Research course


University of Essex · Department of Language and Linguistics

Entry requirements

Masters degree in relevant area.

MPhil or PhD

Months of entry

January, April, October

Course content

We offer supervision for our PhD Linguistics in formal and descriptive syntax from a range of theoretical perspectives, especially: English, Arabic, Celtic, Romance and Slavonic languages, theoretical and descriptive phonology, phonological acquisition, second language phonology, the phonology of African languages, morphological theory, lexical semantics, and the philosophy of linguistics.

Examples of PhD projects which our students have undertaken include a comparative study of the phonological processes in Syrian and Jordanian Arabic, the nature of T- to C- movement in English wh-interrogatives, verb alternation and affixes in Malay and Indonesian, and the syntax of conditional sentences in Syrian Arabic.

Many of our former PhD students work in higher education institutions around the world, as teachers and/or as academic researchers. Other career paths our former PhD students have taken include publishing, social work, administration, and retail.

We also offer an MPhil in this subject and part-time research study is also available.

Our Department of Language and Linguistics offers an outstanding teaching and research environment. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE, December 2008), we were rated as producing the highest proportion of world-leading linguistics research of any university in the UK and we were ranked ninth in the UK in the 2012 National Student Survey.

Our students are taught, supported and supervised by staff with an international reputation for being at the forefront of research in a wide range of areas. This means we provide an active and stimulating environment for your studies. We have a strong research group culture and run a weekly Departmental Seminar, which regularly features eminent outside speakers.

Department specialisms

Research supervision is available in the following fields: applied linguistics; Computer Assisted Language Learning; English for specific purposes; English language teaching; experimental linguistics; L1 acquisition; L2 learning; morphology; phonology; psycholinguistics; sociolinguistics; syntax.

Information for international students


Fees and funding

We offer many funding opportunities to support talented postgraduates, ranging from research council studentships and University scholarships to awards funded by charities and other external organisations. For more information, see:

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
48 months
part time
60 months
full time
36 months


full time
24 months
part time
48 months

Course contact details

Graduate Administrator
+44 (0)1206 873473