PhD in Applied Linguistics by Thesis and Coursework


If you are holding down a job or looking after a family while working for your PhD, time is limited. We have designed modules that will be relevant to your PhD, and that will allow you to integrate some of your coursework into your thesis. Most students study part-time and away from Lancaster but full-time options are available (based in Lancaster).

The programme always begins in January. In Year 1, you attend a virtual induction/welcome. In years 1 and 2, you attend two intensive residentials in Lancaster. Attendance at these residentials, taking place in July, is compulsory. During the residentials you will have several sessions of the modules that you take and you will have time for resource consultation, supervision and other academic support.

Over Years 1 and 2, you have to take two Research Methods modules. These are designed to give you the necessary foundations in research design and methodology and to broaden your knowledge of research methods used in Applied Linguistics. The two compulsory modules (20 credits each) are:

  • Quantitative data and analysis for applied linguistics
  • Qualitative methods for applied linguistics

You also have to take two Applied Linguistics modules. What modules are offered depends on staff availability and student numbers and preferences but we typically seek to offer modules including in areas such as:

  • Language Testing
  • Pragmatics
  • Critical Discourse Analysis
  • Stylistics
  • Corpus Linguistics
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Linguistic Analysis
  • Sociolinguistics

And others.

Accreditation of some prior modules (maximum two) is sometimes possible and it is possible to choose alternative modules from our various MA programmes (subject to availability) and from the Faculty’s Research Training Programme.

All modules are taught through face-to-face and online sessions. Depending on whether you study part-time or full-time, you can expect to finish the coursework phase (all four modules) in one or two years. It is also possible (subject to places being available) to take modules from our MA programmes (some offered face-to-face, others online) and this increases the range of options for Applied Linguistics modules you can choose from.