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Our programmes

We run three PhD programmes in the Department: the PhD in Applied Linguistics, the PhD in Applied Linguistics (Taught-Track & Thesis) and the PhD in Comparative and Intercultural Studies. Each requires 3-4 years on a full-time basis and 5-6 years part-time.

During the first year, students on all programmes are required to attend two campus-based Applied Linguistics modules and one research-related module, in addition to regular discussions on their specialist topic with their supervisor.

Students on the taught-track programme are also assessed on three further research-related modules.

View our current PhD projects

PhD in Applied Linguistics

Typical pathway

The PhD in Applied Linguistics programme is most suitable for applicants who have some experience of conducting research.

PhD in Applied Linguistics 

Taught-track and thesis pathway

This programme is recommended for applicants who have little or no previous experience of conducting research. At the end of the first year, these students will produce a 20,000-word dissertation which will form the basis of their final thesis.

PhD in Intercultural and Comparative Studies

This PhD programme accommodates researchers with a background in literary studies, culture studies or linguistics, with knowledge of cultures and languages in addition to English, and with an interest in comparative and intercultural studies.

Research projects within this programme can include comparative literature and cultural transfer, cross-linguistic comparison of discourses and language use as well as intercultural communication.

It is underpinned by related research expertise of staff in and across the Departments of English Literature, English Language and Applied Linguistics, and Languages and Cultures.
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Types of doctoral degree

We offer several routes to a doctoral qualification, so you can find the one that suits you and the topic you wish to study.

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Part-time study

Part-time PhDs are available as well as full-time, so you can choose a mode of study that suits your circumstances.

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PhD by Distance

Our PhD by Distance programme allows you to benefit from the expertise of a Reading-based supervisor, while conducting your research in a different location.

PhD supervision

Consider a PhD that aligns with your interests and career ambitions – in our Department we accept original research proposals so you can choose your own topic of study. 

Our staff have a wide range of expertise in English language and linguistics. As you explore your options and consider your research topic,find out more about our staff and the areas of PhD research that they supervise in our staff profiles.