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Professional Doctorate in Applied Linguistics

Course Description


If you’re a practising professional in applied linguistics, this course will allow you to work on topics that reflect the multidisciplinary nature of the field, and that go beyond classroom-based language learning and teaching.

You’ll be introduced to dynamic and challenging concepts and methods that reflect the role language plays as a communication tool in everyday life, and use these to reflect critically and constructively on your current experience and context.

The course is split into two distinct stages. In stage 1, you’ll create a research portfolio consisting of three 7,000-word papers. In stage 2, you’ll produce a 59,000-word thesis, based on original research linked to your professional practice.

For both stages, you’ll be assigned a subject specialist supervisor. Our supervisors are experienced in most areas of applied linguistics, including contemporary approaches, like corpus-driven studies on testing or material compilation, and issues relating to sociocultural adaptation and social cohesion in a migration context.

We’ll provide you with a collaborative environment with strong links to research networks in the University. We host and take part in many research oriented events for staff and postgraduate students, including regular Faculty and departmental research seminars and international conferences. Our staff contribute to the Research Unit for Intercultural and Transcultural Studies (RUITS), Anglia Research Centre in Media and Culture (ARCMedia) and Cultures of the Digital Economy Research Institute (CoDE), who organise many events that you’ll be welcome to attend. These events, along with our online environment, will help you connect with other research students from a range of disciplines.

All your subject-specific studies will be enhanced and supported by our University-wide training sessions, where you’ll gain important research expertise in areas like ethics, presentations, intellectual property and digital scholarship.

Research staff

Our permanent supervisory staff members are recognised experts in their field, and have produced a number of influential books, journal articles and edited collections. Our research expertise includes:

Dr Sebastian Rasinger, BA, PG Cert, PhD: sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, multilingualism, linguistic and cultural identities.

Melanie Bell, MPhil (Cantab), MA (Cantab), DipTEFL: quantitative and corpus linguistics, discourse in the professions, design of language courses.

Dr Bettina Beinhoff, MPhil (Cantab), PhD (Cantab): sociolinguistics, acquisition of speech and discourse patterns in second/foreign languages, social psychology in language (esp. attitudes, stereotypes and identity construction).


This Professional Doctorate will give you the unique opportunity to research an issue or problem of particular significance to your practice, demonstrating your leadership and developing your expertise.

We’ll provide you with many opportunities for career development and training, in areas like writing up a paper for publication; placing an academic article; giving a conference paper; doctoral writing style; updates on research methods and literature searches; internet training; editing skills for doctoral research; subsequent monograph publication; and dealing with festivals, agents, and publishers.

In conjunction with the University’s research support, you can request specific support for writing-up, conference papers, general research methods and other research skills if you need it.

Specialist facilities

You’ll receive access to our fully-equipped language centre, the University of Cambridge Library, and our own on-campus library, as well as our Faculty’s PhD room, where all our doctoral students can meet up to work and take an active part in our postgraduate student community.

Visit the Professional Doctorate in Applied Linguistics page on the Anglia Ruskin University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You'll normally need a Masters degree in a related subject, plus appropriate professional experience that will allow you to successfully complete the programme. If you do not have a Masters degree we may still consider you for admission to the Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Research with the possibility of subsequent progression to the Professional Masters or Professional Doctorate provided you have at least a 2:1 hons degree (or equivalent) and appropriate research and professional experience. We will carefully evaluate your academic and professional background and, where appropriate, invite you for interview.

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Recipient: Anglia Ruskin University
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