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Postgraduate study

English Literature PhD

Awards: PhD

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: English Literature

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Research profile

Doctorate-level study is an opportunity to expand upon your interests and expertise in a community that really values research; and to make an original, positive contribution to learning in literature and related fields.

As the oldest department of English Literature in the UK, based in one of the largest and most diverse Schools in the University of Edinburgh, we are the ideal place for PhD study.

Our interdisciplinary environment brings together specialists in all periods and genres of literature and literary analysis.

Research excellence

Based on our performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF), over 90 per cent of our research and impact is classed as world-leading and internationally excellent by Research Professional. 69 per cent is graded at the world-leading level – the highest of REF’s four categories.

In Times Higher Education's REF analysis, English at Edinburgh is ranked fifth in the UK (out of more than 90 institutions) for:

  • the overall quality of our publications and other outputs
  • the impact of our research on people’s lives
  • our supportive research environment

Given the breadth and depth of our expertise, we are able to support students wishing to develop research projects in any field of Anglophone literary studies. These include American studies, literary and critical theory, the history of the book, gender and sexuality studies, and global Anglophone literatures - where our specialisms include Pacific, African, South Asian, and African-American writing.

We have particular strengths in each of the main periods of English and Scottish Literature:

  • Renaissance/early modern
  • Enlightenment
  • 21st century
  • Contemporary

Emergent research themes in the department include the digital humanities, the economic humanities, the environmental humanities and literature and medicine.

  • Explore our range of research centres, networks and projects in English and Scottish Literature

Working with colleagues elsewhere in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, and across the wider University, we are able to support PhD theses crossing boundaries between disciplines and/or languages.

  • Be inspired by the range of PhD research in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

Over the course of your PhD, you’ll be expected to complete an original body of work under the expert guidance of your supervisors leading to a dissertation of usually between 80,000 and 100,000 words.

You will be awarded your doctorate if your thesis is judged to be of an appropriate standard, and your research makes a definite contribution to knowledge.

  • Read our pre-application guidance on writing a PhD research proposal

Go beyond the books

Beyond the Books is a podcast from the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) that gives you a behind-the-scenes look at research and the people who make it happen.

Listen to a mix of PhD, early career and established researchers talk about their journey to and through academia and about their current and recent research.

  • Browse Beyond the Books episodes and hear our research community talk about their work

Training and support

Between the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC), the Careers Service, and the Institute for Academic Development (IAD), you’ll find a range of programmes and resources to help you develop your postgraduate skills.

You will also have access to the University’s fantastic libraries, collections and worldwide strategic partnerships.

Part of a community

As part of our research community, you will be immersed in a world of knowledge exchange, with lots of opportunities to share ideas, learning and creative work.

Activities range from talks by visiting speakers and work-in-progress seminars, to reading groups, conferences, workshops, performances, online journals and forums, many of which are led by PhD candidates.

Highlights include student reading for the James Tait Black Prizes, Britain's oldest literary awards which typically involve reading submissions across fiction and biography and advising the judges on the shortlists.

  • Read an interview with 2022 James Tait Black reader, Céleste Callen

Our graduates tell us that they value the friendliness of the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC), the connections they make here and the in-depth guidance they receive from our staff, who are published experts in their field.

A UNESCO World City of Literature, Edinburgh is a remarkable place to study, write, publish, discuss and perform prose, poetry and drama.

Take a PhD with us and you will be based in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) in the historic centre of this world-leading festival city.

You will have access to the University’s many literary treasures. These include the libraries of:

  • William Drummond
  • Lewis Grassic Gibbon
  • Hugh MacDiarmid
  • Norman MacCaig

The Centre for Research Collections holds the W.H. Auden collection; the Corson Collection of works by and about Sir Walter Scott; and the Ramage collection of poetry pamphlets.

It also holds a truly exceptional collection of early Shakespeare quartos and other early modern printed plays put together by the 19th century Shakespearean James Halliwell-Phillipps, the correspondence of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle (the focus of one of the major editorial projects in Victorian studies of the last half-century), and the extensive Laing collection of medieval and early modern manuscripts, as well as letters and papers by - and relating to - authors including:

  • Christopher Isherwood
  • Rudyard Kipling
  • John Middleton Murry
  • Walter de la Mare
  • George Mackay Brown
  • Compton Mackenzie

Many of the University's Special Collections are digitised and available online from our excellent Resource Centre, Computing Labs, and dedicated PhD study space in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC).

Look inside the PhD study space in LLC

In the city

Our buildings are close to the National Library of Scotland (where collections include the Bute Collection of early modern English drama and the John Murray Archive), Edinburgh Central Library, Scottish Poetry Library, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Writers’ Museum and a fantastic range of publishing houses, bookshops, and theatres.

We have strong links with the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which annually welcomes around 1,000 authors to our literary city.

Entry requirements

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

A UK masters, or its international equivalent, with a mark of at least 65% in your English literature dissertation of at least 10,000 words.

If your masters programme did not include a dissertation or included a dissertation that was unmarked or less than 10,000 words, you will be expected to produce an exceptional research proposal and personal statement to show your ability to undertake research at the level required by this programme.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

  • Entry requirements by country
  • English language requirements

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each component. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced ( CAE ) / C2 Proficiency ( CPE ): total 185 with at least 176 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE : ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 62 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS , TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE , in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

  • UKVI list of majority English speaking countries

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

  • Approved universities in non-MESC

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than five years old* at the beginning of your programme of study. (*Revised 05 March 2024 to extend degree validity to five years.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • Fees and costs

Read our general information on tuition fees and studying costs:

Scholarships and funding

Featured funding.

There are a number of scholarship schemes available to eligible candidates on this PhD programme, including awards from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Please be advised that many scholarships have more than one application stage, and early deadlines.

  • Find out more about scholarships in literatures, languages and cultures

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Search for funding

Further information

  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 4086
  • Contact: [email protected]
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Programme: English Literature
  • School: Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

This programme is not currently accepting applications. Applications for the next intake usually open in October.

Start date: September 2024

Awards: PhD (36 mth FT, 72 mth PT)

Application deadlines

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines. We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline when we will offer a proportion of the places available to applicants selected through a competitive process.

Deadlines for applicants applying to study in 2024/25:

  • How to apply

The online application process involves the completion of a web form and the submission of supporting documents.

For a PhD programme, you should include:

  • a sample of written work of about 3,000 words (this can be a previous piece of work from an undergraduate or masters degree)
  • a research proposal - a detailed description of what you hope to achieve and how
  • Pre-application guidance

Before you formally apply for this PhD, you should look at the pre-application information and guidance on the programme website.

This will help you decide if this programme is right for you, and help us gain a clearer picture of what you hope to achieve.

The guidance will also give you practical advice for writing your research proposal – one of the most important parts of your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Inside a dark library with sunlight coming through the windows

DPhil in English

  • Entry requirements
  • Funding and Costs

College preference

  • How to Apply

About the course

The DPhil in English is intended to develop the skills and understanding necessary to undertake and present original research at a high level, and provide a thorough foundation for a career in research.

Course structure

Under the guidance of your supervisor, you will complete a thesis of 80,000 to 100,000 words. A typical term will involve a great deal of independent research, punctuated by meetings with the supervisor who will be able to suggest direction and address concerns throughout the writing process. 

In addition you will have the opportunity to attend a wide range of classes, seminars and lectures in order to learn bibliographic and research skills, interact with other researchers or gain new perspectives on your work. You may also be encouraged to attend the research skills courses available as part of the master's (MSt) programme, depending how much of this training has been covered previously.

The English Faculty is not responsible for providing teaching opportunities for research students as most undergraduate teaching in Oxford is organised by individual colleges. Teaching is not a compulsory part of the DPhil. But research students may wish to gain some teaching experience, so long as it does not interfere with their own progress. Those research students who wish to gain teaching experience are invited to attend Faculty-run preparatory teaching workshops and seminars, as well as enrolling on a Teaching Mentor Scheme. 

Further information about studying part-time

The faculty's research degrees are not available by distance learning. Although there will be no requirement to reside in Oxford, part-time research students must attend the University on a regular basis (particularly in term-time: October and November, mid-January to mid-March, and late April to mid-June) for supervision, study, research seminars and skills training.

The faculty appreciates that part-time research students will have non-standard attendance and work patterns. To ensure a comprehensive integration into the faculty's and University's research culture and with their full-time peer groups, a pattern of attendance at training events and research seminars would form part of the general study agreement for part-time students, alongside the individualised arrangements between supervisor and student. You cannot be enrolled in the part-time course if you need a visa to study in the UK.

As a part-time student you will be required to attend seminars, supervision meetings and other obligations in Oxford for a minimum of 30 days each year. Part-time students are expected to be present in Oxford for Faculty induction, college induction, and an initial meeting with supervisors in order to decide upon the programme of study for that term and to develop a plan for the coming year’s work. These are usually all held in 0th week of Michaelmas term of the 1st year. There will be some flexibility in the dates of term-time attendance which will be determined by mutual agreement with your supervisor, but part-time students are expected to be in Oxford in order to participate in key Faculty activities, which will occupy on average 20 days per term.Attendance outside of term-time is determined by mutual agreement with your supervisor.

Part-time students are expected to spend some periods in Oxford in at least two terms per year in the first two years.Part-time students are expected to attend at least half of the Faculty's (usually weekly or fortnightly) research seminar meetings in their subject area and to contribute to them as much as full-time students do over the length of their course.

Supervision

The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Faculty of English and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Faculty of English.

It is expected that you will have at least two substantial supervisions in each term (or for part-time students, at least one each term). In the case of students who require specific help to adjust to an academic programme or to a new range of skills, the supervisor will work with them to ensure that they have additional support.

You will be enrolled initially as a Probationary Research Student and will then apply to transfer to full DPhil status during your first year (or for part-time students, by the end of your second year). A further assessment of your work and progress takes place during the third year of the programme (for part-time students, this would be completed by the first term of your sixth year).

In the final year of your course, you will need to submit a thesis of 80,000 to 100,000 words for assessment by an internal examiner, from within the University, and an external examiner, from beyond. There will then be a ‘viva voce’ oral examination with the two examiners.

Graduate destinations

Graduates from the English Faculty are employed across a wide range of sectors. Many take up academic positions in the UK and overseas. Other graduates pursue careers in occupations including teaching, the arts, heritage, librarianship, journalism, publishing, law and the civil service.

Changes to this course and your supervision

The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. The safety of students, staff and visitors is paramount and major changes to delivery or services may have to be made in circumstances of a pandemic, epidemic or local health emergency. In addition, in certain circumstances, for example due to visa difficulties or because the health needs of students cannot be met, it may be necessary to make adjustments to course requirements for international study.

Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include illness, sabbatical leave, parental leave or change in employment.

For further information please see our page on changes to courses and the provisions of the student contract regarding changes to courses.

Entry requirements for entry in 2024-25

Proven and potential academic excellence.

The requirements described below are specific to this course and apply only in the year of entry that is shown. You can use our interactive tool to help you  evaluate whether your application is likely to be competitive .

Please be aware that any studentships that are linked to this course may have different or additional requirements and you should read any studentship information carefully before applying. 

Degree-level qualifications

As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the following UK qualifications or their equivalent:

  • a first-class or high upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualification) and a master's degree with distinction. 

The undergraduate and masters' degrees should be in English literature and/or English language, or exceptionally in a related subject that prepares the applicant for the particular course of study they propose.

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.75 (with at least 3.85 in the major) out of 4.0.

If your degree is not from the UK or another country specified above, visit our International Qualifications page for guidance on the qualifications and grades that would usually be considered to meet the University’s minimum entry requirements.

GRE General Test scores

No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.

Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience

  • Evidence of training in research techniques may be an advantage.
  • It would be expected that graduate applicants would be familiar with the recent published work of their proposed supervisor.
  • Publications are not required and the English Faculty does not expect applicants to have been published.

English language proficiency

This course requires proficiency in English at the University's  higher level . If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence that you meet this requirement. The minimum scores required to meet the University's higher level are detailed in the table below.

*Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) † Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)

Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of your course. Our Application Guide provides  further information about the English language test requirement .

Declaring extenuating circumstances

If your ability to meet the entry requirements has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (eg you were awarded an unclassified/ungraded degree) or any other exceptional personal circumstance (eg other illness or bereavement), please refer to the guidance on extenuating circumstances in the Application Guide for information about how to declare this so that your application can be considered appropriately.

You will need to register three referees who can give an informed view of your academic ability and suitability for the course. The  How to apply  section of this page provides details of the types of reference that are required in support of your application for this course and how these will be assessed.

Supporting documents

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application. The  How to apply  section of this page provides details of the supporting documents that are required as part of your application for this course and how these will be assessed.

Performance at interview

Interviews are not normally held as part of the admissions process.

How your application is assessed

Your application will be assessed purely on your proven and potential academic excellence and other entry requirements described under that heading.

References  and  supporting documents  submitted as part of your application, and your performance at interview (if interviews are held) will be considered as part of the assessment process. Whether or not you have secured funding will not be taken into consideration when your application is assessed.

An overview of the shortlisting and selection process is provided below. Our ' After you apply ' pages provide  more information about how applications are assessed . 

Shortlisting and selection

Students are considered for shortlisting and selected for admission without regard to age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief (including lack of belief), sex, sexual orientation, as well as other relevant circumstances including parental or caring responsibilities or social background. However, please note the following:

  • socio-economic information may be taken into account in the selection of applicants and award of scholarships for courses that are part of  the University’s pilot selection procedure  and for  scholarships aimed at under-represented groups ;
  • country of ordinary residence may be taken into account in the awarding of certain scholarships; and
  • protected characteristics may be taken into account during shortlisting for interview or the award of scholarships where the University has approved a positive action case under the Equality Act 2010.

Processing your data for shortlisting and selection

Information about  processing special category data for the purposes of positive action  and  using your data to assess your eligibility for funding , can be found in our Postgraduate Applicant Privacy Policy.

Admissions panels and assessors

All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgement of at least two members of the academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and must also be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent within the department).

Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.

Other factors governing whether places can be offered

The following factors will also govern whether candidates can be offered places:

  • the ability of the University to provide the appropriate supervision for your studies, as outlined under the 'Supervision' heading in the  About  section of this page;
  • the ability of the University to provide appropriate support for your studies (eg through the provision of facilities, resources, teaching and/or research opportunities); and
  • minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted to the University's taught and research programmes.

Offer conditions for successful applications

If you receive an offer of a place at Oxford, your offer will outline any conditions that you need to satisfy and any actions you need to take, together with any associated deadlines. These may include academic conditions, such as achieving a specific final grade in your current degree course. These conditions will usually depend on your individual academic circumstances and may vary between applicants. Our ' After you apply ' pages provide more information about offers and conditions . 

In addition to any academic conditions which are set, you will also be required to meet the following requirements:

Financial Declaration

If you are offered a place, you will be required to complete a  Financial Declaration  in order to meet your financial condition of admission.

Disclosure of criminal convictions

In accordance with the University’s obligations towards students and staff, we will ask you to declare any  relevant, unspent criminal convictions  before you can take up a place at Oxford.

