Doctor of Applied Language Sciences



What will I learn?

Programme Aims

The Doctor of Applied Language Sciences (DALS) programme aims to help nurture and develop future leaders in language­-related professions. Students will investigate developments in language sciences and develop an advanced understanding of the inextricable link between theory and practice. They will be able to integrate linguistic knowledge and research skills with reflective practice in coping with the demands and development of their careers as language professionals in this age of globalisation and digitalisation.


DALS curriculum provides four strands or areas of enquiry for the students to choose from and within which to develop their specialism(s):

  • Language Education;
  • Intercultural and Professional Communication;
  • Translating and Interpreting; and
  • Speech Sciences, Language Processing, and Cognition.

Significant features of the programme are:

  • Interdisciplinary, cross-linguistic and/or cross-cultural perspectives of epistemology;
  • Integration of international perspective and local context; and
  • Interaction and dialogues between academics and practitioners.

Programme Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of their studies, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an advanced understanding of current approaches and theories that underpin the study of language;
  • Develop a sophisticated understanding of issues in intercultural communication and relate this understanding to their professional practice and/or chosen area of study;
  • Develop teamwork and leadership skills for future career development;
  • Critically evaluate the literature and current trends in their chosen area of study, primarily second language education, intercultural and professional communication, translating and interpreting, or language and information technology;
  • Adopt appropriate research design and method(s) to obtain and analyse primary data from language and profession-related areas;
  • Use appropriate information technology tools for the evidence-based investigation of aspects of language and professional communication; and
  • Express complex ideas clearly, accurately and in compliance with the conventions governing idea presentation in the academic and professional contexts.

Programme Structure

Students are required to complete 48 credits for graduation, of which 24 credits are assigned to coursework and 24 credits to thesis preparation and writing.

Recognition & Prospects

Research Centres and Global Partners

The Faculty of Humanities collaborates with a number of internationally prestigious institutions as professional and academic partners to ensure that students can benefit from contributions overseas as well as local scholars, researchers and practitioners through formal and informal exchange initiatives. Our research centres include:

  • International Research Centre for the Advancement of Health Communication
  • Research Centre for Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience
  • Research Centre for Professional Communication in English
  • The PolyU - Peking U Research Centre on Chinese Linguistics (in collaboration with Peking University)

Focus Areas of Study

1. Language Education

2. Intercultural and Professional Communication

3. Translating and Interpreting

4. Speech Sciences, Language Processing, and Cognition

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Humanities

Study options

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
HK$82,800.00 (8,78,477) per year
HK $6,900 per credit

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Application deadline

Expected June 2024

More details

Start date

Expected September 2023


The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

ST305, 3/F, Ng Wing Hong Building,

Hung Hom,

Kowloon City, Hong Kong, Kowloon

Entry requirements

For students from United States

For admission to a Doctoral degree programme, you must possess a Master's degree. A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 80 for the Internet based test or 550 for the paper-based test; OR An overall Band Score of at least 6 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

For international students

In addition to meeting the academic entrance requirements, applicants are required to have substantial and relevant work experience, i.e.,

  • A Master’s degree or equivalent in a related field PLUS five years of post-undergraduate work experience OR
  • A Master’s degree or equivalent in a related field PLUS two years of post-Master's work experience

The English language requirements for those who do not have a degree from a recognised university at which the language of instruction is English are:

  • an overall International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of at least 6.5 (all sub-scores should be at 6.0 or above); or
  • at least 90 in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for the Internet-based test (with a writing score of 23 or above), or at least 575 or above in the paper-based test (with a score of 4 out of 6 in the Test of Written English).

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

PolyU ranks 65th in the QS World University Rankings and 79th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings internationally.

  • Recognised worldwide for its academic reputation
  • Enjoys impactful research practices in different fields
  • Boasts world-class facilities
  • Welcomes international students from over 30 countries

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