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PhD in Computation, Cognition and Language

PhD in Computation, Cognition and Language

Different course options

Study mode

Full time


3 years

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

Subject areas

Neuroscience / Neurobiology Cognitive Psychology Language Studies

Course type


Course Summary

The PhD in Computation, Cognition and Language is a PhD track for students who conduct basic and applied research in the computational study of language, communication, and cognition, in humans and machines. This research is interdisciplinary in nature and draws on methodology and insights from a range of disciplines that are now critical for the further development of language sciences, including (but not limited to) Linguistics, Cognitive Science, Computer Science, Engineering, Psychology and Neuroscience. A variety of PhD topics that fall within this remit are accepted. Our current primary areas of research are:

• natural language processing

• computational and corpus linguistics

• computational models of human language acquisition and processing

• information extraction, mining, and presentation

• multilingual technology

• educational and assistive technology

• text data technology for health

• computational digital humanities



There is a normal word limit for the thesis of 80,000 words (including footnotes and appendices but excluding bibliography). The thesis should represent a significant contribution to learning through the discovery of new knowledge or through the connection of previously unrelated facts, or the development of new theory, revision of older views or some combination of these. In writing the thesis you are expected to take account of previously published work on the subject and the thesis should be clearly and accurately written, paying due attention to English style and grammar. Candidates for the PhD in Cambridge are guided by a supervisor, though they will normally also discuss their work with a number of other experts in their field. Following the submission of the thesis, an oral (viva) examination is held.


Annual progress interviews for all PhD students should normally take place between the start of the Easter term and the end of the academic year. The annual interviews constitute a system for the formal monitoring by the Degree Committee of the progress of all students working towards a PhD.

Postgraduate students are admitted in the first instance for a probationary period during which they are not registered as a candidate for the PhD degree. The first-year interview is the context in which registration as a candidate for the PhD is formally considered. Satisfactory progress is a condition for being registered as a doctoral student and continuing study.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK Masters (Distinction). Applicants for this course must have a UK First-class Honours Degree or equivalent in linguistics, computational linguistics, artificial intelligence, computer science, or a related discipline. However, a first-class (distinction level) Masters-level degree is highly desirable.