MSc Evolution of Language & Cognition

The University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Link to programme

About Programme

Joining our world-leading Language Evolution and Computation (LEC) research unit, you will investigate the origins and evolution of human language, tackling questions such as ‘what is it that makes us human?’, ‘how did our brains evolve?’ and ‘what are the origins of human language?’.

  • Type: On campus
  • Start: September
  • Language: English


  • Duration: 12 months
  • Fee national: $13,769
  • Fee international: $29,083


  • Duration: 24 months

The LEC is at the cutting edge of research in this area and one of the world’s biggest research groups working on language evolution. The programme involves two taught semesters and your own research dissertation. Four compulsory courses (in addition to the compulsory dissertation) provide a solid foundation, while optional courses allow you to explore your own areas of interest. The taught element is delivered through a mix of lectures, tutorials, seminars and practical sessions. Assessment is by written/project work and examination.

Compulsory courses:

  • Current Issues in Language Evolution
  • Foundations of Evolution
  • Origins and Evolution of Language
  • Simulating Language

Option courses may include:

  • Brains and Cognition
  • Computer Programming for Speech and Language Processing
  • Concepts and Categorisation
  • Diachronic Linguistics
  • Dialogue
  • Experimental Pragmatics
  • First Language Acquisition
  • Human Evolution
  • Introduction to Phonology and Phonetics
  • Introduction to Sociolinguistics
  • Introduction to Statistics and Experimental Design
  • Introduction to Syntax
  • Language Behaviours
  • Linguistic Reconstruction and Language Classification
  • Pragmatics
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Psychology of Language Learning
  • Univariate Statistics and Methodology using R

You may also be able to take a course from other degree programmes in the School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences, and in some cases from elsewhere in the University.


This programme provides solid grounding for further research in many associated areas, such as linguistics, cognitive sciences and human evolution.

Entry requirements

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent. All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • An undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration
  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)
  • PTE(A): 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

Please keep in mind, we try to keep the information on as accurate as we can but we can't guarantee that all information is 100% correct. So always contact the universities.

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