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.
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 supervisors' current research interests, projects and publications are available from our staff profiles in each of these Schools.
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
We've highlighted important information about your course. Please take note of any deadlines.
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.
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to guidelines that may be in place from time to time.
View our COVID-19 Study page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2022-23.
See our terms and conditions and student complaints information
Find out about the different qualification options for this course.
An MPhil is available in all subject areas. You receive research training and undertake original research leading to the completion of a 40,000 - 50,000 word thesis.
A PhD is a doctorate or doctoral award. It involves original research that should make a significant contribution to the knowledge of a specific subject. To complete the PhD you will produce a substantial piece of work (80,000 – 100,000 words) in the form of a supervised thesis. A PhD usually takes three years full time.
How you'll learn
Your attendance at Newcastle is flexible, depending on your fieldwork or if you are away collecting data. You'll have regular meetings with your supervisory team, supported by email and Skype.
You'll have opportunities to take part in seminars across the disciplines of:
- applied linguistics
- speech and language sciences
This allows you to engage with staff and fellow students. Many of our students already have well-developed professional careers and are inspired to explore research questions arising from their experience.
You'll 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 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.
Depending on your modules, you'll be assessed through a combination of:
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'll 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
Our mission is to help you:
- stay healthy, positive and feeling well
- overcome any challenges you may face during your degree – academic or personal
- get the most out of your postgraduate research experience
- carry out admin and activities essential to progressing through your degree
- understand postgraduate research processes, standards and rules
We can offer you tailored wellbeing support, courses and activities.
You can also access a broad range of workshops covering:
- research and professional skills
- careers support
- health and safety
- public engagement
- academic development
The Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences (CRiLLS) offers subject-specific research training. This training complements the research training programme you will be part of as a postgraduate research student. 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.
Student work-in-progress meetings
Our 'student work in progress' meetings give you the opportunity to present your work to a student audience. You'll get instant feedback and discussions around your research.
Special interests groups
Our special interests groups also facilitate researchers with common interests to share ideas, develop new skills and gain feedback on their work. The groups meet regularly and include topics like:
- language variation and change
- theoretical phonology
- corpus linguistics
- language and cognition
Internationally renowned linguistic researchers have previously given 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
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) researcher development programme
Each faculty offers a researcher development programme for its postgraduate research students. We have designed your programme to help you:
- perform better as a researcher
- boost your career prospects
- broaden your impact
Through workshops and activities, it will build your transferable skills and increase your confidence.
- techniques for effective research
- methods for better collaborative working
- essential professional standards and requirements
Your researcher development programme is flexible. You can adapt it to meet your changing needs as you progress through your doctorate.
Doctoral training and partnerships
There are opportunities to undertake your PhD at Newcastle within a:
- Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT)
- Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)
Being part of a CDT or DTP has many benefits:
- they combine research expertise and training of a number of leading universities, academic schools and academics.
- you’ll study alongside a cohort of other PhD students
- they’re often interdisciplinary
- your PhD may be funded
If there are currently opportunities available in your subject area you’ll find them when you search for funding in the fees and funding section on this course.
The following centres/partnerships below may have PhD opportunities available in your subject area in the future:
You'll 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'll 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.
Our Careers Service
Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.
Quality and ranking
All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body
From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK
Members of the Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences also have a dedicated space. This space provides a range of resources, including access to:
- linguistics software (eg Childes, Clan, Elan, Praat)
- linguistic corpora (eg DECTE, ICE, ICAME)
- specialised equipment such as the eye tracker
We have two postgraduate research student study rooms, the largest of which has recently been upgraded with additional workstations and soft seating area. We have a Resource Centre and two on-site clinics:
Fees and funding
Tuition fees for 2022 entry (per year)
Home fees for research degree students
For 2022-23 entry, we have aligned our standard Home research fees with those set by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
For 2023-24 entry, we will again be aligning our standard Home research fees with those set by UKRI. The standard fee will be confirmed in Spring 2023 by UKRI.
If your studies last longer than one year, your tuition fee may increase in line with inflation.
Depending on your residency history, if you’re a student from the EU, other EEA or a Swiss national, with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you’ll normally pay the ‘Home’ tuition fee rate and may be eligible for Student Finance England support.
EU students without settled or pre-settled status will normally be charged fees at the ‘International’ rate and will not be eligible for Student Finance England support.
If you are unsure of your fee status, check out the latest guidance here.
We support our EU and international students by providing a generous range of Vice-Chancellor's automatic and merit-based scholarships. See our searchable postgraduate funding page for more information.
What you're paying for
Tuition fees include the costs of:
- tuition (or supervision)
- library access
Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
Find out more about:
- additional costs
- living costs
- tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts
If you're applying for funding, always check the funding application deadline. This deadline may be earlier than the application deadline for your course.
For some funding schemes, you need to have received an offer of a place on a course before you can apply for the funding.
Search for funding
Find funding available for your course
The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
How to apply
Using the application portal
The applicant portal has instructions to guide you through your application. It will tell you what documents you need and how to upload them.
You can choose to start your application, save your details and come back to complete it later.
If you’re ready, you can select Apply Online and you’ll be taken directly to the applicant portal.
Alternatively you can find out more about applying on our applications and offers pages.
Open days and events
You'll have a number of opportunities to meet us throughout the year including:
- campus tours
- on-campus open days
- virtual open days
We regularly travel overseas to meet with students interested in studying at Newcastle University.
Get in touch
Questions about this course?
If you have specific questions about this course you can contact:
For more general enquiries you could also complete our online enquiry form.
Our Ncl chatbot might be able to give you an answer straight away. If not, it’ll direct you to someone who can help.
You'll find our Ncl chatbot in the bottom right of this page.
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