Newcastle University is one of the largest centres for linguistic research in Europe. This gives you the unique opportunity to learn a wide range of methodologies. You will be exposed to diverse theoretical perspectives, which will enrich your own research.
As a postgraduate researcher in linguistics or applied linguistics, you will carry out a major research project working with supervisors who are experts in your field. We offer supervision in a wide range of languages and areas, including:
- second language learning
- conversation and discourse analysis
- inter/cross cultural communication
- corpus linguistics
- oral communicative competence in a second language
- language endangerment
- syntax and morphology
- phonetics and phonology
- history of English
- language variation and change
- language evolution
- (variationist) sociolinguistics
- first and second language acquisition
Linguistics and applied linguistics is split across three Schools:
- School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences
- School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics
- School of Modern Languages
Our Schools score well in student satisfaction surveys and we have a diverse set of staff expertise. In the 2012 Postgraduate Research Experience Survey, 94% of our students stated that their supervision expectations were met or exceeded. More recently, Professor Anders Holmberg won our student-led award for Best Research Supervisor of 2013.
Centres and Institutes
Our links with research centres and institutes provide opportunities for collaboration and cross-disciplinary seminars and interest groups. Our most important connections are with:
- Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Studies
- Institute for Health and Society
- Centre for Research in Learning and Teaching
The Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences (CRiLLS) offers research training to complement that delivered by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. A postgraduate researcher and a member of academic staff organise the programme, which ensures that it addresses linguistics students’ needs. Sessions include:
- writing conference abstracts
- presenting at conferences
- preparing job applications
- preparing for interviews
We also provide practical workshops on specialist software programs. These include statistical packages and those used in corpus linguistic methodologies.
Our supervisors' current research interests, projects and publications are available from our staff profiles in the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences and the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics.
You will develop your career within a research-led community and benefit from funding opportunities. Recent MPhil and PhD graduates have gone into a variety of careers, including:
- university administration
Additionally, you can involve yourself in range of activities and events. As a PhD student you can gain experience in journal editing and conference organisation. You will have the opportunity to join the editorial team in publishing the annual Newcastle Working Papers in Linguistics. You can also get involved in the organising team of the annual Postgraduate Conference in Applied and Theoretical Linguistics. As well as this, you can present your work to a student audience for feedback at our regular Student Work in Progress (SWiP) meetings.
You will be welcome to join our Special Interest Groups (SIGs) in linguistics, which meet on a regular basis. These allow researchers to share ideas, develop new skills and get feedback on their work. The meetings involve discussions on research papers, presenting or viewing presentations and receiving linguistic software guidance. Current SIGs include:
- language variation and change
- theoretical phonology
- corpus linguistics
- language and cognition
You will also have the opportunity to attend guest lectures. We often invite international scholars to present on their research specialism. Recent distinguished speakers include:
- Prof. Ellen Bialystok (York University, Toronto)
- Prof. J.K. Chambers (University of Toronto)
- Prof. David Pesetsky (MIT)
- Prof. Elizabeth Closs Traugott (Stanford University)
Your attendance at Newcastle is flexible, depending on your field work or if you are away collecting data. You will have regular meetings with your supervisory team, supported by email and Skype.
You will be part of a diverse community with a high number of international students. You will have opportunities to attend seminars across the disciplines of linguistics, applied linguistics, speech and language sciences and education to engage with staff and fellow-students from all over the world. Many of our students already have well-developed professional careers and are inspired to explore research questions arising from their experience.
The MPhil involves research leading to the completion of a 50,000 word thesis. This is ideal if you do not need formal training (eg established scholars). You could also use the MPhil as the first stage to registering on the PhD. The PhD is an independent, supervised research project. This leads to the production of a 100,000 word thesis. You will develop your own ideas and explore the field of knowledge to which your thesis topic relates. This involves:
- critical engagement with relevant literature
- selection and/or collection of data
- analysis and interpretation of the data within a specific theoretical framework
- further development of that framework
You will work with supervisors who are responsible for guidance and advice. They will be your first point of contact if you have any academic issues. If you choose to study full time, you will have at least ten structured interactions with your supervisors per year. If you study part time, you will have at least five. If you are based in the UK and wish to maintain your professional employment, part time study is a flexible option.
