Funded PhD Opportunity Language in post-conflict societies

This opportunity is now closed.

Subject: Modern Languages and Linguistics


Languages are much more than merely their communicative function. They serve important symbolic and identity roles in societies which are emerging from conflict to peace. How a particular language is recognised and represented within the institutions of the state, in community settings and by the wider populace inevitably reflects wider political and cultural antagonisms. Language policies, therefore, can relate directly to wider processes of reconciliation or indeed to the continuation of conflict in supposed times of peace via cultural means. In other words, debates on language and identity can be used either to bring communities together or to polarise them.

This project will investigate the impact that language ideologies have in the context of post-conflict societies. In particular, this project should address the manner in which language rights and policies might be implemented in such regions, in particular drawing on the shifting discourses about languages and their relation to speakers’ and learners’ identities, and the impact that such changes might have on a language’s status in the public space, and the nature of the wider public’s relationship with that language.

Students, after discussion with their supervisor, may wish to carry out a study which addresses a number of language settings or concentrate primarily on one language, such as the Irish Language in Northern Ireland, within a strongly comparative context.

Essential Criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC)
  • Experience using research methods or other approaches relevant to the subject domain
  • Sound understanding of subject area as evidenced by a comprehensive research proposal
  • A comprehensive and articulate personal statement

Desirable Criteria

If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.

  • First Class Honours (1st) Degree
  • Masters at 70%
  • Experience using research methods or other approaches relevant to the subject domain
  • Sound understanding of subject area as evidenced by a comprehensive research proposal
  • Experience of presentation of research findings
  • A comprehensive and articulate personal statement
  • Applicants will be shortlisted if they have an average of 75% or greater in a first (honours) degree (or a GPA of 8.75/10). For applicants with a first degree average in the range of 70% to 74% (GPA 3.3): If they are undertaking an Masters, then the average of their first degree marks and their Masters marks will be used for shortlisting.



    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £15,009 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fees component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided).  For Non EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK.

Other information

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Key Dates

Submission Deadline
Monday 19 February 2018
Interview Date
19 March 2018

Contact Supervisor

Dr Philip McDermott

Other Supervisors

Apply online

Visit and quote reference number #239680 when applying for this PhD opportunity