PhD in English Language and Applied Linguistics

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PhD in English Language and Applied Linguistics

Eligibility: UK/EU/International

Award details: No award (self-funding)

Duration: three years fixed term (full time) or five years fixed term (part time)

Application deadline: Standard University research application closing dates apply


Please contact Hilary Nesi or Sheena Gardner to discuss this opportunity.

The Project

Professors Hilary Nesi and Sheena Gardner welcome applications and research proposals from those wishing to follow a PhD programme of study in Academic English, corpus linguistics, English for Academic/Specific Purposes (EAP/ESP) and/or lexicography. Find out more about the BAWE and BASE projects.

Please note, following consideration of proposals, suggestions for a supervisory team will be discussed with applicants to ensure the best support for specific projects.

About the Centre/Department

In the School of Humanities there is an active group of professors, academics, teachers, research students and visiting scholars working in the areas of academic English, corpus linguistics and lexicography. Our current PhD students include home and international students, those with extensive professional teaching experience and those with none, all of whom share a keen interest in English and how it is used. Current student projects focus on contrastive Chinese-English metadiscourse in student writing, neologisms in the media, evaluation in research articles, academic English for business, introductions to Engineering PhD theses, grammatical partitives some and any, business correspondence corpora and transfer from EAP to mainstream contexts.

Successful Applicants

Entry criteria for applicants to PHD (standard):

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the Project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.In the event of a first degree classification of less than 2:1, a Masters Degree in a relevant subject area will be considered as an equivalent. The Masters must have been attained with overall minimum marks at merit level (60%).
  • In addition, the dissertation or equivalent element in the Masters must also have been attained with a minimum mark of merit level (60%)


  • a taught Masters degree in a relevant discipline, involving a dissertation of standard length written in English in the relevant subject area with a minimum of a merit profile: 60% overall module average and a minimum of a 60% dissertation mark

  • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a three-year period of study
  • a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)In all cases the most recent and highest qualification attained will be that utilised for assessment purposes
  • knowledge and/or experience in the subject
  • a good knowledge of the English language and/or of teaching English and/or of Systemic Functional Linguistics
  • experience of (or a willingness to learn) about corpus linguistics (if applicable)

Eligibility & Application Procedure