PhD in Applied Linguistics by Thesis and Coursework

Key Facts

Director of Studies: Jenefer Philp

Programme length: part-time (most students are part-time) 60 months; full-time 36 months (minimum registration periods)


  • those who want/need a PhD but cannot take time out from their job 
  • those who would like to include a considerable element of coursework (Applied Linguistics and Research Methods), a substantial proportion of which is face-to-face, in their doctoral programme.

Teaching mode: 50% face-to-face on Residentials in Lancaster, in January (approx. 9 days) and July (3 weeks); 50% distance/ independent study. Residentials in Lancaster are compulsory in their entirety.

Assessment: Assessment for the taught part of the programme is based on three 5000-word assignments for the Applied Linguistics modules, and two 5000-word and two 2500-word assignments for research projects for the Research Methods modules. You are required to pass all the coursework, but the final award of the PhD depends entirely on the thesis (length 70,000 words).

Entry requirements:

Academic: usually an MA, with a good mark (including at least 60% on the MA thesis/dissertation)

English language level (for applicants whose native language is not English)

IELTS Academic (UKVI Approved): Our official requirement for IELTS is a score of at least 6.5 overall with at least 6.5 in the reading and writing elements and 6.0 in the listening and speaking elements.

If applicants have taken these exams in the last two years we can accept their test scores; otherwise we ask that they take the exam again.

If applicants have either/both of the following, completed within the last 2 years they may not need to submit a test score:

  • 2 years full-time study at undergraduate level, in the UK or other majority English speaking country
  • 1 years full-time study at postgraduate level, in the UK or other majority English speaking country

See the university guidance on English Language Requirements for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Study

Enquiries: Elaine Heron