Research course

English Language and Applied Linguistics

University of Birmingham · Department of English Literature and Creative Writing
PhDMA by research

Entry requirements

Students applying for an MA have normally obtained a good (usually Upper Second) undergraduate degree, while students applying for a PhD have either a very good undergraduate degree (First Class) or a taught postgraduate degree (MA or MPhil). Work-related experience is also taken into account for registration.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

We offer promising candidates the opportunity to carry out research in one of the most dynamic institutions in Britain. Our principal areas of research expertise are Corpus Linguistics, Stylistics and Discourse Studies, and Language Learning and Teaching.

The MA by Research programme requires you to prepare a dissertation of up to 40,000 words on a topic of your choice, for which an academic staff member will provide expert supervision.

The PhD – the most advanced research degree – leads to a dissertation of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice and under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff.

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

Our principal areas of research include: Corpus Linguistics – our work in this area incorporates interests in linguistic theory and language description, including descriptive translation and contrastive studies, phraseology and the lexis–grammar interface, and in the application of corpus investigation techniques to areas such as translation, lexicography and diachronic language study. Corpus techniques also underpin much of our work in discourse studies and in language learning and teaching. Stylistics and Discourse Studies – our work here focuses on themes such as narrative analysis, critical discourse analysis, translation studies and social theory, and on topics such as literary stylistics, workplace discourse, academic discourse, the relationship between language and social class, evaluation, language and new media, everyday creativity, and multi-modal discourse. Language Learning and Teaching – our work in this area incorporates corpus approaches to phraseology, lexis and grammar, and discourse approaches to academic literacies. This also includes a focus on the teaching and learning of figurative language, collocation, and business English in the context of English as a global language. We also focus on cognitive linguistics and its applications to language learning and teaching.

Information for international students

The University of Birmingham has a long tradition of hospitality to overseas students. Students study in a diverse and multicultural community. Students become part of a diverse postgraduate community through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School.

Fees and funding

UK students
PhD/MA by Research £4,121 FT - £2,061 PT / PhD PT by DL: £6,840
International students
PhD/MA by Research £13,680 FT / PhD PT by DL: £6,840

Please visit:

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months
full time
36 months
distance learning
72 months

MA by research

full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate enquiry service
0121 414 5005