Research course


University of Nottingham · School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Entry requirements

2:1 (or international equivalent) in an arts, humanities, or social science subject. For PhD-level study, applicants should hold, or be working towards, a masters degree in a relevant subject. English language requirements: IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.5 in any element).

Months of entry


Course content

Language is central to human nature and is a fundamental dimension of social interaction. This new PhD in Sociolinguistics will enable you to focus specifically on the study of language in social interaction. Indicative areas of research (in any language) may include the analysis of the structures and patterns of ordinary conversation, talk in institutional settings and in the workplace (e.g., interaction in healthcare, education, the media, legal, commercial, political settings etc), Conversation Analysis and its application to social interaction, Conversation Analysis and Linguistics (Interactional Linguistics). Or you may investigate particular actions and their social construction (e.g., compliments, complaints, requests, accusations etc) or specific themes in interaction (e.g., affiliation, neutrality, conflict, the construction of identity, displays of knowledge, grammar in interaction etc). Your research will be based on datasets of actual interaction. You may focus on a single language of your choice or conduct a comparative study between two or more languages, if appropriate. You may also investigate social interaction in one or more settings (e.g. ordinary conversation, interaction in professional settings, service encounters, helplines, call centres, news interviews etc). If you are unsure whether we can offer supervision for your chosen research topic, please contact our Postgraduate and Research administrator with your research proposal. The course is normally completed in three years full-time or six years part-time. You will follow a course of directed research under the supervision of your supervisors. This will lead to the completion of an 80,000-word thesis.

For a more extensive overview, please visit the course page on the University of Nottingham's online prospectus.

Fees and funding

The Graduate School at The University of Nottingham provides information on internal and external sources of postgraduate funding.

There is also funding information on the School of Cultures, Languages & Area Studies web pages.

For information on funding opportunities for international students, please see the International Office website.

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Enquiries
+44 (0)115 951 5917