English

MPhil / PhD

The Department of English conducts research in all the main branches of our discipline: literature, language, and creative writing. We aim to support world-leading work in all three areas and to foster and develop strategic partnerships, particularly with local and national cultural organisations, to reach those who can benefit from our research.

A world leader in research activity

The Department of English has an outstanding international reputation. Students benefit from strong research-led teaching covering a wide range of literary and linguistic fields 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.

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 - English PhD student
  • 10th

    nationally in our subject area for the quality of our research publications in the REF (2014).

  • 4

    of the AHRC/BBC3 New Generation Thinkers over the last few years have been members of the department.

  • 93%

    averaged for overall satisfaction over the past four years (NSS).

Research at Liverpool

Our world-leading expertise in English and related literature spans all periods from medieval to contemporary. We also have expertise in many aspects of language study including sociolinguistics, pragmatics, stylistics, philosophy of language, discourse analysis and applied linguistics. Our creative writing degrees are supervised by published and award winning writers with particular expertise in critical and creative writing, especially in the area of poetry and/or poetics, and international poetics in translation.  

Research themes

The following Research Clusters are established in the department:

  • Textual Criticism
  • Contemporary Literatures
  • Religion and Literature
  • Shakespeare and Renaissance
  • Literature, Science and Environment
  • Creative Writing
  • Language Variation
  • Language and Culture.

Research interests

We particularly welcome research proposals that match those of our researchers; see list of individual potential supervisors below. Researchers in the department are currently involved in the following collaborative interdisciplinary research projects:

Citizens of Everywhere

Dissenting Experience

Envisioning the Indian City

Travel, Transculturality, and Identity in England, c. 1550-1700 (TIDE)

Variation and Style in Liverpool English

Facilities

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

MPhil

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) can be thought of as a shorter version of the PhD. It requires the same research skills, training, planning, and project management. It can be a way to assess whether you wish to undertake doctoral research - or it can be taken for its own sake.

Duration Fees: Home and EU Students Fees: International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,260 £19,850 (Lab based programmes) £16,150 (Non Lab based programmes)
Part time 4-6 years £2,130 £9,925 (Lab based programmes) £8,075 (Non Lab based programmes)
PhD

A doctoral degree is awarded to students that have demonstrated the ability to conceptualise, design, and implement a substantial research project that results in new knowledge, applications, or understanding in their field of study. During your research, you can expect to draw on direct clinical and observational experience to produce an original thesis of 80,000-100,000 words. You'll be part of a research group which matches your research interests. Research groups offer opportunities for cross-disciplinary research collaboration, as well as support and expertise for your research.

Duration Fees: Home and EU Students Fees: International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,260 £19,850 (Lab based programmes) £16,150 (Non Lab based programmes)
Part time 4-6 years £2,130 £9,925 (Lab based programmes) £8,075 (Non Lab based programmes)
MD

The Doctor of Medicine (MD) is a doctoral degree open to medical practitioners (technically, anyone holding a medical qualification registrable with the General Medical Council). It is equivalent in requirements and format to the PhD.

Duration Fees: Home and EU Students Fees: International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,260 £19,850 (Lab based programmes) £16,150 (Non Lab based programmes)
Part time 2-6 years £2,130 £9,925 (Lab based programmes) £8,075 (Non Lab based programmes)

Entry requirements

Eligibility and entry qualifications

PhD students are expected to have an MA in a related area of study, with an overall average of at least 65%.

English language requirements

To apply for this research degree, you must have reached a minimum standard of English. You need to be able to provide evidence of this.  See our English language requirements for international students for guidance on the different English language qualifications and evidence that you can provide. 

International qualifications

We welcome applications from within the EU and from around the world. You should ensure that your qualifications are equivalent to those which are required to study for this research degree.  See our guidance on international qualifications.

Additional requirements

How to apply

Research degree applications can be made online.  Before you apply, we recommend that you identify a supervisor and develop a research proposal.  You'll also need to ensure that you have funding to cover all fees.

Applications are open all year round.

More about applying for research degrees

Apply online

Related studentships

Funding

LDC module

Your training and development

Join us and you'll also join the Liverpool Doctoral College, our home for doctoral support, training and development. You'll join a vibrant and collaborative community of researchers, get tailored support for your development and have the opportunity to undertake a work placement.

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