Linguistics at Ulster University has a strong research focus and a lively research atmosphere. Research students are valued members of the research community and rapidly become part of an active research group. They take part in regular staff-student seminars where current research is presented and debated. The group regularly organises international conferences and in recent years it has become very active in the development of research on linguistic interfaces and multilingualism.
Work in the linguistics group spans a range of areas in the discipline from syntactic and semantic theory to applied linguistics. Particular strengths are in the areas of syntax, semantics, pragmatics, discourse analysis, microvariation, linguistic interfaces, first and second language acquisition, bilingualism, language variation, language change, talk-in-interaction and language policy and planning.
The group also works in investigating experimentally a range of syntactic, semantic or pragmatic phenomena, with different measures and in different types of population; typical adults, children, and individuals with language disorders.
While students and staff work on a wide range of languages, some take advantage of the opportunity to work on a selection of interesting local language varieties including Belfast English, Irish English in general, Irish and Ulster Scots.
Another key research area involves the application of discourse and conversation analysis to understand issues of culture, identity, communication and interaction.
The linguistics group forms a section of the School of Communication and students in relevant fields benefit from interaction with staff and students in areas such as interpersonal communication, counselling and political communication, as part of the wider Communication group. There are also close links with Speech and Language Therapy.
The group has a regular programme of visiting speakers and visiting scholars who join the department for longer periods. Students are encouraged and aided to present their own work at international conferences, to take part in international summer schools, and to become part of the international research community in their various areas of specialisation by spending a semester of study in other universities in the world with which the unit has connections.
We welcome applications for PhDs by full-time, part- time and part-time distance study.