Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students can choose to explore topics in one of the following areas:
The School of Languages and Social Sciences has awarded research bursaries to many students. Details of future bursaries will be advertised on this page.
for research students in LSS include:
- Newly refurbished shared offices with computer access and e-mail facilities
- Dedicated facilities for meetings and group work
- Use of virtual learning environment Blackboard and self-learning software Pebble Pad
- One year introduction to research methods.
Non-native speakers of English are normally required to satisfy the following minimum English language requirements:
IELTS: 7.0 (minimum 7.0 in writing, and minimum 6.5 in speaking, listening and reading)
TOEFL iBT: 101/102 (minimum 25 in writing, 23 in speaking and 22 in all other bands)
Pearson Academic: minimum 61 in Reading and Listening; 68 in Writing and Speaking
Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade B
Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): Grade A
by completing the Postgraduate research application form
- Photocopies of your first and Master’s degree certificate and a transcript of your grades
- A substantial outline of your proposed research (see below).
- 2 references
Your application and proposal will be reviewed by the School’s Research Committee - you will then be notified of the outcome.
You are required to:
(Please note that if you are applying for the following programmes you are only required to submit a research proposal outline):
Research - Applied Linguistics by distance learning
Research - Languages and Translation Studies by distance learning
1. Outline an area of (possibly cross-disciplinary) study and demonstrate a familiarity with that area in bibliographical terms
2. Specify a focus for research which may be expressed in various forms, e.g. hypothesis, question and problem. You must provide details of:
- Your understanding of the subject at an appropriate level and highlight the scope for doctoral research
- Your expected outcome (e.g. descriptive, explanatory, pedagogic)
- Which field the research will contribute to.
3. Demonstrate an awareness of an appropriate research tradition (or paradigm) which will provide a focus for your project
4. Show a basic understanding of at least one appropriate theoretical model that will be used to analyse data for your study
5. Draft a plan (in line with 3 and 4 above) of how the research will be carried out over the time allowed.
Identify the precise topic and indicate the approach you plan to take, if possible.
This should identify the relevant research area, show why the research is worth doing and indicate what you hope to achieve.
Aims and objectives
This expands on the first of the above topics. In this section you should clearly set out the aim of your research, providing you with an opportunity to develop your research question and hypothesis and specify the intended outcomes. This should be done with reference to relevant literature. Where appropriate, there should also be reference to your individual and institutional situation in which you intend to carry out the research.
Orientation to previous research
This builds on the previous section and sets your work more explicitly in the context of previous work and wider issues. You should set out a justification for your own research in the context of other studies, showing how it builds on and/or orientates to these. The section should demonstrate to the reader that you have familiarised yourself with the subject and are acquainted with current debates related to it.
This section should indicate on which data the research is planned to be carried out.
In this section you will need to provide a justification for your methodological approach and you should expect to include the following:
- A statement of the paradigm and tradition(s) within which you will work, a description of the data collection and procedures to be used, including work to be done in archives and a justification for these (showing why alternatives were rejected)
- A consideration of practical issues (e.g. permissions, gaining entry, ethics) showing that data collection is possible
- The analytical approach that you plan to adopt.
Present a realistic timetable for the research, including research visits abroad, corresponding to the time available for the project (usually three years for a full-time and 4-6 years for a part-time PhD, including writing-up).
All references to academic works should be presented consistently, in a standard format.
Refer to the subject area
pages for details of our research staff and their specialisms.