Doctor of Philosophy in Language and Literacy Education (PhD)

Overview

Doctoral students focus on critical and contemporary issues at the intersections of language and literacy learning and cultural and societal transformation. Students in our programs are teachers and other professional educators who engage in courses, conversations and research addressing a broad range of issues and contexts – in and out of schools, nationally and internationally, and across the lifespan.

Students will gain expertise in topics such as identity and language/literacy, cultural literacy and language practices, interculturality, Indigenous languages and literacies, family and community literacy practices, literature and new media, digital cultures, poetry, literacy in global contexts, literacy development across the lifespan, educational linguistics, discourse and multimodal analysis, critical perspectives on literature and cultural texts for children and youth, EAL (English as an additional language) literacy, assessment, teacher education. drama and theatre education, creative/arts-based approaches to literacy learning, and communication ecologies/studies. Students with a specific interest in language education will engage with topics in applied linguistics and critical applied linguistics, second/additional language theory and practice, bi-/multilingual pedagogies, second language acquisition and reading/writing/vocabulary learning, language socialization, technology integration in language education language policy and planning, assessment of second language learning as well as related research methods.

What makes the program unique?

Literacy studies have expanded dramatically in recent years and our internationally known Faculty draw on many disciplines, knowledge systems and worldviews that inform the study of language and literacy education, including Indigenous, cognitive, linguistic, anthropological, cultural, literary, critical and post-structural perspectives and drawing on First Peoples Principles of Learning, sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, social psychology, cultural studies, and other related fields. In our courses we invite students to reflect critically on contemporary language and literacy practices in and out of schools, spanning Indigenous, local, national and global contexts.

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Admission Information & Requirements

1) Check Eligibility

Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.

English Language Test

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based

Overall score requirement: 92

Reading

22

Writing

22

Speaking

22

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 7.0

Reading

6.5

Writing

6.5

Speaking

6.5

Listening

6.5

Other Test Scores

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is not required.

Prior degree, course and other requirements

Prior Degree Requirements

Master’s degree with high standing in a relevant educational discipline

Document Requirements
  1. Master’s degree with high standing in a relevant educational discipline.
  2. Sample of work demonstrating an ability to undertake research and scholarly writing (max. 30 pages).
  3. CV or resume outlining work experience and academic history.
  4. Well-written 500 word (maximum) Statement of Intent to describe your proposed doctoral research. Be sure to indicate how your previous education, professional experience, and research have prepared you to undertake your proposed research, and note which people in the department have expertise in your intended area of study.
  5. The support of three referees including an assessment by at least two university instructors, preferably one of whom is the supervisor of the masters thesis.
  6. Scanned copies all official transcripts (including a key to transcript grades and symbols) and degree certificates from all post-secondary institutions attended outside UBC.
Other Requirements

Awards; fellowships; scholarships; and distinctions. Relevant professional and academic experience including conference presentations, professional workshops, and publications. At least two years of successful teaching experience or equivalent.

2) Meet Deadlines

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 August 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2020
Transcript Deadline: 06 December 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 December 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2020
Transcript Deadline: 06 December 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 December 2020

3) Prepare Application

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Language and Literacy Education (PhD)
Applicants should browse faculty profiles and indicate in their application who they are interested in working with. However, it is not necessary for applicants to contact faculty members prior to their application.

There is no need to find a supervisor prior to applying for the program. If you are successful in the application process, you will be assigned a pro-tem supervisor whose research is closest to your area of interest. However, if you are interested in working with a particular faculty member, you can indicate it in your statement of interest or in the application form.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

4) Apply Online

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Research Information

Research Highlights

The Department takes a critical and social justice approach to theory and research. Faculty members in the Literacy program have expertise in the following areas:

  • Indigenous languages and literacies.
  • Literature and cultural texts for children and youth.
  • Drama and theatre education in schools and communities.
  • Literary and literacy practices in families, schools, and communities.
  • Digital cultures, multimodality, and communication ecologies/studies.

