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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Program Enquiries

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Meet a UBC representative

Aligning your Graduate Program and Career Goals

Date: Wednesday, 19 August 2020
Time: 11:00 to 12:00

Join Danielle Barkley, Educator and Career & Professional Development Advisor at UBC's Centre for Student Involvement and Careers, and Shane Moore, Marketing and Recruitment Manager. They'll be talking about aligning your graduate program with your career goals. They'll also be providing an overview of the wide range of career and professional development opportunities and support available at UBC. This session will be helpful to those still thinking about which graduate program is right for them, as well as applicants who know their program of study and want to better understand the support and guidance available at UBC.

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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$106.00$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)$944.51 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,954.00 (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].

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
2014 Dr. Hill wrote a series of stories tracing his development as a student, teacher and writer. Using auto-ethnography, he not only tells these stories but also analyzes the reasons for telling them. Dr. Hill's focus is on author intention and narrative truth in storytelling.
2014 Dr. Shoemaker demonstrated how visual repetition and colour construct cohesive relationships in picturebooks for young children. This work contributes to the development of a visual grammar. The findings will be useful to educators who are assessing materials created by students in multiple modes, including words, pictures, motion and sound.
2014 Dr. Lea created a research-based theatre script exploring experiences of two teachers living in Kenya 40 years apart. The script examined the narrative inheritances shaping their personal and professional identities. He also critiqued his playwriting process to illuminate theoretical, methodological, and evaluation insights for similar projects.
2013 Dr. Wernicke examined the impact on BC French teachers of their study abroad experiences in France, and how those affected their sense of professional identity. She found that an overwhelming concern with being an "authentic" French speaker can diminish teachers' sense of expertise and shapes how they teach and engage in further teacher development
2013 Dr. Collier conducted research about children and literacy on Canada's East coast. She studied how children create texts across the settings of home and school, and how different literacy practices are valued. Her research has implications for including home resources in schools and asks educators to reconsider what counts as literacy in schools.
2012 Dr. Oates studied the uses of Information Communications Technology, or ICT tools, by school teachers in post-conflict northern Uganda. Her study in the district of Gulu identified conditions that either enable or inhibit the successful use of digital tools for language and literacy. Her recommendations include a proposed design for using ICT for teacher education.
2012 Dr. Beare investigated ways to foster positive youth development through a combined theatre education and social and emotional learning program. He examined the developmental stages of secondary theatre students who co-created plays based on the topic of safe and caring schools. His findings will enrich existing literature on this important issue.
2012 Dr. McIvor studied Indigenous adult language learning through an extensive self-study of one learner's experience. Her research illuminates the possibilities for adult learners to make a more central contribution to the efforts of Indigenous language loss and recovery.
2012 Dr. Murphy Odo compared paper and online versions of an ESL literacy assessment, and found they were equally valid. He also found that test takers' beliefs about their test performances were often different from their actual test scores in each mode. These findings will allow ESL testing specialists to use the online test in place of a paper version.
2011 Dr. Moayeri explored how teachers and students use the web in participatory ways. She extends New Literacies Theory, literacies that combine technology and ethos, by proposing that no one form of literacy supersedes or holds more value than another. Her research recommends refraining from devaluing existing forms of literacy when integrating new forms.

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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