PhD Programme in

Language Pedagogy and English Applied Linguistics


ELTE School of English and American Studies

1088 Budapest, Rákóczi út 5. phone:(36-1) 485 52 00 extension 4424 , email:




Programme Information

Course Structure

Neptun codes& credits

Course Outlines

Teaching Staff

Supervisors &

      Research Topics

Student Research

APA Guidelines


Practical tips



Notice board 

Anti-discrimination Statement

Admission Requirements








Programme Information




Programme Information for students who started their studies in 2019 or before



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Programme Information


for students starting their studies in 2020 or later


On this page:


Links to administrative regulations and information


Information about the PhD Programme in Language Pedagogy and English Applied Linguistics



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Links to administrative regulations and information:


For an overview and details of the administrative side of the programme, please go to the site of the Doctoral School of Linguistics at in Hungarian, and in English.

You can find important documents at the bottom of both of these pages.



The Doctoral Regulations of ELTE containing both the University regulations and those of the Faculty can be downloaded from: (v.2016 – last updated in 2020) in Hungarian,

and from (v.2016 – last updated in 2019) in English.

These sites have links to further documents at the bottom of the page.


You can check for updates at: in Hungarian, and in English.


The Doctoral Training Programme of ELTE is available at: in both Hungarian and English.

The extract from this containing the Doctoral Training Programme of the Doctoral School of Linguistics is available at: in English.


Regulations and documents of the Faculty of Humanities:

The Faculty's PhD site is at: in Hungarian, and at in English.

Further information is available from in Hungarian in English


Information about the Digital Humanities course/workshop, which is a prerequisite to the Comprehensive examination, can be accessed from: in Hungarian in Hungarian and in English.


Information about the requirements of language proficiency exams as a prerequisite to obtaining the doctoral degree can be found in section 31points d and e of the Doctoral Regulations of the Faculty of Humanities at: in Hungarian,

and from in English.


Should you find any broken or outdated links, please inform the director of studies.


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Information about the PhD Programme in Language Pedagogy and English Applied Linguistics


COVID-19: Please note that during periods of online operation we strive to provide the same high level of instruction as in face to face courses, and expect the same commitment from our students towards their studies. Any changes of the rules and regulations are communicated by the staff of the PhD Programme or the Doctoral Office.


1  Doctoral Training (Doktori képzés)

     1.1 Important Note on Research Ethics

     1.2 Requirements for Content Courses (obligatory and elective)

     1.3 Requirements for Research Seminars

     1.4 Requirements for the Research Proposal

     1.5 Guided Research, Working with a Supervisor

     1.6 The Comprehensive Examination

     1.7 The Credit System – important phases, landmarks and activities

           1.7.1  Obligatory and Elective Courses

           1.7.2  Research Activities

           Obligatory Research Activities

           Elective Research Activities

           1.7.3  Tertiary Teaching


2  Doctoral Procedures (Doktori Fokozatszerzési Eljárás)

     2.1 Doctoral Research and Dissertation (Doktori kutatás és disszertáció)

     2.2 Dissertation Completion Procedures

           2.2.1 The Dissertation

           2.2.2 The In-House defence (Műhelyvita)

     2.3 Dissertation Defence

     2.4 Schedule


3  Other Requirements


4  Dismissal


5  Responsible Authorities of the Programme

     5.1 Programme Director

     5.2 Director of Studies

     5.3 Programme Council

     5.4 Research Ethics Committee (Kutatásetikai Bizottság)

     5.5 Entrance Examination Committee (Felvételi Bizottság)

     5.6 Comprehensive Examination Committee (Komplex Vizsga Bizottság)

     5.7 Dissertation Examination Committee (Védési Bíráló Bizottság)


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1  Doctoral Training (Doktori képzés)


The Doctoral Training consists of the completion of 240 credits made up of the required coursework (120 credits) and of being engaged in research work and teaching courses in tertiary education (120 credits).  The sections below present details of these.


1.1 Important Note on Research Ethics

Research ethics is an important concern in all disciplines, and particularly so in areas where people are researched. In the PhD Programme in Language Pedagogy and English Applied Linguistics, we have devised our own procedures for applying for a research ethics approval. An approval has to be sought in cases where the programme participant intends to collect data from people for their research. This refers to seminar papers, studies to be published, the dissertation research proposal and the dissertation itself. The application form with detailed instructions can be downloaded from here.


