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English Language and Applied Linguistics - Postgraduate Research Opportunities


  School of English, Drama and Creative Studies


About the Programme

Carry out your research with one of the UK’s leading English Language departments, renowned for our expertise in Corpus Research, Cognitive Linguistics and Psycholinguistics, and Discourse Analysis and Stylistics.

The MA by Research programme requires you to prepare a dissertation of up to 40,000 words on a topic of your choice, for which an academic staff member will provide expert supervision.

The PhD – the most advanced research degree – leads to a dissertation of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice and under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff.

We also offer a PhD English Language and Applied Linguistics by Distance Learning. There are two distance learning options: a standard programme and a modular programme. There is no assessed taught component with the modular programme, but you will follow online research training modules.

Our distance learning programmes involve regular contact with a supervisor by email and/or video conference and allow you to remain in your resident country while pursuing your research. This is particularly beneficial if you are interested in relating your research to your current work. 

Research interests of staff include:

We specialise and welcome applications from prospective research students interested in corpus linguistics, cognitive linguistics and psycholinguistics, and stylistics and discourse analysis.

A summary of our key research areas, and staff working within those, can be found below. 

For full research interests of staff, please read our staff profiles or visit the research interest tab on each programme's course page.

Why study this course?

  • World-leading research: The University of Birmingham is ranked equal 10th in the UK amongst Russell Group universities in the Research Excellence Framework exercise 2021 according to the Times Higher Education.
  • World ranking recognition: The University of Birmingham was ranked 35th in the world for English Language & Literature and Linguistics by the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021. These rankings are compiled annually to help prospective students identify the leading universities worldwide in a particular subject.
  • Research resources: Our English Language programmes benefit from the 450 million-word Bank of English corpus, an invaluable collection of authentic language data. All students and researchers working within English Language also have free access a variety of language corpora, and, where necessary, training in how to use them. Additionally, the Main Library houses an extensive collection of books on English language and linguistics, including English language teaching, and subscribes to 250 periodicals in the fields of English language and literature.

Funding Notes

Please visit the College of Arts and Law funding page for information on possible funding opportunities: View Website


Funding Notes

This programme is waiting to confirm funding from a university or external source. This may depend on attracting suitable students and applications are welcome. Please see the programme details for more information.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in English Language and Literature?


Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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