Newcastle University: Phonetics and Phonology

InstitutionNewcastle University View institution profile
Department School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics
Study type Research


The Phonetics and Phonology IPhD is designed for students who wish to develop an advanced theoretical and analytical 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.

The research phase of the programme offers supervision in:
•phonetics and phonology in second language acquisition and bilingualism
•phonetics and phonology in first language acquisition
•sociophonetic perspectives on speech perception and production
•phonological theory and phonological patterns in various languages
•phonetic and phonological characteristics of languages and language description.

One of the strengths of the course is that it brings together the teaching and research expertise of staff belonging to three schools that make up the Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences. These are:
•School of Education, Communication, and Language Sciences
•School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics
•School of Modern Languages.

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:
•first and second language acquisition
•speech production and perception in multilingual contexts
•phonological theory.

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

Our perception research looks at the role of speakers and listeners in shaping linguistic systems and sound change.

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.

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 . 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.


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 five areas of specialisation.

A variety of assessment approaches are used in the modules, including:
•lab reports
•oral and written class tests

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


The Phonetics Lab forms part of Newcastle's Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences (CRiLLS), one of the UK's largest groupings of speech and language specialists. Alongside standard acoustic analysis software and high quality recording equipment, our facilities include:
•ultrasound imaging

This provides the means of undertaking a wide range of acoustic, articulatory and perceptual investigations.

PhD with Integrated Study

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