Research Focus

Students in our program engage with critical societal issues that impact topics such as equity and inclusion, immigration and globalization, gender, youth culture, relationships among communities and educational institutions, and public policy. The Department takes a critical and social justice approach to theory and research.

Faculty members in the Literacy program have expertise in the following areas:

  • Indigenous languages and literacies
  • Literature and cultural texts for children and youth
  • Drama and theatre education in schools and communities
  • Literary and literacy practices in families, schools, and communities
  • Digital cultures, multimodality, and communication ecologies/studies.

Program Components

The program consists of 18 to 24 credits of course work (including the LLED 601 and 602 Doctoral Seminars), comprehensive exam followed by an oral examination, a dissertation proposal, and a doctoral dissertation.

Geographic Restrictions

The program accepts well-qualified students from around the globe into a richly international and multicultural academic community.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$108.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$969.17 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $17,242.00 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Financial Support

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

Program Funding Packages

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships.

Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.

Research Assistantships (GRA)

Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Outcomes

14 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 is in a non-salaried situation; for 0 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 13 graduates:


RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher Education
Brock University
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
University of Victoria
Shippensburg University
Pusan National University
University of Glasgow
University of British Columbia
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
BC School District (2)
Parissa
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Theatre Teacher
Writer / Editor
District Principal of Inclusive Education
Creative Mentor
Director
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.
Career Options

Our programs in Language and Literacy Education engage teachers and other professional educators in the study of rich language and literacy practices from early childhood through adolescence and adulthood. Our focus is on the many rich, multiethnic and multilingual contexts of language and literacy learning in our schools and communities.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Language and Literacy Education (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

Enrolment Data

 20192018201720162015
Applications3330193012
Offers874126
New registrations86376
Total enrolment4541445248

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 83.33% based on 24 students admitted between 2006 - 2009. Based on 23 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 3.33 years and the maximum time is 8.33 years with an average of 5.95 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 10 March 2020]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 27 October 2019].

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Asselin, Marlene (Language Acquisition and Development; International Development; Cultural Institutions (Museums, Libraries, etc.); early literacy; literacy and international development; libraries and education)
  • Belliveau, George (Theatre; Arts-based research; Drama Education; Research-based Theatre; Interdisciplinary Arts)
  • Bryson, Mary (technology, media, cultural studies, gender, queer theory, deviance studies, post-colonial pedagogies, Sociology, Women's Studies, Education, media and gender, media and education)
  • Corella Morales, Meghan (Linguistic Variation and Society; Bilingualism and Multilingualism; Language Acquisition and Development; Children's language and literacy practices; Peer interactions in classrooms; Linguistic anthropology/ Sociocultural linguistics)
  • Dobson, Teresa (Media and communications; Literary Education; Digital Literacy; Digital Humanities; Text Visualization)
  • Early, Margaret (Adolescent issues, English as a second Language, language education, literacy, teacher research)
  • Galla, Candace (what types of technology initiatives (low-, mid-, or high) Indigenous language communities are using to revitalize, maintain, and promote their language)
  • Gladwin, Derek (Cultural Studies; Digital & Media Literacy; Environmental & Energy Literacy; Environmental Humanities; Food Literacy; Literary Education; Sustainability Education; Writing & Rhetoric)
  • Gunderson, Lee Paul (ESL, multiculturalism )
  • Hare, Jan (Aboriginal youth mobility, Aboriginal family and community perspectives on early literacy, literature, identity construction and urban Aboriginal youth, Cultural studies, early childhood, first nations education)
  • Henry, Annette (race, language, culture in education; equity and diversity, Cross-cultural education, feminist studies, gender, international perspectives, multiculturalism, policy studies)
  • Jenson, Jennifer (Digital Cultures and Education; Digital Games; Game-based Learning; Gender; technology; Technology Implementation and integration; Online Learning)
  • Kendrick, Maureen (literacy, digital literacy, Children and youth, ESL, international perspectives)
  • Li, Guofang (longitudinal studies of immigrant children)
  • Norton, Bonny (education, ESL, international perspectives, literacy, teacher research)
  • Rogers, Theresa (Educational Approaches; Education; Literacy; Youth Studies; Children's and Adolescent Literature; Digital Literacies)
  • Zappa, Sandra (academic discourse socialization of (international) English language learners in higher education, examining the literacy socialization trajectories and the role their individual networks of practice (INoPs, a concept I coined) in becoming aware of the host culture values and expectations; projects examining the intercultural competence development of foreign language teachers studying abroad; foreign language-learning through peer exchange programs; academic English coaching for university-level English language learners; collaboration between language and subject specialists; and student perceptions of academic English language development in CBI courses.)