The facilities for English graduate students in Oxford are outstanding. In the faculty building you will find superb computing resources, a graduate common room, a café and an excellent discipline-specific library.

The English Faculty Library holds over 110,000 volumes and a wide range of print journals; it also provides regular information skills training to support teaching and research in English. Graduate students have access to all of Oxford's libraries, numbering over one hundred and including the world-famous collections of the Bodleian Library.

You will have the opportunity to hear lectures and papers by leading writers, critics, and theorists from inside and outside the University. You are encouraged to participate in the many research seminars and reading groups that run throughout term time, many of which are coordinated by graduates themselves.

There is an active and lively graduate organisation funded by the faculty, English Graduates at Oxford (EGO), that organises study skills, training and career development seminars, as well as social events and conferences.

Oxford’s Faculty of English Language and Literature is by far the largest English department in the UK and has a very distinguished research record, awarded top grades in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework. The faculty leads the Complete University League Tables (2023) and QS World University Rankings (2022) for English Language and Literature. Teaching has been graded ‘excellent’ in every quality assurance review.

The faculty currently has 80 permanent members of academic staff, including 9 statutory professors. This is in addition to a further 100 or so members teaching in the colleges and temporary members of staff. There are currently around 900 undergraduate students (with roughly 260 admitted each year to the single honours school and a further 20 to joint honours school programmes). The Oxford English Faculty has the largest graduate school in the country, with approximately 95 master's students, with a further 120 graduate research students. For the publications and research interests of particular faculty members, please consult their individual webpages.

English Language and Literature

Oxford’s Faculty of English Language and Literature is the largest English department in the UK, with over 300 graduate students. The faculty has a very distinguished research and teaching record covering all periods of English literature.

The size and distinction of the faculty’s graduate school, as well as the intellectual diversity of its graduate students, make Oxford a very stimulating environment in which to study English.

The faculty’s taught master’s courses are designed to serve both as autonomous degrees and as a solid foundation for the pursuit of more advanced research in literature in Oxford or elsewhere. One of the special features of these courses is that, unlike many master's programmes, they offer you the opportunity to pursue topics across period boundaries if you so wish.

Research in English at Oxford covers a wide range of work in literature and language over all periods to the present. The Faculty has a lively programme of research seminars in which staff and students have the opportunity to give papers on their work, and to meet specialists from other universities and institutions from the UK and abroad.

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The University expects to be able to offer over 1,000 full or partial graduate scholarships across the collegiate University in 2024-25. You will be automatically considered for the majority of Oxford scholarships , if you fulfil the eligibility criteria and submit your graduate application by the relevant December or January deadline. Most scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and/or potential. 

For further details about searching for funding as a graduate student visit our dedicated Funding pages, which contain information about how to apply for Oxford scholarships requiring an additional application, details of external funding, loan schemes and other funding sources.

Please ensure that you visit individual college websites for details of any college-specific funding opportunities using the links provided on our college pages or below:

Please note that not all the colleges listed above may accept students on this course. For details of those which do, please refer to the College preference section of this page.

Further information about funding opportunities for this course can be found on the faculty's website.

Annual fees for entry in 2024-25

Full-time study.

Further details about fee status eligibility can be found on the fee status webpage.

Part-time study

Information about course fees.

Course fees are payable each year, for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay course fees). For courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on changes to fees and charges .

Course fees cover your teaching as well as other academic services and facilities provided to support your studies. Unless specified in the additional information section below, course fees do not cover your accommodation, residential costs or other living costs. They also don’t cover any additional costs and charges that are outlined in the additional information below.

Continuation charges

Following the period of fee liability , you may also be required to pay a University continuation charge and a college continuation charge. The University and college continuation charges are shown on the Continuation charges page.

Where can I find further information about fees?

The Fees and Funding  section of this website provides further information about course fees , including information about fee status and eligibility  and your length of fee liability .

Additional information

There are no compulsory elements of this course that entail additional costs beyond fees (or, after fee liability ends, continuation charges) and living costs. However, please note that, depending on your choice of research topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Please note that you are required to attend in Oxford for a minimum of 30 days each year, and you may incur additional travel and accommodation expenses for this. Also, depending on your choice of research topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur further additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Living costs

In addition to your course fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.

For the 2024-25 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,345 and £1,955 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our living costs page. The current economic climate and high national rate of inflation make it very hard to estimate potential changes to the cost of living over the next few years. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2024-25, it is suggested that you allow for potential increases in living expenses of around 5% each year – although this rate may vary depending on the national economic situation. UK inflationary increases will be kept under review and this page updated.

If you are studying part-time your living costs may vary depending on your personal circumstances but you must still ensure that you will have sufficient funding to meet these costs for the duration of your course.

Students enrolled on this course will belong to both a department/faculty and a college. Please note that ‘college’ and ‘colleges’ refers to all 43 of the University’s colleges, including those designated as societies and permanent private halls (PPHs). 

If you apply for a place on this course you will have the option to express a preference for one of the colleges listed below, or you can ask us to find a college for you. Before deciding, we suggest that you read our brief  introduction to the college system at Oxford  and our  advice about expressing a college preference . For some courses, the department may have provided some additional advice below to help you decide.

The following colleges accept students for full-time study on this course:

  • Balliol College
  • Blackfriars
  • Brasenose College
  • Campion Hall
  • Christ Church
  • Corpus Christi College
  • Exeter College
  • Harris Manchester College
  • Hertford College
  • Jesus College
  • Keble College
  • Kellogg College
  • Lady Margaret Hall
  • Linacre College
  • Lincoln College
  • Magdalen College
  • Mansfield College
  • Merton College
  • New College
  • Oriel College
  • Pembroke College
  • The Queen's College
  • Regent's Park College
  • St Anne's College
  • St Antony's College
  • St Catherine's College
  • St Cross College
  • St Edmund Hall
  • St Hilda's College
  • St Hugh's College
  • St John's College
  • St Peter's College
  • Somerville College
  • Trinity College
  • University College
  • Wadham College
  • Wolfson College
  • Worcester College
  • Wycliffe Hall

The following colleges accept students for part-time study on this course:

Before you apply

Our  guide to getting started  provides general advice on how to prepare for and start your application. You can use our interactive tool to help you  evaluate whether your application is likely to be competitive .

If it's important for you to have your application considered under a particular deadline – eg under a December or January deadline in order to be considered for Oxford scholarships – we recommend that you aim to complete and submit your application at least two weeks in advance . Check the deadlines on this page and the  information about deadlines and when to apply  in our Application Guide.

Application fee waivers

An application fee of £75 is payable per course application. Application fee waivers are available for the following applicants who meet the eligibility criteria:

  • applicants from low-income countries;
  • refugees and displaced persons; 
  • UK applicants from low-income backgrounds; and 
  • applicants who applied for our Graduate Access Programmes in the past two years and met the eligibility criteria.

You are encouraged to  check whether you're eligible for an application fee waiver  before you apply.

Readmission for current Oxford graduate taught students

If you're currently studying for an Oxford graduate taught course and apply to this course with no break in your studies, you may be eligible to apply to this course as a readmission applicant. The application fee will be waived for an eligible application of this type. Check whether you're eligible to apply for readmission .

Do I need to contact anyone before I apply?

You are not expected to contact a potential supervisor before submitting an application. However, if the proposed research topic is unusual, you may find it useful to review the faculty members and research sections of the faculty website to see if supervision is likely to be available from among the permanent members of staff.

Please note that the allocation of graduate supervision is the responsibility of the Faculty of English and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. Please note also that a faculty member's willingness to supervise is no guarantee of admission.

Completing your application

You should refer to the information below when completing the application form, paying attention to the specific requirements for the supporting documents .

For this course, the application form will include questions that collect information that would usually be included in a CV/résumé. You should not upload a separate document. If a separate CV/résumé is uploaded, it will be removed from your application .

If any document does not meet the specification, including the stipulated word count, your application may be considered incomplete and not assessed by the academic department. Expand each section to show further details.

Proposed field and title of research project

Under the 'Field and title of research project' please enter your proposed field or area of research if this is known. If the department has advertised a specific research project that you would like to be considered for, please enter the project title here instead.

You should not use this field to type out a full research proposal. You will be able to upload your research supporting materials separately if they are required (as described below).

Proposed supervisor

If known, under 'Proposed supervisor name' enter the name of the academic who you would like to supervise your research. Otherwise leave this field blank.

Referees Three overall, academic preferred

Whilst you must register three referees, the department may start the assessment of your application if two of the three references are submitted by the course deadline and your application is otherwise complete. Please note that you may still be required to ensure your third referee supplies a reference for consideration.

The Faculty of English expects three academic references in all but exceptional cases, and never fewer than two academic references.

Your references will support intellectual ability, academic achievement and motivation.

Official transcript(s)

Your transcripts should give detailed information of the individual grades received in your university-level qualifications to date. You should only upload official documents issued by your institution and any transcript not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation.

More information about the transcript requirement is available in the Application Guide.

Research proposal: A maximum of 1,500 words

The research proposal should be an outline of the research plans, written in English. The overall word count should include any bibliography.

If possible, please ensure that the word count is clearly displayed on the document.

This will be assessed for:

  • the coherence and viability of the project
  • the originality of the project
  • the feasibility of successfully completing the project in the time available for the course (a maximum of four years)
  • evidence of understanding of appropriate research skills required for successful completion of the project and of appropriate training at master’s level or equivalent to undertake the project.

Written work: Either two essays of a maximum length of 2,000 words each or one essay of a maximum length of 4,000 words

Academic essays from your most recent qualification, written in English, are required. Extracts from longer pieces are welcome but should be prefaced by a note which puts them in context. The word count does not need to include any bibliography or brief footnotes.

It is better to submit essays related to the area and in the subject in which you wish to work.

This work will be assessed for analytical and critical acumen; ability to construct and defend an argument; and powers of expression.

Instructions for submitting one long piece of work instead of two short pieces

To submit one longer piece of work in your application instead of two shorter pieces, you should upload this document in the first 'Written work' slot on the 'Supporting Documents' tab of the Application Form. In the second 'Written work' slot, you should upload a PDF document with the following statement:

' I have included one long essay in lieu of two short essays. I have checked the course page to confirm this is permitted for this course. '

Start or continue your application

You can start or return to an application using the relevant link below. As you complete the form, please  refer to the requirements above  and  consult our Application Guide for advice . You'll find the answers to most common queries in our FAQs.

Application Guide   Apply - Full time Apply - Part time

ADMISSION STATUS

Closed to applications for entry in 2024-25

Register to be notified via email when the next application cycle opens (for entry in 2025-26)

12:00 midday UK time on:

Friday 5 January 2024 Latest deadline for most Oxford scholarships Final application deadline for entry in 2024-25

*Three-year average (applications for entry in 2021-22 to 2023-24)

Further information and enquiries

This course is offered by the Faculty of English Language and Literature

  • Course page on the faculty's website
  • Funding information from the faculty
  • Academic and research staff
  • Faculty research
  • Humanities Division
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  • Postgraduate applicant privacy policy

Course-related enquiries

Advice about contacting the department can be found in the How to apply section of this page

✉ [email protected] ☎ +44 (0)1865 281140  or  +44 (0)1865 271541

Application-process enquiries

See the application guide

Visa eligibility for part-time study

We are unable to sponsor student visas for part-time study on this course. Part-time students may be able to attend on a visitor visa for short blocks of time only (and leave after each visit) and will need to remain based outside the UK.

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Research & Expertise

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The English Department here at King’s, one of the largest and oldest in the UK, was ranked 8th in the UK for the quality and quantity of its research in the most recent Research Excellence Framework.   

The Department of English is home to a large and diverse body of postgraduate researchers. Students are fully integrated into the intellectual and social life of the Department as researchers and teachers. Many of our students study part-time, commute or have caring responsibilities and the programmes allow flexibility.

Our expertise is split across research clusters , covering the full chronological range of literary periods. Current and recent research projects include: Indian writing of WW2; the bedchamber in late medieval literature; African migrant literature and US politics, and telegraphy and Victorian culture.

In second year (or part-time equivalent) students have the opportunity to work as Graduate Teaching Assistants and are supported in this through a full programme of training and mentoring events.

Students can undertake joint PhD programmes with King's and our partners in  Humboldt Universität in Berlin and the National University of Singapore , spending time in each location to work with supervisors and to access the resources and expertise of both institutions. On completion, students receive a qualification awarded by both universities.

We offer a staged and comprehensive programme of training from the initial Research Workshops, through our ‘Skills Lunches’ and then final year professionalization workshops on applying for jobs or further funding. Doctoral students play a full role in organising the postgraduate seminar, ‘The Abstract’, and an annual postgraduate conference. The PhD in Creative Writing also places emphasis on professionalisation through guest lectures, a 'Thesis Workshop' and the 'Agents and Editors in Residence' scheme.

Our graduates have gone on to academic positions (recently at the University of Birmingham, the Universität Bonn and UCL) and careers in media, creative arts, teaching and publishing.

We are part of the London Arts and Humanities Partnership which offers scholarships as well as training.

Please browse our webpages, identify a potential supervisor(s) and get in touch with an initial query. Alternatively, send an inquiry to the PGR Lead via the Department office ( [email protected] ).

Creative Writing Research

Take our new PhD in creative writing in Department of English at King's College London.

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English Research

MPhil/PhD English Research from the Department of English at King's College London, option of joint PhD with Hong Kong University or National University of Singapore or Humboldt.

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Postgraduate Research Hub

Explore careers, doctoral training schemes and funding opportunities.

Research & Expertise

Key English Department research information, including current/past projects and their impact

First King's Creative Writing PhD graduate publishes debut novel

Scott Preston's novel The Borrowed Hills, published in April 2024, formed the main part of his Creative Writing PhD thesis. As the first graduate of the programme, Scott left with an impressive portfolio of creative and scholarly work, as well as valuable teaching experience.

  • Read more about Scott's career

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English Literature PhD/ MA by Research (On-Campus or by Distance Learning)

Annual tuition fee 2024 entry: UK: £4,778 full-time, £2,389 part-time International: £21,840 full-time; £10,920 part-time (distance learning only) More detail .

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By pursuing research in English Literature at Birmingham, you will be joining a vibrant and dynamic research community thanks to the Department’s diverse research interests and approaches.

You will also benefit from our world-class library resources, including University’s Main Library and the Cadbury Research Library where a host of rare manuscripts and archives are available.

AHRC funding for PhD students

phd in english in uk universities

The University of Birmingham is part of the Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership (M4C), offering Arts and Humanities Research Council PhD studentships for campus-based programmes. These include a number of Collaborative Doctoral Award opportunities. Each studentship includes research fees, a substantial maintenance grant and additional research training support. Applications are open until 12:00 (noon), 13 January 2021.

Find out more

Scholarships for 2024 entry

The University of Birmingham is proud to offer a range of scholarships for our postgraduate programmes. With a scholarship pot worth over £2 million, we are committed to alleviating financial barriers to support you in taking your next steps.

Each scholarship has its own specific deadlines and eligibility criteria. Please familiarise yourself with the information on individual scholarship webpages prior to submitting an application.