Another issue concerning research ethics is academic honesty: papers (any paper) with the smallest occurrence of plagiarism will be failed and disciplinary action will be initiated to dismiss the author. Plagiarism includes using others' ideas and or wording in an unacknowledged manner, but also patchwriting even if the sources are acknowledged.


1.2 Requirements for Content Courses (obligatory and elective)


The general requirements are as follows:


- active participation in seminars, with a maximum of three explained and justified absences;

- completion of all reading assignments;

- a pass mark for a piece of written coursework, submitted by an agreed deadline or for an exam as set by the instructor.


Different courses will demand specific tasks and therefore have somewhat different task-specific requirements. For example, literature reviews might be expected to be somewhat shorter and empirical studies somewhat longer than the guidelines below. However, the following framework is the general norm:


Length: assignments will normally be 3,000 to 5,000 words in length (calculating in ‘traditional’ page layout using 12 pt. Times New Roman font and 2.5 cms margins, this is 12-20 double-spaced pages).


Style: the paper should be of publishable quality in its contents, style, formatting, and bibliographic references (APA - see the page on APA guidelines for reference). It should use the language and layout appropriate for communicating with an academic readership. Formatting will be specified by the tutors. Papers are traditionally double spaced but if they are to be submitted electronically, single spaced or 1.5 spaced pages are more reader friendly as more text appears on the screen.


General nature of task:


-  a critical review of relevant literature, with consideration of the pedagogical or applied linguistic implications;


- an original empirical investigation or a replication of an empirical investigation, with appropriate content,


-  a test of critical understanding of important concepts in the field.


Criteria for evaluation:

- presentation: the text is to display the language, organisation and layout appropriate for communicating with an academic readership;

- content: the paper is to reflect analytical reading, interpretative understanding and (personal) reflection; where appropriate, a comprehensive and critical review of the literature; an adequate presentation of the theoretical support for the study reported; a clear and logical presentation of the study or proposed study; an adequate critical consideration of the weaknesses and/or implications of the study in question;

- approach: the paper is to show an understanding of one or more approaches to research design, instrumentation, analysis and interpretation.


Scale used and meaning of grades: assignments are marked on the five point scale. Late submissions are only marked 1-4, and the fact that the assignment was submitted late is recorded.


- 5, i.e. ‘Pass with Distinction’ is awarded to papers that provide new insights into the issue under investigation, or that show signs of original and relevant reflection, and which are publishable in terms of the quality of the content (even if more limited in terms of the data, and in length).

- 4, i.e. ‘Good Pass’ is awarded for good academic work.

- 3, i.e. ‘Average Pass’ is awarded for work that meets the criteria, is thorough but lacks the depth of a superior quality.

-  2, i.e. ‘Pass’ is awarded to a paper that meets the criteria stipulated.

- 1, i.e. ‘Fail’ is given to work that is hard for the reader to understand and follow, contains serious inaccuracies, is unclear in argument, unsupported by academic sources, does not cover the topic adequately and is largely irrelevant to the central issues of the topic. Superficial papers without any proper focus are failed.


- Works with the smallest instance of plagiarism are failed and prompt the initiation of disciplinary actions.


Deadlines and policy on late submission:


Deadlines for the submission of seminar papers are to be negotiated with the course tutor. The deadlines for seminar papers should be set between the last session of the semester and two weeks before the end of the exam period. It is important to bear in mind that the marks have to be entered in Neptun by the end of the examination period. The tutors determine the submission deadlines so that they have enough time to read and mark papers before the marks have to be registered.


If the paper is not submitted by the agreed deadline, no credit (no grade) is granted for the course. Should a participant fail an elective course, they cannot retake the same course.




A short extension of maximum 2 weeks is allowed if negotiated and agreed at least one week before the original deadline. Late submissions that had not been given an extension will be marked 1 to 4. Note: please remember that in order to have a valid mark, even the extended deadline must allow time for the course tutor to assess the paper.


A full extension of maximum one semester may be obtained in very exceptional cases (e.g., illness, study-trip abroad, or to rewrite a failed paper) on condition that it is negotiated and agreed with both the course tutor and the Director of Studies of the programme. In this case the course counts as a dropped course and it has to be taken again. In the case of a major impediment, it is advisable to postpone studies rather than apply for extensions.


Students may be granted the opportunity to rewrite their assignment for a higher grade, but in such cases the revised work must be submitted by an agreed deadline. A rewritten paper that is still not good enough cannot be rewritten again. Furthermore, rewriting will not be allowed in the case of an extended deadline. This rule also applies to papers submitted with an extended deadline and awarded a mark 1.