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation
2020 Dr. Haggerty investigated the transitional experiences of multilingual writers socializing into the discourse practices of a Canadian university. Results point to a pressing need to re-consider the time needed and level of complexity involved in academic writing instructions in relation to linguistic, academic, and disciplinary needs.
2020 In this study, Dr. Conteh investigated University of Botswana first-year students' instruction and use of digital technologies. Participants' uneven digital literacy skills, as well as various resource challenges, suggest a need for more effective integration of technologies in order to foster students' academic and professional success.
2019 Applying arts-based methods, Dr. Stooshnov researched the relationship between virtual reality (VR) and drama within literacy learning. He compared VR technology to historical theatre practices by creating a dramatic dialogue between past and future. This work considers the educational possibilities of interactive engagement in a virtual classroom.
2019 Dr. Wu researched on the theory of Poetic Inquiry and conducted a poetic inquiry of his own experience in language. Poetic Inquiry is seemingly about ourselves, but it extends to people around us and the world. Poetic inquirers write about themselves to explore the nature of being human.
2019 Dr. Charnley examined oral histories of Katzie people. Her contribution includes the creation of a new research methodology based on the Coast Salish spindle whorl that conceptualizes transformative land and water-based literacy and pedagogy. This work provides new ways to hear Coast Salish people's voices, realities, and philosophies of knowing and being.
2019 Dr. Taylor examined experiences of gender minority breast and gynecologic cancer patients. Findings show that cisnormative and heteronormative narratives shape cancer care knowledge, while non-normative narratives of gender shape patient decision-making and knowledge mobility. This research evidence can inform the design of culturally effective cancer care.
2019 Dr. Darvin examined how migrant Filipino youth in Vancouver, of contrasting social classes, are socialized into unequal digital practices. He identified critical issues that emerge from the integration of technology in education and designed a framework for digital literacy instruction. His work will help students navigate online spaces in empowering ways.
2018 Dr. Teichert examined digital literacy practices of children in their homes before and after kindergarten entry. She found children moved fluidly between digital and non-digital activities during play, but that parents had concerns about their children's use of digital devices and preferred that their children engage in non-digital activities.
2018 Dr. Nayebzadah studied the representation of Afghan-Canadian Muslim diaspora in postcolonial fiction through the practice of a/r/tography. Her work raises questions about biases, presuppositions, and world-views on Muslims. This research informs discussion around the role of authors as constructing and consolidating notions of "self" and "other".
2018 Dr. Pena tracked understandings of "Visual Literacy" across disciplines through the last century. He curated a full-text database of scholarly writing on the topic and designed a text analysis tool to visualize relationships among writings. This study advances understandings of Visual Literacy and provides a unique tool for text analysis.

Pages

Further Program Information

Language and Literacy Education focuses on critical and contemporary issues at the intersections of literacy learning and cultural and societal transformation. It covers topics such as identity and literacy, cultural literacy practices, Indigenous literacies, family literacy, literature and new media, digital literacies, poetry, literacy in developing contexts, literacy development across the lifespan, educational linguistics, discourse and multimodal analysis, critical perspectives on children’s and young adult literature, EAL (English as an additional language) literacy, assessment, teacher education and creative/arts-based approaches to literacy learning.

Students engage with critical societal issues that impact these topics, such as equity and inclusion, immigration and globalization, gender, youth culture, relationships among communities and educational institutions, and public policy.

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-O5
 

Apply Now

If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
 

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 August 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 December 2020
International Applicant Deadline
01 December 2020
 

Supervisor Search

 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form.

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