PhD in General Linguistics


General Aims
The general aim of the PhD program is to prepare and guide students intellectually in doing advanced research in specific (sub)areas of linguistics.

Nature of material studies
Students do research on linguistics problems in a restricted number of (sub)areas, for which the foundation has been laid in the Department’s MA Programmes in General Linguistics, Second Language Studies and Intercultural Communication.

Admission Requirements

Students with a master’s degree in General Linguistics, a language, speech therapy, audiology or another language-oriented discipline can apply for admission to the PhD programme in General Linguistics.

Programme Structure

The programme spans at least two years. The work of each student is structured on an individual basis in the form of a carefully planned research project.


The programme focuses on one or more modern linguistic theories and the linguistic methodology associated with these theories.

The programme offers the opportunity for research focused on a problem or constellation of problems in one or more of the following (sub)areas: language structure, language use and misuse, language acquisition and attrition, language dynamics, language pathology, sign language and conceptual and methodological foundations of linguistics.


Mode of tuition
The presentation of the programme contains (a) support in the planning of the student’s research project, (b) guidance in the doing of the planned research and (c) detailed critical commentary on all the sections of the student’s dissertation.

Medium of tuition
English or Afrikaans

For more information about these programmes, see the links to the prospectus’ below.


Please contact the department for details as to how to apply for a PhD in General Linguistics – do not apply via the university’s online system until you have communicated with the department and received permission to apply for this programme.