PhD in Modern Languages, Cultures and Societies and Linguistics

PhD in
Modern Languages, Cultures and Societies and Linguistics

Calls for applications

The PhD programme is open to a limited number of students. The requirement is to pass a public selection process entailing the evaluation of academic qualifications, as well as of oral and/or written exams.

The Call for application for 40th cycle (a.y. 2024/2025) is now online. Deadine for application is Thursday, 23rd May 1PM (Italian Time).

For further information, please contact the PhD Office (

PhD Overview

The doctoral course in Modern Languages, Cultures and Societies and Linguistics of the Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies is characterized by its multidisciplinary vocation and its appreciation of linguistic and cultural diversity. The plurality of languages taught in the Department, some of which are unique in the offerings of the universities of the macro-region, combined with the quality and innovativeness of the research, constitutes the ideal terrain for a doctoral course that aims to train highly specialized professionals in the analysis of textual and linguistic-cultural phenomena and in theoretical, applied, and educational linguistic research. The doctoral course participates in the development project of the Department of Excellence. The course is characterized by the intersection of two distinct educational tracks, Modern Languages, Cultures, and Societies and Linguistics, each of which in turn is distinguished by the breadth of topics and contexts addressed, and by the innovativeness of methodological approaches that foster multidisciplinary training.

International Doctoral Program

The course is configured as an international doctoral program, thanks to agreements with the Sorbonne Université [FRA] (Francia) e l’Università di Primorska [ENG] (Slovenia), which also ensure the presence of the contact persons of the agreements in the doctoral college. In addition, numerous incoming and outgoing co-tutorship agreements are activated, and doctoral students’ mobility is strongly encouraged, both for participation in international conferences and for research periods at prestigious foreign institutions. Study and research activity abroad is a key moment for building a network of relationships within the international scientific community, a constant point of comparison for doctoral students’ research. In addition, international-level teaching is guaranteed through contracts to visiting fellows and visiting professors, whose teaching and seminar activities contribute to enriching the doctoral program's educational offerings. The course is supported by an internationally renowned Board of Advisors.


The doctoral course aims to provide a broad and articulate research training in text and language analysis applied to different language-cultural systems and articulated in two specific curricula.

The two curricula entail the study of languages, linguistics, literatures and cultures and multiple scientific and cultural projects.

Educational Objectives

The educational objective of the curriculum in Modern Languages, Cultures and Societies is the advanced study of modern languages, cultures and civilizations through the analysis and interpretation of literary texts and cultural products in different languages. Ph.D. students will be expected to:

  • master a specific linguistic-literary field both within the cultural and linguistic areas represented in the Ph.D. and in a cross-cultural perspective; master research methods in the associated linguistic, literary, cultural-historical, artistic and anthropological fields;
  • carry out original research activity, displayed in their final thesis and, possibly, other publications at a national or international level;
  • develop significant critical analyses (in the linguistic, literary, cultural-historical fields), confronting and responding to new and complex ideas;
  • be able to communicate with peers, the broader community of scholars, and society at large about the literary, cultural-historical,1 artistic, and anthropological fields;
  • be able to promote, in academic and professional contexts, an advancement of knowledge in the fields of linguistics, literature, cultural-historical, art and anthropology, for the cultural and social promotion of the realities in which they will perform their work.
  • be able to conceive, design, and use suitable tools in their research process with scholarly prowess.

Research Topics

They include the areas listed below, encompassing stylistic, rhetorical, philological, historical, and epistemological aspects, considered from a culture-specific and/or a cross-cultural perspective:

  • Anglo-American cultures and literatures
  • English language, culture and literature
  • English-speaking postcolonial cultures and literatures
  • French and Francophone cultures and literatures
  • Hispanic American cultures and literatures
  • Iberian languages, cultures and literatures (Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese)
  • Lusophone cultures and literatures of Latin America and Africa
  • German and Austrian languages, cultures and literatures
  • Slavic and Balkan area languages, cultures and literatures: Albanian, Bulgarian, Czech, Croatian, Greek, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, and historical Slavic-ecclesiastical language areas.
  • Scandinavian languages, cultures and literatures
  • Comparative literature

Professional Profiles

Ph.D.s in Modern Languages, Cultures and Societies are natural candidates for pursuing academic careers in their specific research areas, and for teaching foreign languages, civilizations and literatures in universities and schools. Their specific and cross-cultural training will make them ideal candidates for positions at all levels of responsibility in cultural and entrepreneurial activities (directing libraries and cultural institutes, high-level positions within publishing houses and public institutions) requiring networking skills at an international level.

Educational Objectives

The educational objective of the Linguistics curriculum is to develop research skills in highly specialized topics within the language disciplines, including theoretical linguistics, sociolinguistics, language teaching, linguistics applied to language disorders and typical and atypical language acquisition, and computational linguistics. The Ph.D. must:

  • master an area of study within the linguistic and language teaching disciplines and its research methods, such as the more recent models of formal analysis, sophisticated experimental methodologies (eye-tracker, f- NIRS) and statistical analysis models, and field research in sociolinguistics and language teaching;
  • show an ability to conceive, design, implement and adapt a research process in the specific linguistic field, including in data collection and processing, with scholarly prowess;
  • carry out original research activity, displayed in their final thesis and, possibly, other publications at a national or international level;
  • develop significant critical analysis, evaluation, and synthesis of new and complex ideas, which may contribute to expand theoretical models and application methodologies of specific linguistic fields;
  • be able to communicate with peers, with the broader community of linguistics scholars, presenting their research nationally and internationally; interacting with institutions responsible for teacher education, training of persons with language and sensory disabilities, language and cultural mediation, and language policy management;
  • be able to promote, in academic and professional settings, cultural advancement in society by devising language policies or designing effective educational and training interventions.

Research Topics

The Linguistics curriculum encompasses a variety of linguistic research perspectives, theoretical and applied, synchronic and diachronic, also addressed with sophisticated experimental methodologies and advanced models of statistical analysis:

  • Didactics of foreign languages and Italian to foreigners;
  • Linguistics applied to deafness and language disorders and typical and atypical language acquisition;
  • Computational linguistics;
  • Historical linguistics;
  • Theoretical linguistics (generative grammar);
  • Variational liinguistics and sociolinguistics;
  • Grammar theory, in synchronic and diachronic perspective;
  • Philological sciences.

Professional Profiles

PhDs in Linguistics will be prepared to carry out undergraduate research and teaching. They will also be prepared to carry out consulting and intervention coordination tasks according to the specific skills developed: for language teachers, school-based language teaching consultancy, development of language teaching texts, experimentation of foreign language teaching in schools, language integration; for computational linguists, development of advanced language interfaces for companies and public or private entities; for specialists in language disorders, specific consultancy for school inclusion and special educational needs; for sociolinguists, collaborations with local, national and international entities for the implementation of language policies.


From 3 to 7 June 2024 a new edition of Research Communication Week is coming, the Ca' Foscari initiative created to raise awareness and provide tools and soft skills in research communication. Discover the 5 workshops on scientific posters, social media, storytelling and public speaking: limited places, registration by 3 April. Webinars also available soon.