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Language, Policy and Planning

Join our curious, challenge-led community and develop your research into language – with experts in the fields of language policy and planning, language rights and politics, language variation and change, sociolinguistics of bilingualism and multilingualism, and the sociology of language.

This PhD is lead by the Language, Policy and Planning Research Unit in the School of Welsh. Projects include international research on language policy and planning, language rights and politics, language variation and change, sociolinguistics of bilingualism and multilingualism, and sociology of language.

The Unit aims to be at the leading edge in national and international language-planning developments. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding the social, economic and environmental implications of language over both time and space. The Unit's work ranges in geographic scale from the local to the global whilst the full spectrum of quantitative and qualitative research techniques is deployed.

Programme aims

To offer knowledge and expertise for a career in language planning, media, government, teaching, management and research. We provide training and a high level of support to all students and the postgraduate community makes a vital contribution to the University's international reputation for research.

Distinctive features

  • Annual series of research seminars and conferences.
  • Language Planning and Policy Research Unit.
  • Opportunities to teach in the School and the Welsh Language Teaching Centre (Welsh for Adults).
  • Collaborative research with several North American and European institutions, for instance in Canada and Ireland.
  • Close links with the Welsh Government and other national institutions including the National History Museum, St. Fagans.

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

Skills developed

  • Advanced subject knowledge and expertise
  • Advanced research skills and methodology (theory and application)
  • Self-management and motivation
  • Analytical and critical thinking
  • Research dissemination and engagement


This programme is assessed based on the research outcome produced through submission of a thesis and viva voce.

  • For PhD students, the thesis should be up to 80,000 words.
  • For MPhil students, the thesis should be 50,000 words.

Research can be undertaken through the medium of Welsh or English in any of the following areas:

  • language politics, activism and conflict resolution
  • language rights and status
  • language policy, governance and the State
  • behaviour change
  • linguistic diversity and multiculturalism
  • sociolinguistic aspects of bilingualism, multilingualism, and second language acquisition
  • language variation and change and dialectology

Previous graduates in this field have go on to pursue careers in higher education, research, media, teaching, government and publishing.

UK government postgraduate doctoral loans

Candidates for the Professional Doctorate programme may be eligible to apply for a UK government postgraduate doctoral loan.

Find out more about UK government postgraduate doctoral loans


See our latest PhD studentships and projects and find out more about other funding opportunities.

Tuition fees

Students from the UK

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from the rest of the world (international)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Applications should include a research proposal of up to 1,500 words that outlines their intended programme of research. Candidates should contact the School of Welsh to discuss their research interests before making a formal application.

The Director of Postgraduate Research Studies at the School will then advise as to the expertise available and assist candidates as they develop their Research Proposals.

Suitable for graduates in Welsh or other Humanities and Social Science subjects. Students who have not completed an MA or a research methods training course normally follow the research skills module of the taught MA while preparing for their MPhil/PhD thesis.

A 1st or an upper 2nd class UK Honours degree, or equivalent, is required.

Candidates who wish to submit their MPhil or PhD dissertation in Welsh, and who have not graduated in Welsh, must satisfy the School as to the standard of their written and oral skills in the language.

The School of Welsh also welcomes applications from UK or overseas non-Welsh speaking students who wish to study and submit their MPhil or PhD dissertation through the medium of English.

English language requirements

IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in all subskills, or equivalent. Please see our English Language Requirements guidance for more details.


Administrative contact(s)

Cadi Thomas

Cadi Thomas

Academic Manager

Welsh speaking
+44 (0)29 2087 0637

Academic contact(s)

Dr Jonathan Morris

Dr Jonathan Morris

Director of Research

Welsh speaking
+44(0) 29 2087 7266


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