Language and Communication

Programme aims

To offer knowledge and expertise in research in social, applied and interactional areas of human communication, language and linguistics.

Distinctive features

  • We offer involvement in a wide range of staff research projects
  • We offer teaching opportunities on the undergraduate programme, and PhD students can undertake the School’s unique Learning to Teach programme, accredited by the Higher Education Academy
  • We run regular research seminars, featuring contributions from staff and visiting speakers
  • We run a weekly postgraduate research seminar series
  • Software training is offered by the Centre
  • Full-time PhD students are allocated study spaces with computing facilities, networked information and access to email and the internet
  • Funding across the period of a PhD candidature is available for students to attend conferences and workshops, or undertake library/archive visits related to their PhD studies.

Key facts

Mode of study Full-time, part-time
Qualification PhD, MPhil
Full-time duration PhD 3 years, MPhil 1 year
Part-time duration PhD 5 years, MPhil 2 years
Start dates January, April, July, October

The Centre for Language and Communication Research is one of the foremost international Centres for research, research training and teaching in social, applied and interactional areas of human communication, language and linguistics. We use linguistic theory and a wide range of methods to explore how language works as a system, and how it is used to express identity and reflect and mould attitudes. We apply our research to important social challenges, to generate improvements in diverse areas including language learning, Alzheimer's care, multicultural interaction, police-public interaction and social inclusion.

In the latest nationwide assessment of University research quality, the School was ranked 10th for English Language and Literature. The very high quality of the environment and of our research training means that we form part of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Wales Doctoral Training Centre (DTC). In pursuing your postgraduate research at the Centre you will join this excellent research environment.

A list of potential supervisors and their research profiles can be found at the School’s website.

Research environment

‘Positioned at the interface of different traditions, methodologies, theoretical approaches, disciplines and practices, our pioneering research engenders challenging and fascinating questions for our staff and, through our PhD supervision and research-led teaching also for our students are all levels.’ Professor Alison Wray, Director of Research in the School of English, Communication and Philosophy

The School’s research is recognised internationally for its excellence and was ranked in the top ten for the quality of its English Language and Literature research, including Creative Writing, in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF2014).

Cardiff University has recently joined the world's top 100 universities for the study of English Language & Literature in the 2016 QS World University Rankings.

Vist the Centre's webpage for more information.

There is a weekly Postgraduate Research Seminar throughout each semester.  You can find more information about the 15-16 seminars on the blog.

The Forensic Linguistics Research Network also has a blog, CaLL - Cardiff Language and Law.

PhD students in the Centre for Language and Communication Research take part in an annual conference, sharing their research with student peers, academic staff and visiting scholars, and other stakeholders.  You can download a copy of last year’s conference book of abstracts here.

We also run a collaborative project led by the School of English, Communication and Philosophyat Cardiff University. The CorCenCC (Corpws Cenedlaethol Cymraeg Cyfoes (The National Corpus of Contemporary Welsh) is a community driven, interdisciplinary approach to linguistic corpus construction, for more information click here.

The acquisition of sociolinguistic competence in a Welsh immersion context

This project aims to look at the spoken Welsh forms that pupils are exposed to inside and outside of the classsroom.

Under-the-radar dynamics of on-ward management and inter-team communication in a Welsh hospital

The project will investigate the mechanisms by which multiple communicative goals are attained in realtime hospital management.

Postgraduate study in the School is a gateway to many careers within and beyond academia. Many overseas postgraduates return to lectureships with much enhanced career prospects. Example employers in the UK include Cardiff University, HMRC, Mencap, Poetry Wales Magazine, Teach First, Welsh Government, with jobs that include Crime Intelligence Analyst, Creative Writing Lecturer, Librarian, Poet, Recruitment Consultant, Teacher, Writer.

A First or Upper Second class UK honours degree, or equivalent is normally required, in a suitable field (such as Linguistics, Communication, Media Studies, Languages, some Social Sciences, English Literature and Humanities).

Successful applicants to the programme will also have demonstrated a strong performance at Master’s level in a subject related to linguistics, will have completed a course in research methods, and will have some experience of conducting empirical research (possibly as part of the Master’s degree).

All PhD candidates are required to have adequate research training.  If not they will be considered for the MA in Language and Communication Research with progression to the 3-year PhD programme. During the MA year, in order to progress to the PhD programme students are required to obtain a minimum of 65 or more in at least 3 of the taught modules, and to obtain a dissertation mark of at least 60%.  If you are uncertain whether you would be eligible to be considered for direct entry onto the PhD programme, please see the flow chart.

In the research proposal (around 1,000 words, 3-4 pages) please outline your rationale, proposed methodology, and research objectives, including a short bibliography. This should be appended to your application.

In your personal statement, we would like you to tell us about why you are applying for a PhD – what your current situation is, whether you need a PhD for your own personal development, or for professional reasons, what your experience has been to date as a student/researcher/teacher in the area of English Language and Communication, and why you have chosen Cardiff as an appropriate research environment for your particular area of interest.

In addition to the research proposal and personal statement you will need to provide two academic references and copies of degree certificates and transcripts.

English language requirements

For non-native speakers of English, an IELTS overall score of 7.5 with at least 7.0 in each sub score is essential.

Please read our English language requirements for more details.


Administrative contact(s)

ENCAP Postgraduate Admissions

Administrative contact


Apply now
Meet us at our Information Fair on 22 February 2018.

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