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Postgraduate Study in Linguistics

Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics


PhD Programmes in Linguistics

Open Day Linguistics

The nature of the PhD degree

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 years, and most funding for PhD students is based on this assumption.

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

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

Please direct any enquiries regarding entry requirements and academic matters to the Linguistics Graduate Secretary in the MML Graduate Office:, and any enquiries regarding the technicalities of applying to the Graduate Admissions Office.