Introduction to Psycholinguistics (PGT) ENGLANG5109

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

The hiker saw the ranger with the binoculars - who has the binoculars and how do you know? In this Masters course we learn the tools and methods for investigating what is happening in our minds when we produce and understand language, exploring all levels from individual sounds and words up to sentence structure and cooperation in discourse.


10 x 1hr lectures, 10 x 1hr seminars and, 4 x 1hr workshops over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.

This course may be taught in conjunction with ENGLANG4059, as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the MSc options in English Language and Linguistics, and for the MSc in Speech, Language & Sociolinguistics, and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses





One experiment proposal (3000 words) - 60%

Two x responses to assigned readings (500 words each) - 20%

One x response to assigned readings (1000 words) - 20%

Course Aims

This course will provide students with the opportunity to:

■ learn about current debates in psycholinguistic research in areas such as spoken word recognition, the mental lexicon, syntactic parsing and processing of discourse cues;

■ become familiar with a range of current methods and techniques for investigating language production and perception, such as eye-tracking, reaction time and EEG;

■ acquire specialist skills in core statistical reasoning;

■ design independent experimental investigations as the precursor for independent Masters-level work.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ identify and pose open questions in psycholinguistic research on phonetic, morphological, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic processing;

■ critically evaluate strengths and weaknesses of existing specialised research on language production and perception;

■ critically interpret empirical data from a range of experimental designs;

■ develop and formulate in the form of a written proposal, an independent, creative, and/or novel research plan that contributes to current knowledge of language processing.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.