Taught course


University of Edinburgh · School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

Entry requirements

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in theoretical linguistics, applied linguistics, modern languages, English language, cognitive science or psychology.

Months of entry


Course content

This programme gives you all of the intellectual and practical skills to engage in linguistics research, either for its own sake, or as part of cross-disciplinary research.

Graduates from our programme will understand how to analyse key data in core areas of linguistics, how to theorise such data, and how to exploit empirical methods to test their theories.

The key aims of the programme are to:

  • provide integrated specialist knowledge in core areas of linguistics
  • establish a foundation for advanced research in those areas
  • provide a comprehensive understanding of the basic principles of research in theoretical and descriptive linguistics
  • develop the students’ analytical skills in an interdisciplinary context

We offer a strong focus on theoretical understanding: you will learn how to analyse data in the context of current theoretical understanding of linguistic structure at all levels, drawing on the expertise of the department, which is particularly strong in theory development, and will be well placed to compare and evaluate competing proposals, both from within the same theoretical model, and from competing models. Additionally, you will acquire the necessary empirical skills to complement your theoretical understanding.

All of these skills provide a firm foundation for further PhD study, either in Linguistics or in a related discipline that makes heavy use of core Linguistics (e.g. Developmental Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, etc.).

The programme is best suited to applicants whose academic background is in linguistics, English language, philology or cognitive science.

This programme is not suitable for applicants wishing to pursue supplementary training in the areas of translation studies or teaching English as a foreign language.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

PPLS Postgraduate Office
+44 (0)131 651 3188