Research course

Applied Linguistics

University of Glasgow · College of Arts

Entry requirements

Our regular standard of admission is at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree (2:1), although candidates will usually also have completed or be undertaking a Masters qualification.

Research proposal

Candidates are required to provide an outline of the proposed research subject in about 2000 words. This should be discussed with a potential supervisor prior to making your formal application.

Your research proposal need not be a final thesis proposal but should include:

  • a straightforward, descriptive, and informative title
  • the question that your research will address
  • an account of why this question is important and worth investigating
  • an assessment of how your own research will engage with recent study in the subject
  • a brief account of the methodology and approach you will take
  • a discussion of the primary sources that your research will draw upon, including printed books, manuscripts, archives, libraries, or museums
  • an indicative bibliography of secondary sources that you have already consulted and/or are planning to consult

Months of entry


Course content

A PhD in applied linguistics at the University of Glasgow will support students in the development of their theoretical and empirical skills, so that they are well-placed to make an original contribution to this dynamic field.

Suitable candidates are those who are eager to explore a range of language issues as they pertain and are applied to real-world settings, for example in domains such as education, workplace settings, and the media. Students are guided by leading experts in cutting-edge sub-disciplines within Applied Linguistics, spanning Systemic Functional Linguistics, Critical Discourse Analysis, forensic linguistics, multilingualism, language and identity, and language education in tertiary settings.

PhD students benefit from the interdisciplinary nature of the expertise and practice represented by the supervisory team, developing skills and understanding not only within Applied Linguistics, but being able to complement this with knowledge in the wider field of English Language and Linguistics as well as academic domains such as Education, Modern Languages (including Translation Studies), Cultural Studies and Media. Undertaking a PhD programme in Applied Linguistics also offers students the chance to engage with scholarship in the field from a wide variety of researchers in institutions across the world, through our Applied Linguistics-focused research seminars as well as the broader English Language and Linguistics series, which our PGR students are also welcome to attend.

We particularly welcome prospective PhD topics in the following areas:

  • Critical approaches to language and communication (with a specific focus on discourses of sustainability)
  • Language and education (with a specific focus on linguistic perspectives on the internationalisation of higher education; language learning and teaching in tertiary contexts; language learning motivation, attitudes and identity)
  • Professional and institutional discourse (with a specific focus on legal contexts, and analysis of spoken discourse)
  • Multilingualism (with a specific focus on social approaches to multilingualism; language and migration; language and globalisation; attitudes and identity)
  • SFL (with a specific focus on textuality and communicative dynamism)
  • Any applications of semantic, corpus or sociolinguistic theory

Information for international students

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • 7.0 with no sub-test under 7.0.
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    60 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

The School of Critical Studies