Research Programmes

The Language Anaylsis Laboratory


The School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences has one of the largest groups of research students in the University. At present, we have more than 200 research students, following a variety of programmes, each one tailored to specific groups of professionals. We understand that our research students all have different interests and commitments and we have tried to take account of this in the programmes we offer. We have a very diverse and vibrant group of students in the School, many of whom come from overseas.

The basic decision you will have to make if you decide to follow a research degree is whether to take a traditional PhD or a professional doctorate, such as an IPHD or EdD. We offer the following research degrees in ECLS, all leading to the award of Doctorate:

Your choice of programme will depend very much on your personal and professional circumstances. The ‘traditional’ doctorate (PhD) is intended for people who already have a clear idea of their research topic and who have some experience of conducting research independently. If you take this route, it is important that you get in touch with a member of staff whose research interests lie in the same area and who could potentially supervise you. Please send them a brief (no more than 1000 words) summary of your proposed research, outlining the following:

1. Title of proposed project
2. What you propose to do and why it is important.
3. What previous research has been done in this area? What will your work add to the field?
4. Why do you want to do this project?
5. A coherent plan including research questions, methods and techniques to be used and how the methods will answer the research question.
6. Indicate what knowledge/skills you already have which will help you to embark on PhD work in your chosen field.

We can then let you know whether your proposed research is feasible for us to supervise and advise you whether to proceed to a full application.

If you are not exactly sure what the focus of your research will be, or of you feel that you need more specific training in research methods or a particular subject, the professional doctorate (IPHD or EdD) might be a better option. In this degree, you follow taught modules for the first two years and accumulate 200 credits. You then transfer to the research element of the programme and complete a research project which you then write up as a 50,000 word thesis. The research element normally lasts a further two years.

The key features of each degree are summarised below:



Professional Doctorate


Aimed at

Students with some experience of conducting research who are able to work independently.

Students with professional experience who would like to study in a more structured environment.




This degree is by research only. The only taught element is the research methods training modules.


This degree includes both a taught and research element. The taught element has 200 credits over 2 years, the research project takes a further 2 years.



3 years full time, 6-7 years part-time.

IPHD 4 years full-time only; all other degrees can be taken 3 years full-time or 6-7 years part-time.


A thesis of 80-100,000 words.

Coursework plus a thesis of 50,000 words.

Entry requirements

Relevant Master’s degree, plus 6.5 IELTS or equivalent.


Relevant Master’s degree, plus 6.5 IELTS or equivalent.



Online application form plus 3000 word research proposal.

Online application form plus 1000 word outline of research interests.

We have an electronic journal of work written by our research students and run an annual conference of presentations by our research students

Please click on the links to find out more about the individual subject areas.

Applications are considered throughout the year, although specific deadlines for funding may apply. A research proposal, which is linked to the work of a supervisor or research group in the School and which follows our guidelines, must be included in your application. There is also further general application information available.

University funding may be available for these programmes, please check for more details.

Previous student theses

Theses from our previous PhD students can be found here Ph D Dissertations