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Communication mechanisms in British Sign Language (BSL)

   School of Social Sciences

  , Dr Lynne Duncan  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

PLEASE NOTE: This project is for self-funded or externally sponsored students only.

British Sign Language (BSL) is reportedly used by approx. 150K people in the UK, yet its psycholinguistic aspects of the language as a communicative medium are relatively underinvestigated. We invite applications from strong and motivated candidates to our highly interdisciplinary PhD project on acquisition and processing mechanisms of BSL. A variety of specific issues can be addressed in this investigation, for example, bilingualism in BSL and English in children and adults; interplay of different types of signals; ‘dialects’ in BSL; identity and BSL. We believe that it is crucial to address this issue with multidisciplinary theoretical and methodological approaches.

We envisage students would have a background in Psychology or a relevant subject (e.g., Speech & Language Therapy, Linguistics, Psycholinguistics). We would particularly welcome applications from BSL users or from those with a good working knowledge of BSL. The specialisation in the PhD would be in Psychology (PhD in Psychology). Students without a sufficient Psychology background may be offered to undertake one of our MSc programmes, or some of our MSc training modules, in their 1st year. 

For more information about the supervisory team, please see and

For informal enquiries about the project, contact Dr Yuki Kamide ()

For general enquiries about the University of Dundee, contact

Our research community thrives on the diversity of students and staff which helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for postgraduate research. We welcome applications from all talented individuals and are committed to widening access to those who have the ability and potential to benefit from higher education.


Applicants must have obtained, or expect to obtain, a UK honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent for non-UK qualifications), and/or a Masters degree in a relevant discipline. For international qualifications, please see equivalent entry requirements here:

English language requirement: IELTS (Academic) overall score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in reading, listening and speaking). The University of Dundee accepts a variety of equivalent qualifications; please see full details of the University’s English language requirements here:


Step 1: Email Dr Yuki Kamide () to (1) send a copy of your CV and (2) discuss your potential application and any practicalities (e.g. suitable start date).

Step 2: After discussion with Dr Kamide, formal applications can be made via our direct application system. When applying, please follow the instructions below:

 Apply for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Psychology on our direct application system : Psychology : Study : University of Dundee

This project is suitable for the three-year route or the four-year route as agreed with the lead supervisor.

 Please select the study mode (full-time/part-time) and start date agreed with the lead supervisor.

In the Research Proposal section, please:

-       Enter the lead supervisor’s name in the ‘proposed supervisor’ box

-       Enter the project title listed at the top of this page in the ‘proposed project title’ box

In the ‘personal statement’ section, please outline your suitability for the project selected.

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project. The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for tuition fees and living expenses, via external sponsorship or self-funding.

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