School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies

PhD in Linguistics/Applied Linguistics

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About the PhD

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 candidates must be registered for a minimum of two years (24 months) and are expected to complete the degree in 2-3 years.  Part-time study can be spread over six years.

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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.

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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.

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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 also available through the Research page. 

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Applying for Admission

The application and admissions process is conducted entirely by the Faculty of Graduate Research.  Other topics covered in detail by the FGR site are entry requirements, scholarships, the length of the degree, the PhD thesis, supervision, assessment and examination. Please direct all enquires regarding these processes and subsequent registration as a PhD student to that office.

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The Faculty of Graduate Research (FGR)

The Faculty of Graduate Research provides a first port of call for all students interested in enrolling in a PhD at Victoria. The Faculty website provides application forms, details of available funding, application dates, and answers to a host of other questions. The FGR continues to provide support to PhD students throughout their studies at Victoria.

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 FGR and formal acceptance into the programme will be made after the deadline. The process of enrolment for a Master's thesis remains unchanged for 2012.

For more information, please see the following publications:

PhD statute

PhD Policy: Approving, Enrolling, Supervising and Examining Candidates

Minimum Resources Agreement (MRA) for thesis students.