Our PhD research programmes will allow you to join one of our research projects or explore your own interests in English Language and Linguistics, supported by the expertise of our staff.
Find out more about teaching options and studying during COVID-19 in the Entry requirements section, below.
You’ll be allocated two supervisors, with additional staff members available if necessary. We have PhD supervisors with experience in most areas of English language and linguistics including, for example, multilingualism, second language acquisition, comparative and theoretical syntax, Romance linguistics, linguistic minorities, the construction of linguistic, ethnic and cultural identities, and empirical approaches to the study of language.
You’ll conduct your research in a collaborative environment with strong links to a number of other centres in the University and the wider community. We host and take part in many research oriented events for staff and postgraduate students, including our regular Faculty and departmental research seminars and international conferences. Our seminars will give you the chance to present papers in a supportive setting.
We’re also key contributors to the Anglia Ruskin-Cambridge University (ARC) Romance Linguistics Seminar, who organise many talks you’ll be welcome to attend, or even contribute to. These events, along with our online environment, will help you connect with other research students from a range of disciplines.
MPhil: full-time 1-3 years, part-time 2-4 years.
PhD via progression from MPhil, including that period: full-time 2.5-5 years, part-time 3.5-6 years.
PhD: full-time 2-4 years, part-time 3-6 years.
For further guidance on the duration of research degrees please refer to the Research Degrees Regulations.
Our permanent supervisory staff are recognised experts in their field, and have produced a number of influential books, journal articles and edited collections. Our research expertise includes:
Dr Sebastian Rasinger, BA, PG Cert, PhD: sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, multilingualism, linguistic and cultural identities.
Melanie Bell, MPhil (Cantab), MA (Cantab), DipTEFL: the empirical study of language: experimental, corpus-based and computational approaches to phonetics and phonology, morphology and syntax, semantics and pragmatics.
Dr Bettina Beinhoff, BA (Cantab), MPhil (Cantab), PhD (Cantab): acquisition of second/foreign language phonology, linguistic and cultural identities (especially attitudes, stereotypes and identity construction in multilingual contexts and dialect contact situations) and sociolinguistic aspects of constructed languages.
Dr Vahid Parvaresh, BA, MA, PhD: societal Pragmatics, interlanguage/L2 pragmatics, (im)politeness, historical pragmatics, linguistic landscape.
At the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, we believe in thinking critically about the past, present and future to challenge perceptions and better understand communities and people.
With expertise from gender issues to literary analysis to exploring how the past has shaped our modern world, all our staff members are active researchers. This is reflected in our teaching, allowing us to support our students with the latest theories and practices, as well as essential employability advice.
You’ll have access to the University of Cambridge Library as well as our own campus library, and to our PhD room, where all our doctoral students can meet up to work and take an active part in our postgraduate student community.
In some cases extra costs known as bench fees will be charged for a postgraduate research degree. These are to cover additional/exceptional costs directly related to a specific research project.
Some examples of these costs are (the list is not exhaustive): equipment hire, access costs to specialist equipment/workshops, volunteer expenses, specialist tissue/cell culture, specialist reagents or materials, specialist software, access to specialist databases, data collection costs, specialist media, recording or digital storage needs.
We charge bench fees in bands. They may apply for every year of your course. These bands are the same for full- and part-time students.
If you have to pay bench fees this will be made clear at your interview, and stated in your offer letter.
For 2021/22 the bench fee bands are:
Initial registration: £1,300
Full registration: £4,000
Part time: £1,000
Full time: £1,800
You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments – though you won't need to pay until you've accepted an offer to study with us. Find out more about paying your fees.
ARU's academic excellence was recognised in 2021, as part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), an exercise which assesses the quality of academic research. Sixteen areas of our work were classed as generating world-leading research. The results showed that we're making a significant impact on the societies we live in.
We’ll provide you with many opportunities for career development and training, in areas like writing up a paper for publication; placing an academic article; giving a conference paper; the doctoral writing style; updates on research methods and literature searches; internet training; editing skills for doctoral research; subsequent monograph publication; and dealing with festivals, agents, and publishers. You might also be able to take on teaching responsibilities in the department, or organise research events like seminars and conferences.
In conjunction with the University’s research support, you can request specific support for writing-up, conference papers, general research methods and other research skills if you need it.
If you're interested in finding out more about research study opportunities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
MPhil or PhD with progression from MPhil: You’ll need a Bachelor degree or equivalent with first or upper second class honours, in a related subject area.
PhD: You’ll need a Master degree or equivalent in a related subject area.
Please note we consider candidates for PhD with progression from MPhil in the first instance. If you want to be considered for direct entry to the PhD route then this can be discussed at interview if you are shortlisted. Please note you’ll also need to provide academic justification for this request.
If English is not your first language, you'll require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component (or equivalent test). If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.
Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of on-campus and online learning in September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.
Studying during COVID-19
Due to national restrictions all universities in England, including ARU, are only able to provide face to face access to research resources in limited circumstances where access can be justified under movement restrictions. Visit our restrictions page for details. All assessments and supervision are currently conducted online.
In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and related Government guidance, your research programme will be framed, wherever possible, to be conducted away from campus and in line with movement restrictions. For some types of research attendance on campus will be essential for some activities, and these activities will need to be undertaken in a COVID-19 safe manner in line with our risk management procedures.
In the event that there are further changes to the current restrictions that are in place within the UK due to the pandemic, we may need all of our researchers to work online only at short notice to remain in line with Government guidelines and ensure the continued safety of our students and staff.
Full-time, part-time research ()
January, April, September