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Newcastle University: Phonetics and Phonology

Institution Newcastle University View institution profile
Department School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics
Web Visit Newcastle University website
Study type Research


The Phonetics and Phonology IPhD is designed for students who wish to develop an advanced theoretical and experimental grounding in Phonetics and Phonology. The focus is on its application in first and second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, speech science, and language patterning.

The Integrated PhD has a substantial taught and assessed component, as well as a supervised research element. The foundation is a common core of modules dealing with essential theoretical issues and research methods. You are also offered specialised modules which act as the basis for your thesis.

You will have an individual course of study based on your needs and sponsor's requirements.

One of the strengths of the course is that it brings together the teaching and research expertise of staff belonging to the Phonetics and Phonology Research Group, which is composed of students and staff working in phonetics and phonology across three of our academic schools: - School of Education, Communication, and Language Sciences (ECLS)

  • School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics (SELLL)

  • School of Modern Languages (SML)

This widens the pool of modules that are available and enables you to interact with staff and students from a wide variety of backgrounds and expertise. Our particular areas of strength are in: - phonetics and phonology in first/second language acquisition and bilingualism

  • sociophonetic perspectives on speech perception and production

  • role of voice quality in speech processing

  • laboratory phonology and links between phonetics and phonology

  • phonetic and phonological characteristics of languages and language description in segmental and suprasegmental aspects

  • prosody and timing in the worlds languages

  • neurocognition of speech and language processing with focus on phonetics, phonology, and prosody

The cross-cutting theme within these areas that we are all interested in is the link between perception, production and learning.

Work on production and learning covers our interest in investigating meaningful sound patterning, including how it is acquired, stored, and produced within a social context. Our work also investigates categorical and graded aspects of speech and the role of language-specific factors in shaping these categories.

Recent graduates of phonetics and phonology at Newcastle have worked on a variety of languages and dialects, including: - Arabic (a range of dialects)

  • Chinese

  • English

  • German

  • Japanese

  • Malaysian

  • Malayalam

  • Polish

  • Serbian

  • Thai

Our graduates go on to work in academic institutions across the world, and in public and private institutions specialising in health sciences, media and communication, speech technology and forensic science.

British Association of Academic Phoneticians (BAAP) When you reach the research stage, you are encouraged to become a member of the British Association of Academic Phoneticians (BAAP). This is the professional organisation for phoneticians in Britain.

Its members are involved in research in phonetics, in teaching phonetics in higher education, and in the application of phonetic knowledge in areas such as speech and language therapy, speech technology and forensic science.

The Association holds a Colloquium every two years. This provides an opportunity for members and invited participants to meet, present their research, and discuss issues of concern to the academic community.

Delivery The IPhD is structured over four years, full time. A typical course consists of: - taught stage (year one): you will take six core modules

  • research stage (years two, three and four): you will undertake a supervised research project within our areas of specialisation

A variety of assessment approaches are used in the modules, including: - lab reports

  • projects

  • essays

  • oral and written class tests.

The research element is assessed through a thesis of 80,000 words.

PhD with Integrated Study

Newcastle University







About us
A Global Top 125 university (QS World University Rankings 2023), Newcastle University is dedicated to excellence, creativity and innovation, pioneering solutions that can change our world.

Through world-class research it tackles some of the biggest challenges facing society globally, leading in its key strengths of ageing and health, data, energy, cities, culture and creative arts. The UK’s Research Excellence Framework 2021 assessed its research as world-leading with outstanding impact.

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