Linguistics and English Language

Frequently asked questions

Some common questions relating to this MSc programme

This is a specialist programme, so you need to be sure it is right for you. Below are the most common questions relating to the MSc/Dip in Speech and Language Processing.

What background should I have?

We accept students from a wide range of backgrounds, with first degrees in a variety of subjects. In addition to considering your degree subject and grades, we also place a strong emphasis on enthusiasm and willingness to learn new subjects that might be outside your "comfort zone".

For example, students with degrees in linguistics will be expected to learn basic computer programming, and those with degrees in computer science will be expected to learn about phonetics.

How difficult is the programme?

Most students find this degree both challenging and rewarding. Whatever your background, you will find some parts easier and some much harder. The workload is relatively high: we pack a lot of material into this one-year programme, including an individual research project.

What can I do after obtaining this degree?

Graduates who obtain the MSc have careers in the speech and language technology industry and in academia. We estimate that around half of all graduates go on to study for a PhD, either immediately after the MSc, or after a period of employment.

Careers

Will this degree help me find a job?

Yes, we believe it will help you find a job in the speech and language technology industry. We also believe it will open up more interesting positions, such as those in research and development, and also enhance your career progression, compared to having just a first degree. To find out more about the types of jobs available in this industry, visit the careers page.

Will this degree help me find a PhD place?

Obtaining a good result on this programme will certainly increase your chances of being offered a PhD position. PhD places and funding are very competitive, and a good result on this degree will help you stand out from the competition. But more than that, it's also excellent preparation for a PhD in many areas of speech and language processing, linguistics, informatics or psychology, since it provides you with relevant background knowledge and research experience. It will also help you decide whether continuing on to study for a PhD is the right choice for you. A PhD is the first step towards a research or teaching career in academia.

Further questions

If you have further questions, don't hesitate to contact the Programme Director, Simon King. Simon can also put you in touch with current and former students so you can get their views on the programme.

Simon King