Deadlines for staff to return coursework to students with grades and feedback:


Work submitted on time should normally be returned to students within one month after the submission. However, if the deadline is set closer to the end of the exam period, it is the tutor’s responsibility to return the assessed work at least two days before the deadline for registering the marks in Neptun.


Staff members are requested to keep in mind that the (extended!) deadline for registering the marks in Neptun is the end of the exam period. Therefore it is important to tailor the deadlines for submissions of course assignments accordingly.


Supervisors are requested to aid their students in meeting the requirements and deadlines of the courses they take up.


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1.3 Requirements for Research Seminars


A general course description of the Research Seminars (1-4) is provided in Section 1 of the Course Outlines page. The paragraphs below are concerned with a few formalities of these seminars.


As in the case of other taught courses, attendance is compulsory and is checked. A maximum of three justified absences is allowed.


Oral presentations are an important part of the Research Seminars. They provide an opportunity to develop the skills necessary for presenting at professional or academic conferences, workshops or seminars. Thus, when required to make a presentation, course participants are expected to pay attention to the following features:



- Timing: normally 20 to 30 minutes are allowed for the presentation and 10-15 minutes for questioning, unless specified differently by the course tutor. Time limits may vary depending on the task and the number of class participants.

- Structure: the presentation should be clearly and linearly structured following the conventions of academic presentations in English and, if appropriate, the audience should be informed of the organisation of the talk in a preview at the beginning.

- Illustration: the talk should be clearly presented, with appropriate illustration – handouts, power point slides, etc.

- Content: the requirements are set by the tutors.


Presentations will not normally be graded, although feedback will be given by the tutor. However, presentations will be taken into account when the coursework is graded.


The written assignment may be based on the oral presentation, in which case it is expected to meet the requirements for coursework (see 1.2 above) and the criteria for the evaluation will be the same. However, the content of the research seminar paper usually goes beyond the content of the presentation, and it will also be evaluated how well the author has taken account of any criticism or suggestions made during or after the oral presentation.



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1.4 Requirements for the Research Proposal


The purpose of the research proposal – to be handed in after Research Seminar 3 – is to make sure that the proposed dissertation research is relevant and feasible, and is sound research methodolically. It is a requirement to have an approved research proposal before the Comprehensive Exam, as it is to be discussed there (see Section 1.6), and as it is to serve as a guide for the research activities in the “Research and Dissertation Module” in semesters 5-8.

The research proposal is a summary of the aim and relevance of the planned dissertation topic and its context along with the research approach and methods intended to be used. It also puts forward the research questions aimed to guide the research as well as any preliminary results from validation or pilot studies if these were conducted.


The research proposal should

- state the problem or area being researched and why it is of interest

- present the aim(s) and the research question(s)

- present a brief overview of the relevant literature/theoretical background

- present the implications for the research from the literature review, and design either some procedure for preliminary data analysis based on the literature, or a design for a pilot study

- (where already conducted) report on the pilot study or a preliminary analysis

- draw conclusions for the main study or the full analysis on the basis of the experience of the pilot work

- present and justify the detailed design of the research along with the methods of data collection and analysis

- describe ethical considerations regarding the research

- present a detailed schedule of the work to be done, with milestones and a timetable

- indicate the significance of the research for language pedagogy or English applied linguistics


It has to

- be related to language pedagogy or English applied linguistics

- be connected to and draw upon current theory or issues of a theoretical nature

- be written in a suitable academic style

- be feasible in terms of scale, time-schedule, instrumentation, access to data sources, and time for analysis and writing up

- show evidence of having been piloted and revised where appropriate

- show evidence of awareness of the need for valid results in the research paradigm used

- show evidence of having received supervision, and of having heeded advice

- show all the research instruments already designed

- have an 'Application form for research ethics approval' attached to it.


An important criterion for the adequacy of the proposal is that it should be “reviewer-friendly”, that is, it should contain all the necessary information required for the evaluation of the intended dissertation. A good proposal is

- accurate, i.e., correctly reflects the purpose and content of the planned work;

- self-contained, that is, defines all the key terms and concepts, abbreviations and acronyms;

- concise and specific.

The length of the proposal should be a minimum of 80 000 characters, i.e., 13 – 14 000 words. However, it should not exceed 16 000 words.


