Research course

English Language and Applied Linguistics

University of Birmingham · Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics
PhDMA by research

Entry requirements

Typical offer: Honours degree 2.1 or equivalent in a relevant subject or Masters in cognate field. Honours degree 2.1 or equivalent in a relevant subject (e.g English Language, Language Education, Linguistics, TEFL) or Masters in cognate field (e.g Translation, Communication, Social Studies)

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

This programme is designed for individuals wishing to achieve a PhD qualification in Applied Linguistics via a combination of coursework and independent research. It incorporates subject knowledge, research training and the development of transferable skills and is particularly suited to PhD applicants who require the masters-level applied linguistics research training that is necessary in order to undertake independent PhD study.

This PhD has been developed not only to build on research strengths in linguistics, English language teaching, bilingual education and multilingualism across the University, but also to build on modules from existing MA and MRes programmes in English.

Year one is devoted to coursework to build generic applied linguistics research skills that are then applied in years two to four through independent research with supervisory support and complementary research training.

At Birmingham you also have the option of studying languages, free of charge. Almost no other UK University offers you the opportunity to learn the intense graduate academic language skills which you may need to pursue your research.

The taught elements of this programme include the following module options (each module is 20 credits):

Compulsory Modules

  • Research Methods in Applied Linguistics
  • Introduction to corpus linguistics*
  • Second language learning

Optional Modules: (Two Modules from those listed below)

  • Cognitive aspects of language learning
  • Communicative language teaching
  • Discourse for teachers
  • Forensic linguistics
  • Functional grammar
  • Genre studies
  • Introduction to translation studies
  • Quantitative research in applied linguistics
  • Research methods in corpus linguistics
  • Spoken and written discourse*

* available as a distance module.

To allow for further interdisciplinarity, researchers may choose optional masters or doctoral level modules up to 20 credits from other programmes at the University, subject to the agreement of the supervisors and programme leaders.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days (Friday 13 November 2015 and Friday 4 March 2016). Register to attend at:

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit:

Department specialisms

Innovation in ELT; Corpus Linguistics; Language in the Workplace; Discourse and Culture; Translation

Information for international students

IELTS 6.5 Students study in a diverse and multicultural community on and off campus. Not only do students benefit from research training courses, they also receive support through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School.

Fees and funding

UK students
£4,121 FT - £2,061 PT
International students
£13,680 FT

Please visit:

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
48-72 months

MA by research

full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate enquiry service
0121 414 5005