Explore our scholarships

English scholarships available

The College of Arts and Law is offering a number of scholarships for postgraduate research students in English Literature. This includes the prestigious Wolfson Scholarships, which provide for fees, a maintenance grant, and some research and training costs. Applications are now open.

Find out more and apply now

Virtual Open Day: Postgraduate opportunities in English Literature - 6 May 2020, 14:00-15:00

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Join us online to watch a range of staff and student videos, and take part in our online chat where Dr Chris Mourant and Dr Matthew Ward will be answering your questions about postgraduate study.

Find out more and register

We offer two postgraduate research-only programmes, whether you are looking to complete your academic studies with a PhD or pursue your research at Masters level. Find out more about what to expect from a PhD and MA by Research .

At Birmingham, Postgraduate Taught and Postgraduate Research students also have the opportunity to learn graduate academic languages free of charge, to support your studies.

  • Graduate School Language Skills

phd in english in uk universities

The opportunity to engage in three years of in-depth study in English Literature offered me the chance to not only engage in three years of research, but also to develop a more comprehensive understanding of how literature informs and influences our responses to the world around us. William

Why study this course?

  • World-leading research: The University of Birmingham is ranked equal 10th in the UK amongst Russell Group universities in the Research Excellence Framework exercise 2021 according to the Times Higher Education
  • Global ranking: The University of Birmingham was ranked in the Top 50 in the World for English Language & Literature by the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023. These rankings are compiled annually to help prospective students identify the leading universities worldwide in a particular subject.
  • Excellent resources: We have many well-established resources to draw on, including those housed in the Cadbury Research Library, which holds approximately 120,000 pre-1850 books dating from 1471, and some 3 million manuscripts.
  • Library facilities: The University’s Main Library also houses extensive research resources, with a large collection covering literature in general and English literature from Anglo-Saxon times to the present. This is supplemented by a growing drama and modern literature collection at the Orchard Learning Resource Centre in Selly Oak.
  • Links with the Royal Shakespeare Company: Our students may benefit from the University’s collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).

The postgraduate experience

The College of Arts and Law offers excellent support to its postgraduates, from libraries and research spaces, to careers support and funding opportunities. Learn more about your postgraduate experience .

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2024 entry are as follows:

  • UK: £4,778 full-time; £2,389 part-time *
  • International: £21,840 full-time; £10,920 part-time (distance learning only)

The same fees apply to both campus-based and distance learning study. The distance learning programme also includes one fully-funded visit to campus in the first year of study.

The above fees quoted are for one year only; for those studying over two or more years, tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years of your programme.

* For UK postgraduate research students the University fee level is set at Research Council rates and as such is subject to change. The final fee will be announced by Research Councils UK in spring 2024.

Eligibility for UK or international fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students .

Paying your fees

Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments. Learn more about postgraduate tuition fees and funding .

How To Apply

Application deadlines.

Postgraduate research can start at any time during the year, but it is important to allow time for us to review your application and communicate a decision. If you wish to start in September 2024, we would recommend that you aim to submit your application and supporting documents by 1 June 2024.

If the programme has a Distance learning option then students will usually attend a residential visit in September or January, and those students wishing to attend the September residential are also encouraged to apply by 1 June 2024. The visit will take place at the end of September/beginning of October and you will receive further details once you have accepted your offer.

Six easy steps to apply for a postgraduate research course in the College of Arts and Law

Six steps to apply for our Postgraduate Research courses

Do you have an idea for an interesting research project? You can follow our six easy steps to apply to study for our postgraduate research courses . These include guidance on identifying funding opportunities and writing your research proposal .

Please also see our additional guidance for  applicants to the PhD Distance Learning study mode .

Please note: While our PhD programmes are normally studied in three years full-time or six years part-time, and Masters-level research programmes one year full-time or two years part-time, many programmes have a longer length listed in course or funding applications. This is because the course length is defined as the maximum period of registration, which includes a period of supervised study plus a thesis awaited period. The maximum period of registration for a full-time PhD is four years (three years supervision plus one year thesis awaited). For a full-time Masters-level research programme, it is two years (one year supervision plus one year thesis awaited). For part-time programmes, the periods are double the full-time equivalent.

Making your application

  • How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate research programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the research programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page . Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Our Standard Requirements

Our requirements for postgraduate research are dependent on the type of programme you are applying for:

  • For MRes and MA by Research programmes, entry to our programmes usually requires a good (normally a 2:1 or above) Honours degree, or an equivalent qualification if you were educated outside the UK, usually in a relevant area.
  • Applicants for a PhD will also need to hold a Masters qualification at Merit level or above (or its international equivalent), usually in a relevant area.

Any academic and professional qualifications or relevant professional experience you may have are normally taken into account, and in some cases, form an integral part of the entrance requirements.

If you are applying for distance learning research programmes, you will also be required to demonstrate that you have the time, commitment, facilities and experience to study by distance learning.

If your qualifications are non-standard or different from the entry requirements stated here, please contact the admissions tutor.

International students

IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band is equivalent to:

  • TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 21 in Reading, 21 Listening, 22 Speaking and 21 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): Academic 59 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced - minimum overall score of 176, with no less than 169 in any component

Learn more about international entry requirements

International Requirements

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a GPA of 14/20 from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of the Licenciado or an equivalent professional title from a recognised Argentinian university, with a promedio of at least 7.5, may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. Applicants for PhD degrees will normally have a Maestria or equivalent

Applicants who hold a Masters degree will be considered for admission to PhD study.

Holders of a good four-year Diplomstudium/Magister or a Masters degree from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 2.5 will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students with a good 5-year Specialist Diploma or 4-year Bachelor degree from a recognised higher education institution in Azerbaijan, with a minimum GPA of 4/5 or 80% will be considered for entry to postgraduate taught programmes at the University of Birmingham.

For postgraduate research programmes applicants should have a good 5-year Specialist Diploma (completed after 1991), with a minimum grade point average of 4/5 or 80%, from a recognised higher education institution or a Masters or “Magistr Diplomu” or “Kandidat Nauk” from a recognised higher education institution in Azerbaijan.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a GPA of 3.0/4.0 or 75% from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with a CGPA of 3.0-3.3/4.0 or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Students who hold a Masters degree from the University of Botswana with a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/5.0 (70%/B/'very good') will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.

Please note 4-year bachelor degrees from the University of Botswana are considered equivalent to a Diploma of Higher Education. 5-year bachelor degrees from the University of Botswana are considered equivalent to a British Bachelor (Ordinary) degree.

Students who have completed a Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

A Licenciatura or Bacharelado degree from a recognised Brazilian university:

  • A grade of 7.5/10 for entry to programmes with a 2:1 requirement
  • A grade of 6.5/10for entry to programmes with a 2:2 requirement

Holders of a good Bachelors degree with honours (4 to 6 years) from a recognised university with a upper second class grade or higher will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.  Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised university will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good post-2001 Masters degree from a recognised university will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students with a minimum average of 14 out of 20 (or 70%) on a 4-year Licence, Bachelor degree or Diplôme d'Etudes Superieures de Commerce (DESC) or Diplôme d'Ingénieur or a Maîtrise will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.

Holders of a bachelor degree with honours from a recognised Canadian university may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. A GPA of 3.0/4, 7.0/9 or 75% is usually equivalent to a UK 2.1.

Holders of the Licenciado or equivalent Professional Title from a recognised Chilean university will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Applicants for PhD study will preferably hold a Magister degree or equivalent.

Students with a bachelor’s degree (4 years minimum) may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. However please note that we will only consider students who meet the entry guidance below.  Please note: for the subject areas below we use the Shanghai Ranking 2022 (full table)  ,  Shanghai Ranking 2023 (full table) , and Shanghai Ranking of Chinese Art Universities 2023 .

需要具备学士学位(4年制)的申请人可申请研究生课程。请根据所申请的课程查看相应的入学要求。 请注意,中国院校名单参考 软科中国大学排名2022(总榜) ,  软科中国大学排名2023(总榜) ,以及 软科中国艺术类高校名单2023 。  

Business School    - MSc programmes (excluding MBA)  

商学院硕士课程(MBA除外)入学要求

School of Computer Science – all MSc programmes 计算机学院硕士课程入学要求

College of Social Sciences – courses listed below 社会科学 学院部分硕士课程入学要求 MA Education  (including all pathways) MSc TESOL Education MSc Public Management MA Global Public Policy MA Social Policy MA Sociology Department of Political Science and International Studies  全部硕士课程 International Development Department  全部硕士课程

  All other programmes (including MBA)   所有其他 硕士课程(包括 MBA)入学要求

Please note:

  • Borderline cases: We may consider students with lower average score (within 5%) on a case-by-case basis if you have a relevant degree and very excellent grades in relevant subjects and/or relevant work experience. 如申请人均分低于相应录取要求(5%以内),但具有出色学术背景,优异的专业成绩,以及(或)相关的工作经验,部分课程将有可能单独酌情考虑。
  • Please contact the China Recruitment Team for any questions on the above entry requirements. 如果您对录取要求有疑问,请联系伯明翰大学中国办公室   [email protected]

Holders of the Licenciado/Professional Title from a recognised Colombian university will be considered for our Postgraduate Diploma and Masters degrees. Applicants for PhD degrees will normally have a Maestria or equivalent.

Holders of a good bachelor degree with honours (4 to 6 years) from a recognised university with a upper second class grade or higher will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.  Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised university will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good Bacclaureus (Bachelors) from a recognised Croatian Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 4.0 out of 5.0, vrlo dobar ‘very good’, or a Masters degree, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a Bachelors degree(from the University of the West Indies or the University of Technology) may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. A Class II Upper Division degree is usually equivalent to a UK 2.1. For further details on particular institutions please refer to the list below.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Masters degree or Mphil from the University of the West Indies.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good Bachelors degree from a recognised institution with a minimum overall grade of 6.5 out of 10, or a GPA of 3 out of 4, and will usually be required to have completed a good Masters degree to be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Bakalár from a recognised Czech Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 1.5, B, velmi dobre ‘very good’ (post-2004) or 2, velmi dobre ‘good’ (pre-2004), or a good post-2002 Magistr (Masters), will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good Bachelors degree from a recognised institution with a minimum overall grade of 7-10 out of 12 (or 8 out of 13) or higher for 2:1 equivalence and will usually be required to have completed a good Masters/ Magisterkonfereus/Magister Artium degree to be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of the Licenciado or an equivalent professional title from a recognised Ecuadorian university may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. Grades of 70% or higher can be considered as UK 2.1 equivalent.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Magister/Masterado or equivalent qualification, but holders of the Licenciado with excellent grades can be considered.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a GPA of 3.0/4.0 or 75% from a recognised institution. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Bakalaurusekraad from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 4/5 or B, or a good one- or two-year Magistrikraad from a recognised university, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Masters degree with very good grades (grade B, 3.5/4 GPA or 85%) will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. 

Holders of a good Kandidaatti / Kandidat (old system), a professional title such as Ekonomi, Diplomi-insinööri, Arkkitehti, Lisensiaatti (in Medicine, Dentistry and Vetinary Medicine), or a Maisteri / Magister (new system), Lisensiaatti / Licenciat, Oikeustieteen Kandidaatti / Juris Kandidat (new system) or Proviisori / Provisor from a recognised Finnish Higher Education institution, with a minimum overall grade of 2/3 or 4/5, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters/Maîtrise with a minimum overall grade of 13 out of 20, or a Magistère / Diplôme d'Etudes Approfondies / Diplôme d'Etudes Supérieures Specialisées / Mastère Specialis, from a recognised French university or Grande École to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a Magister Artium, a Diplom or an Erstes Staatsexamen from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 2.5, or a good two-year Lizentiat / Aufbaustudium / Zweites Staatsexamen or a Masters degree from a recognised university, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2.1) with a minimum GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/5.0 Students who have completed a Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good four-year Ptychio (Bachelor degree) with a minimum overall grade of 6.5 out of 10, from a recognised Greek university (AEI), and will usually be required to have completed a good Metaptychiako Diploma Eidikefsis (Masters degree) from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

4-year Licenciado is deemed equivalent to a UK bachelors degree. A score of 75 or higher from Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala (USAC) can be considered comparable to a UK 2.1, 60 is comparable to a UK 2.2.  Private universities have a higher pass mark, so 80 or higher should be considered comparable to a UK 2.1, 70 is comparable to a UK 2.2

The Hong Kong Bachelor degree is considered comparable to British Bachelor degree standard. Students with bachelor degrees awarded by universities in Hong Kong may be considered for entry to one of our postgraduate degree programmes.

Students with Masters degrees may be considered for PhD study.

Holders of a good Alapfokozat / Alapképzés or Egyetemi Oklevel from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 3.5, or a good Mesterfokozat (Masters degree) or Egyetemi Doktor (university doctorate), will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with a 60% or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of the 4 year Sarjana (S1) from a recognised Indonesian institution will be considered for postgraduate study. Entry requirements vary with a minimum requirement of a GPA of 2.8.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a score of 14/20 or 70% from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree from a recognised institution, with 100 out of 110 or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Students who hold the Maitrise, Diplome d'Etude Approfondies, Diplome d'Etude Superieures or Diplome d'Etude Superieures Specialisees will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees (14-15/20 or Bien from a well ranked institution is considered comparable to a UK 2.1, while a score of 12-13/20 or Assez Bien is considered comparable to a UK 2.2).

Students with a Bachelor degree from a recognised university in Japan will be considered for entry to a postgraduate Masters degree provided they achieve a sufficiently high overall score in their first (Bachelor) degree. A GPA of 3.0/4.0 or a B average from a good Japanese university is usually considered equivalent to a UK 2:1.

Students with a Masters degree from a recognised university in Japan will be considered for PhD study. A high overall grade will be necessary to be considered.

Students who have completed their Specialist Diploma Мамаң дипломы/Диплом специалиста) or "Magistr" (Магистр дипломы/Диплом магистра) degree (completed after 1991) from a recognised higher education institution, with a minimum GPA of 2.67/4.00 for courses requiring a UK lower second and 3.00/4.00 for courses requiring a UK upper second class degree, will be considered for entry to postgraduate Masters degrees and, occasionally, directly for PhD degrees.  Holders of a Bachelor "Bakalavr" degree (Бакалавр дипломы/Диплом бакалавра) from a recognised higher education institution, with a minimum GPA of  2.67/4.00 for courses requiring a UK lower second and 3.00/4.00 for courses requiring a UK upper second class degree, may also be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2.1) with a minimum GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/50

Holders of a good Postgraduate Diploma (professional programme) from a recognised university or institution of Higher Education, with a minimum overall grade of 7.5 out of 10, or a post-2000 Magistrs, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a score of 16/20 or 80% from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised university in Libya will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of a Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved score of 70% for 2:1 equivalency or 65% for 2:2 equivalency. Alternatively students will require a minimum of 3.0/4.0 or BB to be considered.

Holders of a good pre-2001 Magistras from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 8 out of 10, or a good post-2001 Magistras, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes

Holders of a good Bachelors degree from a recognised Luxembourgish Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 16 out of 20, or a Diplôme d'Études Supérieures Spécialisées (comparable to a UK PGDip) or Masters degree from a recognised Luxembourgish Higher Education institution will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Masters degree will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees (70-74% or A or Marginal Distinction from a well ranked institution is considered comparable to a UK 2.1, while a score of 60-69% or B or Bare Distinction/Credit is considered comparable to a UK 2.2).