The research proposal must be submitted electronically as a Word document and in pdf to the tutor of Research Seminar 3 and must be endorsed by the supervisor. (If a reviewer prefers to read a hard copy, it has to be supplied upon request.) The submission deadline is normally the middle of January following Research Seminar 3 in the autumn semester. Should the proposal have to be re-written, it will have to be re-submitted in the first tier of Research Seminar 4 in the spring.  The accepted proposal is a prerequisite of registering for the comprehensive exam.



The research proposal is assessed by three reviewers: the tutor of Research Seminar 3, the Director of the Programme and the Director of Studies. If there is an overlap in these positions or if one of these tutors is the supervisor, a suitably qualified member of the teaching staff of the Programme is called in to act as third reader. The members of the committee give written feedback on the proposal and accept the proposal or return it for re-writing. The supervisor is also invited to give feedback.


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1.5 Guided Research, Working with a Supervisor


Programme participants are required to be engaged in guided individual research throughout their studies. With no more classes to take, the focus of semesters 5–8 is working on one's dissertation research.  Guidance is provided by the supervisor throughout the training, and tutorial seminars (aka individual consultations, BTKD-NY-NPAN-13-16) are offered for structured and regular consultation. Tutorial Seminars involve regular meetings with the PhD supervisor leading to the completion of the dissertation. A minimum of four consultations must be held (in person or online) in order to qualify for the 10 credits.


A supervisor is sought for by the applicants during their application process to the PhD programme and is assigned to all admitted participants – based on their mutual agreement – on beginning the programme. However, if the programme participant wishes to engage in a different topic than the one indicated in their application to the programme, or if any difficulties arise, it is possible to request a new supervisor. It is also possible to have two supervisors (i.e., co-supervision) if the topic or method of research requires so. Supervisors can be chosen from the list of accredited consultants of the Doctoral School. Go to the 'Supervisors and research topics' page for an official list of supervisors and suggested research areas. The Programme Director or the Director of Studies can give advice on choosing and contacting supervisors. Both the old and new supervisor have to be involved in the process of changing supervisors and they have to endorse the request. Requests have to be submitted to the Programme Director.


The supervisor is responsible for overseeing their student's research. Consultations can happen face to face or online. In working with the supervisor it is important to understand that while the supervisor provides help in designing the research both as far as research methods, content and the writing up go, they must make sure that the dissertation is the student's own work, and it is not their responsibility to proofread the dissertation for language use either. It is always the student's responsibility to seek assistance and supervision by making appointments for personal consultation or by initiating online contact.



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1.6 The Comprehensive Examination


The comprehensive examination (aka the complex examination) is intended to examine the candidate's fitness to synthesise and discuss issues in the area of Language Pedagogy and English Applied Linguistics and relate these to their research topic.


The Comprehensive Examination takes place at the end of semester 4. As specified by the description of the Training Programme of the Doctoral School of Linguistics, its prerequisites are:

a) completion of min. 90 credits from the Educational and Research Module,

b) completion of the digital humanities workshop,

c) submission of a research paper (which can be a part of the dissertation) of min 80.000 n, to be submitted with the application to the comprehensive exam

The Doctoral Programme in Language Pedagogy and English Applied Linguistics stipulates that:

- all the 120 credits the Educational and Research Module be obtained, i.e., all the coursework be completed as the exam topics relate to these, and

- the research paper to be submitted (see point c above) is the Research Proposal detailed in Section 1.4 above.


The Comprehensive Examination is an oral examination in front of a board of examiners, the Comprehensive Examination Committee (see Section 5. 7 below). It takes about 60 minutes, and consists of two parts:

(1) in the Dissertation Research Part, the candidate has to give a max. 20-minute presentation of their research proposal (aim, relevance, research questions, theoretical background, research approach and methods, ethical issues, etc.) with projected slides, and a handout of the major points prepared for the board.  The presentation is followed by questions from the examiners to be answered by the candidate, who in turn can also ask for the committee members' advice regarding any emerging issues.

(2) In the Theoretical Part, they have to pick a question in two topics to discuss without any preparation on the spot. One topic, chosen by the supervisor, should be connected to the candidate’s research area, and the other can be picked from topics the Programme offers. A 'topic' is typically equivalent to a course. The topics have to be registered when signing up for the comprehensive exam in Neptun. Registration for the exam normally happens in March of semester 4 or in October for those who get to semester 4 in the autumn. It is advised that the two topics be decided about a month before that by the candidate and their supervisor.

When the topics are decided, the Director of Studies specifies the questions and the reading list with the responsible tutors, and the lists are made public for the students to prepare for. A list of topics and questions of past exams can be consulted here for reference.


