School of Languages and Applied Linguistics


Photo of Dr Lee Oakley

Dr Lee Oakley

  • Qualifications: BA Hons. English and History (Birmingham); MPhil in English Language & Applied Linguistics (Birmingham); PhD in English Language & Applied Linguistics (Birmingham)
  • Role Title: Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics
  • Address: Park Building, King Henry 1 Street, Portsmouth PO1 2DZ
  • Telephone: 023 9284 2153
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Languages and Area Studies
  • Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


I joined the University of Portsmouth in January 2018, having completed a PhD in English Language & Applied Linguistics (2016) at the University of Birmingham, and having also held the post of Teaching Fellow there between September 2015 and December 2017. I have co-ordinated and taught on a wide variety of undergraduate and postgraduate units both here and at Birmingham, focussing especially on topics related to Discourse Analysis, Corpus Linguistics, and Multimodal Studies.

My current research focuses on narratives of negative emotions in higher education, focusing especially on the experiences of undergraduate students in the UK. In addition, I am also researching the discourses around the mental health of students in various forms of traditional and social media.

I am a member of the British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL)



Teaching Responsibilities

  • Working with Texts (UG; Unit Coordinator)
  • English Forms and Functions (UG; Unit Coordinator)
  • Forensic Linguistics (UG)

I supervise undergraduate student dissertations on a number of topics (e.g. language and health/illness, language in the media, language and politics, forensic linguistics, language and gender/sexuality, multimodality, eco-linguistics, etc.)


My doctoral research investigated the ideologies around gender relations and sexuality in British sex education manuals for teenagers, and how these changed or remained the same over time. My interest in the ideologies and experiences found within educational contexts continues with my present research on mental health narratives in undergraduate students, and also how such topics are perceived and discussed in traditional and social media. I am currently preparing a monograph on discourses of mental health in undergraduate students (Palgrave).

I would be interested in supervising potential PhD candidates in any of the following areas: ideologies to do with gender and/or sexuality within (higher) education, communication about health and illness (particularly mental health), narratives of student experiences in higher education contexts, and representations of health and illness in print/broadcast/social media.