We are currently accepting PhD applications in this area. Find out more about our staff's research interests here.

Hamdi Ahmad

Thesis Topic: English Language and Linguistics

Supervisor: Professor Millar, Robert

Educational Background: BA, MSc in English Language and Linguistics (Edinburgh University, UK)

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? Theoretical linguistics and language pedagogy.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? The University of Aberdeen is of an academic rigour in English language and Linguistics discipline in the UK. Further, my supervisor is well renowned and distinguished in supervising research projects associated with English language and linguistics in the UK.  

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? Interdisciplinary research in the discipline of linguistics.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? It will equip me with advanced skills in undertaking significant research in English language and linguistics.

Khursheed Ahmad

Thesis Topic: Pronunciation Pedagogy: Pronunciation Pedagogy: EFL Teacher Cognition and Practice at Postgraduate Level in Pakistan'

Supervisor: Dr. William Barras

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): MPhil in Linguistics

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on: Applied Linguistics, Sociolinguistics & SLA

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.).Cricket, watching movies and hanging out with friends and seeing various historical places and natural beauty prevailing in Scotland.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? Aberdeen is one of the top ranking universities of the world. Secondly the school of the language and linguistics is having a highly qualified faculty, skilled in teaching and research. The research focuses on the most current issues and problems related to various aspects of language.  Moreover, the concerned supervisor(s) and staff is really supportive and helpful.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? The University of Aberdeen provides students with every modern facility to help them in their studies and research. The best thing that I like is their online access to a bundle of journals – you can download the required paid article(s) for free and within no time. Next thing is the library, equipped with modern technology and a huge collection of books and study environment. Living in Aberdeen is a great experience with its diverse socio-cultural environment. People are really nice and friendly.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? The Aberdeen made me learn how to survive in a multicultural society – especially teaching to students with diverse backgrounds. I happened to meet people with different approaches to language and research which enabled me to rethink and refine my perspectives about research and language.

Ghadeer Zeyad Al-Hanada

Thesis Topic: Emotional Argumentation in the Jordanian Parliament Political Speeches.

Supervisor: Prof. Robert McCroll Millar

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): 2005-2009 BA in English language and Literature, (Tafila Technical University, Jordan)

2010-2013 MA Applied Linguistics, (Mutah University, Jordan)
What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? Argumentation theory, Discourse Analysis, Sociolinguistics.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)? Spend hours of fun with my daughter (Maha), reading books and novels, walking,  travelling with my little family and seeing the different historical places and the lovely  beauty in Scotland.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? The University of Aberdeen is the fifth oldest university in UK and one of the top ranking universities of the world. Also, the school of the language and linguistics is having a highly qualified, supportive, and inspiring supervisors.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? Aberdeen city is truly beautiful and I never get bored of it; a lovely atmosphere, nearby the Northern Sea, and various historical castle and ruins. My living in Aberdeen will be the most lovely and memorable experience.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? My studying at Aberdeen University will give me excellent research skills. Furthermore, I attended different undergraduate and postgraduate courses, different postgraduate conferences, and workshops among others which strongly enhance my academic and communicative skills and my critical thinking abilities.

 

Abdulaziz Alsaawi

Thesis Topic: Translation of English Genitive Constructions into Arabic

Supervisors: Dr Maria Sanchez-Ortiz, Dr Elspeth Edelstein

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.):

BA\English Language and Translation degree from English Language and Translation Department at Qassim University-Saudi Arabia 2010. English Language Courses for one year from University of North of Texas-USA 2012. MA\ Translating Arabic-English from University of Salford-UK 2015. Currently doing a PhD in Translation Studies.

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on?

The Translation of Genitive Constructions is what I am working on at the moment. My interests would be Translation Studies, Translation Techniques, Translation Problems...etc.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)?

Interactive discussion with friends from different scopes, reading, writing, doing volunteering works, going to the gym, discovering different cultures and towns…etc.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen?

The city has the 5th oldest university in the UK. It has an ancient Language School within the UK. What interests me is that I am the first one at the University of Aberdeen who is doing PhD in Translation Studies.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen?

Being surrounded by open minded supervisors who encourage me, try their best to help me and make me feel that I am home between my family is my favourite part of studying at University of Aberdeen. Being in a quiet and clean city that has everything a person needs is my favourite part of living in Aberdeen.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future?

Living and studying in Aberdeen will prepare me for the future in different ways. For instance, it will prepare me in developing my critical thinking and enhancing my ability in communication. In addition, the experience in Aberdeen will give me the chance to learn and develop my personal development. Aberdeen has active citizens which will help me in how to be an active citizen.   

