PhD (Arts) Applied Linguistics




Applied Linguistics at University College Cork is a vibrant interdisciplinary community of lecturers, researchers and graduate students. The community regularly hosts talks by world-renowned scholars; specialised workshops; seminar series and international conferences.

Doctoral students in Applied Linguistics are encouraged to become members of the Language: Cognition; Practice; Policy and Ideology research cluster located in the Centre for Advanced Studies in Language and Culture in UCC as well as the Irish Association for Applied Linguistics (IRAAL). They may gain experience in a range of academic activities including event organisation, teaching and publishing within a dynamic group environment. In addition, doctoral students have the opportunity to work closely with the MA in Applied Linguistics programme. This will allow for teaching experience; and it ensures that students meet with peers.

All incoming PhD/PhD track students will be registering for a Structured PhD. The UCC model of structured PhD education is comprised of a programme of supportive and developmental elements, with a stated minimum level of 15 credits of coursework and training. In addition, all students will be supervised by a supervisory team, comprising of a Lead Supervisor and a co-supervisor or a PhD advisor. More information about the Structured PhD may be found here.

For further information on applying and on studying at UCC see:

UCC Graduate Office

International Office

Graduate School of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences PhD (Arts) Applied Linguistics

To be eligible for consideration to enter on a programme of study and research for the Degree of PhD in Applied Linguistics, a candidate must normally have obtained a standard of at least Second Class Honours, Grade I, in a relevant Master's degree such as Applied Linguistics, Modern Languages, Cultural Studies, Translation Studies, Psychology, Anthropology or Sociology.

The PhD in Applied Linguistics is based on a programme of study and research whose main focus is conducting an independent research project and writing a major thesis of no more than 80,000 words. Candidates will pursue a course of research, study and personal and professional development as prescribed by their Supervisor(s). PhD candidates undertake an equivalent student workload of 90 ECTS credits for each calendar year of full-time research, or proportional equivalent for part-time students. Students will complete a minimum of 270 credits (3 years, full-time) and a maximum of 360 credits, for consideration for the award of PhD.


Students register through UCC's application system.

Applications are accepted throughout the year. Prospective students are advised to complete their applications at least two months in advance of their desired start date, as applications must go through different stages of approval. The four start dates during the year are: January, April, July, and September/October. A schedule for applications’ approval is available here.

Before making an application, candidates are advised to contact one of our staff with expertise in their proposed area of research who may be willing to act as their supervisor. Please note that we can only give consideration to applications that can be matched to one of our areas of expertise. For information on staff and their research interests, see the profiles:  Dr Anne Marie Devlin; Dr Barbara Siller; Dr Emma Riordan; Dr Yanyu Guo; Dr Aisling O’Sullivan; Dr Aidan Doyle

Candidates may be asked by the potential supervisor to fill in a PhD Research Project Proposal Form, which can be downloaded here

Information on funding for postgraduate studies at UCC is available here. Further information on the PhD at UCC can be found at this link.

Candidates may also approach Dr Anne Marie Devlin ( with general queries


Current PhD Research in Applied Linguistics

  • Yuyao Xiao: Exploring how Chinese sojourners’ construct social networks during SA, and its impact on self-perceived English ability. Supervisors: Drs Barbara Siller and Anne Marie Devlin. Funding: Chinese Government.
  • Jordan Carolan: The relationship between L2 motivation and L2 investment amongst study abroad students from Confucian heritage cultures: A social-psychological inquiry. Supervisors: Drs Anne Marie Devlin and Kevin Cawley. Funding: CACSSS Excellence Award.
  • Ewelina Urbanska: Exploring the positioning of English Language Teachers through the lens of raciolinguistics and linguistic discrimination. Supervisors: Drs Martin Howard and Anne Marie Devlin
  • Rana Hassan A Alhazmi: The Impact of the Pandemic on the Language Learning Experience during Study Abroad: The Case of Saudi Learners. Supervisors: Drs Martin Howard and Anne Marie Devlin. Funding: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Government
  • Dragan Miladinovic: Wozu das ganze Theater? Was OeAD-Lektor:innen von performativem Lehren und Lernen halten [Why all the drama? What Austrian Exchange Lecturers believe about performative teaching and learning]. Supervisors: Dr Barbara Siller, Assoc. Prof. Susanne Even (Indiana University) and Prof. Manfred Schewe.
  • Majidah Almehadi: Passives and inchoatives at the syntax-semantics interface. Supervisor: Dr Aidan Doyle. Funding: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Government.

Below is a selection of completed PhD theses that have been supervised by our Staff:


  • Rongrong Guo, The development of oral competence: a semi-longitudinal study on English-speaking adult L2 learners of Chinese in Ireland. Supervisor: Yanyu Guo
  • Ciara Grant, The Construction of Group Identities and the Positioning of ‘Irishness’ in Computer-Mediated Discourse Surrounding the Repeal of the Eighth Amendment. Supervisors: Drs Martin Howard and Anne Marie Devlin
  • Michael Robinson: Sprache. Werte. Integration – Zur Konstruktion von Werten in DaZ-Lehrmaterialien. [Language. Values. Integration – The Construction of Values in German as a Second Language – Teaching Materials]. Supervisors: Dr Barbara Siller and Prof. Inci Dirim (University of Vienna); Funding: IRC Scholarship.
  • Hanin Salman AlSahli: The effect of Task-based Language Teaching on Developing Speaking Skills Among Saudi Arabian Female EFL learners at University Level. Supervisors: Drs Barbara Siller and Anne Marie Devlin. Funding: Saudi Arabia Government.
  • Isabelle Juinot: The effects of age and intensive exposure on second language learning in an international school context: A study of adolescent learners of English. Supervisor: Dr Martin Howard. Funding: CACSSS Excellence Scholarship
  • Martin Plachetka: Language practices and experiences among active and heritage speakers of Romani: A cross-country comparison of Czech and Slovak Roma. Supervisor: Dr Martin Howard. Funding: Irish Research Council (Government of Ireland Doctoral Fellow, 2017-2020).
  • Sara Lis Ventura: From literary text to digital story: an innovative approach to teaching Italian as a foreign language and an analysis of its impact on the manifestation of students’ expressive potential. Lead supervisor: Dr Marc Chu. Funding: CACSSS Excellence Scholarship, Boole International Doctoral Scholarships in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Awra Alsufyan: Study abroad and identity: A longitudinal study of female Saudi students in Ireland. Supervisor: Dr Martin Howard. Funding: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Government
  • Annarita Magliacane: Sociopragmatic development in study abroad contexts: The role of learner status in the use of second language pragmatic markers. Supervisors: Drs Martin Howard and Paolo Donadio (University of Naples, Frederico II)




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