Undergraduate study - 2024 entry
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MA Psychology and Linguistics

UCAS code: CQ81

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Psychology and Linguistics

This joint programme enables you to take a range of courses in psychology and linguistics.


Psychology courses cover the scientific study of the mind, brain, and behaviour and it is an experimental and observational science. It uses evidence from research studies to develop and evaluate theories.

Our psychology courses have a strong emphasis on developing skills in research methods and statistical analysis using R programming. This supports our research-led teaching.

Psychologists study:

  • how we perceive, think and learn about the world around us
  • the way biological and social factors influence how we behave
  • how interests and abilities differ from person to person
  • how we communicate verbally and non-verbally
  • how and why our mental abilities change across our lives


Linguistics examines how language works. It describes how sounds, words, sentences and conversations combine to express and create meaning.

It also studies:

  • the uses of language in everyday life
  • the ways in which language varies across society and evolves over time
  • how language is mastered by children


It is possible to obtain accreditation by the British Psychological Society (BPS), provided that you:

  • cover all the core BPS areas during your degree:

    • Cognitive Psychology
    • Biological Psychology
    • Social Psychology
    • Developmental Psychology
    • Individual Differences
  • complete a dissertation in Year 4

  • achieve a 2.2 or above in your overall degree classification

The vast majority of students graduate with BPS accreditation, however, if you fail to meet the accreditation criteria, you will graduate with an alternative degree in Psychology.

Year 1


There is a strong emphasis on research methods and statistical analysis throughout this programme.

You will:

  • be trained in basic concepts in research methods and statistics
  • learn how to programme in the R language
  • have a practical introduction to laboratory-based psychology research

Through lectures and tutorials, you will complete a general introduction to psychology, covering:

  • cognitive psychology
  • developmental psychology
  • the psychology of memory and perception
  • individual differences
  • language and thinking
  • social psychology

It is also strongly recommended that you take the Data Analysis for Psychology in R1 course. This course provides the foundations for working with:

  • data
  • probability
  • hypothesis testing
  • the R statistical programming environment


You will take two semester-long introductory courses.

  • Linguistics and English Language 1A offers a brief introduction to the study of language in general and of English in particular.
  • Linguistics and English Language 1B will help you develop the tools and knowledge needed to investigate the different subsystems of language in a systematic way.

In this year, you will also be introduced to the study of:

  • aspects of regional and social variations of language in general (and the English language in particular)
  • semantics and pragmatics

Option course

In addition, you will choose from a range of option courses outside your primary subjects.

Year 2


To prepare you for Year 3, you will complete a year-long, intensive grounding in:

  • research methods
  • statistics
  • R programming

You will continue to study core areas of psychology, developing an integrated understanding of topics such as:

  • individual differences
  • abnormal, developmental and social psychology
  • perception
  • cognitive neuroscience
  • language
  • memory/learning

You will practise and develop your professional and study skills, such as:

  • reviewing scientific literature
  • report writing
  • ethical awareness


You will take Linguistic Theory and the Structure of English. In this, you will learn detailed aspects of modern English structure.

You will also to take another linguistics course in either Cross Linguistic Variation or Phonetic Analysis and Empirical Methods.

Year 3


You will choose advanced courses in psychology. These will expand upon and combine the core areas required for British Psychological Society (BPS) accreditation.

To support your research work, you will complete further specialist courses in research methods and statistics, which you will conduct using R.


You will also take a selection of courses in linguistics. These may include:

  • Speech Production and Perception
  • Origins and Evolution of Language
  • Child Bilingualism
  • Pragmatics

Year 4


You must take two courses in research methods and statistics.

You will complete a series of option courses that focus on specific areas of psychology. These courses build on and combine the core domains of psychology, including:

  • biological
  • developmental
  • cognitive
  • social and individual differences

Precise course options change each year to reflect emerging topics, staff availability and student demand.

Examples of courses offered include:

  • Social Psychology of Groups
  • Human Personality
  • Science of Close Relationships
  • Psychology of Language Understanding
  • Psychological Therapies
  • Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention


In linguistics, course options might be:

  • Language Variation and Change
  • Language Pathology
  • Psycholinguistics
  • First Language Acquisition


Alongside these courses, you will complete a dissertation in either language sciences or psychology.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2023/24)

Our facilities

Teaching will take place at the Psychology building at George Square, and at other locations within the University's Central Area.

You will have use of:

  • specialised laboratories
  • the School's own dedicated library
  • the University's main library and computer facilities

Take a virtual tour

You can take a closer look at the University’s Central Area and explore our facilities on the University's Virtual Visit site.

Take a virtual tour of the Central Area

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study in Europe through international exchange programmes.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a combination of:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • practical classes
  • project work
  • peer-supported group work
  • computer-based exercises

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by various types of coursework and exams.

In Year 3, you will complete a group research project.

In Year 4, you will complete an independent research project (dissertation).

You will develop high-level skills in:

  • research
  • statistics
  • information technology
  • report-writing

These skills are valued by employers in various sectors.


Many psychology graduates have gone on to work in:

  • healthcare and social services
  • charitable organisations
  • human resources
  • management
  • business and finance
  • consulting
  • media and advertising

Some students continue their studies to enter a research or teaching career. Others go on to train as a professional psychologist in a specific field, such as:

  • clinical psychology
  • educational psychology
  • forensic psychology
  • health psychology
  • organisational psychology


Linguistics graduates work in a wide range of fields, including:

  • journalism
  • international relations
  • translation
  • marketing
  • social research

Recent graduates have taken up funded places on MSc programmes, or have found employment in speech technology research.

A linguistics qualification is also a good foundation for careers in professions such as:

  • speech and language therapy
  • adult literacy
  • teaching English as a foreign language

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAAA (achievement by end of S5 preferred). BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: A*AA.
  • IB: 39 points with 666 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: one from Biology or Human Biology, Chemistry, Computing Science or equivalent, Geography, Mathematics, Physics, or Psychology at B. Higher Applications of Mathematics is not accepted in place of Higher Mathematics. National 5s: English at C. Mathematics at A or Mathematics and Physics both at B or Higher Mathematics at C.
  • A Levels: one from Biology or Human Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science or equivalent, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, or Psychology at B. GCSEs: English at C or 4 and Mathematics at A or 7, or Mathematics and Physics both at B or 6, or Mathematics, Science plus Additional Science (or science double award) at BB or 66.
  • IB: HL: one of Biology or Human Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science or equivalent, Geography, Mathematics, Physics, or Psychology at 5. SL: English at 5 and Mathematics at 6 (if not at HL).

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

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


For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • GCSE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate at C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 54 in each component.

(Revised 29 August 2023 to remove PTE Academic Online)

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

Unless you are a national of a majority English speaking country, your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start of the month in which the degree you are applying to study begins. If you are using an IELTS, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE test, it must be no more than two years old on the first of the month in which the degree begins, regardless of your nationality.

English language requirements

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It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Psychology and Linguistics

Additional costs



For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding