Applied Linguistics (MPhil / PhD)

Year of Entry

2017

Start date

October 2017, January 2018 or April 2018

Status

Fully Approved

Duration

Up to four years full-time or seven years part-time.

Attendance

Regular meetings with your supervisor(s).

Applied linguistics aims to investigate real-world phenomena in which language plays a central role. At MPhil/PhD level, we aim for you to make the transition into a fully fledged, independent academic researcher, with the skills necessary to present your research orally as well as in writing, in addition to pushing back the frontiers of knowledge. Such independence is achieved on the basis of a full appreciation of the hallmarks of good scholarship, such as original thought, the proper use of references and background material, appropriate use of methodology and accountable reporting procedures, and it is these priorities that we aim to impart to our students.

Once equipped with the generic and discipline-specific tools for carrying out research, you will pursue your particular research interests, supported by regular meetings with your supervisor and presentations and attendance at MPhil/PhD seminars.

Current research centres around: bilingualism and multilingualism; child language development; second language acquisition; psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics; corpus linguistics; sociolinguistics; cross-cultural pragmatics; discourse and conversation analysis; intercultural communication; language teaching; and translation theory.

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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.
  • Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent. Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.
  • 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, explore studying and researching linguistics at Birkbeck and discover our PhD route options.
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