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 research environment was classified as 'world leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*) in the latest Research Excellence Framework (2021)
in the sector for research impact classified as 'outstanding' (4*) in the latest Research Excellence Framework (2021)
in the sector for % of our research overall classified world leading or internationally excellent in the latest Research Excellence Framework (2021)
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.
Study options and fees
|PhD||Duration||UK students||International Students|
|Full time||2-4 years||£4,596* (2022)||£25,950* ^ (lab based programmes)
£20,400* (non Lab based programmes) (2022)
|Part time||4-6 years||£2,298* (2022)||£12,975* (lab based programmes)
£10,200* (non Lab based programmes) (2022)
* This excludes potential research support fees also known as ‘bench fees. You will be notified of any fee which may apply in your offer letter.
^ Self funded full time international students studying a lab based programme will receive a £2,000 reduction in their fees for the first year only.
If an EU student starts their studies in 2020-21, before 1 August 2021, they will have a fee classification of EU and pay UK fee rates for the duration of this registration. The exception being ROI students, who will continue to be charged fees at the UK fee rate, post 1 August 2021.
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.
English language requirements
|IELTS Academic requirement - SELT and non-SELT||7.0 average with 7.0 minimum in each component|
|TOEFL iBT requirement||Minimum 100 overall with L 24 R 24 W 24 and S 26|
|C1 Advanced CAE requirement||Overall 185 with no less than 185 in any paper|
|PTE Academic requirement||69 with minimum scores of 69 in each component|
|Trinity College London, Integrated Skills in English (ISE II)||ISE II with an overall pass with pass in components|
|Cambridge IGCSE as a First Language||Grade C|
|Cambridge IGCSE as a Second Language||Grade B|
|Cambridge English Level 3 Certificate in ESOL International (Proficiency)||Overall 176 with 162 in components|
|Cambridge English Level 3 Certificate in ESOL International (Advanced)||Overall 176 with 162 in components|
|Cambridge English Level 2 Certificate in ESOL International (Advanced)||Overall 176 with 162 in components|
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
Find a supervisor
View supervisors in this area
Need help finding a supervisor? Contact us
- Student Experience team
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.