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The University of Southampton
HumanitiesPostgraduate study

PhD Modern Languages Research Programmes (including Applied Linguistics) (Q100)

Modern Languages at Southampton is an internationally recognised centre of research excellence. We offer PhD supervision across a wide range of areas relating to language, culture and society, including Applied Linguistics. You have the opportunity to study for your research degree in a variety of ways: full-time, part-time, or via distance learning which is designed for people who wish to study without travelling to Southampton regularly.  These options  provide a flexible programme tailored to your research interests.

If you are interested in our integrated PhD in Applied Linguistics: ELT, which incorporates taught modules, please click here.

Introducing your degree

Study the key assets of modern languages by applying for the PhD Modern Languages Research Programme. Through conducting your own research, you can expand on your own knowledge in a field of your choice from language to applied linguistics and language teaching. This PhD Programme at the University of Southampton will give you the skillset to take to a range of successful professions such as teacher, researcher or lecturer.

Our key underlying research themes are contemporary language, linguistics, culture and society. Our staff are experienced supervisors, engaged in innovative research and postgraduate teaching, and there are excellent opportunities for interdisciplinary research.

Career opportunities are wide ranging and varied.  Opportunities exist as a member of a research team in academia, leading to future leadership positions within an academic context.  The nature of the generic and discipline-specific skills obtained during your study make your experience and skills attractive to a range fo organisations post qualification.  Graduates with a PhD in Modern Languages from Southampton go on to teaching and lecture.  The transferable skills, such as critical awareness; communication and presentational abilities; deadline and project management are also highly valuable for a wide range of other professions.

View the doctoral programme profile for this course


Doctoral Programme Director (Admissions):

Dr Karin Zotzmann
Tel: +44 (0) 23 8059 3976


To Apply

Application process and required supporting documents

  • University online application including a personal statement.
  • Research proposal
  • Transcript
  • 2 references
  • English language certification (if relevant)
  • Sample of written work

Candidates are advised to contact prospective supervisors with the subject of their proposed research prior to application.

Contact for postgraduate enquiries:
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 7433

Key facts

Duration: Up to four years (full time); up to seven years (part time); 

Assessment: Thesis (max. 75,000 words), viva voce

Start date: Normally September and January each year

Closing date: 3 months before start date (also dependent on funding body deadlines); an application decision cannot be guaranteed in time for programme commencement unless a complete application is received in good time - students requiring a visa to study should also allow extra time for visa processes; informal enquiries welcome at any time

Typical entry requirements

Academic entry requirements: First or upper second-class honours degree and normally Masters at Merit * level, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University in English, modern languages, or a cognate discipline. (*Merit 60%-69%, Distinction 70+%)

Evidence of achievement in the merit-distinction range at MA level. Where a Masters with dissertation has already been completed we expect applicants to have attained a mark for the dissertation component in the upper merit range or above (or international equivalent)

Equivalent Qualifications: We will also consider candidates who do not have a Masters degree if they can demonstrate; outstanding undergraduate performance including evidence of preparedness for research (e.g. first class honours and 75% or more in the dissertation in a relevant subject); or other appropriate qualifications.

English language entry requirements: IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.5 in all components, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

Selection process

Selection process: Online application and interview

Applications will be assessed under the following:

  • Evidence of achievement in the merit-distinction range at MA level.
  • In cases where a Masters with dissertation has already been completed we expect applicants to have attained a mark for the dissertation component in the upper merit range or above (or international equivalent).
  • Evidence of general academic aptitude
  • Preparedness or promise for doctoral research
  • Quality of the research project proposal
  • Fit with Southampton's research expertise

Applicant Quality: Your application will be judged against the following criteria:

  • it provides evidence that you meet our entry requirements
  • it demonstrates your personal suitability and commitment to undertake Doctoral study
  • it provides supportive references that indicate your suitability to undertake a PhD
  • it presents a well-focused and high quality research proposal which indicates potential to contribute original research to the discipline
  • it demonstrates critical awareness of the scholarly field to which the research will contribute, and appropriate methods to carry out this work
  • it may strengthen your application if you can demonstrate genuine interest in working with a named academic in the department 

Personal Statement: Use your Personal Statement to provide additional information relevant to your application. This should include the following:

  • outline your reasons for wishing to conduct postgraduate research in your chosen area
  • explain how your proposed research matches the research environment and supervisory expertise offered by Modern Languages at Southampton
  • reflect on how your education, skills, and experience will equip you for PhD study and to undertake your planned research
  • indicate details of any other achievements/interests
  • indicate any special circumstances pertaining to the academic record
  • tell us what you hope to get from the programme

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

The PhD by Research programme has no modules per semester. Instead it is an entirely research-oriented programme in which studenst conduct original research under the guidance of their supervisors.

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate research degrees vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

Course Title 
Year of Entry Mode of Study UK International 
PhD Modern Languages Research Programmes PhD 2023  Full-time  £4,596   £18,600
PhD Modern Languages Research Programmes PhD  2023  Part-time  £2,298   £9,300
View the full list of course fees

Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Study locations

Avenue campus

Avenue campus

Only a few minutes walk from Highfield Campus, Avenue provides a purpo...Find out more

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