Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) (Provisional Integrated PhD)

Year of entry


Start date

October 2017


Fully Approved


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. 

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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.
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