Modern Languages (MPhil, PhD)

the United Kingdom

For more information about Modern Languages at Newcastle University, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
MPhil, PhD

How long you will study
12 - 72 Months

Domestic course fees
find out

How you will study
full-time, part-time

Course starts
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International course fees
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All study options

About Modern Languages at Newcastle University

The Modern Languages MPhil and PhD are research-based programmes. You can specialise in topics in the languages of: Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American studies. Specialism is also possible in translating and interpreting.

The Modern Languages MPhil, PhD is offered through the School of Modern Languages. We offer expert supervision in the following areas:


  • Ethnicity, Identity, Islam and Han settler colonialism, with a focus on Xinjiang, China (Dr Jo Smith Finley)
  • Film, literature, media and representation (Dr Yu, Prof Qian)
  • Modernity and modernisation (Prof Qian)
  • Gender Studies (Dr Smith Finley, Dr Yu).


  • Contemporary women's writing (Dr Henry-Tierney; Prof Jordan; Dr Robson)
  • Linguistics (Dr Hall) and in particular French syntax (Prof Mackenzie)
  • Sociolinguistics, language variation, language change (Dr Hall)
  • French and Algerian cinema (Prof Austin, Dr Leahy)
  • 19th to 21st century French and Francophone literature (Prof Harkness, Prof Jordan, Dr El Maizi)
  • Gender studies (Prof Harkness, Dr Henry-Tierney; Prof Jordan; Dr Robson)
  • Cultural Gerontology/Ageing Studies (Prof Jordan)
  • Postcolonial cultures (Prof Austin, Dr El Maizi)
  • Translation (Dr Henry-Tierney)
  • Trauma and culture (Prof Austin, Dr Robson)
  • Visual culture (Prof Jordan, Dr Jein)
  • Urban Humanities: French urban cultures of the modern and contemporary period (Dr Jein)
  • 19th and early 20th-century French labour history, especially the role of women (Dr Salin)
  • Language learning and teaching in higher education (Dr Salin).


  • 20th century German and Contemporary literature (Dr Ludden; Prof Muller, Prof Malkmus)
  • GDR literature and censorship (Prof Muller)
  • Representations of the Holocaust and/or World War II (Prof Muller)
  • Literature and philosophy - cultural and critical theory (Dr Ludden)
  • Women's writing (Dr Ludden)
  • Morphological theory - morphology, phonology and dialectology of German and Dutch (Dr Fehringer)
  • Environmental humanities and the Anthropocene (Prof Malkmus).


  • Film, literature, media and representation (Dr Hansen, Dr Yoshioka)
  • Popular culture (Dr Hansen, Dr Yoshioka)
  • Gender Studies (Dr Hansen).

Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American studies

  • Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American cultural history and popular culture (Dr Catalá-Carrasco, Dr Morgan, Dr Oliart, Dr Fehimović, Dr Beleza)
  • Historical and contemporary discourses of race and identity in Latin America (Dr Oliart, Dr Morgan, Dr Fehimović, Dr Beleza, Prof Hentschke)
  • Spanish American and Spanish Caribbean Latin American film, literature, and theatre (Dr Page, Dr Fehimović)
  • Luso-Afro-Brazilian literature and film (Dr Beleza)
  • history of education in 19th and 20th-century Latin America (Prof Hentschke, Dr Oliart)
  • Youth cultures and social movements, music and politics (Dr Oliart, Dr Beleza)
  • Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American novels (Dr Catalá-Carrasco, Dr Beleza)
  • Political, social, and intellectual history of Latin America in the 19th and 20th centuries, especially Brazil and the Southern Cone (Prof Hentschke)
  • Linguistics, and sociolinguistics of Latin America (Dr Cru)
  • Diachronic Spanish syntax, Old Spanish, language change, and quantitative historical linguistics (Prof Mackenzie)
  • Catalan nationalism (Dr Catalá-Carrasco)
  • Film, literature and popular culture of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and its diasporas (Dr Fehimović)
  • Lusophone environmental Humanities (Dr Beleza).

Translating and Interpreting

We can offer supervision for projects involving English plus Catalan, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian.

Our research specialisms are:

  • Interpreting (Dr Chen, Dr Jin, Dr Wu, Dr Du)
  • Psycholinguistics of interpreting and translating (Dr Jin, Dr Lin)
  • Sociolinguistics, discourse analysis in translation and interpreting (Dr Du, Dr Hall)
  • Linguistic diversity and social justice (Dr Du)
  • Translating literature (Prof Jones, Dr Henry-Tierney, Dr Lin)
  • Translation and culture (Dr Chen, Prof Jones, Dr Lin)
  • Translation and ethics, ideology, and power (Prof Jones, Dr Lin)
  • Translation products, processes and strategies (Dr Chen, Dr Jin, Prof Jones, Dr Lin)
  • Translator and interpreter training and assessment (Dr Chen, Dr Wu)
  • Reflective/autonomous learning and educational psychology (Dr Chen, Dr Wu)
  • Audiovisual translation studies (Dr Chen, Dr Henry-Tierney)
  • Legal translation and legal and medical interpreting (Dr Du)
  • Migration and multilingualism (Dr Du).

Research staff in the School of Modern Languages work in a diverse range of fields from sociocultural, historical and political studies, to film and literature, linguistics and sociolinguistics. The School has strong links with interdisciplinary research centres and groups, including:

  • Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • Research Centre for Film
  • Gender Research Group
  • Medieval and Early Modern Studies
  • Postcolonial Research Group.

You will also have the opportunity to attend festivals and conferences with a direct bearing on your course:

  • Talking to the World Conference
  • VAMOS festival.

As a student in the School of Modern Languages, you will benefit from the Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) Faculty research training programme. You will choose these research modules in consultation with your supervisors.

The School of Modern Languages is part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Northern Ireland and North East Doctoral Training Partnership  Through training courses provided by these partnerships, you will gain knowledge and skills to undertake high-quality social science research.


These courses are delivered by the School of Modern Languages, with the possibility of joint supervision with other schools. You will carry out research in order to write a thesis on a topic proposed by you. You will work under supervision of two members of research staff.

You will mainly be based in Newcastle's city-centre campus. Attendance is flexible and agreed between you and your supervisors depending on the requirements of the research project.

Full-time students are typically expected to undertake 40 hours of work per week with an annual holiday entitlement of 35 days (including statutory and bank holidays). Part-time study requires a commitment of at least 20 hours per week.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMPhil, PhDHow you will studyFull-time, Part-timeHow long you will study12 - 72 months
    Course starts find outDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

See our course fees and funding webpage -

Entry requirements

A 2:1 honours degree and normally a good master's degree in a subject related to one of the discipline areas covered by the School of Modern Languages.

International Students

To study this course you need to meet our Band 8 English Language requirements:

Direct Entry: IELTS 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.5 in all sub-skills)

If you have lower English Language scores, you may be accepted onto a pre-sessional English course. 

Our typical English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we also accept a wide range of English Language tests.

The equivalent academic qualifications that we accept are listed on our country pages.

Pre-sessional English Course Requirements

  • 6 week Pre-sessional entry:Not accepted    
  • 10 week Pre-sessional entry: IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in all sub-skills)

You can study a pre-sessional English course at our INTO Newcastle Centre.

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