We offer supervision for our PhD Applied Linguistics in the area of second language acquisition and learning.
Within this field, we have expertise in: second language syntax, explicit and implicit knowledge and learning, vocabulary learning and use, individual differences in second language learning, language testing, figurative language and discourse processing. Examples of PhD projects which our students have undertaken include the acquisition of the English article system by native speakers of Korean and Spanish, the relationship of working memory and self-correction behaviour in instructed second language learners' speech, and second language acquisition mediated by a CALL environment. This PhD is available as a PhD by Supervised Research (three years) and as an Integrated New Route PhD (four years).
Many of our former PhD students work in higher education institutions around the world, as teachers and/or as academic researchers. Other career paths our former PhD students have taken include publishing, social work, administration, and retail.
We also offer an MPhil in this subject.
Please note, part-time research study is also available.
Within our Department of Language and Linguistics, you will be allocated a supervisor whose role it is to guide you through the different stages of your research degree. In some cases, you may have joint supervision by two members of our staff.
The support provided by your supervisor is a key feature of your research student experience and you will have regular one-to-one meetings to discuss progress on your research. Initially, your supervisor will help you develop your research topic and plan.
Twice a year, you will have a supervisory board meeting, which provides a more formal opportunity to discuss your progress and agree your plans for the next six months.
Within our Department of Language and Linguistics, we aim to provide our research students with work and storage space, including laboratory facilities and access to online bibliographies, corpora and other resources.
Our University of Essex has excellent library holdings in all areas of linguistics, with online access to many periodicals and resources. We have open access computing labs running many software packages that our research students need in their work.
Given the breadth of our provision within the Department of Language and Linguistics, career prospects for our graduates vary depending on the study undertaken. Often the career destination of our PhD students is university lecturing or research. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the areas of linguistics we cover, this could be in departments of English, linguistics, education, sociology or cognitive science.
You will need a good Masters degree or equivalent, in a related subject. A well-developed research proposal is also essential
If you don’t have Masters, our four-year integrated PhD, allows you to spend your first year studying at Masters level in order to develop the necessary knowledge and skills and to start your independent research in year two. This option is not available to all programmes, please contact us for more information.
You may be required to attend an interview/Skype interview for acceptance, and acceptance is subject to research expertise in the department.
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
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A research degree doesn't have a taught structure, giving you the chance to investigate your chosen topic in real depth and reach a profound understanding. In communicating that understanding, through a thesis or other means, you have a rare opportunity to generate knowledge. A research degree allows you to develop new high-level skills, enhance your professional development and build new networks. It can open doors to many careers.
On our four-year route (the Integrated ‘new route’ PhD), your first year is a preparatory MRes year so you take six taught modules and write an assessed MRes dissertation. This programme is ideal if you wish to develop your knowledge of existing research and improve your understanding of research methods before embarking on independent research.
On our three-year supervised research route, if you already have a solid knowledge of existing research in your field and a good understanding of research methods, plus a suitable research proposal, you immediately begin your independent research, under the guidance of your supervisor.
Within the Department of Language and Linguistics, throughout your research studies, your training needs will be regularly assessed. Every six months your progress is formally checked by a supervisory panel consisting of your supervisor, an adviser, and a chairperson. At least once a year this meeting takes place face to face to discuss how you are getting on. You report on your progress in writing by completing a form twice a year.
Your thesis has a maximum length of 80,000 words.
Within our Department of Language and Linguistics, throughout your research studies, your training needs will be regularly assessed. Every six months your progress is formally checked by a supervisory board consisting of your supervisor, an adviser, and a chairperson. You fill in a form answering questions about your progress, and there may be a face to face meeting to discuss how you are getting on.
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
We hold open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
We encourage you to make a preliminary enquiry directly to a potential supervisor or the Graduate Administrator within your chosen Department or School. We encourage the consideration of a brief research proposal prior to the submission of a full application.
We aim to respond to applications within four weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.
For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.
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