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Postgraduate taught programmes

MA Language & Cognition

NB: This programme is being discontinued. It is not possible to enrol for 2016-17 entry onwards.

Overview: aims of the programme

The MA in Language & Cognition involves one year's full-time study, or two years' part-time. It is a 'taught' Master's programme, with each module following a fixed syllabus, as opposed to a 'research' degree. With the possible exception of the dissertation at the end of the programme, original research is not really expected: but the MA may act as a preliminary to a subsequent research programme, normally a PhD. The degree focuses on issues at the interface of Philosophy of Language, Cognitive Science, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Psychology, Formal and Computational Linguistics, and Logic. It is a unique interdisciplinary programme, intended for students with prior backgrounds in any of these fields, who now wish to build upon that foundation by branching out more widely into the others.

NB: Students should note that Professor Shalom Lappin, who co-convenes this programme (with Dr Wilfried Meyer-Viol) will be leaving King’s in January 2016. Anyone already enrolled in the programme by then will certainly be able to complete it: but we will be closing the programme to new students from 2016 onwards.

Programme structure

Taught modules

Students must earn a total of 180 credits, of which 120 will come from taught modules. These break down as follows.

All students must take and pass two core 20-credit modules:

In addition, students will normally take their choice of four out of the following ten 20-credit modules, to bring their total up to 120 credits:

In some cases, with the approval of the programme director, a student might substitute something from the remaining MA modules not included in this list. (In particular, where a student does not have a prior philosophical background, they might be allowed to take 7AAN4021 General Philosophy). Note that the modules with codes of the form '7AAN20xx' or '7AAN40xx' belong to the MA programmes. Those with codes of the form '7AANMxxx' belong instead to the MSc in Philosophy of Mental Disorder, and are not normally available to MA students. 

Most of these modules are worth 20 credits each, and taught in either the Autumn or the Spring; just one (General Philosophy, which conversion students will normally be expected to take) is worth 40, and spans both semesters.

Some modules are assessed by means of coursework essays; others involve written exams in May or early June. 


The remaining 60 credits will then come from a dissertation of around 10,000 words, to be completed over the summer at the end of the programme; and this must be on an approved topic in this same general area. Students who complete all requirements of the programme with the exception of the dissertation are entitled to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma in Language & Cognition.

Further information

For additional information concerning the programme, follow the links below:

To view the Programme Approval Form (full programme regulations, also known as the PAF), visit the Quality and Academic Support Office webpages.

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