The elements of the comprehensive exam are graded pass or fail. If the examinee receives a fail for one or both of the subjects in the Theoretical Part of the exam, they may sit for a retake exam in this (these) subject(s) on the day set aside for retake examinations within the same examination period. If, however, they fail in the Dissertation Research Part of the examination (i.e., the presentation), they may not sit for a retake exam for this part of the comprehensive examination. In this case the combined result of the comprehensive exam is automatically failed. The comprehensive exam is considered completed, if the candidate passes all the components of the examination. However, if the candidate does not complete their comprehensive exam by the end of semester 4, they are dismissed from the programme.





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1.7 The Credit System – important phases, landmarks and activities


The PhD programme consists of two main parts, in which PhD students have to earn altogether 240 credits. This at-a-glance overview of the programme shows the important phases, landmarks and activities with the credits to be earned and the times to obtain these by:



Study phases / Landmarks / Activities




Semesters,  Deadlines


Educational and Research Module



120 credits



12 courses (7 compulsory and 5 elective courses)

10 credits/course


Digital Humanities course/workshop


 0 credits


Comprehensive exam


at the end of semester 4


Research and Dissertation Module



120 credits



Tutorial seminars 1-4 (compulsory)

10 credits/tutorial


Publications 1-3 (compulsory)

5-15 credits/publication*


Conference presentation (at least one English language presentation is required)

5-10 credits/presentation*


Editorial work or review

5-10 credits/item*


Organisational work

5-10 credits/ item*



5-10 credits/ item*


Other academic activities

5 credits/ item*


Creating course materials

5-10 credits/ item*


Teaching in higher education

5-10 credits/course*, max. 40 credits


Total for the Absolutorium:

240 credits

by the end of semester 8

In-house defence of the dissertation


90 days before the submission of the dissertation

Submitting the dissertation

(Prerequisite: 2 foreign language proficiency exams)

max. 3 years after the Comprehensive Exam**

* The actual number of credits depends on the quality and volume of the work involved.

** In special cases - based on an individual request and assessment - the submission date may be extended by a year.


Please note that in order to have a valid semester, students on a scholarship must have a minimum of 20 credits.

For more specific information go to the Neptun Codes and Credits page.


Please note that - if the need arises - the studies can be suspended for some time during the eight semesters:

- during semesters 1-4: after a valid semester the studies may be suspended for two or in special cases for even more than two semesters may be suspended, and

- during semesters 5-8 the studies may be suspended for altogether two semesters. This suspension though does not extend the deadline of submitting the dissertation three years after the comprehensive examination. However, if the candidate has a serious reason they may request an extension of one year for the submission.

Please consult the Doctoral Office about procedures.



The following sections explain the elements of the credit system:


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1.7.1  Obligatory and Elective Courses


Altogether 12 units are to be taken during the doctoral training and each unit is worth 10 credits. Credit points may only be granted if the course tutor acknowledges the completion of course requirements. Achievement is graded on a five-point scale (see Section 1.2). No credit may be given for a failed course.


1.7.2  Research Activities

Research activities fall into two categories: obligatory and elective.  Obligatory Research Activities


All students are required to have at least three papers published in Hungarian or international journals, edited volumes or books. At least two of the papers are to be published in English, the rest may be written in any other language that falls within the competence of the Programme Council. At least one of the three papers is to be single authored and at least two are to be published in peer-reviewed journals or volumes. To summarize:


3 papers, of which at least

2 are in English

2 are in peer-reviewed publications

1 is single authored


All three papers are to be based on original theoretical or empirical research on a topic in language pedagogy or applied linguistics, i.e., book reviews or conference reports are not accepted in this category. For possible forums of publication see the Journals page. Beware of predatory journals. Not to be confused with good quality open access journals that might also charge a publication fee (though typically not a submission fee!), predatory journals focus on earning money. To attract authors, they usually offer publication in an unrealistically short time, peer review is promised but not provided and the quality of their publication is low. They often publish articles even outside of their generally very broad spectrum of topics. Publications in these journals will not be awarded any credits. The best way to check that the journal you intend to publish in is not a predatory journal is to check its profile on MTMT ( under 'keresés az adatbázisban' (select 'folyóirat'). The predatory/non-predatory status is indicated for every journal. All fora of publication accepted by MTMT are regarded as trustworthy, and these publications will be awarded credits. If you wish to publish in a journal not on the MTMT records, please consult your supervisor and if they find it a trustworthy forum, submit an inquiry to the Programme Director or the Director of Studies before choosing to publish in it. Please note that book publishers may also operate on a predatory basis and in that case are to be avoided.

