Postgraduate study

Developmental Linguistics MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Developmental Linguistics

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

Research

In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), Linguistics research at Edinburgh is ranked 1st in Scotland and 2nd in the UK (Times Higher Education, Modern Languages and Linguistics, Rank order by GPA).

What will I learn?

The programme 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.

You will also look at 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. These questions might include, ‘how do children learn language?’ or ‘what happens when we forget a language?’

You will benefit from the programme's strengths in:

  • Scope - which places equal emphasis on first and second language acquisition and bilingualism, making it an ideal choice for those looking to gain a broad knowledge in language development studies with focus on empirical/experimental research

  • Interdisciplinary teaching - allowing you to tailor your studies to your interests

  • Skill-oriented training - through methodology courses, lab sessions and project work, you will be equipped with cutting-edge research skills

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

Courses may include:

  • Sentence Comprehension
  • Discourse Comprehension
  • Language Production
  • Origins and Evolution of Language
  • Simulating Language
  • Psychology of Language Learning
  • Child Bilingualism: Language and Cognition
  • 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
MSc1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2021/22

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.

Recent graduates are now conducting research and working in areas such as:

  • translating and teaching braille and English as a foreign language
  • organisations including Euroschools, Global Language Services and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)

These entry requirements are for the 2022/23 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2023/24 academic year will be published on 3 October 2022.

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

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

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 Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 with at least 176 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: 70 overall with at least 62 in each component.

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, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

(*Revised 17 November 2021 to add accepted PTE Academic qualifications.)

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.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MSc2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

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
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • PPLS Postgraduate Office
  • Dugald Stewart Building
  • 3 Charles Street
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AD
Programme start date Application deadline
12 September 2022 1 June 2022

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.

Applications are processed in batches:

Round Application deadline Places awarded
1 01 December 31 January
2 01 February 31 March
3 01 April 31 May
4 01 June 1st August

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

Supporting documentation and referees

Applications must be complete with all supporting documentation to be passed on for consideration, this includes references.

Please ensure that you inform referees of any deadline you wish to meet.

You must submit one 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
  • Dugald Stewart Building
  • 3 Charles Street
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AD