Department of English

Doctor of Philosophy / Master of Philosophy

Sept 2018 Entry


ENGL revised its research areas in 2016 to better reflect the research that is currently ongoing in the Department The research focus is on applied linguistics, sociolinguistics and professional communication, and there is a high level 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.

Research Areas

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.

Research Area CoordinatorTelEmail
Prof. Martin Warren2766

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, organisational communication, intercultural and professional communicative competencies, cultural identities in the multilingual and multicultural workplaces and English for specific purposes.

Research Area CoordinatorTelEmail
Prof. Winnie Cheng2766

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, corpus-driven 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).

Research Area CoordinatorTelEmail
Prof. Kathleen Ahrens2766

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 the description and theory of languages and other semiotic systems.

Research Area CoordinatorTelEmail
Prof. Kathleen Ahrens2766

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.

Research Area CoordinatorTelEmail
Dr William Feng2766

Research Facilities

The Department currently has three research Centres. These are the Research Centre for Professional Communication in English (RCPCE) (Prof. Winnie Cheng), International Research Centre for Communication in Healthcare (IRCCH) (Prof. Bernadette Watson), and The Inter-University Centre for Applied Language Sciences (with Tsinghua University and Zhejiang University) (iCALS) (Dr Dennis Tay - pending approval).


The Department also has comprehensive research facilities and labs for the use of the RPG students.  The Computer Lab contains the following facilities for students: 7-Zip 9.22beta, Adobe Flash Player 14 ActiveX, Adobe Reader XI (11.0.06), Bonjour, Chinese-English Dictionary, ConcGram, EverQuest, KEY Software, K-Lite Mega Codec Pack 9.4.0, KompoZer 0.8b3, Muvizu, Muvizu- Heroes and villains, OpenAL, PrimoPDF – brought to you by Nitro PDF Software, SecondLifeViewer (remove only), Text To Speech, VLC media player 2.0.3, WordSmith 6, Xaira, and XnView 1.99

Other Information

No information is available at present.

Supporting Documents

Academic Referee's Report Form

Compulsory - Two Academic Referee's Reports are required

Research Proposal Form


Transcript / Certificate