The nexus between people and language is where most sociolinguistic research takes place, and at the University of Liverpool, research in sociolinguistics focuses in particular on the relationship between society and language, drawing on expertise from Modern Languages.

Sociolinguistics research in modern languages and beyond

With specialists exploring sociolinguistic issues in the Francophone, Hispanophone and Italophone world, as well as in the Middle East, Sociolinguistics at the University of Liverpool is ideally positioned to provide a range of national and transnational perspectives on research into language and society.

The University of Liverpool is home to many knowledgeable linguistic landscape experts and it is a privilege to be working with them.

Jasem Eidan - Sociolinguistics PhD student
  • 72%

    of our publications were rated 4* and 3* ('world leading' and 'internationally excellent').

  • 19/62

    in the Guardian League Table for Modern Languages and Linguistics for 2018.

  • 90%

    of environment was also rated 4* and 3* REF (2014).

Research at Liverpool

Sociolinguistics at the University of Liverpool is home to a critical mass of researchers examining the Linguistic Landscape, including a wide range of questions around language in the public space. The Department of Modern Languages & Cultures boasts two members of the Editorial Board of the journal Linguistic Landscape: An International Journal, including the editor, and in 2016, the University of Liverpool hosted the eighth international Linguistic Landscape Workshop. In addition to testing out methodological approaches to language in the public space, researchers in Sociolinguistics at the University of Liverpool consider the linguistic landscapes of France and Italy, with particular emphasis on regional and minority languages. This work has also been extended into the Middle East with recent projects undertaken in Jordan and Kuwait.

In addition, researchers in Sociolinguistics at the University of Liverpool explore the themes of migration studies and minority languages as part of the rapidly burgeoning field of new speakers. Set against a context of language policy, language ideologies, and linguistic legitimacy, colleagues have tackled issues around linguistic capital.

Recent PhDs supervised include:

  • Regional Languages in the Linguistic Landscape: The visibility and status of Occitan and Corsican in southern France
  • Brand Names in the Linguistic Landscape of Aqaba, Jordan
  • Managing France's Regional languages: Language policy in bilingual education in Alsace
  • Investigating Current Language Policy in Alicante: a case study
  • Multilingualism in the Linguistic Landscape of Urban Jordan.

Research themes

Our research themes are:

  • Linguistic Landscapes
  • New Speakers
  • Language Policy
  • Minority and regional languages
  • Language and new media.

Research interests

We particularly welcome research proposals that match those of our researchers, including linguistic landscapes, language policy, language and migration, and new media. 


The University of Liverpool has excellent research facilities within the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences. For postgraduate researchers, these include designated shared office space and access to a vast repository of sociolinguistic journals (including e-journals), through the Sydney Jones Library.

As a postgraduate researcher at the University of Liverpool, you will become part of the Liverpool Doctoral College. The LDC supports all postgraduate researchers across the University to thrive in their doctoral programme with our dedicated team of esteemed supervisors, professional services staff, and student peers, ensuring that our students succeed in their studies.

Research groups

  • Image, Sound and Performance and Conflict
  • Memory and Heritage
  • Place, Space and Belonging
  • Media Histories: From Manuscript to Digital

Study options and fees


The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) can be thought of as a shorter version of the PhD. It requires the same research skills, training, planning, and project management. It can be a way to assess whether you wish to undertake doctoral research - or it can be taken for its own sake.

Duration Fees: Home and EU Students Fees: International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,260 £19,850 (Lab based programmes) £16,150 (Non Lab based programmes)
Part time 4-6 years £2,130 £9,925 (Lab based programmes) £8,075 (Non Lab based programmes)

A doctoral degree is awarded to students that have demonstrated the ability to conceptualise, design, and implement a substantial research project that results in new knowledge, applications, or understanding in their field of study. During your research, you can expect to draw on direct clinical and observational experience to produce an original thesis of 80,000-100,000 words. You'll be part of a research group which matches your research interests. Research groups offer opportunities for cross-disciplinary research collaboration, as well as support and expertise for your research.

Duration Fees: Home and EU Students Fees: International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,260 £19,850 (Lab based programmes) £16,150 (Non Lab based programmes)
Part time 4-6 years £2,130 £9,925 (Lab based programmes) £8,075 (Non Lab based programmes)

The Doctor of Medicine (MD) is a doctoral degree open to medical practitioners (technically, anyone holding a medical qualification registrable with the General Medical Council). It is equivalent in requirements and format to the PhD.

Duration Fees: Home and EU Students Fees: International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,260 £19,850 (Lab based programmes) £16,150 (Non Lab based programmes)
Part time 2-6 years £2,130 £9,925 (Lab based programmes) £8,075 (Non Lab based programmes)

Entry requirements

Eligibility and entry qualifications

Applications are welcomed from both full-time and part-time students. For research degrees, we would normally expect applicants to have a BA or BSc degree of 2:1 standard (and also an MA) in a subject relevant to the proposed field of research.

English language requirements

To apply for this research degree, you must have reached a minimum standard of English. You need to be able to provide evidence of this.  See our English language requirements for international students for guidance on the different English language qualifications and evidence that you can provide. 

International qualifications

We welcome applications from within the EU and from around the world. You should ensure that your qualifications are equivalent to those which are required to study for this research degree.  See our guidance on international qualifications.

Additional requirements

How to apply

Research degree applications can be made online.  Before you apply, we recommend that you identify a supervisor and develop a research proposal.  You'll also need to ensure that you have funding to cover all fees.

Applications are open all year round.

More about applying for research degrees

Apply online

Find a supervisor

Your supervisor is your main source of academic support and mentoring. You'll need to find a supervisor before you start your research degree. It's helpful to identify a supervisor and discuss your research proposal before you apply.

View supervisors in this area

Need help finding a supervisor? Contact us

Related studentships


LDC module

Your training and development

Join us and you'll also join the Liverpool Doctoral College, our home for doctoral support, training and development. You'll join a vibrant and collaborative community of researchers, get tailored support for your development and have the opportunity to undertake a work placement.

More about Liverpool Doctoral College


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