Research course

English Language

The University of Manchester · School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

Entry requirements

Successful completion of a Masters course with an overall classification of Merit or higher, or its overseas equivalent, with an element of research training, is a prerequisite for entry to a PhD. A research proposal must be included with the formal application materials.

The University requires you to reside within a commutable distance from Manchester during your time as a registered student, unless you are on approved fieldwork/a formal placement or are on a period of Submission pending. This is to ensure that you are able to meet attendance expectations and participate in wider research activities within your discipline area and/or School. Should you be unable to do this at any point during your programme, a formal case must be made to the Faculty office, together with the full support of your supervisor(s). The University reserves the right to reject such a request where it is considered that your residency could have a detrimental impact on the progression and engagement of your studies.

Months of entry


Course content

The Department of Linguistics and English Language is an international centre for the Linguistics of English, with 22 full-time members of staff and approximately 35 Postgraduate Research students. It is virtually unique in the UK and beyond in the breadth of subject areas and theoretical approaches represented by its members, many of whom are internationally renowned scholars in their specialisms. Manchester scholars contributed to The Cambridge history of the English language and The Cambridge grammar of the English language . In their research, members of the department combine the advancement of theoretical approaches with a strong concern for their empirical and methodological foundations.

Potential PhD projects in English Language may fall into any department member's area of expertise. These include English historical linguistics, quantitative corpus-based approaches to both historical and contemporary varieties of English, English dialects, child language acquisition, and variationist sociolinguistics. Specialisms include all areas of linguistics analysis ranging from phonetics and phonology to syntax (Lexical-Functional Grammar, Role and Reference Grammar, Construction Grammar, and Minimalism), formal semantics, and pragmatics. We do not, however, supervise projects with a focus on the teaching and learning of English.

For more information about the research interests of individual members of staff, please visit

Information for international students

Students whose first language is not English require:

an overall IELTS score of 7.0 with 7.0 in the writing component


a TOEFL score of 600 paper-based test or 100 internet-based test


a Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of 70 overall with 70 in the writing component


an overall Trinity Integrated Skills in English (ISE) III grade of Merit with Merit in the writing component.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

The School offers a limited number of bursaries and studentships on a competitive basis, details of which can be found via the links below.

Please note that whilst we do not have closing dates for programme applications, all funding competitions have a specified deadline for submitting the funding application form and a separate (earlier) deadline for submitting the online programme application form, both of which will be stated in the funding competition details below:

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months

Course contact details

School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
+44 (0)161 275 3559