Research course


University of Surrey · Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Entry requirements

A good first degree (a minimum 2.1 or equivalent) and an MA in a topic relevant to Linguistics or Applied Linguistics. In exceptional cases, students with a good first degree will be considered. Students are initially registered for a PhD with probationary status and, subject to satisfactory progress, are subsequently confirmed as having PhD status.

Months of entry

January, October, July, April

Course content

Theoretical, Descriptive and Typological Linguistics

Postgraduates studying Theoretical, Descriptive and Typological Linguistics benefit from membership of a community of researchers in the Surrey Morphology Group working on a variety of topics related to linguistic diversity and its consequences for the analysis of grammatical systems.

Regular presentations are made by Group members, including PhD students, for the purposes of feedback on work in progress or conference preparation.

We regularly organise workshops and conferences linked to research projects undertaken in the Group, providing opportunities for you to network with a wide range of scholars and be exposed to a variety of empirically motivated approaches to linguistics.

Key research areas include:

  • Theoretical morphology (including Network Morphology and Paradigm Function Morphology)
  • Morphological interfaces
  • Linguistic typology (including Canonical Typology)
  • Language Documentation and Description (including Austronesian, Nakh-Daghestanian, Niger-Congo, Nilo-Saharan, Oto-Manguean, Papuan, Slavonic, Tibeto-Burman languages)

Applied linguistics

The research environment in Applied Linguistics provides postgraduate students with the skills and opportunities to explore how linguistic research can be applied in commercial and non-commercial settings, through examination of communication in contemporary communicative contexts resulting from globalisation and new technologies.

Research in this domain has concentrated on the enactment and challenges of intercultural communication in contemporary for profit commercial settings resulting from globalisation, with a view to illuminating best business practices.

The main impact from research conducted in such environments has translated into a tailor-made consultancy and the subsequent re-evaluation and re-deployment of (human) resources by international companies.

Key research areas in Applied Linguistics include:

  • Intercultural communication in commercial and non-commercial settings
  • Interlanguage intercultural pragmatics
  • Face management and (im)politeness
  • Ethnolinguistic minorities
  • Language ideologies and practices in transnational areas
  • Corpora and language learning
  • Corpus-based lexicography

Information for international students

Non-native speakers of English are required to have IELTS 6.5 or above, with a minimum of 7.0 in the Writing component.

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Funding for PhD research in Linguistics or Applied Linguistics in the School of English and Languages is available from two main UK sources: the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Studentships.

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Studentships (maintenance and fees for 3 years for a full-time student or 5 years for a part-time student) are available for UK students through the TECHNE Doctoral Training Partnership.

Overseas students are not eligible for TECHNE Scholarships, and EU students are eligible for fees but not maintenance.

The Faculty Studentship Programme fully funds a number of three-year studentships for top-quality students, covering tuition fees at the Home/EU rate and maintenance at current research-council rates for full-time or part-time study.

Please see the Faculty studentships webpage for further information.

Qualification and course duration


part time
60-96 months
full time
30-48 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions
01483 681 681