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised Malaysian institution (usually achieved with the equivalent of a second class upper or a grade point average minimum of 3.0) will be considered for postgraduate study at Diploma or Masters level.

Holders of a good Bachelors degree from the University of Malta with a minimum grade of 2:1 (Hons), and/or a Masters degree, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree (Honours) from a recognised institution (including the University of Mauritius) will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.  Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2:1).

Students who hold the Licenciado/Professional Titulo from a recognised Mexican university with a promedio of at least 8 will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.

Students who have completed a Maestria from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree, licence or Maîtrise and a Masters degree, with a score of 14/20 or 70% from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Students with a good four year honours degree from a recognised university will be considered for postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. PhD applications will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with 60-74% or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Doctoraal from a recognised Dutch university with a minimum overall grade of 7 out of 10, and/or a good Masters degree, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree (minimum 4 years and/or level 400) from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.  Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2.1) with a minimum GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/5.0

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good Bachelors degree from a recognised institution with a minimum GPA of B/Very Good or 1.6-2.5 for a 2.1 equivalency, and will usually be required to have completed a good Masters, Mastergrad, Magister. Artium, Sivilingeniør, Candidatus realium or Candidatus philologiae degree to be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with a CGPA of 3.0/4 or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised university in the Palestinian Territories will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved a GPA of 3/4 or 80% for 2:1 equivalency or a GPA of 2.5/4 or 70% for 2:2 equivalency.    

Holders of the Título de Licenciado /Título de (4-6 years) or an equivalent professional title from a recognised Paraguayan university may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. Grades of 4/5 or higher can be considered as UK 2.1 equivalent.  The Título Intermedio is a 2-3 year degree and is equivalent to a HNC, it is not suitable for postgraduate entry but holders of this award could be considered for second year undergraduate entry or pre-Masters.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Título de Maestría / Magister or equivalent qualification, but holders of the Título/Grado de Licenciado/a with excellent grades can be considered.

Holders of the Licenciado, with at least 13/20 may be considered as UK 2.1 equivalent. The Grado de Bachiller is equivalent to an ordinary degree, so grades of 15+/20 are required.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Título de Maestría or equivalent qualification.

Holders of a good pre-2001 Magister from a recognised Polish university with a minimum overall grade of 4 out of 5, dobry ‘good’, and/or a good Swiadectwo Ukonczenia Studiów Podyplomowych (Certificate of Postgraduate Study) or post-2001 Magister from a recognised Polish university with a minimum overall grade of 4.5/4+ out of 5, dobry plus 'better than good', will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good Licenciado from a recognised university, or a Diploma de Estudos Superiores Especializados (DESE) from a recognised Polytechnic Institution, with a minimum overall grade of 16 out of 20, and/or a good Mestrado / Mestre (Masters) from a recognised university, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good Bachelors degree from a recognised Romanian Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 8 out of 10, and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree/Diploma de Master/Diploma de Studii Academice Postuniversitare (Postgraduate Diploma - Academic Studies) or Diploma de Studii Postuniversitare de Specializare (Postgraduate Diploma - Specialised Studies) to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Диплом Специалиста (Specialist Diploma) or Диплом Магистра (Magistr) degree from recognised universities in Russia (minimum GPA of 4.0) will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes/PhD study.

Students who hold a 4-year Bachelor degree with at least 16/20 or 70% will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.   

Students who hold a Maitrise, Diplome d'Etude Approfondies,Diplome d'Etude Superieures or Diplome d'Etude Superieures Specialisees will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. A score of 14-15/20 or Bien from a well ranked institution is considered comparable to a UK 2.1, while a score of 12-13/20 or Assez Bien is considered comparable to a UK 2.2

Students who hold a Bachelor (Honours) degree from a recognised institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/5.0 (or a score of 60-69% or B+) from a well ranked institution will be considered for most our Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees with a 2:1 requirement.

Students holding a good Bachelors Honours degree will be considered for postgraduate study at Diploma or Masters level.

Holders of a good three-year Bakalár or pre-2002 Magister from a recognised Slovakian Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 1.5, B, Vel’mi dobrý ‘very good’, and/or a good Inžinier or a post-2002 Magister from a recognised Slovakian Higher Education institution will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good Diploma o pridobljeni univerzitetni izobrazbi (Bachelors degree), Diplomant (Professionally oriented first degree), Univerzitetni diplomant (Academically oriented first degree) or Visoko Obrazovanja (until 1999) from a recognised Slovenian Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 8.0 out of 10, and/or a good Diploma specializacija (Postgraduate Diploma) or Magister (Masters) will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Bachelor Honours degree (also known as Baccalaureus Honores / Baccalaureus Cum Honoribus) from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Most Masters programmes will require a second class upper (70%) or a distinction (75%).

Holders of a Masters degree will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a Bachelor degree from a recognised South Korean institution (usually with the equivalent of a second class upper or a grade point average 3.0/4.0 or 3.2/4.5) will be considered for Masters programmes.

Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with 7 out of 10 or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with 60-74% or a CGPA 3.30/4.0 or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Kandidatexamen (Bachelors degree) or Yrkesexamen (Professional Bachelors degree) from a recognised Swedish Higher Education institution with the majority of subjects with a grade of VG (Val godkänd), and/or a good Magisterexamen (Masters degree), International Masters degree or Licentiatexamen (comparable to a UK Mphil), will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good "PostGraduate Certificate" or "PostGraduate Diploma" or a Masters degree from a recognised Swiss higher education institution (with a minimum GPA of 5/6 or 8/10 or 2/5 (gut-bien-bene/good) for a 2.1 equivalence) may be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a GPA of 3.0/4.0, 3.5/5 or 75% from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Bachelor degree (from 75% to 85% depending upon the university in Taiwan) from a recognised institution will be considered for postgraduate Masters study. Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.  Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2.1) Students who have completed a Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for entry to our postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good Masters degree or Mphil from a recognised university will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students with a Bachelors degree from the following universities may be considered for entry to postgraduate programmes:

  • Ateneo de Manila University - Quezon City
  • De La Salle University - Manila
  • University of Santo Tomas
  • University of the Philippines - Diliman

Students from all other institutions with a Bachelors and a Masters degree or relevant work experience may be considered for postgraduate programmes.

Grading Schemes

1-5 where 1 is the highest 2.1 = 1.75 2.2 = 2.25 

Out of 4.0 where 4 is the highest 2.1 = 3.0 2.2 = 2.5

Letter grades and percentages 2.1 = B / 3.00 / 83% 2.2 = C+ / 2.5 / 77%

Holders of a postdoctoral qualification from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.  Students may be considered for PhD study if they have a Masters from one of the above listed universities.

Holders of a Lisans Diplomasi with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0/4.0 from a recognised university will be considered for postgraduate study at Diploma or Masters level.

Holders of a Yuksek Diplomasi from a recognised university will be considered for PhD study.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Most Masters programmes will require a second class upper (2.1) or GPA of 3.5/5.0

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good Bachelors degree / Диплом бакалавра (Dyplom Bakalavra), Диплом спеціаліста (Specialist Diploma) or a Dyplom Magistra from a recognised Ukrainian higher education institution with a minimum GPA of 4.0/5.0, 3.5/4, 8/12 or 80% or higher for 2:1 equivalence and will usually be required to have completed a good Masters degree to be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

The University will consider students who hold an Honours degree from a recognised institution in the USA with a GPA of:

  • 2.8 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) for entry to programmes with a 2:2 requirement 
  • 3.2 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) for entry to programmes with a 2:1 requirement 

Please note that some subjects which are studied at postgraduate level in the USA, eg. Medicine and Law, are traditionally studied at undergraduate level in the UK.

Holders of the Magistr Diplomi (Master's degree) or Diplomi (Specialist Diploma), awarded by prestigious universities, who have attained high grades in their studies will be considered for postgraduate study.  Holders of the Fanlari Nomzodi (Candidate of Science), where appropriate, will be considered for PhD study.

Holders of the Licenciatura/Título or an equivalent professional title from a recognised Venezuelan university may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. Scales of 1-5, 1-10 and 1-20 are used, an overall score of 70% or equivalent can be considered equivalent to a UK 2.1.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Maestria or equivalent qualification

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised Vietnamese institution (usually achieved with the equivalent of a second class upper or a grade point average minimum GPA of 7.0 and above) will be considered for postgraduate study at Diploma or Masters level.  Holders of a Masters degree (thac si) will be considered for entry to PhD programmes.

Students who hold a Masters degree with a minimum GPA of 3.5/5.0 or a mark of 2.0/2.5 (A) will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.   

Students who hold a good Bachelor Honours degree will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. 

Research in the Department of English Literature takes place across medieval, early modern, eighteenth century, nineteenth century, and modern and contemporary literature and culture. The diverse research interests and approaches of the department ensure a vibrant and dynamic research community.

Please contact a staff member working in your area of interest in the first instance. A summary of our key research areas, and staff working within those, can be found below.

  • Medieval literature
  • Early modern literature
  • Eighteenth century literature
  • Nineteenth century literature
  • Modern and contemporary literature and culture    

Department of English Literature  Research Centres

The University of Birmingham is the top choice for the UK's major employers searching for graduate recruits, according to The Graduate Market 2024 report .

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for your future career, but this can also be enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University and the College of Arts and Law.

The University's Careers Network  provides expert guidance and activities especially for postgraduates, which will help you achieve your career goals. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated  careers and employability team  who offer tailored advice and a programme of College-specific careers events.

You will be encouraged to make the most of your postgraduate experience and will have the opportunity to:

  • Receive one-to-one careers advice, including guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique, whether you are looking for a career inside or outside of academia
  • Meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs and employer presentations
  • Attend an annual programme of careers fairs, skills workshops and conferences, including bespoke events for postgraduates in the College of Arts and Law
  • Take part in a range of activities to demonstrate your knowledge and skills to potential employers and enhance your CV

What’s more, you will be able to access our full range of careers support for up to 2 years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: English Literature

Birmingham's English Literature postgraduates develop a range of skills including presentation, communication and analytical skills, as well as the ability to work independently, think critically and develop opinions.

Many of our graduates go on to further study or academia, while others use their transferable skills in a wide variety of occupations including copywriting, project management, publishing and teaching.

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English PhD

Key information.

phd in english in uk universities

  • 94%   of our research overall in  English Language and Literature   was assessed to  be world leading or internationally excellent   (REF 2021)

From Medieval and Renaissance writing to the 18th century to the present, from the novel to poetry to modernism, postmodernism and the contemporary scene – we’re strongly committed to the interdisciplinary study of literature.

We’re one of the largest graduate communities in the country, with over 200 students and more than 50 faculty. You’ll benefit from expert supervision, teacher training and research workshops, as well as a lively annual roster of symposia, conferences and guest lectures.

English at Sussex holds a special place in my heart. It helped me find my passion within the discipline and I’m very lucky to work with some of the most insightful minds.” Aanchal VIJ English PhD

Areas of study

You have the opportunity to look at literature in relation to philosophy, visual culture and the history of ideas. You could base your project in an area such as:

  • postcolonial theory
  • feminist theory
  • gay and  lesbian criticism
  • queer theory
  • recent developments in psychoanalytic, Marxist, poststructuralist and ‘new historicist’ criticism.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described in this prospectus. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to government or regulatory requirements, or unanticipated staff changes, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

Masters and P h D events

Meet us on campus or online

Book your place

Entry requirements

  • UK requirements
  • International requirements

Please select your country from the list.

Philippines

Saudi arabia, south africa, south korea, switzerland, united arab emirates, my country is not listed.

If your country is not listed, you need to contact us and find out the qualification level you should have for this course. Contact us

English language requirements

Ielts (academic).

Advanced level (7.0 overall, including at least 6.5 in each component).

IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course.  Find out more about IELTS

We accept IELTS One Skills Retake.

We do not accept IELTS Online.

Check full details of our English Language requirements and find out more about some of the alternative English language qualifications listed below

Alternative English language qualifications

Proficiency tests, cambridge advanced certificate in english (cae).

176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill.

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency

LanguageCert International ESOL SELT

Advanced level (International ESOL SELT C1 with a minimum of 33 in each component)

LanguageCert International ESOL scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. Find out more about LanguageCert SELT

We only accept LanguageCert when taken at SELT Test Centres. We do not accept the online version.

Pearson PTE Academic

Advanced level (67 overall, including at least 62 in all four skills)

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic)

We do not accept the PTE Academic Online test.

TOEFL (iBT)

Advanced level 95 overall, including at least 22 in Listening, 23 in Reading, 23 in Speaking, 24 in Writing. 

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT)

We do not accept TOEFL (iBT) Home Edition.

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

As/a-level (gce).

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language (Grade 4 or above in GCSE from 2017).

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only:  70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English:  70% 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education

Grades A - C in English language

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 1119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-6 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades A1-C6 (1-6) in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Country exceptions

Select to see the list of exempt english-speaking countries.

If you are a national of one of the countries below, or if you have recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or higher in one of these countries, you will normally meet our English requirement. Note that qualifications obtained by distance learning or awarded by studying outside these countries cannot be accepted for English language purposes.

You will normally be expected to have completed the qualification within two years before starting your course at Sussex. If the qualification was obtained earlier than this, we would expect you to be able to demonstrate that you have maintained a good level of English, for example by living in an English-speaking country or working in an occupation that required you to use English regularly and to a high level.

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by the University of Sussex.

List of exempt countries: 

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • The British Overseas Territories
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom

** Canada: you must be a national of Canada; other nationals not on this list who have a degree from a Canadian institution will not normally be exempt from needing to provide evidence of English.

English language support

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for your degree, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course

  • Visas and immigration

Admissions information for applicants

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, contact us

  • How to apply

If you’d like to join us as a research student, there are two main routes:

  • browse funded projects in this subject area
  • browse our potential supervisors and propose your own research project.

Find out how to apply for a PhD at Sussex

Full-time and part-time study

Choose to work on your research full time or part time, to fit around your work and personal life. For details  about part-time study,  contact us at  [email protected]

PhD or MPhil?

You can choose to study for a PhD or an MPhil. PhD and MPhil degrees differ in duration and in the extent of your research work.

  • For a PhD, your research work makes a substantial original contribution to knowledge or understanding in your chosen field.
  • For an MPhil, your work is an independent piece of research but in less depth than for a PhD. You’ll graduate with the degree title Master of Philosophy. You might be able to change to a PhD while you study for an MPhil.

