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Postgraduate Study

Having found my passion for Language Acquisition and World Englishes research, I decided to embark on a PhD programme at the University of Cambridge and have not regretted my decision since. Not only was I granted freedom to explore my research topic, but I also received considerable academic support from my supervisor, colleagues, and staff at the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics. 

One of the memorable experiences I will cherish from the programme is the intellectually stimulating lectures, seminars, and talks given by world-leading experts, early career researchers, and peers. The training sessions offered by the Faculty and University were also tremendously helpful in honing my academic and personal skills. The camaraderie fostered amongst research students at the Theoretical and Applied Linguistics Section made my PhD experience all the more precious, as everyone was incredibly kind, helpful, and encouraging of one another.

Doing a PhD may come with various intellectual and emotional hurdles, but the generous support of faculty members and colleagues has made my research experience extremely worthwhile.

Samantha, PhD student, 2023 (May 2023)

I thoroughly enjoyed my time as an MPhil student at TAL, so I didn’t hesitate to apply to Cambridge when I was ready to do a PhD. Studying at the postgraduate level can be intimidating at times, but I’ve always found the learning environment here to be inclusive, positive, and empowering. The faculty members that I met were approachable and passionate teachers, other than being experts if not leaders of their respective fields. For both degrees (MPhil and PhD), I was fortunate to have supervisors who were supportive, empathetic, and always available. It was very clear to me that the focus of the department was on the holistic development of their students. I benefited greatly from the ample training opportunities provided by the department, the university, and other departments that I could choose from according to my needs. The Phonetics and Phonology research group that I was part of was especially close-knit, and the people also became an important part of my academic and non-academic life in Cambridge. I highly recommend applying to TAL, especially if you’re looking for a place that is friendly, welcoming, and intellectually stimulating.  

Jasper, PhD student, 2022 (April 2022)
I really enjoyed my time at the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics in Cambridge because of the intellectual stimulation I got from lectures, seminars, and discussions with brilliant people, both students and staff, with whom I shared the same passion for language. One of my favourite aspects of the PhD experience was the opportunity to supervise undergraduate students: not only was it extremely enjoyable to teach and interact with these bright students, but it was also an opportunity to think more deeply about my own research while  trying to answer their challenging questions.
Eleni, PhD student, 2020 (April 2020)

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Key Information


3-4 years full-time

4-7 years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics This course is advertised in multiple departments. Please see the Overview tab for more details.

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Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 15, 2022
Application deadline
Oct. 4, 2023
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Michaelmas 2024

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
May 16, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
Oct. 2, 2024
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2025

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Dec. 5, 2023
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.


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