PhD in Linguistics/ Applied Linguistics

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is an advanced research degree requiring the presentation of a thesis after an extended period of research. Candidates are expected to study for the degree on a full-time basis where possible. You can also be accepted as a part-time candidate, provided that you are able to devote adequate time to the research in addition to your other commitments.

Full-time students must be enrolled for a minimum of three years, although it is not uncommon to take four to complete your thesis. Part-time students must be enrolled for a minimum of six years.

Entry requirements

For the PhD in Linguistics you normally need a Bachelor of Arts with Honours degree with first or upper second-class Honours in Linguistics or a Master's degree in Linguistics, with a good academic record.

For the PhD in Applied Linguistics you normally need a good record of postgraduate study in TESOL or Applied Linguistics, with qualifications such as the DipTESOL and/or a Master's degree. In addition, you should have a significant amount of experience in language education or another field that is relevant to your proposed research area.

You will be asked to name two referees who can evaluate your suitability as a doctoral candidate. Another important consideration is whether you have formulated an acceptable research topic which can be supervised within the School.

Check our University's English Language Requirements. In addition, successful applicants to the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies typically have an IELTS score for writing of 7.0 or more.

Off campus study

Despite the expectation that you will study in Wellington, it may be necessary for you to conduct some of your research away from the University. You must seek approval from your School Research Committee for research absences. You can read more about attendance and changes to your enrolment on the Faculty of Graduate Research page. It is also a requirement to keep in regular contact with your supervisors while away from the University and report on your research at agreed intervals.

Research areas

The academic staff of the School include scholars of international standing in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, who can collectively supervise research on a wide range of topics. Several of them have externally funded research projects. You can find out more about their individual interests and research activities on the Staff page and on the Research pages.

Current and past research students and their topics are listed on the Research Students page.

Applying for admission

The application and admissions process is managed by the Scholarships and Doctoral Admissions Office. The online application process for our PhD programme combines admissions with applications for Victoria Doctoral Scholarships.

Find out how to apply here. If you have any questions about the application please email the Doctoral Admissions staff.

There are three deadlines for all PhD applications to be considered. The dates are 1 March, 1 July and 1 November. Students may complete an application form and speak with prospective supervisors prior to the deadline, but their application must be submitted through the Scholarships and Doctoral Admissions Office and formal acceptance into the programme will be made after the deadline.

The Faculty of Graduate Research

For further information about doctoral study such as enrolment, the length of the degree, the PhD thesis, supervision, annual registration, assessment and examination go to the Faculty of Graduate Research website.