Research course

Applied Linguistics

Institution
Birkbeck, University of London · Applied Linguistics and Communication
Qualifications
MPhil/PhD

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Entry requirements

  • A good Master's degree in a relevant subject.
  • Some relevant work experience is desirable, but not essential.
  • A good research proposal will also be required.

Months of entry

January, April, October

Course content

Applied linguistics aims to investigate real-world phenomena in which language plays a central role. At MPhil/PhD level, we aim for you to make the transition into a fully fledged, independent academic researcher, with the skills necessary to present your research orally as well as in writing, in addition to pushing back the frontiers of knowledge. Such independence is achieved through good scholarship, which includes original thought, the proper use of references, background material, methodology and accountable reporting procedures.

Once equipped with the generic and discipline-specific tools for carrying out research, you will pursue your particular research interests, supported by regular meetings with your supervisor and presentations and attendance at MPhil/PhD seminars.

An MPhil/PhD is an advanced postgraduate research degree that requires original research and the submission of a substantial dissertation of 60,000 to 100,000 words. At Birkbeck, you are initially registered on an MPhil and you upgrade to a PhD after satisfactory progress in the first year or two. You need to find a suitable academic supervisor at Birkbeck, who can offer the requisite expertise to guide and support you through your research. Find out more about undertaking a research degree at Birkbeck.

If you do not have a directly relevant Master's degree in applied linguistics or communication (e.g. you have an MA in a modern language, sociology, TESOL/education or a Master's degree from a country where English is not the first language), we offer integrated PhDs, which are the same as conventional PhDs but with enhanced structured learning (i.e. taught modules). They will provide you with the latest knowledge of linguistics and/or communication, and cover a wider range of topics to assist you in choosing an appropriate topic for your dissertation. The required length of the dissertation is shorter than that of a conventional PhD.

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent. Our current research centres around: bilingualism and multilingualism; child language development; second language acquisition; psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics; corpus linguistics; sociolinguistics; cross-cultural pragmatics; discourse and conversation analysis; intercultural communication; language teaching; and translation theory.

Highlights

  • The Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication was established in 1965, making it the first department in England to focus on the study of applied linguistics. It has contributed greatly to the field over the years and remains the only department of applied linguistics in the University of London.
  • Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the most recent Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.
  • The Department is an Institutional Member of the British Association of Applied Linguistics and an affiliated member of the International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA).
  • It houses the Centre for Multilingual and Multicultural Research, and the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism (Taylor and Francis).

Information for international students

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Fees and funding

PhD students resident in England can apply for government loans of over £26,000 to cover the cost of tuition fees, maintenance and other study-related costs.

to cover the cost of tuition fees, maintenance and other study-related costs.

Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

Fees discounts: If you are a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

The School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy attracts funding for studentships that ensure researchers of the highest standard can pursue their research with us. Find out more about other research funding opportunities at Birkbeck.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil/PhD
    part time
    84 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Name
Student Advice Service
Email
studentadvice@bbk.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)20 3907 0700