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Language as a social semiotic in learning and teaching

A key focus of work in the Language and Literacies Research Cluster is a social semiotic approach to learning and teaching. Our research explores language use across academic subject areas and among users, and the implications for students and teachers. Projects to date have focused on learning and teaching in higher education in applied subject areas, including health and social care, education, and media studies. The work draws on systemic functional linguistics and a number of related theories to locate language as a primary semiotic mode in the increasingly multimodal world of education.

Qualifications available:

PhD, (MRes) and our Doctorate in Education (EdD)


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) plus either a masters degree or research methods training at masters level (or equivalent)

Potential research projects

  • The analysis of educational dialogues in formal and informal settings
  • The technological mediation of learning and teaching
  • Processes of learning and teaching in the creative arts
  • Teaching and learning across the disciplines

Current/recent research projects

  • Sociocultural understandings of technology-mediated educational practices: Improvable objects and meaning-making trajectories in the ICT-literate classroom
  • How is creative work shaped by interaction when undergraduate composers work with each other and with students from other disciplines?
  • Video conferencing and multimodal expression of voice: Children’s conversations in English as their second language

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Mrs Anne Foward
+44 (0)1908 655364

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.