Postgraduate study

Developmental Linguistics

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

Programme website: Developmental Linguistics

This programme will develop your understanding of how knowledge of language changes as people acquire or lose language at various points in their lifespan.

It is designed primarily for graduates with a background related to linguistics and/or psychology who wish to develop their knowledge of current research on language acquisition (first, second, bilingual, and impaired) and language change from a cognitive perspective and from the point of view of current linguistic theories.

Joining a vibrant research community of developmental linguists, you will have the opportunity to carry out advanced research to try to answer questions related to the area of language development and bilingualism, such as ‘how do children learn language?’ or ‘what happens when we forget a language?’

You will benefit from the programme's strengths in:

  • scope (with equal emphasis on first and second language acquisition and bilingualism)
  • interdisciplinary teaching (staff drawn from linguistics, psychology and informatics)
  • skill-oriented training (through methodology courses, lab sessions and project work)

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

Compulsory courses:

  • Introduction to Phonology and Phonetics
  • Introduction to Syntax
  • First Language Acquisition
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Univariate Statistics and Methodology Using R
  • Research Methods in Developmental Linguistics

Option courses may include:

  • Sentence Comprehension
  • Discourse Comprehension
  • Language Production
  • Origins and Evolution of Language
  • Simulating Language
  • Psychology of Language
  • Child Bilingualism: Language and Cognition
  • Language Behaviours, Brains and Cognition: Principles and Approaches
  • Developmental Language Disorders
  • Language Evolution in the Lab

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScDevelopmental Linguistics1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

On successful completion of the programme, you will have gained:

  • an advanced understanding of current issues, theories and findings in developmental linguistics;
  • intellectual skills to analyse and interpret language data with specific reference to the developmental aspects of linguistic knowledge;
  • practical and specific skills needed to conduct novel research in this field.

This programme will provide you with the specialised skills you need to perform research in language learning and development. It will also serve as a solid basis for doctoral study.

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

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: 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

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Find out more about scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • 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
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2019 3 June 2019

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

MSc Developmental Linguistics operates a gathered field approach to applications. You may submit your application at any time. All complete applications that satisfy our minimum entry requirements will be placed on a shortlist and held until the next batch processing deadline, at which point applications will be ranked and offers made to the top candidates. Exceptionally well-qualified applicants may occasionally be made an immediate offer, without entering the shortlisting process.

Applications are processed in batches:

Round Application deadline Places awarded
1 31 October 2018 30 November 2018
2 14 December 2018 31 January 2019
3 28 February 2019 29 March 2019
4 1 April 2019 30 April 2019
5 3 June 2019 1 July 2019

If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

Applications must be complete with all supporting documentation to be passed on consideration, this includes references. Please ensure that you inform referees of any deadline you wish to meet.

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.

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