Credit may only be granted for papers that have already been published or have been officially accepted for publication and appear in your list of publications in MTMT. The number of credits awarded depends on whether the publication is in the student's mother tongue or a foreign language, on the type of publication, etc. Please see the summary of the credit points that can be earned for publications and different research activities on the Neptun Codes and Credits page.


It is also required to present at least one research based conference paper on a topic in language pedagogy or applied linguistics in English at a conference where papers are screened on the basis of an abstract and application does not ensure automatic acceptance. The compulsory conference paper has to be given by a single presenter.


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To obtain further credits, students can choose from the activities listed below:

- paper presented at a conference either in English or in any other foreign language,

- paper presented at a conference in the student’s mother tongue,

- papers (other than the 3 compulsory publications) published under the same conditions as specified in Section 1.7.1. Co-authored papers may also be accepted,

- editorial work (proof of the work must be provided),

- compiling (published or unpublished) course material or lecture notes (proof of the work must be provided),

- other academic activity (working as a research assistant, performing research tasks, conference organization, administrative duties within the programme, etc.).


The procedure for claiming credits is described in detail in the Procedures for claiming the credits for research and  teaching activities, publications and papers section on the Neptun codes and credits page.



1.7.3  Tertiary Teaching


Participants can obtain credits for teaching subjects related to language pedagogy and English applied linguistics at higher education institutions as part of the Research and Dissertation Module. One unit (i.e., one double period per week) is worth 5-10 credits, and a maximum of 40 credits can be earned by teaching.)


The procedure for claiming credits is described in detail in the Procedures for claiming the credits for research and  teaching activities, publications and papers section on the Neptun codes and credits page.


To claim credits for tertiary teaching at an institution other than ELTE, please submit the following documents to the Director of Studies along with the claim form: 

- The description of the institution and the teaching programme where the course is taught.

- A (preferably public online) document showing that the course has actually been taught. E.g., a course catalogue. Lacking this, a certificate from the head of department responsible for the course.

- A detailed syllabus for the term's teaching programme.

- Detailed lesson plans for three lessons of the term. 




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2 Doctoral Procedures (Doktori Fokozatszerzési Eljárás)


Following the Comprehensive Examination at the end of semester 4, semesters 5-8 are spent taking tutorial seminars and working on research leading to the dissertation. As the table in section 1.7 shows, credits have to be earned for publications and other research and tertiary teaching activities. Altogether 240 credits have to be amassed by the end of semester 8 in order to get the Absolutorium, the certificate of the completion of studies.


The dissertation must be submitted three years (to the day) after the comprehensive examination at the latest. In special cases the submission date may be extended by a year. Before submitting the dissertation though, an in-house defence is organised about the almost final version of it to provide the student with feedback and advice for finalising the dissertation.

The certificate of a second foreign language examination also has to be presented at the submission of the dissertation at the latest.


Starting the administration of submitting the dissertation has to be started at least three months before the submission. In practical terms this means by 30 September in the autumn semester or 31 March in the spring semester using the forms at in Hungarian and in English.



The following sections provide details of the doctoral procedures:



2.1 Doctoral Research and Dissertation (Doktori kutatás és disszertáció)


The doctoral dissertation is to be submitted 3 years after the comprehensive exam the latest. The bulk of the dissertation research is carried out in years 3 and 4 (semesters 5-8) of the doctoral programme, and the write-up usually also takes place during this time. The candidate's work is aided by the supervisor. Please make sure to have a carefully designed arrangement with your supervisor concerning your cooperation, your work schedule and modes of communication. While the supervisor is closely involved in working with the programme participant, it is not their responsibility to prod their supervisees along the way. Make sure to contact your supervisor regularly and also at any time you need help or advice.


2.2 Dissertation Completion Procedures


2.2.1 The Dissertation


The dissertation should contain the results of original research and should make a significant contribution to the academic knowledge of the relevant field of language pedagogy or English applied linguistics. As the regulations of the Doctoral School of Linguistics specify, the body of the dissertation should be at least 9 printed sheets (1 sheet = 40,000 characters), i.e., 360 000 characters, but should not exceed 15 printed sheets, i.e., 600 000 characters.  Calculating in ‘traditional’ page layout using 12 pt. Times New Roman font and 2.5 cms margins, this is approximately 135-225 1.5 spaced pages. The usual length of a PhD dissertation is between 170-200 1.5 spaced pages. The hard copy (copies) to be submitted may be double sided.