Our supervisors

phd in english in uk universities

Dr Will Abberley

Senior Lecturer in Victorian Literature

[email protected]

View profile of Will Abberley

phd in english in uk universities

Dr Richard Adelman

Reader in English

[email protected]

View profile of Richard Adelman

phd in english in uk universities

Prof Sara Jane Bailes

Professor of Critical & Creative Practice

[email protected]

View profile of Sara Jane Bailes

phd in english in uk universities

Prof Peter Boxall

Visiting Professor

[email protected]

View profile of Peter Boxall

Dr Natalia Cecire

Senior Lecturer in English & American Literature

[email protected]

View profile of Natalia Cecire

Prof Sara Crangle

Professor of Modernism and the Avant-Garde

[email protected]

View profile of Sara Crangle

phd in english in uk universities

Prof Matthew Dimmock

Professor of Early Modern Studies

[email protected]

View profile of Matthew Dimmock

phd in english in uk universities

Prof Andrew Hadfield

Professor of English

[email protected]

View profile of Andrew Hadfield

phd in english in uk universities

Dr Andrea Haslanger

Lecturer in 18th Century English Literature

[email protected]

View profile of Andrea Haslanger

phd in english in uk universities

Dr Doug Haynes

Reader in American Literature and Visual Culture

[email protected]

View profile of Doug Haynes

Dr Michael Jonik

Reader in English and American Literatur

[email protected]

View profile of Michael Jonik

phd in english in uk universities

Dr John Masterson

Senior Lecturer in World Literatures

[email protected]

View profile of John Masterson

phd in english in uk universities

Dr William McEvoy

Senior Lecturer in English

[email protected]

View profile of William McEvoy

Dr Rachel O Connell

Senior Lecturer in English Literature

[email protected]

View profile of Rachel O Connell

phd in english in uk universities

Prof Catherine Packham

Professor of 18th Century Literature

[email protected]

View profile of Catherine Packham

phd in english in uk universities

Dr Chloe Porter

[email protected]

View profile of Chloe Porter

phd in english in uk universities

Dr Samuel Solomon

Senior Lecturer in Creative and Critical Writing

[email protected]

View profile of Samuel Solomon

phd in english in uk universities

Dr Rachel Stenner

Senior Lecturer in English Literature 1350-1660

[email protected]

View profile of Rachel Stenner

phd in english in uk universities

Dr Bethan Stevens

Reader in English & Art Writing

[email protected]

View profile of Bethan Stevens

phd in english in uk universities

Prof Keston Sutherland

Professor of Poetics

[email protected]

View profile of Keston Sutherland

phd in english in uk universities

Prof Pamela Thurschwell

Professor of Modern and Contemporary Lit

[email protected]

View profile of Pamela Thurschwell

phd in english in uk universities

Dr Helen Tyson

Senior Lecturer in 20th and 21st CenturyBritish Literature

[email protected]

View profile of Helen Tyson

phd in english in uk universities

Dr Katie Walter

Senior Lecturer in Medieval English Literature

[email protected]

View profile of Katie Walter

phd in english in uk universities

Dr Hope Wolf

Reader in Literature and Visual Culture

[email protected]

View profile of Hope Wolf

phd in english in uk universities

Dr Tom F. Wright

Reader in Rhetoric

[email protected]

View profile of Tom F. Wright

Funding and fees

How can i fund my course, funded projects and scholarships.

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals. Don’t miss out on scholarships – check the specific application deadlines for funding opportunities. Note that funded projects aren’t available for all our PhDs.

£3,000 scholarships available to environmental influencers bringing about real-world behaviour change

Find out more

£800 scholarship available to reward talented organ player studying on any course at Sussex.

Scholarships of £800 are available to reward talented musicians studying on any course at Sussex

Cash scholarships available for students who have demonstrated sporting excellence

University of Sussex Stuart Hall Doctoral Scholarship

Applying for USA Federal Student Aid?

If any part of your funding, at any time, is through USA federal Direct Loan funds, you will be registered on a separate version of this degree which does not include the possibility of distance learning which is prohibited under USA federal regulations. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid .

Part-time work

We advertise around 2,500 part-time jobs a year so you can make money and gain work experience. We have a special scheme to employ students on campus, wherever possible.

Find out more about careers and employability

How much does it cost?

Fees for self-funding students.

Home students: £4,786 per year for full-time students

Channel Islands and Isle of Man students: £4,786 per year for full-time students

International students: £21,500 per year for full-time students

Home PhD student fees are set at the level recommended by United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) annually, rising in line with inflation. Overseas fees are subject to an annual increase - see details on our tuition fees page

Additional costs

Note about additional costs.

Please note that all costs are best estimates based on current market values. Activities may be subject to unavoidable change in response to Government advice. We’ll let you know at the earliest opportunity. We review estimates every year and they may vary with inflation. Find out how to budget for student life .

Sussex Writes

Students who lead creative writing workshops in secondary schools will have their reasonable travel and other costs covered.

Empirical research costs

On top of your PhD fees and living costs, you may also need to cover some research and training costs, relevant to your research project. These costs will depend on your research topic and training needs, but may include: - travel (to archives, collections or scientific facilities) - a laptop - overseas fieldwork costs (travel and accommodation, and language training) - conference costs (travel, registration fees and accommodation) - laboratory consumables and workshop materials - participant costs - transcription or translation costs - open-access publication costs. If you have a scholarship from one of the UK Research Councils, your scholarship should cover these types of costs. You'll receive details of how to claim this additional funding. If you're self funded, or if your scholarship doesn’t cover these costs, check with the Research and Enterprise Co-ordinator in your School for details of School or Doctoral School funding that may be available.

  • Living costs

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Find out about our terms and conditions

Explore our campus

Experience Sussex life in our virtual tour.

Start your virtual tour

PhD Information Sessions

Visit campus and chat to staff and students. Book your place

Online PhD Sessions

Join a live webchat. Book your place

International

Meet us in your country

Course enquiries

+44 (0)1273 876787

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Department of English and Related Literature

PhD in English and Related Literature

Work in an intellectually invigorating environment and be supported by supervisors who are experts in their field.

Be inspired to reach your research ambitions in an intellectual and supportive community at the forefront of English research.

Your research

The diversity of our staff’s research interests means that we are well-positioned to supervise research in any field of literature, from the Middle Ages to the present day, including literature in languages other than English, and literary works in translation.

We also have distinctive expertise in practice-led teaching and research, including archival work and printing. The PhD in English and Related Literature is available on a full-time or part-time basis.

Under the guidance of your supervisor, you'll complete a thesis of up to 80,000 words. A typical semester will involve a great deal of independent research, punctuated by meetings with your supervisor who will be able to suggest direction and address concerns throughout the writing process. You'll be encouraged to undertake periods of research at archives and potentially internationally, depending on your research thesis.

Throughout your degree, you'll have the opportunity to attend a wide range of research training sessions in order to learn archival and research skills, and a range of research seminars organised by the research schools, which bring speakers from around the world for research talks and networking. There is also internal funding available if you wish to propose research events and symposia/conferences.

[email protected] +44 (0) 1904 323366

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You also have the option of enrolling in a PhD in English by distance learning, where you will have the flexibility to work from anywhere in the world. You will attend the Research Training Programme online in your first year and have supervision and progression meetings online.

You must attend a five-day induction programme in York at the beginning of your first year. You will also visit York in your second and third years (every other year for part-time students).

Apply for PhD in English and Related Literature (distance learning)

Top ten department

We're a top ten research department according to the Times Higher Education’s ranking of the latest REF results (2021).

35th in the world

for English Language and Literature in the QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2023.

Athena Swan Bronze

We're proud to hold an Athena Swan Bronze award in recognition of the work we do to support gender equality in English.

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Explore funding for postgraduate researchers in the Department of English and Related Literature.

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Supervision

Explore the expertise of our staff and identify a potential supervisor.

Research training

You'll receive training in research methods and skills appropriate to the stage you've reached and the nature of your work. In addition to regular supervisory meetings to discuss planning, researching and writing the thesis, we offer sessions on bibliographic and archival resources (digital, print and manuscript). You'll receive guidance in applying to and presenting at professional conferences, preparing and submitting material for publication and applying for jobs. We meet other training needs in handling research data, various modern languages, palaeography and bibliography. Classical and medieval Latin are also available.

We also offer training in teaching skills for students who wish to pursue teaching posts following their degree. This includes sessions on the delivery and content of seminars and workshops to undergraduates, a structured shadowing programme, teaching inductions and comprehensive guidance and resources for our graduate teaching assistants. Our teacher training is directed by a dedicated staff member.

You'll also benefit from the rich array of research and training sessions at the Humanities Research Centre .

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Course location

This course is run by the Department of English and Related Literature.

You'll be based on  Campus West , though your research may take you further afield.

We also have a distance learning option available for this course.

Entry requirements

For doctoral research, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve a first-class or high upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualification) and a Masters degree with distinction. 

The undergraduate and Masters degrees should be in literature, or in a related subject that is closely tied to the proposed research project. 

Other relevant experience and expertise may also be considered:

  • Evidence of training in research techniques may be an advantage.
  • It is expected that postgraduate applicants would be familiar with the recent published work of their proposed supervisor.
  • Publications are not required and we don't expect applicants to have been published before they start their research degrees.

Supervisors interview prospective research students to ensure good supervisory match and to help with funding applications.

The core deciding factor for admission is the quality of the research proposal, though your whole academic profile will be taken into account. We are committed to ensuring that no prospective or existing student is treated less favourably. See our admissions policy for more information.

Apply for the PhD in English and Related Literature

Have a look at the supporting documents you may need for your application.

Before applying, we advise you to identify potential supervisors in the department. Preliminary enquiries are welcomed and should be made as early as possible. However, a scattershot approach – emailing all staff members regardless of the relationship between their research interests and yours – is unlikely to produce positive results. 

If it's not clear which member of staff is appropriate, you should email the Graduate Chair .

Students embarking on a PhD programme are initially enrolled provisionally for that qualification. Confirmation of PhD registration is dependent upon the submission of a satisfactory proposal that meets the standards required for the degree, usually in the second year of study.

Find out more about how to apply .

English language requirements

You'll need to provide evidence of your proficiency in English if it's not your first language.

Check your English language requirements

Research proposals

In order to apply for a PhD, we ask that you submit a research proposal as part of your application.

When making your application, you're advised to make your research proposals as specific and clear as possible. Please indicate the member(s) of staff that you'd wish to work with.

Your research proposal should:

  • Identify the precise topic of your topic and communicate the main aim of your research.
  • Provide a rigorous and thorough description of your proposed research, including the contributions you will make to current scholarly conversations and debates.
  • Describe any previous work you have done in this area, with reference to relevant literature you have read so far.
  • Communicate the central sources that the project will address and engage.
  • Offer an outline of the argument’s main claims and contributions. Give a clear indication of the authors and texts that your project will address.
  • Include the academic factors, such as university facilities, libraries resources, centres, other resources, and / or staff, which have specifically led you to apply to York.

What we look for:

  • How you place your topic in conversation with the scholarly landscape: what has been accomplished and what you plan to achieve. This is your chance to show that you have a good understanding of the relevant work on your topic and that you have identified a new way or research question to approach the topic.
  • Your voice as a scholar and critical thinker. In clean, clear prose, show those who will assess your application how your proposal demonstrates your original thinking and the potential of your research.
  • Your fit with York, including the reasons for working with your supervisor and relevant research schools and centres.
  • Above all, remember that there isn’t one uniform way to structure and arrange your research proposal, and that your approach will necessarily reflect your chosen topic.

Careers and skills

  • You'll receive support in applying to and presenting at professional conferences, preparing and submitting material for publication and applying for jobs.
  • You'll benefit from training in handling research data, various modern languages, palaeography and bibliography. Classical and medieval Latin are also available. The   Humanities Research Centre   also offers a rich array of valuable training sessions.
  • We also offer training in teaching skills if you wish to pursue a teaching post following your degree. This includes sessions on the delivery and content of seminars and workshops to undergraduates, a structured shadowing programme, teaching inductions and comprehensive guidance and resources for our graduate teaching assistants.
  • You'll have the opportunity to further your training by taking courses accredited by Advance HE:   York Learning and Teaching Award (YLTA)   and the   York Professional and Academic Development scheme (YPAD) .

Find out more about careers

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Graduate Research School

Connect with researchers across all disciplines to get the most out of your research project.

Find a supervisor

Explore our staff expertise

Find out all you need to know about applying to York

Find funding to support your studies

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English Literature PhD

Key information, full-time - 4 years, part-time - 8 years.

Research brochure

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Why choose this programme

  • We’re part of the interdisciplinary School of Literature and Languages, which has research-active staff who are at the forefront of knowledge in English literature, creative writing, film studies, translation studies, theoretical and applied linguistics, and literary and cultural studies.
  • Our research concentrates on a range of periods, themes and subjects, spanning Medieval literature, Shakespeare and the Renaissance, Romanticism, Victorian and 19th-century literature, Modern and contemporary literature, creative writing and film studies. 
  • We’re part of  TECHNE , an  Arts and Humanities Research Council  (AHRC)-funded doctoral training partnership, which provides access to comprehensive academic and professional training programmes, as well as the possibility of funding for your studies. 
  • The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 ranked the School of Literature and Languages 10th for research impact in the UK, with 75% of our case studies rated as having outstanding impacts, in terms of reach and significance (4*). Our submission to REF included contributions from the Guildford School of Acting (GSA).

Postgraduate Research at Surrey

Frequently asked questions about doing a PhD

What you will study

Our English Literature PhD will train you in critical and analytical skills, research methods, and knowledge that will equip you for your professional or academic career. It normally takes around three or four years to complete our full-time PhD.

You’ll be assigned a primary and secondary supervisor, who will meet with you regularly to read and discuss your work and progress. For us, writing is essential for understanding and developing new perspectives, so you’ll be submitting written work right from the start of your course.

In the first year of your PhD, you’ll refine your research proposal and plan the structure of your work with the guidance and support of your supervisors. As you go into your second and third year, you’ll gradually learn to work more independently, and your supervisors will guide you on how to present at conferences and get your work published.

After 12-15 months, you’ll submit a substantial piece of work for a confirmation examination. The confirmation examination will be conducted by two internal members of staff not on your supervisory team and will give you the opportunity to gain additional guidance on your research-to-date. The final two years of your PhD will be devoted to expanding and refining your work ready for submission of the final thesis.

As a doctoral student in the School of Literature and Languages, you’ll receive a structured training programme covering the practical aspects of being a researcher, including grant-writing, publishing in journals, and applying for academic jobs.

Your final assessment will be based on the presentation of your research in a written thesis, which will be discussed in a viva examination with at least two examiners. You have the option of preparing your thesis as a monograph (one large volume in chapter form) or in publication format (including chapters written for publication), subject to the approval of your supervisors.

Research support

The professional development of postgraduate researchers is supported by the Doctoral College , which provides training in essential skills through its Researcher Development Programme of workshops, mentoring and coaching. A dedicated postgraduate careers and employability team will help you prepare for a successful career after the completion of your PhD.

In addition to a number of excellent training opportunities offered by the University, our PhD students can take additional subject-specific training and take part in the School’s research seminars and events. These provide a valuable opportunity to meet visiting scholars whose work connects with our own research strengths across literature, theory, and creative writing.

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Research themes

  • Women's writing (especially medieval women's writing, early modern women's drama and Victorian women writers)
  • Medieval romance
  • Romanticism
  • Victorian studies
  • Modernism and modernity
  • Travel and mobility
  • Western and global esotericisms
  • Sexuality and queer theory
  • Postmodern and post-postmodern writing
  • Contemporary fiction
  • Transnational literature.

