Professional Communication research

Explore our work in professional communication, one of our areas of expertise in Linguistics

Our professional communication research explores how spoken and written language is used in workplaces, to develop relationships and to achieve institutional objectives. 

There's a growing need for professionals in the workplace to exchange information and build relationships quickly, despite differences in languages and culture – and our research is identifying ways to build these skills and implement them effectively.

The results of our work can have a positive impact in the lives of people, professionals and society. For example, we're researching the type of language that helps build positive relationships when working in teams. We're also exploring issues such as how doctors can encourage patients to follow specific procedures, or how written product information can be made clearer for consumers.

Our staff are members of the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators, and the Materials Development Association. They have expertise in materials evaluation and writing. technical communication and intercultural communication.

Our research covers the following topics

  • Learning materials evaluation
  • Language needs analysis
  • Language for specific purposes
  • Discourse analysis
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Pragmatics
  • Technical communication
  • Intercultural communication


We use quantitative research methods such as corpus analytics to develop lexical profiles for professional documents. We also make use of qualitative research techniques, including discourse analysis and grounded theory, to examine face-to-face interactions in healthcare settings.


Our work is regularly published by leading academic journals and presented at industry conferences, including MATSDA (Materials Development Association Conference), and COMET Conference on Communication, Medicine and Ethics.

Discover our areas of expertise

Professional communication is 1 of our 6 areas of expertise within our Linguistics research area. Explore the others below.

Corpus Linguistics

We're looking at huge datasets of natural language – often many billions of words – to explore how language is used in different regions, genres and situations.

Two students at a seminar desk
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We're exploring how texts are translated and the practices around the translation of texts, including professional training, the use of technologies, and non-professional translation communities.

Male translator in speaking into microphone
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Discourse Analysis

We're researching how ideas, concepts and people are represented through language, and exploring how language is used in real-life contexts.

Young man in conversation with older man
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Through our work in this area of expertise, we're studying the ways in which language can affect, and is affected, by social phenomena.

Researchers discuss sociolinguistics text
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Teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL)

We're focusing on the learning and teaching of English as a second or foreign language, in primary, secondary and adult learning contexts.

Two women studying and speaking
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Research groups

Language Across Borders Research Group

We're researching what happens as speakers and writers cross the boundaries of language systems or transgress the rules within them.


Interested in a PhD in Languages and Linguistics?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Languages and Linguistics postgraduate research degrees page.