The layout of the text should follow the APA guidelines. The dissertation must be submitted three years (to the day) after the comprehensive examination at the latest. In special cases the submission date may be extended by a year.

This means that the dissertation has to be ready 6 months before the due date of submission, as it will have to undergo a review process and an in-house defence before being finalised for submission.


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2.2.2 The In-house defence (Műhelyvita, Házivédés)



The aim of the in-house defence is to provide expert help for the candidate to finalise their dissertation through multiple reviews and a public discussion/defence of their work.


In-house reviewers (Előopponensek)

When the intended final version of the dissertation is submitted to the Programme Director and the Director of Studies at the end of semester 7 for the procedure of the in-house defence, it is read by three experts, who are expected to comment on both its content and presentation. The reviewers are appointed by the Programme Director and/or the Director of Studies. The reviewers are:

1., a researcher representing the programme.

2., an external expert of the topic appointed or invited by the Programme Director, and

3., the supervisor or a PhD student.


The reviewers will be aided in their work by this template with the criteria for evaluation.


In-house defence committee

Chair: Programme Director (or if s/he is the supervisor, then the Director of Studies)

Secretary: one tutor of the programme (to be appointed by the Programme Director)

At least two reviewers



The in-house defence is organised by the candidate and their supervisor. It has to be held at least 90 days prior to the submission deadline of the dissertation. In specially justified cases this may be reduced to 30 days with the approval of the Council of the Doctoral School. The request has to be endorsed by the Programme Director.

All the members and participants of the doctoral programme are to be invited along with any special experts of the topic of the dissertation, from other universities as well. The date of the defence has to be negotiated with the Programme Director. The text of the dissertation has to be made publicly available 14 days before the in-house defence.



The candidate receives the reviews and, if the reviewers see the paper fit for the defence, prepares for the in-house defence.

The in-house defence is a public event, chaired by the Programme Director, where – in preparation for the real defence – the candidate gives a slide presentation of their research with the help of slides and handouts in 15 – max. 20 minutes. The presentation should be a summary of the relevance of the topic, its aims and theoretical background, the methods used in the research process, and, most importantly, the results. The novelty value of the study and its implications should also be highlighted.


The reviewers briefly present their review drawing attention to the merits of the paper as well as its weaknesses and propose suggestions for improvement if necessary. The candidate then responds to the reviews (their response may be written down and read out or presented orally based on their notes). After the candidate’s response the members of the audience are also invited to join the discussion. The discussion aims to provide constructive ideas for the candidate to use in finalising the dissertation.


Minutes are to be taken at the event by one of the tutors of the programme (the secretary of the in-house defence committee). This should include the names of the participants as well as the questions/comments raised. Three copies of the minutes are signed by the tutor and the Programme Director. One copy is given to the candidate, one to the Programme Director, and one is to be submitted to the faculty doctoral office and sent electronically to the Head of the Doctoral School.

The secretary of the committee will be aided in taking the minutes by this template.

Based on the outcomes of the in-house defence, the Programme Director may require the candidate to revise their dissertation. Having implemented the changes and corrections suggested by the reviewers, the candidate submits the final copy of the dissertation to the Programme Director for a final review before submitting it to the doctoral office.


Scheduling the in-house defence with the final submission of the dissertation planned for the end of  June / January:


Submission of the dissertation for in-house defence: December / June

Reviews to be sent to the candidate: End of February / End of August (– Early September)

In-house defence: by 30 March / by 30 October

Finalising the dissertation: April - June / November - December

Submission of the final dissertation: 30 June / 31 January


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2.3 Dissertation Defence


In order to graduate, the candidate must successfully defend their dissertation in a formal oral examination (viva) presided over by the Dissertation Examination Committee (see Section 5.7 below). Having submitted the dissertation to the Doctoral Office, please make sure to consult the Programme Director about the process of the defence.


