The Department of English conducts research in three main areas: literature, language, and creative writing. We aim to foster and develop strategic partnerships, particularly with local and national cultural organisations, to reach those who can benefit from our research.
Why study with us?
There is a close postgraduate community within the department. There is always someone around to talk to about your research and plenty of activities to get involved in including, reading groups, lectures by visiting speakers and conferences.Emma Hayward - Creative Writing PhD student
of our research activity was classed as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent'.
of respondents agreed our courses met or exceeded expectations PTES (2010).
for overall satisfaction has averaged 93% over the past four years (NSS).
The School of English has an outstanding international reputation. Students will benefit from this strong research-led teaching covering a wide and continuous range of writing which equips students with the critical and communication skills and the capacity for adaptable intelligence which are in demand in all areas of modern life.
Engagement with media has allowed our researchers to be at the forefront of developing a rich cultural agenda at national and international levels, opening access to literature to a diverse audience. This has resulted in four staff members succeeding in the New Generation Thinkers scheme. We also actively support impact in terms of reaching the general reader, through the publication of research in various, high-profile formats. The impact of such intervention into the nation’s cultural life creates new and evolving long-term contexts for thinking, understanding, writing and imagining.
Many of the Centre’s members specialize in Contemporary Literature that overlaps with science fiction, climate change, visual arts, comics and graphic novels, travel and nature writing as well as psychogeography and the urban environment. Putting gender and race at the forefront, Anglophone and postcolonial writing as well as the fostering of genuinely innovative interdisciplinary creative writing projects which have application and potential impact (e.g. Mental health, environment), is central to the way the Centre aims to diversify and expand the reading, writing and teaching of literature in the UK. Currently the Literature and Science Hub, formerly the Centre for Poetry and Science, established 2007, sits under the wing of the Centre.
Our research themes are:
- Citizenship and Identity
- Poetry and Diversity
- Literature and the Visual Arts.
We have access to a variety of subscription databases, such as Early English Books Online, Eighteenth-Century Collections Online, Literature Online and the Burney Collection of Newspapers.
In addition the Special Collections and Archives department of the library houses:
- Literary manuscripts, including papers by Seamus Heaney, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes
- The Science Fiction Foundation collection, including the archive of John Wyndham
- Rare and early printed books
- Medieval manuscripts
- Poetry archives from the Romantic period to the present day.
Applications are welcomed from well qualified graduates who would typically hold a UK first degree or equivalent in the first or 2:1 class, or a 2:2 class degree plus a Masters degree, in a relevant subject.
Students will normally have a strong (2.1 or above) first degree in English, Creative Writing, or a related subject and a master's degree in Creative Writing. Creative and critical work will be required as part of the application.
We welcome applications from around the world. You should ensure that your qualifications are equivalent to those required to study for this research degree. See our guidance on international qualifications.
You must also have reached a minimum standard of English and be able to provide evidence of this. See our English language requirements for international students.
How to apply
Research degree applications can be made online. You'll also need to ensure that you have funding to cover all fees.
Applications are open all year round.
Before you apply, we recommend that you identify a supervisor and develop a research proposal
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- Student Experience team
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Related studentships: self-funded and funded PhD projects
Related Doctoral Training Partnerships
Doctoral Training Partnerships support future researchers with funding and a rewarding learning environment where you can collaborate with leading researchers.