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About the Programme

The study of language and linguistics provides a window on the mind, on people, and on society. We develop linguistic theories that are grounded in diverse and novel forms of empirical data, and we strive to ensure that research leads to real-world applications and societal impact. Our research bridges the arts and humanities, sciences and social sciences.

  • World-leading research
    We have the second highest proportion of world-leading linguistics research in the UK (Research Excellence Framework 2014).
  • World top 100
    We're in the world top 100 for linguistics (QS World Rankings by subject 2020).
  • Specialist facilities
    Our dedicated laboratories house experimental equipment, specialist software and large corpora of data for analysis.
  • Interdisciplinary community
    The Humanities Research Centre provides a hub for interdisciplinary research and postgraduate life in the arts and humanities at York.

As a PhD student, you will be an integral part of our friendly and supportive research community. We offer three PhD programmes which cover our areas of expertise and areas which intersect with other disciplines.

PhD in Linguistics

Specialise in one or more of our focus areas: phonetics and phonology, sociolinguistics/language variation and change, syntax and semantics, psycholinguistics, forensic speech science, and language history and diversity.

PhD in Applied Linguistics

This is an interdisciplinary programme, run jointly with Department of Education. It addresses language learning, second language acquisition, EFL, language policy, and language processing.

PhD in Language and Communication

This is an interdisciplinary programme, involving the Departments of Education, Language and Linguistic Science, Psychology, and Sociology. It focuses on investigating everyday language and communicative structures. We especially welcome projects on conversation analysis, and on multilingual and multicultural settings.

Our research

Our academic staff have a broad range of specialisations, including:

  • Phonetics and phonology
  • Syntax and semantics
  • Language variation and change
  • Sociolinguistics and sociophonetics
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Language acquisition (L1 and L2)
  • Forensic Speech Science
  • Conversation analysis

Funding Notes

As a research student in our department you can apply to various funds and scholarships: york.ac.uk/language/postgraduate/funding/

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