English PhD / MPhil

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.

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 - 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).

Overview

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

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.  

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:

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.

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 / PhD Duration Home/EU Students International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,407* (2020) £23,650* ^ (lab based programmes)
£18,000* (non Lab based programmes) (2020).
Part time 4-6 years £2,204* (2020) £11,825* (lab based programmes) £9,000* (non Lab based programmes) (2020)

*This fees 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.

Entry requirements

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.

We welcome applications from within the EU and 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.  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: self-funded and funded PhD projects

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Doctoral Training Partnerships support future researchers with funding and a rewarding learning environment where you can collaborate with leading researchers.

Find a scholarship

We offer a range of scholarships to help you meet the costs of studying a research degree.

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