Skip to main content

Languages and Translation Studies

We have a strong, intellectually stimulating and vibrant research culture into which postgraduates are inducted and embedded.

Our research community of academics and scholars are committed to producing world-class research and our ranking at 7th place in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework is evidence of our strong international reputation for excellence.

Our research programme aims to offer knowledge and expertise in subject-specific and generic skills, qualifying you for both academic and non-academic positions in a variety of organisations.

We offer supervision across a wide range of research topics, including

  • History and memory
  • Culture and identity
  • Languages and translation Studies
  • Global area studies
  • History and ideologies
  • Conflict and development
  • Literary and textual studies
  • Cultural studies
  • Visual cultures.

Distinctive features

  • We encourage our PhD students to gain teaching experience, however applicants are asked to note that the allocation of teaching is dependent on which modules are running at an Undergraduate or Postgraduate level and may not be available to everyone.
  • Our Research in Progress seminar series provides students with the opportunity to present papers in a non-intimidating environment. The series is designed to be preparatory to presenting papers at conferences, and also plays a vital role in the dissemination of subject-specific skills.
  • We play a leading role in language-based area studies within the Wales Doctoral Training Partnership, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
  • All research students are entitled to call upon a personal allocation of funds which may be spent on legitimate research related activities.

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 5-7 years, MPhil up to 3 years
Start dates January, April, July, October

PhD students are fully integrated into our research community. Seminars and events organised by our research groups give students the opportunity to interact with a wide range of academic staff on topics relevant to their research, broadening the experience of the students. Our students are supervised by a team of at least two members of academic staff and regular meetings monitor progress and develop the timetable for the completion of the PhD. Students present their research at the twice-yearly Research in Completion events, which provides detailed individual feedback from a panel of academic staff.

Full-time students are expected to devote at least 39 hours per week for 46 weeks a year to their PhD work (part-time 21 hours per week). Research students will need to produce and submit a thesis which will be examined by an oral examination.

Skills developed

Our students will acquire a broad mix of generic research skills, transferable skills and subject-specific skills. By ‘generic’ research skills, we signify the skills that are essential for undertaking any type of research project: mastering information technology, for example, or improving writing styles. Transferable skills are those which improve employability in the broader labour market: these can range from mastery of a foreign language to good communication skills. Discipline-specific skills are more squarely focussed upon the academic discipline you are studying.

The School of Modern Languages is home to a group of researchers whose interests span ten different language areas, with a strong emphasis on the transnational dimensions of contemporary cultural, social and political issues.

The work of our researchers covers a wide range of disciplines, including literary and visual studies, translation, multilingualism, critical theory, memory studies, history, social movements, and politics and policymaking.

Our work is organised around three key thematic groupings, which all present regular research events: history and heritage, global language based area studies, and transnational cultural and visual studies.

Careers include teaching, universities, civil service / Foreign Office, European Commission, journalism, business, politics, and NGOs. Our alumni include Huw Edwards (BBC), Neil Bentley (CBI), and Leri Edwards (European Commission).

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


We are part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership and have also had ESRC-funded PhD studentships for UK and EU students in the past.

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.

The normal requirement for admission to all Research programmes in the School is a 2:1 (upper second class) degree award, or the overseas equivalent, in a relevant subject.

However, we consider all individual applicants on their specific merits. If you do not have the standard qualifications for the course you may still apply and your application will be considered. Interviews may be conducted to identify and assess the academic merit of prospective students.

Applicants may be requested to submit their master’s dissertation or other appropriate research writing for review. Applicants may be interviewed.

Applicants are also required to submit a Research Proposal (word limit/suggested length: 2,000-3,000 words).

English language requirements

Non-native speakers of English are expected to have a recognised English-language qualification (e.g. IELTS with a total score of 7 and no subsection below 6.5), as the minimum requirement to be invited to interview. Written and oral competence in English might also be tested at interview.

Please read our English language requirements for more details.


Administrative contact(s)

Postgraduate Research Team

School of Modern Languages


Apply now
See the range of PhD studentships and projects currently available.

Related courses

Related subjects