Our research

Find a PhD

Find a PhD

Use our research finder to find the right PhD for you. Studying for your PhD gives you the chance to investigate your topics in depth and develop new high-level skills, opening doors to many careers.

Leaders in research

We're one of the largest and most prestigious language and linguistics departments in the world, a place where talented students become part of an academic community that undertakes world-leading research.

We're ranked 8th in the UK for research quality (REF 2014) with more than three-quarters of our research rated 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent', and ranked among the top 200 departments on the planet according to the QS World University Rankings (2017).

At Essex, you become part of a large and thriving research community, supported by excellent facilities and surrounded by academics who are leaders in their fields.

Publications in top journals

Our staff are not only actively publishing recent research in top-ranked international journals, but have authored many of the most widely used linguistics textbooks in the world.

Areas of specialism

Our department has ten research groups covering many areas of language and linguistics research.

World-class department

Dr Rebecca Clift talks about her interest in languages, our department, and how she read the books that her colleagues wrote as a student.

Research events

During term-time, we run a weekly departmental seminar with guest speakers from other universities discussing their work. Open to everyone, these seminars promise a lively and informative discussion.

We also host special events. Recenlty, we held a seminar series funded by an ESRC grant to look at the issues involved in evaluating language data from asylum seekers.

Our conferences and workshops cover a range of topics including sociolinguistics, applied lingusitcs and psycholinguistics where our students present their research. We also host conferences for student researchers and modern language teachers.

Our research students

Working on a wide range of projects, our research students have carried out ground-breaking research, from improving methods used to teach foreign languages, through the description of little-known varieties of language, to the study of how language is acquired and represented in the mind.