PhD English LiteratureSchool of Humanities and Social Sciences
The highest academic degrees are the MPhil (Master of Philosophy) and the PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) also known as the DPhil. The Department of English and Digital Media welcomes applicants at this level.
This is an opportunity to work closely on a writer or topic within a supportive research environment. Alongside frequent meetings with both a first and second supervisor, PhD students are also invited to attend seminars led by staff and guest speakers, as well as a postgraduate reading group, in order gradually to develop the insights needed to complete their research.
The period of study required for the award of a PhD is three years full-time or six years part-time. Students are registered initially for the degree of PhD (Doctor of Philosophy), although their status is probationary until the first Annual Review has taken place, normally between 12 and 18 months from first registration. At the end of this period, the candidate submits a thesis (80,000-100,000 words) embodying the results of the research. This thesis must demonstrate familiarity with, and an understanding of the subject, its principal sources and authorities. It should display critical discrimination and a sense of proportion in evaluating evidence and the opinions of others. It must also embody an original contribution to the knowledge of the discipline either by the discovery of new knowledge or by the exercise of a new and independent critical approach.
The Department particularly welcomes research proposals related to its specialisms: Charles Dickens, his novels and journalism; the 19th-century novel; 19th-century poetry; Shakespeare; Modernism and early 20th-century literature; 20th-century poetry; the short story; contemporary writing; women’s writing.
Recent projects include:
- “That Noble Profession”: Collaboration, Print Culture, and Political Journalism in the Brontë Juvenilia
- Narratological Deceptions: The Significance of the Golden Age of Magic in English Literature
- The Visual Art, Fiction, and Non-Fiction of Charles Allston Collins (1828-1873)
- The Whole Thing: The Critical Prose of J. H. Prynne
- A Pathology of Desire: The Dismembered Self in the Short Stories of Daphne du Maurier
- A Social Representation and Discourse Analysis of Selected Regional Chartist Poetry from the South Midlands, London, Scotland, and Wales.
Applicants are normally expected to have a first or second class, upper division degree, and an MA, and/or significant experience.
Age is no barrier to learning and we welcome all applications from suitably qualified students.
We are happy to consider all international applications and if you are an international student, you may find it useful to visit our international pages for details of entry requirements from your home country.
The University is a UKVI Student Sponsor.
If English is not your first language, please check our postgraduate English language requirements. If your English levels don’t meet our minimum requirements, you may be interested in applying for our Pre-sessional English Language Foundation Programmes.
Wherever possible, you will be invited to the University to meet the Admissions Tutor for an informal interview and to have a tour of our campus. If you are an international applicant, it may not be possible for you to visit in person, so if the Admissions Tutor has any queries about your application you may be conducted by Microsoft Teams, email or phone.
If you have a research proposal which you would like to discuss further, please contact:
Professor John Drew (email@example.com) or Professor Stefan Hawlin (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Student Contract for prospective students
When you are offered a place at the University you will be notified of the student contract between the University and students on our courses of study. When you accept an offer of a place on the course at the University a legal contract is formed between you and the University on the basis of the student contract in your offer letter. Your offer letter and the student contract contain important information which you should read carefully before accepting an offer. Read the Student Contract.
The aim of the Research Programme is to help students develop the following: a) a systematic and in depth understanding in the subject area of choice of research by the student; b) the critical skills necessary to analyse and evaluate complex legal problems and related issues; c) To give students the opportunity to undertake substantial independent research project at Level 7 of writing; d) research skills necessary to demonstrate familiarity with and understanding of the subject, its principal sources and authorities; e) To develop research skills necessary to display critical discrimination and a sense of proportion in evaluating evidence and the opinions of other authors in the subject.
High calibre staff
Most of our academic staff teach for three terms out of four, with the remaining term used for research. Because of this, we have no difficulty in attracting high calibre, highly respected lecturers, many of whom also have a background in business or industry and can offer networking opportunities for students.
Candidates spend a considerable part of their studies undertaking supervised research, at the end of which they submit a thesis embodying the results of that research. This thesis must demonstrate familiarity with, and an understanding of the subject, its principal sources and authorities. It should display critical discrimination and a sense of proportion in evaluating evidence and the judgements of others. The subject should be dealt with in a competent and scholarly manner. In addition to this:
- All postgraduate research students Students must attend supervisory meetings
- All postgraduate research students Students must attend any other training required to assist with the completion of the PhD.
Our graduates have gone on to further study at most of the world’s leading universities, including Harvard, London, Oxford and Cambridge and secured jobs in senior positions around the world. Among our alumni we have a graduate who became the head of his country’s civil service and one who became a leading Formula One motor-racing driver. Another secured a position as the Minister of Sabah and one female law graduate became the first British lawyer to become a French Advocate.
The fees for this course are:
|Start||Type||1st Year||Total cost|
Full-time (3 Years)
Part-time (72 Months)
Full-time (3 Years)
Part-time (72 Months)
The University reserves the right to increase course fees annually in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering educational services. If the University intends to increase your course fees it will notify you via email of this as soon as reasonably practicable.
Course fees do not include additional costs such as books, equipment, writing up fees and so on. Where applicable, these additional costs will be made clear.
Postgraduate loan scheme
A system of postgraduate loans for Masters’ degrees in the UK is supported by the UK Government. The loan will provide up to £11,222 for taught and research Masters’ courses in all subject areas. The loans can be used for tuition fees, living expenses or both.
Details of scholarships can be found on our Bursaries and Scholarships page. You should make an application to study at the University and receive an offer letter confirming our acceptance of your application before applying for a scholarship.
You may also find it useful to visit our External Funding page.
Due to the mode of study on this course you will not normally need a room in University accommodation during your degree.
You can apply directly using our online application form – all you need to do is click the ‘apply’ button at the bottom of this page.