Entry requirements

Normally a Masters degree in a relevant discipline.

Months of entry


Course content

The MPhil/PhD in Linguistics is a research training programme which combines foundational and advanced courses in the core areas of linguistics, training on research methods and research work leading to a dissertation. The Department is strongly research-oriented, and through a combination of courses, advanced seminars and individual supervision, aims to provide the intellectual discipline, knowledge and skills required of a well-rounded researcher.

Supervision is offered in theoretical, descriptive and comparative linguistics, translation and language pedagogy. Depending on the research topic, it may also be possible to arrange joint supervision with specialists in other departments.

Research in the department

Research interests of the faculty are wide-ranging and span the world's languages, from Chinese to Arabic, Swahili to Korean, Mongolian to Japanese. This focus on Asian and African languages, combined with the unparalleled access to the considerable language and regional expertise of other SOAS researchers constitutes a unique resource for the study of theoretical, comparative and descriptive linguistics, language documentation and description, language pedagogy and translation.

Some recent research theses
  • Mahmoud Fathulla Ahmad: The tense and aspect system in Kurdish
  • Najat Benchiba: A structural analysis of Moroccan Arabic and English intra-sentential code switching
  • Kay Johnson: Static spatial expression in Ske – an Oceanic language of Vanuatu
  • Judith Nakayiza: The sociolinguistics of multilingualism in Uganda
  • Ian Pickett: Some aspects of dialect variation among the nomads in Syria and Lebanon
  • Teresa Poeta: Object properties and object marking in Makhuwa
  • Sandy Ritchie: Internal possessor prominence in Chimane

Department specialisms

Phonology; Syntax; Semantics; Computational Linguistics; Dialectology; Phonetics; Historical Linguistics; Preservation of Threatened Languages

Information for international students

Information, including English Language requirements, can be found here: https://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/international/

Fees and funding

British Academy, ESRC, EPSRC, university.

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months
full time
36 months


full time
24 months
part time
36 months

Further details of qualification

Candidates are normally registered for an MPhil and convert to a PhD after successful completion of the first year.

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Office
020 7898 4700