You can choose to enter the annual competition for ESRC funded studentships through the ESRC Northern Ireland/North East (NINE) Doctoral Training Partnership. You should contact us well in advance of the February deadline if you are planning to apply.
Our postgraduate communities enjoy dedicated workspace and common room, with excellent computing facilities. The space provides a range of resources, including access to linguistics software (eg Childes, Clan, Elan, Praat), linguistic corpora (e.g. DECTE, ICE, ICAME) and specialised equipment (eg the Eye Tracker).
You will have access to two postgraduate research student study rooms, the largest of which has recently been upgraded with additional workstations and soft seating area. Our Resource Centre is also available to use and we have three on-site clinics:
In the news
Newcastle moves up 20 places into the top 150 in the QS World University Rankings 2019.
published on: 15 June 2018
Student blogger Lydia's story of why she chose to take on postgraduate study.
published on: 18 June 2018
Student blogger Hannah tells us her story about the support she received from Newcastle University.
published on: 13 June 2018
Training & Skills
As a research student you will receive a tailored package of academic and administrative support to ensure you maximise your research and future career. The academic information is in the programme profile and you will be supported by our doctoral training centres, Faculty Training Programme and Research Student Support Team.
Our Faculty Training Programme provides a community made up of postgraduate social sciences and humanities students and staff. It is a unique blend of cross-disciplinary and generic researcher development training, recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as providing a solid basis for doctoral study.
Although your focus will be on your specialist study, our aim is for you to develop a broad range of research and project management skills that will support you in your career ahead. We have nurtured a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary and supportive environment where staff and students from across the world can come together and share their research experiences. You can also choose to register for a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Training, which accredits the core foundation modules on the training programme.
You will study in our Doctoral Training Suite with purpose-built facilities for lectures, workshops, seminars and computer access to specialist software required for doctoral research in the social sciences and humanities. Each year we have two student-led research postgraduate conferences and we have a variety of prizes and awards to celebrate the successes of our students.
ESRC Northern Ireland/North East (NINE) Doctoral Training Partnership
The ESRC Northern Ireland/North East (NINE) Doctoral Training Partnership is a joint venture between Durham University, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Queen’s University Belfast, University of Sunderland, Teesside University and Ulster University. We are a centre of excellence for postgraduate social sciences. We offer a world-class, interdisciplinary environment for doctoral training and research.
Funded and accredited by the ESRC, we are one of the most innovative of the national network of doctoral training centres with a strong track record of partnership working with public, private and community organisations.
Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership
Based at Newcastle University, Northern Bridge brings together the expertise and exceptional resources of Newcastle University, Durham University, Queen’s University Belfast and their partners for the training and development of outstanding arts and humanities postgraduate researchers.
Northern Bridge is funded by the AHRC to provide doctoral studentships and has been commended for the strength of its research base, shared vision, and its successful track record of partnership working.
Postgraduate research student support
Our award winning Research Student Support Team is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. The team can help and advise you on a variety of issues from registration to producing your transcripts.
Fees & Funding
The fees displayed here are per year.
Full time: £4,800
Part time: £2,400
Full time: £4,800
Part time: £2,400
Full time: £15,600
Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.
EU students starting at Newcastle in 2018 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.
A 2:1 honours degree and a master's degree, or international equivalents, in relevant subjects.
Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.
Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: email@example.com for further information.
English Language Requirements
Select an English language test from the list to view our English language entry requirements.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Pre-sessional English Course RequirementsPre-sessional English Course Requirements
- 6 week Pre-sessional entry:Not accepted
- 10 week Pre-sessional entry: IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in all sub-skills)
You can study our Pre-sessional English course at the INTO Newcastle Centre.
How to Apply
You apply online, track your application and contact the admissions team via our applicant portal. Our step by step guide can help you on your way.
You need to contact a potential supervisor before applying. Please contact:
- Carolyn Letts (Director of Postgraduate Research, School of Education Communication and Language Sciences)
- or a member of our staff
We will ask you to submit a short research proposal of up to 1,000 words with your application. Read our guidelines for producing a research proposal (PDF: 41.5KB) from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science Graduate School.
There are usually two possible start dates, although in some circumstances an alternative start date can be arranged:
There is no application closing date for this course, but specific deadlines for funding may apply.
We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.
If you live outside the UK/EU you must:
- pay a deposit of £1,500
- or submit an official letter of sponsorship
The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.
Director of Postgraduate Research
School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7390