Hisham Alshareef

Thesis Topic: Teachers’ attitudes and perception towards teaching English by using synthetic phonics in Libya

Supervisor: Prof. Robert Millar

Educational Background: B.A in English from Elmergib University in 2010. M. Hum in Applied Linguistics from Diponegoro University in 2012. Currently, I am doing my PhD in TESOL & ELT.

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? My research interests are mainly in the fields of TESOL, SLA & Sociolinguistics.  My PhD research is in TESOL as it might help in the development of language education in my country.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? Aberdeen University is well-known as one of the best universities among the U.K universities. Also, it is famous of the high quality of postgraduate education system which guarantee a high opportunity for employability.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? Studying in Aberdeen gave me the chance to meet people from all around the globe to get to know different cultures and customs.  

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? Studying in Aberdeen University will provide me with the knowledge and the practice that I need in my career as a lecturer and as a researcher.

Chloe Hodge

Thesis Topic: Investigating Scotland's Penitentiary System: a critical discourse analysis of prison education programmes

Supervisors: Dr. Tania Fahey Palma & Dr. Arnar Arnason

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): MA (Hons) English – Language & Linguistics, University of Aberdeen; MSc Professional Communication, University of Aberdeen.

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? Language and Power; Institutional Discourse; Total Institutions; Forensic Linguistics; Language and Gender; Courtroom Discourse. I am currently investigating the Scottish Prison's Service's organisational review with a focus on prisoner education programmes, more specifically within the new 'super prison' HMP Grampian. I am presently reviewing whether gendered language-use within such education programmes has an impact upon desistance or recidivism behaviours post release. 

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)? Alongside my full-time studies, I also work full time as a Communications and Marketing Coordinator at Aberdeen International Airport. I am an ambassador for Global Vision International and frequently volunteer abroad on their community and conservation projects worldwide. My next trip, for example, will be this summer where I will travel to Ghana to work on a Women's Empowerment project.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? I first enrolled at University of Aberdeen for my undergraduate degree in 2010. I then went on to study at postgraduate level at the University graduating in 2016. My PhD thesis is a continuation of my undergraduate dissertation which provided a Critical Discourse Analysis of the SPS's Organisational Review: Unlocking Potential, Transforming Lives.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? I love the university campus and Old Aberdeen in general. There is nothing better after a hectic day than having a stroll around Kings College to unwind.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? The experience and qualifications that I have gained throughout my studies, in particular from my MSc in Professional Communication, has prepared me well for the professional world while simultaneously developing my academic research skills.

Dawn Leslie

Thesis Topic: Perceptions of North East Scottish Speech

Supervisor: Dr. Will Barras

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): M.A. English - Language and Linguistics, MLitt. Sociolinguistics, PGDE English (Secondary)

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? My research interests are primarily in the fields of sociolinguistics and perceptual dialectology, focused currently on the dialect of the North East of Scotland. My PhD project is a perceptual dialectological study of the local region, interested in ascertaining how ‘non-linguists’ perceive regionalised language variation and how these evaluations might relate to wider issues of language change and local identity.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)? I have played the bagpipes since I was eleven years old and I am currently the Pipe Sergeant of the Kintore Pipe Band, playing with the band at various events throughout the year and also providing tuition for those wishing to learn the instrument.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? I have had excellent experiences at Aberdeen University in my previous degree programmes and I was keen to build on this. The support is excellent and, for the purposes of my project, it is good to be somewhere that has so many people interested in the local culture and dialect, and with so much expert knowledge to draw on.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? The campus is a sanctuary in the busy city. Old Aberdeen is truly beautiful and I never get bored of it. I enjoy being part of Aberdeen’s multicultural community of students, getting to know people from other places and benefitting from their different perspectives and ideas.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? My time at Aberdeen is providing me with a solid grounding in research methods, as well as offering me opportunities to prove myself as an academic at events such as the postgraduate conference. Being involved in the teaching of undergraduate courses has also been a fantastic motivator, encouraging me to remain engaged in areas of study outwith my own PhD project.