Our academic staff

See a full list of all our  academic staff  within the School of Literature and Languages.

Research areas

Edwin Gilson profile image

Edwin Gilson

A real highlight for me was having an article published in a well-known journal in my field. This came out of a chapter I wasn’t expecting to write at the start of the thesis, on a novel I read during the PhD.

phd in english in uk universities

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to hold a good first-class UK degree (a minimum 2:1 or equivalent) and an MA in a relevant topic.

International entry requirements by country

English language requirements.

IELTS Academic:  7.0 or above with a minimum of 6.5 in each component (or equivalent).

Application requirements

Applicants are advised to contact potential supervisors before they submit an application via the website. Please refer to section two of our  application guidance .

After registration

Students are initially registered for a PhD with probationary status and, subject to satisfactory progress, subsequently confirmed as having PhD status.

Selection process

Selection is based on applicants:

  • Meeting the expected entry requirements
  • Being shortlisted through the application screening process
  • Completing a successful interview
  • Providing suitable references.

Student life

At Surrey we offer the best of both worlds – a friendly campus university, set in beautiful countryside with the convenience and social life of Guildford on your doorstep.

Start date: October 2024

Start date: January 2025

Start date: April 2025

Start date: July 2025

  • Annual fees will increase by 4% for each year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100 (subject to legal requirements).
  • Any start date other than September will attract a pro-rata fee for that year of entry (75 per cent for January, 50 per cent for April and 25 per cent for July).

Additional costs

There are additional costs that you can expect to incur when studying at Surrey.

A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate doctoral course.

Apply online

If you are applying for a studentship to work on a particular project, please provide details of the project instead of a research proposal.

Read our application guidance for further information on applying.

To apply online first select the course you'd like to apply for then log in.

1. Select your course

Select the course you wish to apply for.

To apply online sign in or create an account.

Code of practice for research degrees

Surrey’s postgraduate research code of practice sets out the University's policy and procedural framework relating to research degrees. The code defines a set of standard procedures and specific responsibilities covering the academic supervision, administration and assessment of research degrees for all faculties within the University.

Download the code of practice for research degrees (PDF) .

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to follow our policies and procedures , student regulations , and terms and conditions .

We provide these terms and conditions in two stages:

  • First when we make an offer.
  • Second when students accept their offer and register to study with us (registration terms and conditions will vary depending on your course and academic year).

View our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) for the 2023/24 academic year, as a guide on what to expect.

This online prospectus has been published in advance of the academic year to which it applies.

Whilst we have done everything possible to ensure this information is accurate, some changes may happen between publishing and the start of the course.

It is important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read our full disclaimer .

Course location and contact details

Campus location

Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught. 

University of Surrey Admissions

University of Surrey Guildford Surrey GU2 7XH

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Duration: 4 years full time or 5 years part time

Institution code: R72

Campus: Egham and Central London

UK fees * : £4,786

International/EU fees ** : £23,400

The Department of English at Royal Holloway offers expertise across the full chronological and specialist range of English literary study, forging a reputation as one of the most dynamic departments of English in the UK.

PhD students enjoy a varied and lively research culture based in both our London and Egham campuses. The Centre for Victorian Studies hosts popular lectures by international scholars, usually held in the Royal Holloway Picture Gallery, a superb and renowned collection of 19th-century paintings, while readings and performances from our Creative Writing students and internationally recognised staff are a regular feature of our cultural life. These are just examples of what there is to choose from to enrich your time at Royal Holloway and to bring intellectual engagement and community with your fellow researchers.

Research facilities and environment

There is considerable opportunity for research students to work together at Royal Holloway.

Both the Poetics Research Centre and the Centre for Victorian Studies run lively event series.

Doctoral students participate in and lead a variety of research seminars, including the Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar, the Shakespeare Reading Group, the Nineteenth-Century Reading Group, the London 19th Century Studies seminar, and the Finnegans Wake Research Seminar.

Encouragement and support is given to students who wish to present their work at or run conferences.

The Doctoral School runs numerous events and is an important source of information for the Postgraduate Research community at Royal Holloway.

Creative writing and practice-based students also find numerous platforms to disseminate their work. The School of Humanities runs a series of seminars, workshops and lectures for practice-based students. Discipline-specific research training is available through  departmental, School and College programmes .

  • Dissertation not more than 100,000 words
  • Viva voce examination.

Practice-based PhD:

  • 60,000–90,000 words of creative writing;
  • 20,000–60,000 words of critical writing.
  • Viva voce examination

Poetry and Poetic Practice

  • 45–60 pages of poetry or equivalent practice-based output;

MA by research:

  • Dissertation of not more than 40,000 words, plus (at the discretion of the examiners) a viva voce examination.

Entry requirements

We typically expect students beginning an MPhil or an MPhil leading to a PhD degree to hold at least a 2:1 or equivalent for their undergraduate degree and at least a merit or equivalent at Master’s level. There are minimum English language requirements for overseas students in line with general admission policies to the college.

English language requirements

All teaching at Royal Holloway (apart from some language courses) is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start of your course.

The scores we require

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall. Writing 7.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
  • Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Writing 69. No other subscore lower than 51.
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
  • TOEFL ib: 88 overall, with Reading 18 Listening 17 Speaking 20 Writing 26.

Country-specific requirements

For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please see  here .

Many of our PhD graduates have gone on to successful academic careers in tertiary and secondary education. Others have obtained posts at the British Library, Shakespeare’s Globe and a wide variety of museum, curation and arts management projects. Some practice-based graduates now work in Creative Writing posts in academic institutions, and many have published successful (and in many cases award-winning) novels and books of poetry.

Fees & funding

Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £4,786

EU and international students tuition fee per year**: £23,400

Other essential costs***: There are no individual costs greater than £50 per item.

…How do I pay for it? Find out more about   funding options,   including loans, grants,   scholarships   and bursaries. 

* and ** These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis in the academic year 2024/25.

* Please note that for research courses, we adopt the minimum fee level recommended by the UK Research Councils for the Home   tuition fee. Each year, the fee level is adjusted in line with inflation (currently, the measure used is the Treasury GDP deflator). Fees displayed here are therefore subject to change and are usually confirmed in the spring of the year of entry.   For more information on the Research Council Indicative Fee please see the   UKRI website.

** This figure is the fee for EU and international students starting a degree in the academic year 2024/25.   

Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase all postgraduate tuition fees annually, based on the UK’s Retail Price Index (RPI). Please therefore be aware that tuition fees can rise during your degree (if longer than one year’s duration), and that this also means that the overall cost of studying the course part-time will be slightly higher than studying it full-time in one year. For further information, please see our  terms and conditions .

***   These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree at Royal Holloway during the 2024/25 academic year and are included as a guide. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included. 

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Brunel University London

What do you want to do?

Find out about the research we do in english.

  • English PhD

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Find a supervisor

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Mode of study

3 years full-time

6 years part-time

phd in english in uk universities

International   £21,260

UK   £4,786

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Entry requirements

Research profile.

English at Brunel has gone from strength to strength over the last decade to the point where it is now regularly ranked in the  top ten English departments in the UK  in the Guardian league tables. We have a thriving graduate community, and welcome PhD applications in any of our particular areas of strength, which include modern and contemporary literature, Shakespeare, Renaissance studies, Victorian literature and culture, and world literature in English.

We have some of Britain’s most celebrated, talented, original, and experienced writers actively publishing in the industry today, including Banjamin Zephaniah, Will Self, Bernardine Evaristo, Christopher Fox, Geoff King, Fiona Templeton and many more, having published over 80 powerfully diverse books between them and written for all the national newspapers.

You’ll benefit from their in-depth knowledge and passion for what they teach as well as their first-hand experience of what it takes to break into the literary and creative fields.

A full description of  staff research interests , and the kinds of projects which each staff member can supervise, is now available. Some past research projects undertaken by faculty at Brunel include:

  • War, heroic masculinity, and the body in the early modern period
  • Exiles, refugees and migrants in the early modern world
  • The rise of print and propaganda in the West, c.1450-1750
  • Writing and rewriting history in early modern Europe
  • The Reformation in print
  • Fantasy writing of the 19th and 20th centuries
  • 20th/21st century comparative studies
  • Mass-Observation and Everyday Life
  • Working-class and proletarian writing
  • Modernist and postwar women's writing
  • Transnational modernist studies
  • Popular fictions, popular culture and consumption
  • Radical politics and aesthetics
  • Gender studies
  • Queer studies and sexuality studies
  • The New York School and the avant-garde
  • Postcolonial literature and theory
  • Caribbean and migrant fiction
  • World Literature
  • World-systems theory, development studies, global capitalism
  • Postwar science fiction
  • 9/11 and the traumatological
  • Narrative analysis
  • Contemporary global fictions
  • Contemporary British fiction
  • The break-up of Britain as represented in contemporary fiction

You can explore our campus and facilities for yourself by taking our virtual tour .

Our researchers create knowledge and advance understanding, and equip versatile doctoral researchers with the confidence to apply what they have learnt for the benefit of society. Find out more about working with the Supervisory Team .

You are welcome to approach your potential supervisor directly to discuss your research interests. Search for expert supervisors for your chosen field of research.

While we welcome applications from student with a clear direction for their research, we can also provide you with some ideas. Search for PhD topics for your chosen field of research.

Research journey

This course can be studied 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time, starting in January. Or this course can be studied 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time, starting in October. Or this course can be studied 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time, starting in April.

Find out about what progress might look like at each stage of study here:  Research degree progress structure.

Research support

Excellent research support and training

The Graduate School provides a range of personal, professional and career development opportunities. This includes workshops, online training, coaching and events, to enable you to enhance your professional profile, refine your skills, and plan your next career steps as part of the Researcher Development Programme . The researcher development programme (RDP) offers workshops and seminars in a range of areas including progression, research management, research dissemination, and careers and personal development. You will also be offered a number of online, self-study courses on BBL, including Research Integrity, Research Skills Toolkit, Research Methods in Literature Review and Principles of Research Methods.

Library services

Brunel's Library is open 24 hours a day, has 400,000 books and 250,000 ebooks, and an annual budget of almost £2m. Subject information Specialists train students in the latest technology, digital literacy, and digital dissemination of scholarly outputs. As well as the physical resources available in the Library, we also provide access to a wealth of electronic resources. These include databases, journals and e-books. Access to these resources has been bought by the Library through subscription and is limited to current staff and students.

Dedicated research support staff provide guidance and training on open access, research data management, copyright and other research integrity issues.

Find out more: Brunel Library

Careers and your future

You will receive tailored careers support during your PhD and for up to three years after you complete your research at Brunel. We encourage you to actively engage in career planning and managing your personal development right from the start of your research, even (or perhaps especially) if you don't yet have a career path in mind. Our careers provision includes online information and advice, one-to-one consultations and a range of events and workshops. The Professional Development Centre runs a varied programme of careers events throughout the academic year. These include industry insight sessions, recruitment fairs, employer pop-ups and skills workshops.

In addition, where available, you may be able to undertake some paid work as we recognise that teaching and learning support duties represent an important professional and career development opportunity.

Find out more.

UK entry requirements

The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (1st or 2:1). 

An interview will be required as part of the admissions process and will be conducted by at least two academic staff members remotely via MS Teams, Zoom, or face to face.

Applicants will be required to submit a personal statement  and a research statement. Please contact your proposed supervisor, where possible, to receive feedback and guidance on your research statement before submitting it. Learn how to prepare a research statement  here .   

EU and International entry requirements

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by  UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list . This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 7 (min 6 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 64 (59 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT : 68% (58% in all areas)
  • TOEFL: 98 overall (min 20) 

You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our  English Language Requirements  page.

Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason. We offer our own BrunELT English test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options through our  Brunel Language Centre .

Please check our Admissions  pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants. This information is for guidance only and each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Entry requirements are subject to review, and may change.

Fees and funding

2024/5 entry, international.

£21,260 full-time

£10,630 part-time

£4,786 full-time

£2,393 part-time

Fees quoted are per year and are subject to an annual increase.

Some courses incur  additional course related costs . You can also check our  on-campus accommodation costs  for more information on living expenses.

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. Recently the UK Government made available the Doctoral Student Loans of up to £25,000 for UK and EU students and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.

Scholarships and bursaries

  • Brunel Graduate Discount

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English PhD

  • Full-time: 48 months
  • Part-time: 96 months
  • Start date: October 2024, February 2025
  • UK fees: £5,100
  • International fees: £21,500

Research overview

Develop original research into literature and language, from the medieval period to the present day, guided by our expert staff. 

Our friendly research community will encourage you to develop your skills and expand your thinking. You will also develop key transferable and research specific skills.

We offer a diverse range of expertise, spanning from the Old English period to contemporary writing. Recent student research has included 'Language and LGBT identity',  ' Danelaw Boundaries: the place-name evidence in context', and 'The influence of William Blake on the mysticism of Irish modernist writers'.

You are also welcome to join the activities and events of our research centres:

  • The Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics
  • Centre for the Study of the Viking Age
  • Centre for Regional Literature and Culture
  • DH Lawrence Research Centre
  • Institute for Name Studies
  • Linguistic Profiling for Professionals

Course content

A PhD in English is mainly made up of independent study, with supervision meetings spread throughout the year.

There are no taught credits attached to a PhD, although it is compulsory for full-time students to attend the Arts Faculty Researcher Skills training programme.

Some PhD students also choose to audit masters modules taught by their supervisors where appropriate, though this is not compulsory, nor does it involve any formal assessment.

Part-time students

Part-time students are expected to attend at least two face-to-face meetings in the School of English each year. Most supervision meetings can be held online (e.g. via Teams). Students are asked to attend the initial induction sessions during welcome week in-person if possible, and have their first supervision meeting face-to-face with their supervisory team.

Part-time students are required to take part in all required research training, which in many cases is available online, attend postgraduate seminars where possible, and one postgraduate researcher (PGR) symposium over the period of their registration. Wherever possible the final viva examination will be face-to-face. Students who cannot meet this requirement would need to request to transfer to remote study .

You will complete a written thesis of up to 100,000 words, with expert support and advice from your academic supervisor(s). You will also take a verbal examination called a viva voce, where you explain your project in depth to an examination panel.

A creative writing thesis will mainly consist of your own original creative work. This could be a novel, a manuscript of poems, a collection of short stories, a play, or another form of creative output. Your thesis will also include a critical analysis of your creative work, which you will situate within a theorised or analytical context.

A PhD thesis should not normally exceed 100,000 words in length. It is expected that the creative element would usually comprise 50,000-70,000 words. The critical analysis component will normally be 15,000-30,000 words in length.

What is the thesis pending period?

All periods of registration are followed by a period of writing-up, called the thesis-pending period, when tuition fees are not paid and students are writing up their thesis.

Find out more in the university's Quality Manual

Progression review

All PhD students take part in progression review assessments to ensure that their project is progressing satisfactorily. A progression review consists usually consists of written reports from both the student and the supervisory team.

All students have an independent assessment interview for their Stage 1 and Stage 2 reviews (end of years 1 and 2 for full-time students, years 2 and 4 for part-time students).

