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Language, Discourse & Communication, option of joint PhD with HKU/NUS MPhil / PhD joint PhD with HKU/NUS



  • Research income: Approximately £120,000 a year.

  • Current number of academic staff: Over 25 research active academics.

  • Current number of research students: 40-50.

  • Recent publications:

    • Language in Late Modernity: Interaction in an Urban School;

    • Sociolinguistics & Computer-Mediated Communication;

    • Translation in Language Teaching: An Argument for Reassessment;

    • Ethnography and Cultural Practice: Ways of Learning during Residence Abroad;

    • New Ethnicities and Language Use;

    • Inferencing and cultural reproduction: A corpus based critical discourse analysis;

    • Small Stories, Interaction & Identities.

  • Research projects:

    • Urban Classroom Culture and Interaction;

    • Dialect Development & Style in a Diasporic Community;

    • Language, Ethnicity, & Employment Job Interviews, Ethnicity & Disadvantage;

    • The Impact of Language & Cognition on Compliance During a Natural Disaster;

    • Crossing languages & border: Intercultural modern foreign languages in a conflict-troubled context.

  • Partner organisations: Hong Kong University and National University of Singapore (optional joint PhD opportunities).

Key information

Duration Expected to be: MPhil two years FT, three years PT; PhD three years FT, four-six years PT.

Study mode Full-time,Part-time

Awarding institution King's College London/King's and HKU/NUS for joint programme

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department Department of Education and Professional Studies


Entry requirements

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

We usually require a  minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree, a Masters degree with at least a high Merit (or overseas equivalents) in a subject appropriate to the research area. 

Applicants should provide evidence of capacity to work at distinction level, and a piece of independently produced academic work (e.g. a Master’s essay/dissertation or published or unpublished paper) that has been assessed by the supervisor and admissions tutor as showing potential for doctoral level work. 

An approved professional qualification and extensive practical experience in the relevant field may be taken into account when evaluating an application. 

Those applying for the joint degree are encouraged to contact an academic at King's to develop research links with the partner institution.

Application procedure

Please mention both the Centre for Language, Discourse & Communication (LDC) and the name of the academic you would like to work with at King's when you fill in the application form. Students interested in studying Linguistics at King’s only should make their application to the Education and Professional Studies Research MPhil/PhD.

Personal statement and supporting information

This requires a research proposal of 500 - 1,000 words covering the research questions, the research area, the potential fieldsite, the methodology, timescale of the project and an indication of the relevant literature. In addition a Personal Statement up to 500 words explaining your personal and/or professional interest in the research area and topic.

Course intake

No set number.

Joint PhDs - Application advice

Applicants for the Joint PhD programme must contact the relevant departments at both universities before submitting an application in order to discuss the suitability of their topic for the joint programme and to locate potential supervisors. Applications should initially be submitted to the proposed home institution only, ie where the student will start and finish their programme. Students should note that acceptance onto the programme may take slightly longer than for single-institution PhDs because of the additional steps involved. Further details, including FAQs, can be found on the King’s Worldwide web pages.

Applicants who choose King’s as their home institution should apply through the online system, selecting the appropriate Joint PhD option from the drop-down list. In addition to the standard supporting documentation, applicants should submit a Travel Plan form indicating how they intend to divide their time between the two partner institutions. Students must spend a specified amount of time in each institution, details of which can be found in the ‘Notes’ section of the Travel Plan form.

It is recommended that students submit applications for the Joint PhD programme by the end of March to begin the following September.

Application closing date

For January 2016 entry the closing date is 31st October 2015 for overseas applicants and 1st December 2015 for Home/EU applicants.

For September 2016 entry the closing date is 29th July 2016 for overseas applicants and 2nd September 2016 for Home/EU applicants.

For January 2017 entry the closing date is 31st October 2016 for overseas applicants and 2nd December 2016 for Home/EU applicants.

 Please note decisions are considered on a rolling basis and programmes close once all places are filled which maybe before the deadline dates stated above.  Therefore we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible.  Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.



Course detail


The Centre for Language Discourse & Communication (Centre for LDC) works across the School of Arts & Humanities and the School of Social Science & Public Policy and has particular strengths in; educational linguistics and language education; literacy studies; sociolinguistics; text and discourse analysis; corpus linguistics; psycholinguistics and cognitive linguistics.

Research focuses on the dynamics of language and literacy within globalisation and intercultural contact, on language, literacy and discourse in everyday interaction, in education, literature and popular culture, in new and mass media and in medical and workplace settings. The Centre runs a number of seminar series, research days and workshops, some in collaboration with other parts of the University of London, which are invaluable to Language & Linguistics MPhil/PhD students.

Joint PhD programmes

Joint degree programmes in the area of linguistics, language, discourse and communications are available between King's and Hong Kong University (HKU) and King's and the National University of Singapore (NUS). The programmes draw on the strengths of the partnering institutions in the broad field of Language, Discourse & Communication, including specialist areas such as: discourse analysis, language & interaction, social pragmatics, psycholinguistics, second language education.

Course study environment

The Centre for Language, Discourse & Communication offers a supportive, lively and cutting-edge research environment that will compliment the support MPhil/PhD students receive from their departments and their partner organisation. All students are allocated two supervisors, who will work with you through your studies.

Postgraduate training

The Centre for Language, Discourse & Communication runs a number of seminar series, some in collaboration with other parts of the University of London. These include: LDC Seminars; LDC Research Days; Research workshop in language and literacy (RWLL); Micro-Discourse Analysis data sessions (MDA); Cross-London Seminars in Culture & Communication (XLS); Current issues in Psychology and Cognitive Processes (PCP).

Head of group/division

Professor Ben Rampton

Contact for information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7429
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200

Professor Ben Rampton Professor
Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 3711
Fax: +44 (0)20 7848 3182

Dr Alexandra Georgakopoulou
Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 2629

Contact email

Course website

Career prospects

Career destinations



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Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU
£4,600 (2016)

Full time tuition fees - Overseas 
£17,000 (2016)

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU
£2,300 (2016)

Part time tuition fees - Overseas
£8,500 (2016)

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.


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