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Postgraduate research

Modern languages and linguistics

A student writes on a white board with a red marker in a lesson

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 
  • gain experience in organising conferences 
  • participate in staff-led research, including eye tracking  
  • be trained and participate in departmental teaching  
  • participate in student-led seminars

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 languages, cultures and linguistics research including:

  • theoretical and applied linguistics
  • English language teaching
  • language education
  • discourse analysis
  • global Englishes
  • first, second and additional language acquisition and language attritition 
  • cultural, migration and literary studies
  • world history
  • anthropology and linguistic anthropology 
  • translation studies 
  • medical humanities and disability and humanities 

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

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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