Linguistics (by thesis and coursework)


  • Entry Year 2024 or 2023
  • Duration Full time 36 Months, Part time 60 Months


Take your PhD with one of the best Linguistics departments in the world. We are ranked 12th in the world for Linguistics in the QS World Rankings 2022.

This PhD programme understands Applied Linguistics as research into language with a relevance to real-world issues and proposals are accepted in a wide range of topics. By combining your PhD studies with a set of taught modules, this programme is designed to broaden your knowledge of relevant research and research methodologies. Many of our students are professionals who are balancing PhD studies with full-time careers, and this contributes to the rich and stimulating academic environment this programme offers.

The programme is designed for you to simultaneously complete your coursework and develop your thesis. In your first year of study you will complete compulsory modules in research methodology and in applied linguistics that are taught by distance. In addition, you have the opportunity to take additional modules from the department’s MA programmes and the Faculty’s Research Training Programme with a choice of modules either on-campus or by distance.

One of the strengths of this programme is the flexibility it allows in pursuing your PhD – you have the choice to either study on campus in Lancaster, or from home. You may study full-time or part-time but have the option to switch at any point during your studies. The compulsory modules in research methodology and linguistics are taught online, while for MA modules there is a choice of both on-site and distance learning available.

Regardless whether you study in Lancaster or from home, you must attend two intensive residentials at Lancaster University in the first two years of your studies. During this time you will have the opportunity to complete a portion of the coursework, participate in a graduate student conference, and engage in a range of professional and academic development activities such as sessions on academic writing, presentation skills, and career development as well as attend workshops offered by the university library.


  • Option to study full time (36 months) or part time (60 months)
  • Study on campus in Lancaster or off-campus from home
  • 4 compulsory study modules – 2 in research methods and 2 in applied linguistics
  • Opportunity to take additional modules from the department’s MA programmes
  • 2 intensive residentials at the department in Lancaster

Entry Requirements

Academic Requirements

Master's degree (UK or equivalent) in Applied Linguistics or a related subject, for example Linguistics, Foreign Languages, Education, with an overall average of at least 60% for UK MAs.

2:1 Hons degree (UK or equivalent) in Applied Linguistics or a related subject, for example Linguistics, Foreign Languages, Education.

If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.

Additional Requirements

As part of your application you also need to complete the 'PhD in Linguistics by Thesis and Coursework Proposal Form'. A copy of the form and guidance notes can be found on the Research Proposal section of our PhD study webpage.

English Language Requirements

We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.

We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 6.5, and a minimum of 6.5 in reading and writing and 6.0 in listening and speaking. We also consider other English language qualifications.

We do not offer pre-sessional English language programmes for this programme.

Contact: Admissions Team +44 (0) 1524 592032 or email

Fees and Funding

The tuition fee for students with UK fee status is set in line with the standard fee stipend provided by the UK Research Councils. The fee stipend for 2024/25 has not yet been set. For reference, the fee stipend for 2023/24 was full-time £4,712 and part-time £2,356.

The international fee for new entrants in 2024/25 is full-time £21,082 and part-time £10,541.

Scholarships and Bursaries

Details of our scholarships and bursaries for 2024-entry study are not yet available, but you can use our opportunities for 2023-entry applicants as guidance.

Check our current list of scholarships and bursaries.

Important Information

The information on this site relates primarily to 2023/2024 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.

The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.

More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.

Our Students’ Charter

We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.