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.

Video: Study in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

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. 

Internationally renowned linguistic researchers are regularly 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 100 for Linguistics and top 150 for English Language and Literature - QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019


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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    The Phonetics and Phonology IPhD is designed for students who wish to develop an advanced theoretical and analytical grounding in Phonetics and Phonology. The focus is on its application in first and second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, speech science, and language patterning.

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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 200 credits with the advice and agreement of the Degree Programme Director. You'll normally take these modules over Years 1 and 2 (full-time) or Years 1 to 3 (part-time).

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 2019 entry

Compulsory modules

Optional modules

You must choose one of the pathways below, and use these to select your additional 100 credits. You will also take one 20 credit module from the School's module handbook.

Pathway modules

Module changes

Module changes

Modules change annually to take account of:

  • changing staff expertise
  • developments in the discipline
  • the requirements of external bodies and partners
  • student feedback.

Most module information for 2019 entry will be available from mid-May 2019.

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

2020-2021 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.

MPhil, PhD


Full time: £4,327*
Part time: £2,164*


Full time: £4,327*
Part time: £2,164*

*The fees stated above are for 2019 entry only. We are aligning our 2020 entry tuition fees for UK/EU students with those set by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Once these fees have been confirmed (typically February), we will update this page.


Full time: £17,340

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)

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

EU students starting at Newcastle in 2020 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.

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.

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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