PhD Programmes

Upcoming PG Virtual Open Day Sessions

Our 'virtual open day' and 'online chat' sessions are a great opportunity for prospective students to find out more about what it is like to study in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science. A member of admissions staff and a current student from the Department are available during these online events to answer any questions you may have about joining us.

Find out more

PhD programmes enable you to produce a substantial piece of research in the form of a thesis. Your research is supported by a supervisory team including one or more main advisors as well as other researchers whose expertise can guide your work. York’s research is internationally recognised as outstanding, and our staff include many of the leaders in their fields.

We regard the study of language and linguistics as providing a window on the mind, on people, and on society. We develop linguistic theories that are grounded in diverse and novel forms of empirical data, and we strive to ensure that research leads to real-world applications and societal impact. Our research bridges the arts and humanities, sciences and social sciences. We engage in a wide range of national and international research collaborations.

Our PhD students are an integral part of this friendly and supportive research community. Students regularly present their work at conferences and publish their findings. Many of our graduates continue to distinguished academic careers or in fields where understanding language or speech are critical. Details of our alumni can be found here.

We welcome applications in any of our areas of specialism. We offer three PhD programmes:

The PhD in Applied Linguistics is an interdisciplinary programme run jointly with the Department of Education. It addresses language learning, second language acquisition, EFL, language policy, and language processing.

The PhD in Language and Communication is an interdisciplinary programme involving Education, Language and Linguistic Science, Psychology, and Sociology. It focuses on investigating language and communicative structures – linguistic, sequential, gestural – as used in everyday life, in workplace settings, in educational settings, and in on-line interaction. We especially welcome projects on conversation analysis, and on multilingual and multicultural settings.

PhD students in Linguistics specialise in one or more of our other focus areas: Phonetics and Phonology, Sociolinguistics/Language Variation and Change, Syntax and Semantics, Psycholinguistics, Forensic Speech Science, and Language History and Diversity.

Who to contact

Working closely with other academics in the department has been the best part of my PhD so far, as I have learnt a lot about what it means to have an academic career.

Carla, PhD in Linguistics

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