Extensive online research training is provided in the first year of the programme and, whilst there is no requirement to spend any time in Birmingham, you are encouraged to visit for short periods, if at all possible. These visits provide valuable opportunities for face-to-face supervision, to meet other PhD students and to make use of the library and other research and training opportunities.
There are two distance learning PhD programmes in English Language and Applied Linguistics. Both programmes involve regular contact with a supervisor by email and/or Skype. There is no assessed taught component, but students follow online research training modules.
The standard programme requires a traditional 80,000-word thesis. The work is examined at the end of the programme, as with other PhD programmes. Students identify and refine a thesis topic in consultation with their supervisor and send drafts of the various chapters for comment as they work through the programme.
As with all PhDs, progress is monitored throughout the registration period.
The modular programme requires three modules: two shorter research papers (Module 1 - 12,000 words, Module 2 - 20,000 words) and a final thesis of 50,000 words (Module 3). The work is examined in three phases, at the end of each module. The final product (in terms of total quantity and quality of work) is therefore similar to the standard PhD; however the modular option provides an incremental, continuously assessed route allowing students to progress through explicitly marked stages to a PhD. Students identify a topic they wish to work on and to which all their written work should be related; the nature of the assessment means however that the topic may not be as tightly focused as that in a traditional PhD.
Corpus Linguistics – our work in this area incorporates interests in linguistic theory and language description, including descriptive translation and contrastive studies, phraseology and the lexis–grammar interface, and in the application of corpus investigation techniques to areas such as translation, lexicography and diachronic language study. Corpus techniques also underpin much of our work in discourse studies and in language learning and teaching.
Stylistics and Discourse Studies – our work here focuses on themes such as narrative analysis, critical discourse analysis, translation studies and social theory, and on topics such as literary stylistics, workplace discourse, academic discourse, the relationship between language and social class, evaluation, language and new media, everyday creativity, and multi-modal discourse.
Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days. Register to attend at: birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays
If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: pg.bham.ac.uk
Birmingham has been challenging and developing great minds for more than a century. Characterised by a tradition of innovation, research at the University has broken new ground, pushed forward the boundaries of knowledge and made an impact on people’s lives.
We continue this tradition today and have ambitions for a future that will embed our work and recognition of the Birmingham name on the international stage.
Universities are never complete. They develop as new challenges and opportunities occur. At Birmingham we innovate, we push the frontiers of understanding; we ask new research questions, we turn theory through experiment into practice – because that’s what great universities do.
You can apply until:
Always verify the dates on the programme website.
You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.Full-time
Module 1 - Subject-focused work, to include some research training and preparation related to the subject, such as empirical work, literature searches, and research methodology.
The 12,000-word assessment may be divided into 3 x 4,000 papers or combinations amounting to the total (60 credits). Pass/Fail.
Module 2 - Structured research and writing on the research topic. It may be linked in a linear way to Module 1, or the connection may be looser.
The 20,000-word assessment may be divided into one or two papers amounting to the total (120 credits). Pass/Fail
Module 3 - The thesis (maximum 50,000 words - 360 credits). Pass/Fail
The assessed work from Modules 2 and 3 should be of publishable quality.
Each assessment (i.e. each module) is submitted and passed before the student can proceed to the next. One re-submission of each module is permitted. The external examiner is consulted when each module is completed. Like all PhD theses at Birmingham, a Modular PhD is examined in a viva voce examination which takes place after the submission of Module 3.
You only need to take one of these language tests:
Minimum required score:
The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.Schedule IELTS
StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more
Minimum required score:
The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).
You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:
StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.
Testimonial Registration Module
Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.