University of Birmingham
English Language and Applied Linguistics PhD
University of Birmingham

Course modalities offered

Key Course Facts

Course Description

Carry out your research with one of the UK’s leading English Language departments, renowned for its expertise in Corpus Research, Cognitive Linguistics and Psycholinguistics, and Discourse Analysis and Stylistics, from anywhere in the world.

Our distance learning programme allows you to keep in contact with your supervisor via email and Skype, while remaining in your resident country. This is particularly beneficial if you are interested in relating your research to your current work.

There are two distance learning PhD programmes in English Language and Applied Linguistics: a standard programme and a modular programme. 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.

Distance PhD 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 and research design 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.

Distance Modular PhD 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.

Entry Requirements / Admissions

Requirements for international students / English requirements

IELTS academic test score (similar tests may be accepted as well)

    • 6.5
    • Graduate Degrees
    • (no subscore less than 6.0)
    • 6.5
    • Undergraduate Degrees
Do you not fulfill the minimum requirements in terms of UCAS score, A levels, or English language requirements?
Get advice on which foundation courses are best for you to still be able to join English Language and Applied Linguistics, PhD.

Applicants for a PhD will also need to hold a Masters qualification at Merit level or above (or its international equivalent), usually in a relevant area.


Average student cost of living in the UK

Rent £518
Water, gas electricity, internet (at home) £50
Supermarket shopping £81
Clothing £35
Eating out £33
Alcohol £27
Takeaways / food deliveries £30
Going out / entertainment (excl.alcohol, food) £24
Holidays and weekend trips £78
Transport within city £17
Self-care / sports £20
Stationary / books £13
Mobile phone / internet £13
Cable TV / streaming £7
Insurance £51
Other £95
Average student cost of living £1092

London costs approx 34% more than average, mainly due to rent being 67% higher than average of other cities. For students staying in student halls, costs of water, gas, electricity, wifi are generally included in the rental. Students in smaller cities where accommodation is in walking/biking distance transport costs tend to be significantly smaller.

University Rankings

Positions of University of Birmingham in top UK and global rankings.

See all university rankings of University of Birmingham

What students say about studying English Language in the UK?

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  • My Year Abroad - English Language students

About University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is a research university based in Edgbaston, Birmingham, England. The university’s aim is to be at the cutting edge of educational delivery, and to have their curriculum be continually reshaped by new revelations in research. The main campus is situated a reasonable three miles away from Birmingham city centre, which doesn’t take long to get to via bus if the student decides they’d like to spend some of their free time there.

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Where is this programme taught

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