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2024 entry.

Meeting our English language requirements

If you need support to meet the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional English course. Presessional courses teach you academic skills in addition to English language. Our  Centre for English Language Education is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

If you successfully complete your presessional course to the required level, you can then progress to your degree course. This means that you won't need to retake IELTS or equivalent.

For on-campus presessional English courses, you must take IELTS for UKVI to meet visa regulations. For online presessional courses, see our CELE webpages for guidance.

Visa restrictions

International students must have valid UK immigration permissions for any courses or study period where teaching takes place in the UK. Student route visas can be issued for eligible students studying full-time courses. The University of Nottingham does not sponsor a student visa for students studying part-time courses. The Standard Visitor visa route is not appropriate in all cases. Please contact the university’s Visa and Immigration team if you need advice about your visa options.

We recognise that applicants have a variety of experiences and follow different pathways to postgraduate study.

We treat all applicants with alternative qualifications on an individual basis. We may also consider relevant work experience.

If you are unsure whether your qualifications or work experience are relevant, contact us .

You will be required to provide a PhD proposal with your application, which will set out the structure of your project.

The basis of a good proposal is usually a set of questions, approaches, and objectives which clearly outline your proposed project and what you want to accomplish. The proposal should also clearly demonstrate how you are going to accomplish this.

A PhD proposal should be a minimum of 1000 words. There is no upward limit for proposals, although successful proposals are often not much longer than about 2000-3000 words. You should consider:

  • The methodologies that you will use in your project (as appropriate)
  • The necessary resources and facilities you will need to carry out your project

It is also helpful to include:

  • A summary of any further research experience, in addition to your academic qualifications. This could include work undertaken at undergraduate or masters level, or outside the educational system
  • The name of the supervisor who may supervise the project (see the full list of supervision areas in the school )

Find out more about how to write a research proposal.

You may find it helpful to get in touch with a member of academic staff about your research proposal before submitting an application. They may be able to help you with your proposal and offer support to find funding opportunities in your area.

Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about applying for postgraduate research.

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice .

You'll be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to buy your own copies of core texts. The Blackwell's bookshop on campus offers a year-round price match against any of the main retailers (i.e. Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smith).

Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Programme

Midlands4Cities (M4C) PhD students benefit from a high quality package of:

  • enhanced support and training
  • expert supervision
  • excellent networking opportunities

You must apply for a place at Nottingham before submitting your M4C application.

There are many ways to fund your research degree, from scholarships to government loans.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Regular supervision

You will have a team of at least two supervisors. Full-time students will meet with their supervisory team at least 10 times each year (six times for part-time students).

Your supervisors will help you to realise your research project and to guide you through your research. Many students will also attend conferences and publish papers in conjunction with their supervisors, to gain valuable experience and contacts in the academic community.

Professional development

Research students in the School of English benefit from:

  • Opportunities to teach in the school and develop related skills
  • Student-led fortnightly research seminars and an annual symposium
  • Research networks created by the research centres and individual research projects
  • Research council-funded international research exchange visits with leading universities
  • Co-authorship with members of staff
  • Dedicated staff-postgraduate reading groups
  • Support for participation in international conferences and seminars

Postgraduate seminars and conference attendance

A fortnightly seminar series is run by and for the postgraduate students in the school during term time.

The seminars provide a forum for students to share work in progress with staff and peers, to hear from invited speakers, and to explore key academic and career topics in a supportive atmosphere.

Researcher training and development

The Researcher Academy is the network for researchers, and staff who support them. We work together to promote a healthy research culture, to cultivate researcher excellence, and develop creative partnerships that enable researchers to flourish.

Postgraduate researchers at Nottingham have access to our online Members’ area, which includes a wealth of resources, access to training courses and award-winning postgraduate placements.

Graduate centres

Our graduate centres are dedicated community spaces on campus for postgraduates.

Each space has areas for:

  • socialising
  • computer work
  • kitchen facilities

Student support

You will have access to a range of support services , including:

  • academic and disability support
  • childcare services
  • counselling service
  • faith support
  • financial support
  • mental health and wellbeing support
  • visa and immigration advice
  • welfare support

Students' Union

Our Students' Union represents all students. You can join the Postgraduate Students’ Network or contact the dedicated Postgraduate Officer .

There are also a range of support networks, including groups for:

  • international students
  • black and minority ethnic students
  • students who identify as women
  • students with disabilities
  • LGBT+ students

SU Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice on issues such as accommodation, financial and academic difficulties.

Where you will learn

University park campus.

University Park Campus  covers 300 acres, with green spaces, wildlife, period buildings and modern facilities. It is one of the UK's most beautiful and sustainable campuses, winning a national Green Flag award every year since 2003.

Most schools and departments are based here. You will have access to libraries, shops, cafes, the Students’ Union, sports village and a health centre.

You can walk or cycle around campus. Free hopper buses connect you to our other campuses. Nottingham city centre is 15 minutes away by public bus or tram.

phd in english in uk universities

English PhD - dedicated study space

Our research students benefit from dedicated office space with networked PCs, social and communal space, and kitchen facilities.

phd in english in uk universities

Library facilities - School of English

  • manuscripts from the 12th-15th centuries and books in Old and Middle English, Old Icelandic, Viking Studies, and runology
  • the  English Place-Name Society  library and archive
  • Hallward Library's  DH Lawrence archive (containing Lawrence family papers, manuscripts, first editions, and books owned by Lawrence)
  • the Cambridge Drama Collection (over 1,500 items including plays and works about the British theatre from 1750-1850)

phd in english in uk universities

English PhD - eye-tracking equipment

Our eye tracking equipment is an integral part of the research of the  Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics . Students are welcome to use this equipment in their research.

Whether you are considering a career in academia, industry or haven't yet decided, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Expert staff will work with you to explore PhD career options and apply for vacancies, develop your interview skills and meet employers. You can book a one-to-one appointment, take an online course or attend a workshop.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route . Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

This course will develop key transferable skills, including:

  • analysis and problem-solving
  • independent research
  • information gathering and data management
  • construction of logical and persuasive arguments

As a result, our graduates enter a wide range of careers. These include:

  • lecturing, teaching and academic research
  • specialist archive, librarian, heritage and museum work
  • journalism, publishing and research
  • local and central government
  • social policy

100% of postgraduates from the School of English secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £37,402.*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2019/20 data published in 2022 . The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on data from graduates who completed a full-time postgraduate degree with home fee status and are working full-time within the UK.

Joanna-Martin

Related courses

Creative writing phd, applied linguistics phd, applied linguistics with english language teaching phd, research excellence framework.

The University of Nottingham is ranked 7th in the UK for research power, according to analysis by Times Higher Education. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a national assessment of the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

  • We are proud to be in the top 10 UK universities for research into English, while our ranking of 9th by 'research power' reflects our research excellence
  • 90%* of our research is classed as 'world-leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*)
  • 100%* of our research is recognised internationally
  • 51% of our research is assessed as 'world-leading' (4*) for its impact**

*According to analysis by Times Higher Education ** According to our own analysis.

This content was last updated on 24 October 2023 . Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.

English Literature

PhD, MPhil English Literature

Research in the Department of English brings the core values of our discipline - textual scholarship, critical and theoretical analysis, and contextual knowledge - to the dynamic and changing field of English literary studies. We cover the full chronological range, from the medieval to the contemporary period, with many colleagues engaged in interdisciplinary research.

We are proud of our expertise in medieval and early-modern literature, in Romantic and Victorian literature, in modernism, and in contemporary writing in English. The department is notable for its breadth of research in English poetry across the periods, and our range of specialist interests includes literary theory, the history of book, literature and science, literature and medicine, literature and the environment, digital humanities, women's writing and gender studies, queer writing, postcolonial literature, Black British writing, world literatures in English, 20th-century American literature, and Welsh and Anglo-Welsh writing.

In these and other areas we foster doctoral research both within the department and in collaboration with other departments at Bristol and beyond, including in art history, medical sciences, philosophy, history, politics, drama, classics, theology and modern languages.

Programme structure

MPhil: a stand-alone, one-year (full-time) research degree. Students will undertake their own research project, concluding with the submission of a 25,000-word dissertation. Students may have the option to audit units from our taught master's programmes if they are relevant to their research.

PhD: a research project undertaken across four years (full-time, minimum period of study three years), culminating in an 80,000-word thesis. As well as having the option to audit taught units where appropriate, there may be the potential for PhD students to teach units themselves from their second year of study onwards.

The MPhil and PhD can be studied via distance learning.

World-leading research

The University of Bristol is ranked fifth for research in the UK ( Times Higher Education ).

94% of our research assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Entry requirements

MPhil: An upper second-class degree or international equivalent. Please note, acceptance will also depend on evidence of your readiness to pursue a research degree.

PhD: A master's qualification, or be working towards a master's qualification, or international equivalent. Applicants without a master's qualification may be considered on an exceptional basis, provided they hold a first-class undergraduate degree (or international equivalent). Applicants with a non-traditional background may be considered provided they can demonstrate substantial equivalent and relevant experience that has prepared them to undertake their proposed course of study.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our  profile level A.

Further information about  English language requirements and profile levels .

Fees and funding

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support .

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study.  Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2024/25

The University of Bristol is part of the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP), which will be offering studentships for September 2024. For information on other funding opportunities, including University-funded studentships, please see the Faculty of Arts funding pages .

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Career prospects

A large number of graduates from this programme develop careers in higher education or work on high-level research projects in the field of English Literature. Some graduates take up careers in freelance writing and editing.

Meet our supervisors

The following list shows potential supervisors for this programme. Visit their profiles for details of their research and expertise.

Research groups

We see postgraduate study as a vital component of our research culture, with students bringing their own ideas and initiatives to fruition and engaging in research conversations with their fellow students and academic staff.

Postgraduates take part in organising conferences and study days, regularly present papers at departmental research seminars, and are active in research clusters and reading groups.

The successful completion of an innovative research project, with the guidance of demanding and stimulating supervisors, remains at the heart of postgraduate study. We aim to deliver that outcome, but we also want your experience to be enriched by wider academic contacts and by focused, helpful professional development.

All of the department's researchers have interests that coincide with (but are not limited to) the following areas:

  • Early Modern to 1780
  • The Long Nineteenth Century
  • Modern and Contemporary Literature
  • Literatures of the Global South
  • Creative Writing and Creative Practice
  • Material and Digital Texts
  • Poetry and Poetics
  • Literature, Science and Medical Humanities
  • Literature and the Environment
  • Spatial Humanities
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Race and Ethnicity

The department co-leads the Bristol Poetry Institute , which draws on the department's established strength in this field, and members of the department are directors of and/or active in the faculty's interdisciplinary research centres: Health, Humanities and Science , Environmental Humanities , Creative Technologies , Black Humanities , and Medieval Studies . The centres bring together scholars from a variety of disciplines to share their research, devise innovative research projects, and give interdisciplinarity a real basis in academic practice.

The departmental research seminar, which meets throughout the academic session, is the principal forum for academic staff and graduate students to present and discuss their recent research. At each session there is a mix of speakers from outside Bristol, graduate students, and members of staff. Two annual lectures - the Churchill Lecture and the Tucker-Cruse Lecture - also bring distinguished scholars from outside the University.

How to apply

Apply via our online application system. For further information, please see the guidance for how to apply on our webpages.

January 2024 start: 1 December 2023 September 2024 start: 1 August 2024 January 2025 start: 1 December 2024

The deadlines for funding applications fall well in advance of these dates. Preliminary contact with staff from the department is welcome at any time of the year. We strongly encourage prospective applicants to contact us early, before submitting an application.

Faculty of Arts Postgraduate Research Admissions

Faculty of Arts

School of Humanities

Department of English

Explore more

Find out about the bristol doctoral college.

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UCL English

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MPhil/PhD in English Literature and Language

One of the highest-ranking English Departments in the UK, UCL provides fantastic opportunities for PhD students to study in the heart of literary London, with access to vast quantities of resources and research materials, and a high number of academic staff working on a diverse range of specialist topics. 

Note that you should identify a prospective supervisor yourself (see our list of staff ) and contact them before you make your formal application, to check that they are in a position to support the project that you are proposing.

Dr Julia Jordan ( [email protected] ) is the English Department's Graduate Tutor. Application enquiries can also be directed to Natasha Clark ( [email protected] ), Senior Education Administrator.

With access to a vast collection of archival materials, and world-leading supervision in a wide range of literary periods and topics, UCL is one of the best universities in which to study for an English PhD.     

There are normally about 45 students undertaking research degrees in the department. Graduate students initially register for the MPhil degree, but usually in the second year, when a realistic and workable thesis has been confirmed, and work-in-progress and a future plan have been discussed, students are upgraded from MPhil to PhD status.

Students accepted for admission are given a principal supervisor with whom the student will work closely during the course of the degree. A secondary supervisor is also appointed to provide additional advice. Great importance is attached to matching student and supervisor, and ensuring that students' progress is well monitored. Students meet either one or other supervisor approximately ten times during the academic year. The Department is eager to ensure PhD completion rates within four years, and therefore reviews each student's progress by means of an interview at the end of each year. When completed and submitted, the thesis is defended in an oral examination. 

Students are expected to complete the PhD within three or four years of registration, and the minimum period of registration is two years. Part-time students complete the degree within five to seven years of registration. 

The Department offers MPhil/PhD supervision in a wide range of topics, including English and English-related language and literature from Old English to the present day. Information on the research interests of staff can be found here (click on the name of each member of staff to access their personal profile). 

Research Resources

UCL Library has outstanding physical and digital collections for literary research, as well as specialist materials in its excellent Special Collections department. Among these are the George Orwell Archive; Little Magazines; the Routledge and Kegan Paul Archives (publishing history); the Brougham Papers and papers of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (19th-century liberalism); and the Chadwick Papers (19th-century sanitary reform). UCL Library also has superb holdings in London history. For language topics the Department is especially well placed, as it houses the world-renowned Survey of English Usage.

Other London archives with manuscript and rare book resources relevant to the Department’s research interests include (but are by no means limited to):

  • British Library
  • University of London Library (Senate House Library)
  • Guildhall Library
  • London Library
  • Library of the London School of Economics
  • Dr Williams’s Library
  • Bishopsgate Institute Library
  • Library of the Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Archives of the Royal Society
  • The Women’s Library at London School of Economics

Research is expected to take students into numerous libraries and archives, not only within London, but also throughout Britain, and often internationally. 

Research Environment

The Department places great emphasis on opportunities for students to discuss their work and participate in the exchange of knowledge and ideas. There is a programme of regular departmental Research Seminars at which PhD students are invited to present their work; speakers may also include members of the department’s academic staff and invited guests. The department also hosts a seminar series on Race, Power, and Poetics , and a wide range of informal discussion groups and reading groups.

The Institute of Advanced Studies (part of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities) hosts an exciting programme of research events and activities. UCL students also have access to the abundance of seminars and conferences available across London, including those of the Institute of English Studies  at the University of London.

