Linguistics and English Language Integrated PhD

Linguistics and English Language Integrated PhD

Full time: 48 months


Our Linguistics and English Language Integrated PhD (IPhD) combines taught modules with original research. You will develop knowledge and expertise in linguistics and English language. You will also gain detailed knowledge and experience of research methods and research management.

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Your course during COVID-19

Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.

Further information

Our COVID-19 Study page gives more information about your Newcastle University study experience.

Terms and conditions and student complaints

The University has terms and conditions which create a positive environment for learning and academic achievement.

Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to the guidelines that may be in place at the time.

Recognition of professional qualifications outside of the UK

From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK.

Read our detailed explanation.

About this course

The course is for those who haven't completed a programme that leads to PhD study. It will suit those with a background in linguistics, English Language or related disciplines.  You'll strengthen your knowledge base and research skills before embarking on writing a thesis

Studying for an IPhD at Newcastle University offers many benefits and advantages, including:

  • a track record in student satisfaction
  • diverse staff expertise
  • activities and events
  • career development
  • funding opportunities

Year one forms the taught element of the course. You will study compulsory and optional modules and select a specialist pathway. You will then complete a 60 credit independent research project (15,000 words).

Years two, three and four constitute the research based element of the course. You will write a 80,000 word thesis under the guidance and direction of two supervisors


We offer three pathways, with supervision in the following areas:

Language acquisition, development and evolution

  • first language acquisition and development
  • acquisition of second language morphosyntax and phonology
  • evolutionary linguistics

Language variation and change

  • historical/diachronic linguistics
  • variationist/comparative linguistics
  • sociolinguistics
  • grammaticalization
  • dialect syntax
  • corpus analysis
  • linguistic typology

Formal linguistics

  • syntactic theory and comparative syntax
  • phonological theory
  • morphophonology and morphosyntax
  • philosophy of language and linguistics
  • architecture of the language faculty


We are one of the largest centres for linguistic research in Europe. This gives you the opportunity to enrich your research. You'll gain exposure to a wide range of methodologies and diverse theoretical perspectives.

Our Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences (CRiLLS) offers training that complements the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Research Training Programme. Your training is organised by a postgraduate researcher and academic staff to ensure that your training needs are met. Sessions include:

  • writing conference abstracts
  • presenting at conferences
  • preparing job applications and interviews
  • practical workshops on specific software programs (eg statistical packages, corpus linguistic methodologies)

Prof Anders Holmberg won the University student-led award for Best Research Supervisor of the Year in 2013 and 2015. 

Dr Heike Pichler and Dr William van der Wurff also made the shortlist for this award in 2015. 

Subject to Covid-19 restrictions, internationally renowned linguistic researchers may be invited to give guest lectures, recent speakers include:

  • Professor Ellen Bialystok, York University, Toronto
  • Professor J K Chambers, University of Toronto
  • Professor David Pesetsky, MIT
  • Professor Elizabeth Closs Traugott, Stanford University

You can join our Special Interest Groups in linguistics, which usually meet every two to four weeks. Postgraduate researchers and academic staff gather to:

  • share ideas
  • develop new skills
  • get feedback on their work
  • deliver presentations
  • attend practical sessions on linguistic software

Current Special Interest Groups include:

  • language variation and change
  • theoretical phonology
  • corpus linguistics
  • syntax
  • language and cognition

Additionally, our Student Work in Progress meetings give you the opportunity to present your work to a student audience, giving you instant feedback and discussions around your research. 

Our recent graduates have gone into a variety of careers, including:

  • academia
  • education
  • publishing
  • university administration

Quality and Ranking

We rank in the top 150 for English Language and Literature and Linguistics - QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020


In year one you take compulsory and optional 12 week modules. Between mid-May and early September of year one, you will also work on a 15,000 word research project.

The course is delivered at our Newcastle city centre campus. During the research phase of the course you can request a temporary change in study location. This is to allow for fieldwork and data collection.

Student Profile

Our optional modules allow us to investigate different avenues of the subject, and you have the option to take modules from different Schools.

Eva's student profile
Eva M

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Training & Skills

The taught element of the programme consists of compulsory and optional taught modules. You will choose modules to a value of 180 credits with the advice and agreement of the Degree Programme Director.

As this is an integrated PhD you will complete taught modules and receive support from our doctoral training centres, Faculty Training Programme and Research Student Support Team.

Modules for 2020 entry

Compulsory modules

Optional modules

You must choose one of the pathways below, and use these to select your additional 100 credits.

Module changes

Course content changes 

The information above is intended to provide an example of what you will study.

Our teaching is informed by research. Course content changes periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Optional module availability

Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.

Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

Research Training

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

2021-2022 fees

If your studies last longer than one year your fee may be subject to an annual inflationary increase.

The fees displayed here are per year.

Integrated PhD


Full time: £4,500
Part time: £2,250


Full time: £18,000

Postgraduate researchers have access to a range of funding opportunities specific to the School. These include:

  • the research support fund (to support conference trips and archival visits)
  • writing-up fund (for those in financial hardship during their final year)
  • a conference fund (to support those who want to organise their own conference)
  • small amounts of research funding from the Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences (CRiLLS)

EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals

For courses commencing from September 2021 and beyond, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fees or Student Finance England support.

If you are from the EU you will pay international tuition fees.

All students

Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.

Funding opportunities

Entry Requirements

A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, in any discipline although a background in linguistics, English language or related discipline.

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: 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 for further information.

If you have lower English Language scores, you may be accepted onto a Pre-sessional English course.

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.

Applications for 2022/23

You'll be able to apply for 2022/23 entry from September 2021

Start dates

The course starts in September. There is no application closing date for this course.

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.


Sherelle Coulson
Postgraduate and Marketing Secretary
School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7199

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