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Postgraduate Study in Linguistics

Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics


PhD Programmes in Linguistics

Open Day Linguistics

Please see the Applying to MMLL page for information on applications and funding.

PhDs in Theoretical & Applied Linguistics

In British universities the PhD ('Doctorate of Philosophy') is traditionally awarded solely on the basis of a dissertation, a substantial piece of writing which reports original research into a closely defined area of enquiry. Candidates for the PhD in Cambridge are guided by a Supervisor, though they will normally also discuss their work with a number of other experts in their field. The nature of the work depends on topic.

Within linguistics, some PhD students may do most of their work in libraries, or spend part of their time collecting and analysing data, or carry out experiments in the phonetics laboratory or psycholinguistics laboratory. The dissertation must make a significant contribution to learning, for example through the discovery of new knowledge, the connection of previously unrelated facts, the development of new theory or the revision of older views. The completion of a PhD dissertation is typically expected to take three to four years, or five to seven years if part-time.

PhD in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics (Course Code: MLAL212)

The PhD in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics is a PhD track for students whose research interests lie more widely in the field of linguistics. Research proposals from a broad range of linguistic subdisciplines are welcomed.

PhD in Computation, Cognition and Language (Course Code: MLAL211)

The PhD in Computation, Cognition and Language is a PhD track for students who conduct basic and applied research in the computational study of language, communication, and cognition, in humans and machines. This research is interdisciplinary in nature and draws on methodology and insights from a range of disciplines that are now critical for the further development of language sciences, including (but not limited to) Linguistics, Cognitive Science, Computer Science, Engineering, Psychology and Neuroscience. A variety of PhD topics that fall within this remit are accepted.

Please direct any enquiries regarding entry requirements and academic matters to the Postgraduate Administrative Assistant in the MMLL Graduate Office:, and any enquiries regarding the technicalities of applying to the Postgraduate Admissions Office.