Postgraduate Research Programmes

Download Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme 2018/19 Flyer

20170703 PhD Students

ENGL revised its research areas in 2016 to better reflect the research that is currently ongoing. The research focus in the department is on applied linguistics, sociolinguistics and professional communication, and there is a large degree of synergy between teaching and research.  Thematically, the research covers major areas such as corporate business communication (spoken and written), virtual business communication, health communication, digital media communication, advertising and (city) branding, language teaching and learning, and core linguistics.

The process of applying for a research studentship begins with the identification of a potential supervisor. If you already know a staff member who is willing to work with you to develop a research proposal, please start by contacting them. If you do not have a supervisor in mind already, Our Research Student / Admissions Coordinator can help you, by matching your research interest with those of a staff member.

Applications will normally be considered from September to December but research places are normally filled in January to March each year, with the successful applicants starting their studies in September.

The following research areas apply to candidates seeking admission for the next academic year.

The research foci of our Department are:

  • Area Studies and Intercultural Communication

This profile encompasses research on the linguistic and socio-cultural aspects of particular areas, such as Hong Kong and Europe. Research topics include intercultural communication in professional contexts, with emphases on English, German, French and Spanish speaking cultures, intercultural communicative competencies, cultural identities in multilingual workplaces, intercultural and intergroup communication, language attitudes and stereotypes, and language and gender.

Prof. Martin Warren (tel: 2766 7559 ; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

  • Language Teaching and Learning

This research area covers all aspects of language teaching and learning, including the teaching and learning of English and other languages, second language acquisition, needs analysis, programme evaluation, language policy, language in education, change management, teacher learning and professional development, multimodal features involved in teaching and learning, pronunciation, learner language corpora, corpusdriven studies of pedagogical grammar, classroom discourse, language across the curriculum, academic literacy, genre based pedagogy, pedagogy and curriculum development and English for academic purposes (EAP).

Prof Kathleen Ahrens (tel: 2766 7534 ; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

  • Language and Professional Communication

This research profile focuses on all areas relating to Language and Professional Communication, including lexico-grammatical, discourse, genre and pragmatic studies in professional contexts, organizational communication, intercultural and professional communicative competencies, cultural identities in the multilingual and multicultural workplaces, and English for specific purposes.

Prof. Winnie Cheng (tel: 2766 7558 ; email:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

  • Linguistics, English Language, and Systemic Functional Linguistics

This research profile includes all areas of linguistics, English language and systemic functional linguistics, including grammar, lexicology, lexicography, pragmatics, semantics, phonetics, phonology, discourse analysis, conversation analysis, corpus linguistics, typology, and description and theory of languages and other semiotic systems.

Prof Kathleen Ahrens (tel: 2766 7534 ; email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

  • Media and Communication

This research area focuses on all aspects of media communication in various contexts, including but not limited to creative cultural industries, public communication, and corporate communication. Research in this area analyses language, image, sound and other semiotic resources in old and new (creative) media, such as advertisements, news, comics, film, and television from different theoretical approaches.

Dr William Feng (tel: 2766 4383 ; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )


Please note that in making your statement of a proposed research area you should indicate which of the above areas it falls into.

All applicants are expected to submit a preliminary proposal of their research project. Attached is the research proposal guidelines for your reference.


Following please find the website for e-prospectus and online application:


Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply to the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme:

For further information, please go to Research Office