MPhil and PhD Opportunities

Languages and Applied Linguistics

Postgraduate Research in Languages and Applied Linguistics.

Star Overview

Research overview

The School of Languages and Area Studies (SLAS) is one of the largest, well-established departments of its kind in the UK. We can offer PhD supervision in a wide range of themes and disciplines, with particular expertise in applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, language education, translation, international development, African studies, American studies, European studies and East Asian studies.

As a doctoral student, you can undertake your studies on a full- or part-time basis under the supervision of internationally recognised researchers who will welcome you into our vibrant research environment. Our doctoral students are fully supported throughout their period of study by their supervisory team, the Graduate School and the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR). Our PhD programme provides you with a range of opportunities to develop your subject-specific and generic skills as a researcher, with a view to your future career development. These might include training in the use of specific software, workplace placements, training for teaching in higher education, support in getting published and opportunities to present in seminars and conferences and organise your own workshops.

Research centre

The Centre for European and International Studies Research

All researchers in the School of Languages and Area Studies belong to the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR). This is a major interdisciplinary centre which brings together researchers and postgraduates from across the university, including linguists, historians, sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists and specialists in area studies. CEISR is organised into eight research clusters:

  • Francophone Africa
  • Justice in Fragile States
  • Language Across Borders
  • Security, Citizenship and Social Justice
  • Social and Cultural History
  • Sociology and Social Theory
  • Transnational Europe
  • Women and Gender Studies.

As a PhD student in SLAS, you will automatically become a member of CEISR and at least one of its research clusters.


How to apply 

To apply for a postgraduate research degree with us, you'll need a good first degree from an internationally-recognised university or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. We'll also consider outstanding applicants with exceptional equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications.

We're currently rebuilding our website, so to explore the 3 different routes you can take into a postgrad research degree at Portsmouth, visit our new 'How to Apply' pages.

Key Facts


MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
By Publication: 1 year part-time
Start date: October/February


A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered. All applicants are subject to face-to-face or telephone interview.

Translation and Literary Studies requires English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5. Other subject areas require English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

MPhil/PhD Fees*

MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan


Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,260 p/a*
Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,130 p/a*
International full-time students: £13,200 p/a*
International part-time students: £6,600 p/a*

*All fees are subject to annual increase

By Publication Fees*


Members of staff: £1,550 p/a*
External candidates: £4,260 p/a*

*All fees are subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions



School of Language and Area Studies

Back To Top

Light bulb Research Areas

Communication and Applied Linguistics

  • Functional linguistics and discourse analysis
  • Multimodality
  • Corpus linguistics
  • English Language Teaching
  • English for Specific Purposes
  • Second language acquisition


  • World Englishes and English as a lingua franca
  • Multilingualism and language diversity
  • Language and identity
  • Language, gender and sexuality
  • Language and globalisation


  • Translation and politics
  • Film remakes and subtitling
  • New media
  • Creative uses of translation and adaptation, including fan translation
  • Translation pedagogy
  • Interpreting

Back To Top

Monitor Facilities & Features

Excellent resources and facilities

Our library offers you strong print collections in subjects across languages and area studies, and a designated space exclusively for postgraduate students. These are enhanced by an excellent range of online resources, including over 500,000 e-books, millions of e-journal and newspaper articles in a wide variety of languages and an ever-expanding range of online archives. We have been able to invest over half a million pounds in buying online archives for humanities and social sciences over the last three years. Once registered, you can access most of these resources wherever you are 24/7 and friendly library staff are available if you need help.

Additionally, the Faculty plans to open a brand-new Postgraduate Research Centre in September 2016, with desk space, computers, printing, stationery and a kitchenette. 

Expert supervision and mentoring

Supervisory teams are composed of three researchers, combining expertise in your subject area and extensive experience of mentoring PhD candidates to successfully complete their projects. At the start of your studies, you will work with your supervisory team to develop an individually tailored programme of research and skills training, supervision meetings and project milestones to ensure that you get the most out of doing a PhD. Supervision is flexible and can take place in a variety of formats – in person, by phone or online. By the end of the PhD, our aim is that you are an independent researcher and an expert in your field, having acquired acquired a wide variety of skills relevant to both academia and other careers. 

Research and workplace opportunities

Our international networks and collaborative partnerships provide opportunities for our PhD students to conduct research and workplace placements around the world.  In discussion with your supervisory team, workplace placements can be integrated into the research programme, or you can take a short break from your PhD to complete an internship which will contribute to your longer-term career development. Recent PhD placements have been at the British Council in Algeria, BBC Afrique in Senegal.

Research community

From the moment you join us, you will be supported by the University's Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team. You will be invited to a two-day induction which will help you to get the most from our facilities and become part of our thriving research community. You can also extend your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events. Our PhD students come from all over the world and are working on a wide range of topics. You will have ample opportunities to get to know them to exchange ideas, share experiences and socialise.  PhD students across the Faculty organise regular research events and study days, we have an annual postgraduate research conference and the Portsmouth Postgraduate Review provides a forum for you to get published. 

Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career Planning

One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the comprehensive support we provide in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service - Purple Door - can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. 

The Graduate School Development Programme offers a series of dedicated workshops on career planning, specifically for research degree students. You will also have access to consultations with careers advisers or online support. This service is available for five years after graduation.


Doctoral graduates are highly-skilled researchers that make an impact in a range of sectors. They benefit from high employment rates and, on average, earn more than holders of undergraduate and Masters degrees. A doctorate demonstrates to employers that you are intelligent, capable and motivated, and that you have advanced technical and research skills.

In addition to supervision from experts in the field, you will be supported to become an internationally employable doctoral graduate. You will also develop skills that are desirable to employers including critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.

Back To Top

Similar courses to Modern Languages and Area Studies

Back To Top