The public defence takes place on condition of the acceptance of the dissertation by two opponents. The opponents will prepare a written appraisal of the dissertation and will decide whether they judge the dissertation fit for public defence. The reviewers’ report should get to the candidate two months after the submission of the dissertation. Should one opponent decide the dissertation is unfit, a third opponent is asked to assess the dissertation. The dissertation is failed if two opponents find it unacceptable. Prior to the defence, the candidate receives the opponents’ written evaluations, and must answer them in writing and submit this written response to the Faculty Doctoral Office within 15 days. Unless the dissertation is failed, the defence takes place between 15-60 days after the submission of the candidate's response to the reviews.  During the defence, the author must be prepared to summarise the main points of the dissertation in a twenty-minute presentation, listen to the opponents’ evaluation and deliver their response to them, as well as answer questions and comments concerning the dissertation put forward by the Dissertation Examination Committee and the audience. After the discussion, the committee determines the outcome of the defence by secret ballot using the five point scale. Altogether 60% is necessary for a pass mark. The breakdown of the results is as follows: 90%-100%: summa cum laude (pass with distinction), 75%-89%: cum laude (good pass), 60%-74%: rite (pass), 0-59%: insufficienter (fail). Following the defence the result is finalised by the Faculty and the University Doctoral Committees. The PhD degree certificate is handed over at a ceremony usually a few months after the defence.



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2.4 Schedule


To recap the above, ideally the dissertation should be ready in its intended form by the end of semester 7 for it to be submitted at the end of semester 8 but latest 3 years after passing the comprehensive exam. In special cases, based on an individual request and assessment the submission date may be extended by a year.


Make sure to progress with collecting all the necessary research and teaching credits too during the period of researching and writing up your topic.



3 Other Requirements


The University may change or establish certain additional requirements and rules for the completion of the PhD degree. These may relate to tuition fees, stipends, language certificates, time schedules, deadlines, the teaching requirements of students completing the course on a stipend, suspension, postponing studies, the issuing of the PhD degree certificate and other administrative requirements and regulations. Please consult the Doctoral Office and the information they issue on these regulations.


4 Dismissal


The University and the Doctoral School can dismiss students for failing to meet administrative requirements or for breeching the rules of research ethics or professional discipline. (See Section 35 in the Doctoral Regulations of the University.)


The Programme Council of the Language Pedagogy and English Applied Linguistics PhD Programme will initiate a student's dismissal if they:


- fail the completion of requirements for any particular obligatory course twice

- fail to produce an accepted research proposal, or

- are found to have plagiarized or to have engaged in unethical research practices.



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5 Responsible Authorities of the Programme


5.1 Programme Director


The Programme Director is solely responsible for the quality of the instruction within the PhD programme. In taking decisions of a personal and academic nature, he/she is aided by the Programme Council. The Programme Director is also responsible, in particular, for organizing the professional side of the exams within the programme (e.g., entrance exams, comprehensive exams, dissertation defences).


5.2 Director of Studies


The Director of Studies is responsible for the organisation and running of the courses (timetables), and the procedures related to the assessment of the research proposals. He/she also assists in the organisation of the entrance exams and the comprehensive exams.


5.3 Programme Council


The Programme Council consists of staff involved in the instruction within the programme. The Council is set up and chaired by the Programme Director. The Council meets to take decisions on the logistics of running the courses as well as on the academic policies that are to form the future of the programme.


5.4 Research Ethics Committee (Kutatásetikai Bizottság)


The Research Ethics Committee of the Language Pedagogy and English Applied Linguistics PhD Programme consists of the Programme Director, the Director of Studies and the tutors of  the compulsory courses of the Programme. The committee (chaired by the Programme Director) may co-opt other members in case the need arises.


5.5 Entrance Examination Committee (Felvételi Bizottság)


This committee is set up by the Programme Director and is approved by the Doctoral Office to evaluate written applications to the programme and to administer the oral entrance examination.


5.6 Comprehensive Examination Committee (Komplex Vizsga Bizottság)


This committee is set up by the Faculty Doctoral Committee on the recommendation of the Programme Director. It consists of a minimum of three members, one of whom must be external to ELTE, and one of whom must be a full-time ELTE employee. All the members must hold at least a PhD. The committee is chaired by a full professor, emeritus professor or a ‘habilitated’ associate professor (habilitált docens). The candidate's supervisor may not be a member of the committee. A student representative is also present at the exam.


5.7 Dissertation Examination Committee (Védési Bíráló Bizottság)


This committee is set up by the Faculty Doctoral Committee based on the recommendation of the Programme Director. It consists of:

-    a chair, who is a full professor or emeritus professor of ELTE;

-    two opponents (one internal and another external to the programme and the University);

-   four further members who must have an academic degree.

At least two members must be external to the University, and at least two must be full-time ELTE employees. The candidate's supervisor may not be a member of the committee. Only one member of the department under whose supervision the dissertation was written can be a member of the committee.

Please consult your supervisor and the Programme Director to discuss the recommendation of the  committee members before starting the doctoral procedures.




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                                  © PhD Programme in Language Pedagogy and English Applied Linguistics, ELTE - Budapest