Applied Linguistics (Provisional Integrated PhD)

This Integrated PhD in Applied Linguistics 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.

A PhD is an advanced postgraduate research degree that requires original research and the submission of a substantial dissertation of 60,000 to 100,000 words. You need to find a suitable academic supervisor at Birkbeck, who can offer the requisite expertise to guide and support you through your research. To progress from the 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. Find out more about undertaking a research degree at Birkbeck.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, 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. Our 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.

 

    Highlights

    • Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked fourth best in London and 18th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2017-2018 World University Subject Rankings.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Entry Requirements

      Entry requirements

      A first degree and a taught Master's degree in a relevant subject.

      Some relevant work experience is desirable, but not essential.

      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.

      Visa requirements

      If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

      The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

      • Courses of more than six months’ duration.
      • Courses of less than six months’ duration.
      • Pre-sessional English language courses.

      International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our three-year evening study BA/BSc/LLB degrees, as these are classified as full-time study and qualify for student visa status. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck’s part-time evening study degrees.

      For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

    • Fees

      Fees

      Part-time home/EU students, Year 1&2: £4075 pa
      Part-time home/EU students, Year 3,4&5: £2260 pa
      Full-time home/EU students, Year 1: £8175 pa
      Full-time home/EU students, Year 2&3: £4260 pa
      Part-time international students, Year 1&2: £7425 pa
      Part-time international students, Year 3,4&5: £6225 pa
      Full-time international students, Year 1&2: £14850 pa
      Full-time international students, Year 3,4&5: £12325 pa

      Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

      Fees and finance

      From 2018-19, PhD students resident in England can apply for government loans of up to £25,000 to cover the cost of tuition fees, maintenance and other study-related costs.

      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.

      The School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy attracts funding for studentships that ensure researchers of the highest standard can pursue their research with us. Find out more about other research funding opportunities at Birkbeck.

    • Our Research Culture

      Our Research Culture

      Training and methodology

      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.

      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.

      By the end of your research programme, you will be able to:

      • present key facts, concepts, ideas and approaches relating to the subjects of your modules and your research in an accurate and coherent way
      • collect and critically evaluate information and commentary on research, especially in the areas you select to study
      • design, conduct and present a research investigation in a specific area
      • make informed judgements on complex issues in specialist fields
      • communicate your ideas and conclusions clearly and effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences
      • demonstrate the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment in professional or equivalent environments.

      PhD student experience

      Read our programme handbook, and find out about our student support and facilities and our vibrant research culture. You can also read a PhD student's blog.

    • How to apply

      How to apply

      You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link.

      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.

      If you wish to apply for funding, you will need to apply by certain deadlines. Consult the websites of relevant bodies for details.

    • Finding a supervisor

      Finding a supervisor

      A crucial 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.
      • Jackie Jia Lou, BA, MSc, PhD: language, space and place; linguistic and semiotic landscapes; urban discourse; transnational migration; sociolinguistic ethnography.
      • Professor Marjorie Lorch, BA, PhD: neurolinguistics; psycholinguistics; cross-linguistic studies of language use and language disorders; brain structure and language behaviour; 19th-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.
      • Rachelle Vessey, BA, MA, PhD: language ideologies; language and the media; language policy; discourse analysis; corpus linguistics; Canadian studies.
      • 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.