Linguistics PHD

Why choose this course

The School of Literature and Languages is internationally regarded and our research takes a strong multi-disciplinary approach, and covers languages and linguistic settings all over the world. 

Most of our research in theoretical and applied linguistics focuses on the consequences of linguistic diversity. Our postgraduate research looks at the grammatical structure of languages and the ways in which language-related research can have practical applications, with applied linguistics research considering topics such as multiculturalism and mobility, multilingual practices in business and educational contexts, intercultural pragmatics, second and foreign language learning and teaching, lexicography and corpus linguistics. 

We’re also home to the Surrey Morphology Group, a linguistics research centre that focuses on theoretical morphology, morphological interfaces, linguistic typology, and documenting and describing languages. 

We’ve been awarded over £2m in external funding since 2012, with funding coming from the European Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust, among others. We’re part of a number of externally funded doctoral training partnerships, and you might be able to benefit from a studentship from us if you’re suitable qualified.

What you will study

It normally takes three-years of full-time study or six years of part-time study to complete our PhD in Linguistics. You’ll take a confirmation viva at 12-15 months (or 24-30 months part-time) and then be assessed by a thesis and viva examination.

You’ll be assigned two supervisors, who you’ll meet with monthly to discuss your progress. Your supervisors will guide you through your PhD, and will give you feedback and advice on your work.

As a doctoral student in the School of Literatures and Languages, you’ll receive a structured training programme covering the practical aspects of being a researcher, including grant writing, publishing in journals, and applying for academic jobs.

Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Start date
PHD Full-time 48 months October 2018
PHD Part-time 96 months January 2019
PHD Part-time 96 months October 2018
PHD Full-time 48 months April 2018
PHD Full-time 48 months July 2018
PHD Part-time 96 months April 2018
PHD Part-time 96 months July 2018

Additional costs

There are additional costs that you can expect to incur when studying at Surrey. Find out more.

Code of practice for research degrees

Surrey’s postgraduate research code of practice sets out the University's policy and procedural framework relating to research degrees.

The code defines a set of standard procedures and specific responsibilities covering the academic supervision, administration and assessment of research degrees for all faculties within the University.

Download the code of practice for research degrees (PDF).

Research themes

Theoretical linguistics

  • 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 

  • Intercultural communication in commercial and educational 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
  • Foreign/second language learning and teaching

Our academic staff

See a full list of all our academic staff within the School of Literature and Languages.

Research facilities

You’ll be allocated desk space within the School of Literature and Languages, and you’ll also be able to take advantage of our common rooms for socialising and networking with other students and staff.

We can also provide you with access of a wide range of equipment for linguistic field work, including a state-of-the-art digital language lab.

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to hold 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.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category and at least 7.0 in the writing component.

View the other English language qualifications that we accept.

If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.

Selection process

Selection is based on applicants meeting the expected entry requirements, assessment of application, successful interview and suitable references where required.

Students are initially registered for a PhD with probationary status and, subject to satisfactory progress, are subsequently confirmed as having PhD status.

Fees

Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Oversees fees
Full-time October 2018 £4,260 £16,000
Part-time January 2019 £2,130 £8,000
Part-time October 2018 £2,130 £8,000
Full-time April 2018 £4,195 £16,000
Full-time July 2018 £4,195 £16,000
Part-time April 2018 £2,100 £8,000
Part-time July 2018 £2,100 £8,000

For fees payable in 2018/19, these will increase by 4 per cent, rounded up to the nearest £100 for subsequent years of study. Any start date other than October will attract a pro-rata fee for that year of entry (75 per cent for January, 50 per cent for April and 25 per cent for July).

Overseas students applying for 2018 entry should note that annual fees will rise by 4% rounded up to the nearest £100.

View a complete list of all fees for our research programmes.

Studentships

We have a host of partly and fully-funded studentship opportunities available.

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences studentship

Funding information:
This studentship includes a tuition fee waiver (home/EU or international) and a maintenance stipend at current research-council rates for a full-time PhD.

Development of novel radiation-grafted powder ionomers for use in high performance alkali membrane fuel cells

Funding information:
Funding status: Directly Funded Project (European/UK Students only) EU/UK  fees for 3 years: 2018-19 level £4195 Standard stipend for 3 years: 2017-18 level £14,553 £5k bench fees across three-year project

Integrated Control Systems for Safe Automated Driving in Emergency Conditions

Funding information:
The studentship will cover fees and a stipend for Home and EU applicants.

Metal Halide Perovskites for Photovoltaic and Light-Emission Applications

Funding information:
Applicants must have a masters degree or first class undergraduate (or equivalent) in Chemistry, Materials Science, Physics or Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the time of start of the PhD. The post is open for home-fee qualifying applicants.

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