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 supervision for our PhD Psycholinguistics and Neurolinguistics in the areas of first language acquisition and language processing.
Examples of PhD projects include investigating word segmentation in infants, the development of the bilingual infant lexicon, the representation of phonological and morphological information in the lexicon of the adult and the child.
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 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.
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 2.2 Honours Degree, or equivalent, in a related subject.
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.
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.
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently planned for 2021 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.
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.
£16,230EU students commencing their course in the 2021-22 academic year will be liable for the International fee.
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.
Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.
The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.
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At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.
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