Taught course

Speech and Language Processing

Trinity College Dublin - the University of Dublin · School of Linguistics, Speech and Communications Sciences

Entry requirements

Applicants are normally required to possess a good primary degree or equivalent qualification. Previous knowledge of the field of speech and language processing is not a requirement. Students who are not native speakers of English are expected to attend the orientation course in English for Academic Purposes in the CLCS in the month preceding the start of the academic year. Applicants must complete the Personal Statement section of the application form and explain their motivation in applying for their chosen course. Applications are made online at: www.tcd.ie/courses/postgraduate/az

Months of entry


Course content

Speech processing is the science concerned with how speech
communication works: how speech is produced by the
speaker and understood by the listener. It is also concerned
with how these processes can be analysed and modelled, and
with how these models can be used to develop technologies
that also produce and understand speech (synthetic voices,
speech recognisers). The science and technology involved
are fundamental to the understanding and remediation
of disordered speech. The science of speech is thus at the
intersection of many disciplines, particularly linguistics,
psychology, acoustics, and engineering.
Language processing, in parallel, deals with computational
theories of grammar and meaning, and provides access to
fundamentals of linguistics as a science and as an engineering
discipline. As a science, it is concerned with the fact that
language is used as a medium for thought as well as for
communication. As an engineering discipline, it is concerned
with tools that work: predictive text in telephones, automated
personal assistants, web search, and so on. The fact that
you are reading this sentence entails that you have taken
advantage of one or more language technologies; it would
not be visible to you otherwise. The fact that you understand
this sentence (or any sentence) begs all of the questions
of cognitive science such as what “meanings” are and how
people reason with them.
Our students come from many backgrounds. Some have
a background in language study, some have an interest
in clinical speech and language analysis, some have a
background in psychology, computer science or engineering.
In general, they are people who have an analytical bent
(they may be interested in how dialects differ, they may love
crossword puzzles or find legal reasoning entertaining) and
wish to know more about what makes human language work.
Our alumni have followed various career paths, with many
opting to pursue research at a higher level through the Ph.D.,
in CLCS (e.g., becoming involved in research projects in the
Phonetics and Speech Lab), with the computational linguists
in TCD's School of Computer Science and Statistics, and in
other leading institutions, internationally. Some have also
used this course as a foundation to enter Speech Therapy
programmes in Ireland and abroad. For more information be
sure to visit the course website, and don’t forget to read the
Frequently Asked Questions. If you can’t find the answer to
your questions, feel free to contact the course coordinator.

Information for international students


Fees and funding

Check out our Facebook Page for all the latest funding information - http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Trinity-College-Dublin-Graduate-Studies-Office/10150114776020076

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Dr Breffni O'Rourke
+353-1-896 1560