Research Degrees in

Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics

in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities


Do you want to advance or change your career, deepen your expertise in a topic, or expand your research and practical skills?

With a PhD or postgraduate research degree in the areas of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics you will:

  • Work with leading experts. Our staff have strong international reputations for research excellence, and are among the leading authorities in their field.
  • Choose from flexible study pathways. We offer PhD, MPhil and MA by Research programmes, on a full or part time basis. Our distinctive distance learning research degree programme provides an alternative to traditional, campus-based study for those with professional or personal commitments.
  • Achieve competitive advantage. We now also offer PhD in Applied Linguistics with Research Methods. This programme offers taught support to enhance your academic reading, writing, critical thinking and methodological design. This unique training/research package will help you to achieve key PhD milestones, and further strengthen your future career, whether in academia or industry.
  • Join a thriving community of researchers. You will be a member of our new Creative Writing, English Literature and Linguistics Research Centre. The centre is committed to delivering cutting-edge, interdisciplinary work, which makes a real cultural, political, pedagogical and societal impact.
  • Engage in innovative public engagement programmes. We regularly host film screenings, workshops, seminars, festivals and lectures showcasing our research to the public. We host an annual multilingual film festival: Beyond Babel.
  • Undertake tailored personal and professional development training. The Postgraduate Arts and Humanities Centre provides a comprehensive development programme for research students.

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Areas of supervisory expertise

We offer supervision of research degrees in the following areas:

  • French: contemporary French cinema; modern and contemporary French fiction (especially the nouveau roman); autobiography; French popular culture and popular literature (especially the bande dessinée and noir fiction and film); symbolist aesthetics; French linguistics; translation studies.
  • German: modern and contemporary German literature; German media and popular culture; German crime writing and science fiction.
  • Italian: modern Italian society and culture; Italian female-authored writing; twentieth-century Italian fiction; contemporary Italian cinema; Italian crime writing.
  • Spanish: contemporary Spanish fiction and popular culture; contemporary Spanish cinema; contemporary Latin American literature and urban imaginaries; Lorca; Cervantes.
  • Linguistics: applied and theoretical linguistics; Oriental cultures and communication; syntax studies; language teaching.
  • Applied Linquistics with Research Methods: Research Methods; Research Development; Critical Reading and Literature Review; English for Research.


Find out more about our staff's expertise

Research culture

You will join a substantial community of established and emerging researchers committed to undertaking impactful theoretical and applied research in Languages and Linguistics. Our research is characterised by its interdisciplinarity, and we collaborate with colleagues working on film and media, literature, youth studies, sociology, information communications, and education. Our research goes across Europe and beyond, with particular interests in French- and Spanish- speaking communities worldwide, oriental cultures and communications, and community languages.

More about our research culture

Our research culture is enhanced through a number of exciting research centres and projects, including:

Our postgraduate researchers are a key part of our social and intellectual environment. You will be a member of our Postgraduate Arts and Humanities Centre (PAHC). PAHC is a dedicated forum for postgraduate students in the Arts and Humanities. It provides:

  • HARTS Online, an online community, news and events portal
  • A thorough research development programme
  • A space for cross-disciplinary discussion, support and experimentation
  • Hive, an academic e-journal, edited by current students
  • RAH!, an innovative programme of socially and culturally engaged public engagement events.

Courses offered, duration, and start dates

Programmes offered

  • PhD (3 years full time, 6 years part time)*
  • PhD with Research Methods (3 years full time, 6 years part time)*
  • PhD by Published Work or Professional Practice (course duration varies by route taken and candidate's background)
  • Master's by Research (1 year full time, 2 years part time)
  • MPhil (18 months full time, 36 months part time).

*Note these are two different PhD pathways.

Find out more about the different research degrees we offer

Start dates

The majority of our students enrol in October. We offer further enrolment points in January and April.

Distance learning

Research degrees are available to study on-campus or through distance learning.

Career prospects

Our intellectually rigorous research degrees will equip you with the necessary skills to pursue academic careers in Languages, Film, Linguistics, or a range of related disciplines.

You will have the opportunity to develop industry networks and undertake advanced professional development that will equip you for senior posts in any career that requires advanced understanding of language, society and culture.

Course structure

This course is research based. You will independently conduct research into your own topic or a topic that we advertise. Your supervisory team will offer expert guidance throughout your studies and review work in progress.

Each year, you will follow a programme of training and development to enhance your research methods, subject-matter expertise and professional skills.

Fees and funding

Find out more

Postgraduate Research Degrees Fees

Please refer to our Fees page for more information about tuition fees.

Loans for research degrees

Many of our PhD and Professional Doctorate programmes are eligible for the government's Doctoral Loan Scheme. MPhil and MA/MSc by Research degrees are eligible for a Postgraduate Loan.

Find out more about tuition fees and financial support


Each year we offer a number of competitive scholarships to support high quality research projects. Current scholarship opportunities in Modern Languages and Linguistics are advertised on our site.

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North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership

We are a member of the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership which allows us to offer fully funded scholarships in the Arts and Humanities. Please contact us for more information.

Entry requirements

Find out more

You should, as a minimum, have a first or 2.1 honours degree or an equivalent qualification.

International students must demonstrate a sufficiently high standard of English language ability.

We welcome interest from applicants from non-standard backgrounds. We will take subject knowledge, professional experience, publications, or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment into consideration.

See more about our standard entry requirements.


Before applying for a research degree, you should have a preliminary discussion with a member of staff about your project and ideas. To arrange this, please email Professor Dawn Archer,, the Research Degrees Co-ordinator for Modern Languages and Linguistics.

For further information on the application process, contact the Faculty’s research degrees administration team:, +44 (0)161 247 6673.

How to apply

Apply now

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online using the link below. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

Before you apply, you should discuss your project with a member of academic staff. You should also complete the Postgraduate Research Degree Supplementary Information form which you will then upload to the ‘Student documents’ section of the application form. This collects key information about your research application and there may be delays if you do not submit this document.

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Postgraduate Study