2020 applicants
Postgraduate Research Course

PhD Linguistics

PhD Linguistics

Overview

The details
Linguistics
October 2020
Full-time
4 years
Colchester Campus

We offer a three-year supervised research route for students with a solid knowledge of existing research in the field and a good understanding of research methods.

We offer PhD supervision in descriptive and theoretical phonology, syntax, semantics, and morphology, with a particular emphasis on cross-linguistic variation and interfaces between different areas of grammar. Research in our department has covered a wide range of the world’s languages, including languages from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe. We are especially interested in fieldwork-based and community-oriented work on understudied languages and linking empirical data to theoretical generalisations.

Examples of PhD projects which our students have undertaken include a comparative study of the phonological processes in Syrian and Jordanian Arabic, the nature of English wh-interrogatives, verb alternation and affixes in Malay and Indonesian, and the syntax of conditional sentences in Syrian Arabic.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.

Why we're great.
  • We are top 10 in the UK for research with the majority of our research rated as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014).
  • Our students are taught, supported and supervised by staff with an international reputation for being at the forefront of research in their areas of expertise.
  • We have a strong research group culture and run regular departmental seminars which feature invited external speakers.
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

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.

Specialist facilities

Within the 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.

The 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

Your future

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.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

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.

International & EU entry requirements

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.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0 (6.0 in writing, with a minimum of 5.5 remaining components)

Structure

Example structure

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.

Assessment

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.

Dissertation

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 and funding

Home/EU fee

£5,103

International fee

£15,460

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

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:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, graduate employability, student support and more
  • talk to our Fees and Funding team about scholarship opportunities
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Applying

You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we’ll ask you to provide as part of your application.

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.

Colchester Campus

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