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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

PhD in Applied Linguistics

PhD in Applied Linguistics

The Department is interested in receiving applications in a wide range of Applied Linguistics Areas (please note: currently we can offer limited supervision in TESOL or ELT topics). Particular research strengths are focused on the study of institutional communication (for example, health and science communication), the relationships between politics, language and culture, and electronic communication. 

Our current PhD projects

Find out more about PhD at QMUL

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements for our PhD programmes are:   

  • a Bachelor's degree (or international equivalent), with a minimum final degree classification of 2.1 (or international equivalent)  
  • a Master's degree (or international equivalent), with a minimum final degree classification of Merit (or international equivalent) 
  • proof of proficiency in academic English (e.g., minimum IELTS 7.0, with a minimum of 7.0 in writing), where applicable 
  • a compelling research proposal that closely aligns with the research interests and expertise of staff in the department
  • capacity to conduct independent and original PhD-level research (as evidenced by a statement of purpose and letters of reference)

Structure of the PhD Programme

The programme is normally a 3-year full time (or 6-year part time) research only PhD programme (i.e., there is no mandatory coursework component and students are expected to immediately start their research). In May of every year of the programme full-time PhD students are expected to pass an annual progress review.

All students are expected to participate in training and research activities organised by the department. Students also have the opportunity to present their ongoing research to the department.

Funding Competitions and Deadlines

Applicants to our PhD programmes may be eligible for competitive funding awards managed by the University. Students hoping to be competitive for funding awards should allow time to substantially revise their initial proposals following feedback from their potential supervisor(s). This means initial contact should be made before December of the year preceding the intended start date.

We have several types of scholarship to support doctoral study:

Queen Mary HSS Principal’s Doctoral Research Studentships open to any student applying for doctoral study within the School. 

For further information on PhD funding please consult: QMUL Research Funding 

It is essential to contact a potential supervisor to discuss your proposed PhD project before you apply for admission. We normally do not accept students who have not yet secured an agreement from a potential supervisor. 

Initial inquiry

Candidates are encouraged to send their research proposal and academic curriculum vitae (CV) to a prospective supervisor.

Project proposal (max. 2000 words) including the following: 

  • Introduction/Rationale
  • Literature review
  • Methods
  • Work plan for 3 years, please specify likely starting date and prospective completion date
  • Bibliography (excluded from word count)

In addition please specify whether your application would be for a self-funded PhD or PhD dependent on securing funding; and full time or part time. 


Potential Supervisors

You can choose a supervisor from any one of the following staff members, who between them cover a range of Applied Linguistics topics. It is essential to contact a possible supervisor to discuss your proposed PhD project before you apply for admission.  If you submit an application without having first confirmed a supervisor, we will circulate your application amongst staff to see if there is any interest, but this can lead to delays in processing the application, and is not usually successful.

Agnieszka Lyons

multimodal and intersemiotic communication, translanguaging in electronically mediated discourse, self-presentation and textual representation of the body, expression of location and self-positioning in discourse, storyworld construction in communication

Weronika Fernando

Language and literacy in academic and professional settings, applications of digital media to language/literacy teaching and learning, social justice in language education, cross-cultural communication, discourse analysis 

Zahid Naz

Education and Sociology. Teacher Education/ Training, quality of language education, classroom observations, ESOL and EFL, Foucauldian discourse analysis, Education policy, Language teaching and Complexity Theory, Neoliberalism and Education, connections between politics, language and identity.

 Nelya Koteyko

Health communication, media discourse, digital literacies and identities, critical metaphor analysis, corpus assisted discourse analysis

Falco Pfalzgraf

linguistic purism; the influence of English on other languages; text book / school books analysis; the relationships between politics language and culture

Saima Sherazi

Evaluation of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) ; English Language Teaching (ELT)  Multimedia materials evaluation; ELT Curriculum Design; Academic Writing; English for Specific Purposes; English for Academic purposes; Teacher Identity; Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

Ernesto Vargas

Education Reform; Language Policy; Language Teacher Education with a focus on Continuing Professional Development practices; Language Teacher Research; Critical Discourse Analysis; Discursive practices and Ideology; Social Justice in Language Teacher Education and Language Education; Research Methodology, particularly concerning in-depth qualitative inquiry approaches in educational settings. 


How to apply

Before making a formal application, you are advised to consult a potential supervisor directly with a draft research proposal. Note that indication of interest on the part of a potential supervisor does NOT guarantee acceptance into the programme. Admissions decisions are based on all elements of your application dossier. Application form can be found here.

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