Before you apply
Check that you meet the minimum entry requirements.
Then email Prof Helen Sauntson, Joint Research Lead for the School of Languages and Linguistics, with the topic of your proposed research and a brief summary of your qualifications (including English proficiency level for non-native speakers).
If the topic is one that we could potentially supervise, and your qualifications seem appropriate, we will ask you for a draft research proposal (ideally 2500-3000 words), which should provide:
- an overview of the topic and recent literature which makes reference to relevant theoretical frameworks;
- a set of possible research questions (as specific as possible);
- the proposed research design and methodology with which you might address your research questions;
- an indication of the significance and original contribution that the research might make;
- an indication of the practical impact (if any) your research might have outside of academia.
For more information on research proposals, visit the Find a PhD website.
Once we have reviewed your proposal, we will contact you with one of the following outcomes: (a) we recommend that you submit a formal application for admission; (b) we recommend further work on the proposal (we will provide guidance); or (c) we don’t recommend making an application at this time (we will tell you why).
After submitting your application
Your application will be considered by Prof Sauntson and possible supervisors in the School of Languages and Linguistics.
If the application is considered viable, you will be invited for interview, either in person or (if you are not resident in the UK) via Skype. Before responding to questions from the interview panel, you will be asked to give a 10-minute presentation on your proposal, normally accompanied by a slide presentation (which you may forward to the panel chair in advance).
Useful hints on preparing for a PhD interview.
Following the interview, the panel will tell you whether they will be recommending your admission to the relevant University committee. It is also possible that the panel will request a revised research proposal from you before making the recommendation. If this is so, the potential lead supervisor will provide guidance. In all cases, the panel chair will subsequently provide feedback with reasons for their recommendation.
You will be formally notified of the University’s decision as soon as possible after the interview. This may take a few weeks.