• Northlands Road, Magee Campus

    BT48 7JL Londonderry

    United Kingdom

  • 43 Citations
  • 4 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile


Dr Philip McDermott is Senior Lecturer in Sociology. He graduated with a BA Hons in 2002 (Media Studies) and an MA in 2004 (Peace and Conflict Studies). This was followed by a PhD which investigated language planning and policy for migrant languages in Northern Ireland. In 2018 he acquired the status of Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. At Ulster he teaches on Sociology undergraduate programmes and has contributed to postgraduate teaching in Museum and Heritage Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Drama and Irish History and Politics. He currently supervises 6 PhD students in both arts and social sciences disciplines.     

Philip’s research focuses on the relationship between the state and minority groups – especially linguistic minorities. A focus has been in the area of language policy and planning for (and by) migrant communities. He has a specific interest in the perception of migrant languages in public places, the ways that government and communities deal with such linguistic diversity and the manner in which multilingualism and bilingualism are dealt with in policy contexts.

In 2011 Philip published a book on these research themes and he has also published articles in international journals such as English Today, Current Issues in Language Planning, Identities, Ethnicities, and Ethnopolitics. He has also presented his research internationally at institutions including the University of Cambridge, University of La Coruna, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, University of Lodz, Universita di Sassari, Queens University, University of Liverpool and the University of Leeds.     

His research has been noted in a number of policy documents including the Northern Ireland Executive Office’s Race Relations Strategy 2015-2025.

Recent research work with colleagues at Newcastle University, University of Cambridge, University of Hamburg, Queen's University and Heriot-Watt (Edinburgh) have focused on multilingualism and intercultural dialogue in policy settings.

Philip has received funding from sources such as the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the Department for International Development to support his research. From 2015-16 he was also the holder of a prestigious Charlemont Scholarship from the Royal Irish Academy. In addition Philip has also acted as an independent research expert for the European Commission.  

Philip works closely with a number of NGOs representing ethnic minority communities in Northern Ireland and between 2013-15 worked with ARK on the Northern Ireland Life and Times data on race relations. He has previously conducted research for Fermanagh District Council, Monreagh Ulster Scots Centre and the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (Washington DC). 


Education/Academic qualification




External positions

Independent Expert, European Commission

1 Jun 2017 → …

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Research Output

Local Public Service Media in Northern Ireland: the merit goods argument

Ramsey, P. & McDermott, P., 2020, (Accepted/In press) Routledge Companion to Local Media and Journalism. Gulyas, A. & Baines, D. (eds.). p. 448-456 9 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • Language and a Continent in Flux: Twenty-First Century Tensions of Inclusion and Exclusion

    McDermott, P. & McMonagle, S., 1 Sep 2019, In : Anthropological Journal of European Cultures. 28, 2, p. 66-71 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Linguistic Recognition in Deeply Divided Societies: Antagonism or Reconciliation?

    McDermott, P. & Nic Craith, M., 4 Mar 2019, The Palgrave Handbook of Minority Languages and Communities. Hogan-Brun, G. & O'Rourke, B. (eds.). Basingstoke, p. 159-179 21 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    From Ridicule to Legitimacy? 'Contested languages' and Devolved Language Planning

    McDermott, P., 8 May 2018, In : Current Issues in Language Planning. Online, p. 121-139 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)


    International Heritage Law, Migration and Belonging

    Philip Mc Dermott (Speaker)
    25 Oct 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

    Migrant Languages in the Public Space

    Philip Mc Dermott (Speaker)
    30 Nov 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

    Irish Humanities Alliance Annual Conference

    Philip Mc Dermott (Participant)
    25 Oct 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipating in a conference, workshop, ...

    Anthropological Journal of European Cultures (Journal)

    Philip Mc Dermott (Reviewer)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work