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Postgraduate research

Modern languages and linguistics

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Our PhD and integrated PhD programmes give you the skills for a range of successful professions such as teacher, researcher or lecturer.


The Department of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics 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'll be part of a friendly and supportive community with opportunities to: 

  • participate in student-led, interdisciplinary reading groups
  • hear expert speakers from universities around the world in our seminar series
  • study the archives of Lord’s Palmerston and Mountbatten
  • visit Jane Austen’s library at Chawton House

We offer 2 postgraduate research routes:

  • iPhD: Integrated applied linguistics/English language teaching
  • PhD: Modern languages including applied linguistics for language teaching


This course is ideal if you're an experienced teacher or educationalist and you want time up front to re-familiarise yourself with the subject and its research methods. This study route is for applicants interested in:

  • designing English language teaching courses
  • teaching English as a second language
  • pursuing an academic career in language and linguistics education

The doctorate combines taught elements and independent research. You'll gain insights into applied linguistics with a focus on English language teaching along with the relevant research methods. When you complete the taught components you'll concentrate on a specific area of research.

You'll gain transferable skills in:

  • critical awareness
  • communication
  • presentation
  • project management


This is a thesis-only route and no taught components. The PhD is available in all areas of modern languages research including:

  • theoretical and applied linguistics
  • English language teaching
  • language education
  • discourse analysis
  • global Englishes
  • language acquisition
  • cultural and literary studies
  • world history
  • anthropology

Graduates with a PhD in modern languages from Southampton go on to teach and lecture.

Main areas of research

Our researchers generally focus on one of these areas:

  • contemporary language
  • linguistics
  • culture
  • society

Our staff are experienced supervisors, engaged in innovative research and postgraduate teaching, and there are excellent opportunities for interdisciplinary research.

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