dissertation (which centres on original research) you will work in close collaboration with members of staff and senior postgraduates engaged in research in similar areas.

You will take two compulsory courses:

  • Psychological Research Skills
  • Univariate Statistics and Methodology using R

You will also choose six from the following:

  • Dialogue
  • Discourse Comprehension
  • Disorders of Language Functions
  • Language Behaviours, Brains and Cognition: Data and Theories
  • Language Behaviours, Brains and Cognition: Principles and Approaches
  • Language Production
  • Multivariate Statistics and Methodology Using R
  • Sentence Comprehension

Under exceptional circumstances, alternative courses may be substituted with the permission of the programme director.

You will choose further courses that may be taken from the compulsory course list or from option courses in related areas such as philosophy, language sciences and informatics. These include:

  • Concepts and Categorisation
  • Eye Movements and Visual Cognition
  • First Language Acquisition
  • Introduction to Phonology and Phonetics
  • Introduction to Semantics
  • Introduction to Syntax
  • Origins and Evolution of Language
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Simulating Language

On successful completion of this programme you will have developed an up-to-date knowledge of a broad range of areas relating to the psychology of language. The programme is also designed to help you acquire the statistical and methodological skills that allow you to conduct novel research in the field.

Many MSc dissertations lead to conference presentations or journal publications and typically over half of the students proceed to study for PhDs at Edinburgh or elsewhere.

This programme has been designed to help you progress your research career and offers a firm basis for further postgraduate study.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in psychology, linguistics, cognitive science or a related subject.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than two and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • PPLS Postgraduate Office
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5002
  • Email: pplspg@ed.ac.uk
  • PPLS Postgraduate Office
  • Dugald Stewart Building
  • 3 Charles Street
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AD

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit a reference with your application.

References

You will be asked to add contact details for your referees. We will email them with information on how to upload their reference directly to your online application. Alternatively, they can email their comments to:

Personal statement

In addition to the supporting documents requested on the application form, you should include a personal statement detailing the background of your interest and why you are attracted to the programme. We expect you to have a good understanding of the field you propose to study.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • PPLS Postgraduate Office
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5002
  • Email: pplspg@ed.ac.uk
  • PPLS Postgraduate Office
  • Dugald Stewart Building
  • 3 Charles Street
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AD