Three years full-time or four years and eight months part-time
One to two evenings a week
This Integrated PhD will help you to achieve a critical conceptual understanding of evidence and theory relating to recent developments in the field. You will then be in a position to apply this understanding to your own professional context.
You will take taught modules as part of your qualifying requirement. The aim of these modules is to help you to gain the skills, knowledge and understanding to engage with and evaluate research and theory. These modules will also enable you to prepare and carry out a research project.
As part of the qualifying requirement, you will complete 180 credits of postgraduate taught modules in the department. At the doctoral phase, a dissertation of 45,000-55,000 words will be required. At the end of the taught component, you will be considered for entry to the research component of the programme, if you have satisfactorily passed your modules and demonstrated evidence of independent research skills and sufficient specialist knowledge in an area commensurate with the research interests of staff in the department. At the end of the taught year(s), you will be asked to attend an interview where your candidacy for the PhD will be assessed.
Please note: for those who are interested in the areas of TESOL and language teaching, the department would be happy to consider applications in the field of language learning, including the learning process and outcome of one, two or multiple languages in different contexts, intercultural learning and teaching.
You are strongly advised to read our departmental website before applying, paying particular attention to individual staff members' stated research interests and their latest research publications, and to find a suitable supervisor whose interests match yours.
To progress from the Provisional Integrated PhD to the research stage, you will usually need to achieve a 60% pass overall on the taught courses and successfully pass a qualifying interview.
Why study this course at Birkbeck?
- The Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication was established in 1965, making it the first department in England to focus on the study of applied linguistics. It has contributed greatly to the field over the years and remains the only department of applied linguistics in the University of London.
- The department is an Institutional Member of the British Association of Applied Linguistics and an affiliated member of the International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA).
- It houses the Centre for Multilingual and Multicultural Research, and the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism (Taylor and Francis).
- The department has developed a distinctive academic identity and helped to redefine the field as a social science. It is not a department of conventional descriptive or theoretical linguistics, and does not engage in research and teaching of syntax, morphology, phonology, phonetics or linguistics of a particular language. Rather, it is concerned with real-life issues in which language and communication play a central role.To find out more, read our programme handbook.
We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.
A first degree and a taught Master's degree in a relevant subject.
This programme is designed for candidates with recent and relevant experience of, and/or professional training in, classroom language teaching. However, candidates with limited classroom language teaching experience may apply if they have an excellent academic record in a field related to language teaching/TESOL and can demonstrate a strong interest in, and the ability to reflect critically on, key issues in language learning and teaching.
You will be asked to complete a short admissions task.
International entry requirements
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.
If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.
Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.
Fees and finance
We are committed to doing everything we can to help you finance your studies.
Fees (2016/7)Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa
Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 7225 pa
Full-time overseas students: £ 14450 pa
Fees and finance
If you satisfactorily complete the taught qualifying period of this course, then the tuition fees during your research years will be at the reduced MPhil/PhD rate.
Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.
Fees discounts: If you are a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.
Our School attracts funding for studentships that ensure researchers of the highest standard can pursue their research with us. We offer a limited number of fully funded research opportunities, find out more here.
Our Research Culture
Birkbeck is a world-leading research university with a vibrant, interdisciplinary research culture and a welcoming, supportive community of researchers.
Our Research Culture
There will be a wide range of generic research training courses offered by the College Research School and the Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network. You will also have the opportunity to present your work annually for discussion by fellow students and staff at seminars.
What is it like to be a PhD student in our department? Read a PhD student's blog.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.
How to apply
You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link below.
Please ensure that you outline your research interests within your personal statement in one or two sentences. We do not require a full research proposal at application stage.
Application deadlines and interviews
We recommend you apply as early as possible. Later applications may also be considered, subject to availability of places.
Finding a supervisor
Finding the right supervisor for your research is important: we offer supervision in over 40 subject areas and in interdisciplinary combinations.
Finding a supervisor
A critical factor when applying for postgraduate study in applied linguistics and communication is the correlation between the applicant’s intellectual and research interests and those of one or more potential supervisors within the department.
Find out more about the research interests of our academic staff:
- Professor Jean-Marc Dewaele, LicPhilRom, LicDroitEurop&Internat, PhD: second language acquisition; interlanguage; individual differences, multilingualism and emotion; sociopragmatics; psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics in foreign language production.
- Professor Penelope Gardner-Chloros, MA, MA, PhD: bilingualism; sociolinguistics; sociolinguistics of French and modern Greek; codeswitching; language contact; tu/vous terms of address; comparisons between linguistics and history of art.
- Professor Marjorie Lorch, BA, PhD: neurolinguistics; psycholinguistics; cross-linguistic studies of language use and language disorders; brain structure and language behaviour; nineteenth-century study of the language faculty.
- Lisa J. McEntee-Atalianis, BA, PhD: aphasia; sign language/deaf studies and sociolinguistics; ethnolinguistic vitality; social psychological studies in Cyprus and the autochthonous Greek-Orthodox community of Istanbul; language policy and discourse practices in a London agency of the United Nations; sign language/deaf studies; sociolinguistics of the Greek diaspora; institutional/workplace discourse and identity; English as a global language.
- Bojana Petric, BA, MA, PhD: academic discourse; genre analysis; source use and citing; academic/professional literacies; disciplinary/interdisciplinary socialisation; EAP/ESP materials and course design; writer voice and identity; writing for international academic publishing; writing development and writing pedagogy; language teacher identity; teacher cognition; language teaching materials; advanced language capacities; qualitative approaches to the study of language learning and teaching.
- Kazuya Saito, BA, MA, PhD: second language acquisition; second and foreign language teaching; individual differences in second language acquisition; phonetics; speech production.
- : language ideologies; language and the media; language policy; discourse analysis; corpus linguistics; Canadian studies. , BA, MA, PhD
- Professor Zhu Hua, BEng, MA, PhD: cross-cultural pragmatics; intercultural communication; acquisition and development of pragmatics in young children; phonological awareness; cross-linguistic studies of phonological development and disorder.
Fees and payment
With government loans for undergraduate and postgraduate study, fantastic financial support packages and flexible payment options, there’s never been a better time to study at Birkbeck.
Evening study explained
Birkbeck is London’s only specialist provider of evening higher education. With classes held 6pm-9pm, your days are free to study, work, volunteer, or just do your own thing.
Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research universities. Discover more about our vibrant, intellectually challenging and exciting research culture.
Birkbeck is committed to doing everything we can to help you finance your studies. Find out about what is available, how to apply and the advice and support we provide.
The Birkbeck experience
Birkbeck is different: our classes are held in the evening, so your days are free - to study, work, volunteer or just do your own thing.
Careers and employability
Our free Careers and Employability Service provides comprehensive careers advice, events and information services for current students, both in person and online, and for recent Birkbeck graduates.
Life at Birkbeck
Birkbeck offers a unique combination of evening study and a matchless central London location, right in the geographic and academic centre of the city, giving you exceptional opportunities.
Birkbeck Graduate Research School (BGRS)
The Birkbeck Graduate Research School (BGRS) offers support, training and a warm welcome to Birkbeck's vibrant community of MPhil/PhD researchers.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck. We can give you the advice and support you need.
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