Methods in Phonetics (PGT) ENGLANG5103

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

Short Description

This course allows Masters students to deepen their study of Phonetics at Masters level by designing, undertaking, and writing up a phonetics project which requires the practical application of phonetic and phonological theory to the analysis and interpretation of speech data. The course focuses on methods and skills in phonetic analysis, which provide the basis for independent postgraduate research.


10 x 2-hour sessions consisting of seminar and practical workshops as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the MSc options in English Language and Linguistics, and 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

It is recommended that students will have taken either Level 5 Introduction to Phonetics, or to have taken relevant phonetics courses in their undergraduate/previous degree.

Excluded Courses





Outline of speech study, including rationale, research questions, outline of materials, and intended methods (1000 words or equivalent) - 25%

Essay (4,000 words, including figures, tables, annotated speech files) - 75%

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ Develop theoretical and methodological grounding in experimental and exploratory phonetics from which to formulate original research questions for investigation

■ Design, execute and write up a small-scale phonetics project in the form of a standard journal article

■ Develop and apply key specialist practical skills in analysing speech data using standard speech processing and statistical software

■ Undertake critical evaluation of numerical and graphical data from a small-scale independent acoustic phonetic study on a specific current issue in phonetics and phonology

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Identify and critically assess a range of specialised theories, concepts, principles and methods for experimental and exploratory phonetic research

■ Formulate original research questions and generate predictions for testing with respect to phonetic and phonological questions

■ Design and execute a novel small-scale phonetics project to investigate a specific set of research questions

■ Undertake practical analysis and interpretation of speech data, using specialist acoustic phonetic and statistical skills, including accurate speech measurement and data visualization

■ Write up the small-scale project according to the conventions of a laboratory report, explaining and critically discussing its background, methods and results with respect to current phonetic theory

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.