Wei Liu

Thesis Topic: Historical vs. Contemporary - A comparative study of Chinese linguistic (im) politeness

Supervisor: Prof. Robert Miller

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): MA Language and Linguistics (Lancaster University) / MA Translation (Yunnan University)

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? I am conducting my research about linguistic (im)politeness in the field Sociopragmatics. My thesis focuses on the similarities and differences of (im)politeness between historical Chinese and contemporary Chinese, in an attempt to explore the reasons behind these similarities and differences.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)? I have played the bagpipes since I was eleven years old and I am currently the Pipe Sergeant of the Kintore Pipe Band, playing with the band at various events throughout the year and also providing tuition for those wishing to learn the instrument.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? The department and my supervisor were the most powerful factors that first drew me to tudy here, as I have recieved excellent guidance for my research. Furthermore, the city is beautiful and peaceful, and people here are friendly.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? I enjoy my office best. It is in the centre of the campus, vintage and classical. When I look through the window, I always feel like I am in early modern Britain.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? It can help me lay a great foundation for my future career prospects. Also, the peaceful nature here helps me to relax and better consider my future.

Marta Nitecka Barche

Thesis Topic: Creativity-based Second Language Acquisition for Adults: A Complexity and Dynamic Systems Theory Perspective.

Supervisors: Prof Robert McColl Millar, Dr Vincent Greenier

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): MA English and Literature in a World Context, University of Aberdeen; MSc TESOL (distinction), University of Aberdeen

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on?

Language development and creativity seen through the lens of complex dynamic systems theory are complex, dynamic, and non-linear processes. Additionally, many theories of creativity demonstrate that creativity is affected by each person’s individual perception of experience, knowledge, and social and cultural circumstances, thus individuals develop and learn in distinctive non-linear ways. Consequently, adult English learners are not homogenous and language development is not an ergodic process, thus generalisations do not reflect real learners. Situating research within the Complex Dynamic Systems Theory perspective allows research on the individuality, variability and change inherent in creativity and second language development. .

Nada Omar

Thesis Topic: Gradual increase of students' responsibility model for improving Libyan EFL learners' academic writing.

Supervisors: Lead supervisor: Dr. Agni Connor, Second supervisor: Dr. William Barras

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): BA in English language and linguistics & MA in English language and Linguistics

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on?  TESOL

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)? Playing tennis, walking and reading

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? I was recommended by a friend who has been recently awarded a PhD degree here in this University.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? I like everything in here

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? Not relevant

Rui Tao

Thesis Topic: Urban dweller’ language use in daily life

Supervisor(s): Prof. Robert McColl Millar,

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): BA in English Language and Literature in China; MA in Applied Linguistics in Singapore

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? I am interested in Applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, EAP and Teacher Education and Development.  

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)? I have enjoyed walking, travelling, reading and spending time with my family members, to know more about Aberdeen and understand different cultures.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? I have had excellent experience at Aberdeen University in my previous EAP programmes and I am keen on building on this. Aberdeen University is one of the best universities in UK, with its inclusive principle, very supportive and highly qualified supervisors, and great contributions to a variety of research fields.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? I have enjoyed the unique atmosphere here, a harmony of being both dynamic and peaceful and quiet. The picturesque sea with so many sea animals and birds living together is also my favourite part of studying and living here. The locals are quite friendly and nice, and you may often meet them walking their lovely dogs! Various workshops and tutorials and follow- your- own- rhythm learning style is also very attractive.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? I hope my experience here will expand my research field, systematically link various knowledge and improve my academic ability. I think it is wonderful to do some research on a project that you are interested in. PhD study is a time-taking process which teaches you how to be patient, be of perseverance, be critical to yourself and most importantly the fact – a giant leap comes from a small step every day. All these I believe will benefit my academic career.

Xinxin Wu

Thesis Topic: An analysis of English teachers’ classroom metadiscourse across Chinese and British Contexts

Supervisor(s): Prof. Robert McCroll Millar, Dr. Agni Connor

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): BA (Dezhou University), MA (Dongbei University of Finance and Economics)

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? Classroom discourse analysis, conversation analysis, metadiscourse, contrastive rhetoric, teacher education and development

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)? I like jogging, playing table tennis and badminton in my spare time. I also like trying out new Chinese cuisines, travelling to various places and experiencing different cultures.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? The University of Aberdeen is the fifth oldest university in UK, with a long tradition and stimulating environment of doing world-class research in a variety of fields. The supervisors have always been very supportive and inspiring, with a high reputation among many Chinese students who studied here. Moreover, the university provides various types of scholarships for international students.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? My favourite part is the friendly living and studying environment among peoples from all over the world. Exchanges of ideas with teachers and students from different cultural backgrounds makes my studying and living in Aberdeen an amazing experience.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? I worked as an English in a university in China before I came here doing my PhD and I have been determined to continue working in academia after graduation. Regular tutorials from supervisors and the wide range of workshops offered by the university have especially sharpened my critical thinking abilities, among other things. This has been and will surely be benefiting my PhD research and future academic career.