The English Department’s graduate students organise a one-day conference each year; many of the papers delivered at the conference are published in  Moveable Type , the Department's graduate-led online journal. There is a Graduate Common Room in the English Department. Many PhD students spend much time working at the British Library, to which UCL has unrivalled proximity, which also functions as a hub for academic networking.

Details of current PhD students and their projects can be found here . 

Your research proposal does not need to be long (typically somewhere between 800-1000 words). The most important things we are looking for you to explain are:

1) What primary literature/texts will you be studying?

2) What is your idea/approach to this literature?

3) How does your project fit in to the secondary literature/criticism on this topic?

4) Practical details, like which archives you will use, roughly how long you will spend on each chapter, what each chapter may be about, etc

5) That you have considered how the chosen project will work within a 100,000 word limit (so it's clearly not something so small that it's 20,000 words maximum, nor have you chosen something so big that you couldn't possibly do it justice in 500,000).

Proposals and intentions often change a little/quite a lot once they are on the course, but the important thing is just to demonstrate that you have thought about the practicalities and you have a clear, viable research topic that we could supervise in the Department, and which you could complete within three years.

Applicants should usually expect to begin their studies in September at the start of an academic year (although in some cases, a January start can be discussed). UCL’s application process usually opens in mid-October, and you are encouraged to apply as early as possible, as there are a number of stages to the process.

It is essential to understand that your application for a place must be fully processed, and an offer of a place at UCL secured, before you can apply to any of the various funding schemes (see under ‘Applying for Funding’ below). You should allow time for this, and for us to advise you on your funding application(s). For this reason your full, formal application for a place via UCL’s online system must be submitted by Friday 5 January 2024 at the latest . This is an internal departmental deadline and supersedes any dates given on external websites.

We strongly recommend that all candidates should apply for funding; but those candidates who intend to self-fund may apply for entry in September 2024 at any time up to 31 March 2024.

The steps for applying for a place take some time, and are as follows:

1. Contact a member of staff in the English Department to establish whether they are available and interested in supervising your project. They may ask to see your CV and a brief research proposal (see above, ‘The Research Proposal’). You can find details of the research interests of individual members of staff here (click on each name to see the staff member’s profile). If you are not sure who to approach, you may consult the English Department’s Graduate Tutor, Dr Julia Jordan ( [email protected] ) .

Please be aware that members of staff cannot give detailed advice on how to improve your research proposal. This is because evaluation of the proposal is an important part of the process for the selection of candidates, so it must be your own independent work. If we invite you for interview (step 3 below) this will be an opportunity for you to discuss your proposal with your prospective supervisor. If we offer you a place (step 4 below), we will then advise you on how to make your research proposal as strong as possible for your funding application(s).

2.   If you have been encouraged to make a full, formal online application, please do so, following the instructions here . Your application must include a research proposal, two references, a CV, and transcripts from your previous academic courses. If you intend to proceed to funding applications, your application for a place must be submitted by 5 January 2024 . When you submit your application, please also send your research proposal and academic CV directly by email to the English Department’s Graduate Tutor, Dr Julia Jordan ( [email protected] ) .

Applying as an international student  

Further information about English language requirements and applying as an international student can be found here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/applying-international-student . 

3.   The English Department will consider the strength of each applicant’s proposed research project, the applicant's grades in undergraduate and Masters level study, and the suitability (and availability) of academic staff in the Department to supervise the proposed project. If we decide to proceed with the application, the applicant will be invited to a short interview to discuss the research proposal in more detail. This will normally be with the applicant's proposed primary supervisor, a potential secondary supervisor, and/or the Tutor for Graduates. UK applicants will normally be interviewed at UCL; international students, or those who are unable to attend for other reasons, will be interviewed online. Please try to ensure that you are available for interview from November to January.

4.  If your interview is successful, we will offer you a place. You can now proceed to funding applications (see ‘Applying for Funding’ below). PLEASE NOTE: it is your responsibility to be aware of the deadlines for different funding schemes, and to ensure that there is time for your application for a place to be fully processed before you proceed to funding applications.

Scholarships for which you may be eligible to apply are listed here .  

Studentships for PhDs in English at UCL are available from LAHP (the London Arts and Humanities Partnership), funded by the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council). LAHP is a consortium of Higher Education Institutions in London. More information, including eligibility for a studentship and how to apply, is available from their website . Around 10% of applications for studentships are successful.

Applicants who are interested in LAHP funding must also have submitted a completed PhD application to UCL by Friday 5 January 2024. Once we have confirmed your offer of a place, you must then submit a completed LAHP application form,  including the supervisor statement,  by their  deadline   ( 26th January 2024 at 5pm ).  Your prospective supervisor will advise you on how to make your LAHP application as strong as possible. It is your responsibility to allow sufficient time for all of these processes.

If you have any further questions about the LAHP application procedure, please email Ms Natasha Clark ( [email protected]

Research Excellence Scholarship (RES)

UCL Research Excellence Scholarships aim to attract high-quality students to undertake research at UCL. Up to 40 UCL  Research Excellence Scholarships (RES) are available to prospective and current research students from any country.

More details about the application process for the Research Excellence Scholarships, including deadlines, can be found here .

Wolfson Scholarships

The Wolfson Foundation is offering six postgraduate research awards in the humanities for 2024/25. These will be for three areas in history, literature and languages.

Details about the award scheme and the application process can be found here . 

Applicants should send the mandatory documents to Natasha Clark ( [email protected] ) by the end of 12 January 2024.

UCL Research Opportunity Scholarship

UCL's Research Opportunity Scholarship (UCL-ROS) supports UK BAME postgraduate research degree students. Details about eligibility, the award and the application process can be found here .

Each student works closely with their supervisor to develop research skills specific to their project. Regular completion of an online research log helps the student and supervisor to assess training needs.

The English Department provides a course in PhD Skills Training. The first term is on Research Skills and Methods, and is aimed at first-year students, who are required to attend. The second term is on Professional Academic Skills, and is open to all PhD students.

Across UCL, PhD training is co-ordinated by the Doctoral School . The Doctoral Skills Development Programme is delivered via the Inkpath platform, and benefits from participation by the Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network , a consortium of leading Higher Education Institutions.

Training courses and events are also available from LAHP (the London Arts and Humanities Partnership). LAHP-funded students are given priority for booking, but places may also be available to other students.

Teaching opportunities for research students

PhD students who are making good progress with their research project are offered teaching opportunities. Those in their second year are normally offered experience in teaching one-to-one tutorials. Those in their third year are normally offered experience in teaching seminars.

PhD students in English also work with UCL’s Access and Widening Participation team to deliver a highly successful Summer School for Year 12 school students.

Employment Prospects

PhD graduates from the Department have an excellent record of securing employment in institutions of higher education. In recent years PhD alumni have progressed to academic positions here at UCL, as well as at Oxford and Cambridge, in the wider University of London, and at other universities across the UK. Others have successfully gained international appointments, in destinations including the United States, Canada, and New Zealand. Our PhD graduates are also well placed to pursue careers outside academia, as the skills in research, analysis, writing, and communication obtained during the PhD transfer easily to high-level work in many sectors.

UCL prospectus page for the MPhil/PhD programme.

For further information, please email Natasha Clark ( [email protected] ).

Apply Online

You can find a link to the online application form on the main UCL website at the bottom of this page: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply

We do accept some visiting students, if there is a suitable academic to act as supervisor. The first step is to identify someone who looks like a suitable supervisor by looking through the list of academic staff yourself:  https://www.ucl.ac.uk/english/people/academic-staff  . Then, you should contact them with your research proposal to see if they think they would be well-positioned to supervise and will be available to do so over the period of time you’d like to visit. If they are happy to supervise you, you must submit an application via our online system. Further details about this and the link for applying can be found on this page: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/international/study-abroad-and-exchange/visiting-research-students .

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"I am currently completing my PhD on Shakespeare. The English department at UCL is a very special place: the academic staff are dedicated, supportive. I would whole-heartedly recommend applying to study English at UCL."

Shani Bans, PhD Candidate

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Course type

Qualification, university name, phd degrees in english literature.

32 degrees at 28 universities in the UK.

Customise your search

Select the start date, qualification, and how you want to study

About Postgraduate English Literature

A PhD in English literature in the UK offers an in-depth academic programme tailored for individuals dedicated to deepening their exploration of literary analysis, history and cultures. Graduates of this programme are well-suited for diverse professional paths, including roles as academic scholars, published authors, literary analysts and researchers in literary studies, contributing substantially to the field of literary criticism and theory.

For advanced academic pursuits in English literature, there are more than 30 PhD options in the UK. These programmes appeal to candidates with a strong foundation in English literature, demonstrated through a master's degree or equivalent in humanities disciplines. The focus of these programmes is to develop critical analysis, research expertise and literary analysis.

What to Expect

English literature PhD programmes involve a significant focus on independent research, encouraging students to delve into specialised areas such as specific literary periods, genres, works of individual authors, or theoretical frameworks.

The core of the programme is the doctoral dissertation, a comprehensive original research project that makes a significant contribution to the study of literature. Evaluation is predominantly based on the doctoral thesis, with candidates also engaging in academic seminars and conferences, contributing to scholarly publications, integral for developing their academic profiles and networking opportunities.

Graduates of these PhD programmes emerge as experts in English literature, equipped with the skills to critically analyse and interpret literary works, contextualise literature within their cultural and historical milieus and contribute new perspectives to literary discourse. Graduates are prepared for impactful academic and research roles in publishing, cultural institutions and various sectors where advanced analytical and interpretative skills are valued.

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Related subjects:

  • PhD English Literature
  • PhD Shakespeare

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  • Course title (A-Z)
  • Course title (Z-A)
  • Price: high - low
  • Price: low - high

PhD English

University of hull.

About our programmes English at Hull is friendly, inclusive and supportive, and characterised by the internationally excellent research Read more...

  • 3 years Full time degree: £4,712 per year (UK)
  • 5 years Part time degree: £2,356 per year (UK)

English PhD

Bangor university.

The MPhil is awarded for a dissertation of not more than 60,000 words and the PhD for a dissertation normally of not more than 100,000 Read more...

  • 6 years Part time degree: £2,356 per year (UK)

English Literature and Language MPhil/PhD

University of worcester.

We welcome applications to undertake research towards MPhil and PhD degrees in English Literature and Language. Research at Worcester has Read more...

  • 3 years Full time degree: £4,950 per year (UK)
  • 5 years Part time degree: £2,475 per year (UK)

English Literature PhD

University of glasgow.

By choosing to embark on postgraduate research study in English Literature at Glasgow, you will be joining a thriving, dynamic, and Read more...

English Literature MPhil, PhD

Newcastle university.

The research-led English Literature MPhil and PhD enable you to study a specialist area of literature. Join our thriving School with an Read more...

  • 36 months Full time degree
  • 72 months Part time degree

University of Nottingham

Develop original research into literature and language, from the medieval period to the present day, guided by our expert staff. Our Read more...

  • 48 months Online/Distance degree: £5,100 per year (UK)
  • 96 months Online/Distance degree

University of Surrey

Why choose this programme We perform innovative and world-leading research across literature, writing and linguistics. We’re part of the Read more...

  • 4 years Full time degree: £4,712 per year (UK)
  • 8 years Part time degree: £2,356 per year (UK)

PhD Postgraduate research in English Language and Literature

University of wolverhampton.

The School of Humanities offers a vibrant environment for MPhil/PhD students, who will have the opportunity to work with enthusiastic, Read more...

English Literature, American Studies & Creative Writing PhD

University of central lancashire.

On our MA by Research or PhD in English Literature, American Studies & Creative Writing you'll research your chosen topic in depth, guided Read more...

  • 1 year Full time degree: £5,000 per year (UK)
  • 2 years Part time degree: £2,500 per year (UK)

University of West London

The London School of Film, Media and Design offers a PhD in English Literature by individual research within the areas of expertise of Read more...

  • 4 years Full time degree: £3,995 per year (UK)
  • 6 years Part time degree: £2,000 per year (UK)

Aberystwyth University

PhD English Literature The English Department provides an excellent environment for postgraduate study, research, and creative work. The Read more...

English Literature PhDs and MPhils (Distance Learning)

University of portsmouth.

If you want to take your expertise in the written word into a postgraduate research degree in English Literature, Portsmouth is the perfect Read more...

  • 6 years Distance without attendance degree: £2,356 per year (UK)

PhD in Creative Writing and English Literature

Manchester metropolitan university.

RESEARCH CULTURE We are a leading centre for the study of literature and culture. We host a large and vibrant community of renowned Read more...

  • 3 years Full time degree: £4,850 per year (UK)
  • 6 years Part time degree

English literature PhD

University of brighton.

The University of Brighton offers an active, supportive and stimulating environment for English literature PhD study in a range of literary Read more...

  • 7 years Part time degree: £2,356 per year (UK)

Shakespeare Studies PhD (On-Campus or by Distance Learning)

University of birmingham.

In the heart of Shakespeare’s Stratford, with access to the theatres of the Royal Shakespeare Company and extraordinarily rich libraries Read more...

  • 3 years Distance without attendance degree: £2,389 per year (UK)
  • 3 years Full time degree: £4,778 per year (UK)

English Literature, PhD

Swansea university.

A PhD or MPhil in English Literature enables you to undertake a substantial independent research project, which should be of a Read more...

If you take this English Literature you will experience One-to-one teaching and supervision by established writers and academics. The Read more...

  • 2 years Full time degree: £4,712 per year (UK)

English Literature PhDs and MPhils

English literature phd (on-campus or by distance learning).

By pursuing research in English Literature at Birmingham, you will be joining a vibrant and dynamic research community thanks to the Read more...

University of Hertfordshire

A University of Hertfordshire research degree is an internationally recognised degree signifying high levels of achievement in research. Read more...

  • 3 years Full time degree: £5,925 per year (UK)
  • 6 years Part time degree: £2,960 per year (UK)

1-20 of 32 courses

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Universities:.

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University of Cambridge

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Course closed:

English is no longer accepting new applications.

Cambridge is an outstanding place to work on Anglophone literature. Students and scholars benefit from world-class libraries, and from each other. The PhD cohort is diverse and large in number. No particular area or approach is preferred. Faculty members who act as supervisors and advisors for doctoral theses work on a great variety of topics and in varied ways. Proposals of all kinds are therefore welcome: on little-known as well as canonical authors; from innovative and interdisciplinary as well as from more traditional thematic, theoretical, cultural and literary-historical perspectives. Regular postgraduate training sessions offer guidance at every stage of the process - from first-year assessment to learning to teach to applying for jobs. In addition to the formal training, there are excellent opportunities for the sorts of enriching conversations and collaborations that emerge informally, between fellow PhDs, MPhils and Faculty members. Some of these take place under the auspices of the student-run Graduate Research Forum.  Regular Research Seminars focus on particular periods and fields (for instance, Medieval, Nineteenth Century, Postcolonial and Related Literatures); these combine internal and invited speakers, and encourage discussions and relationships between the entire research community.  The Faculty also puts on occasional conferences on all manner of topics; like the research seminars, many of the most successful and exciting ones are conceived of and run by PhD students.

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the end of October. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the  Postgraduate Open Day  page for more details.

See further the  Postgraduate Admissions Events  pages for other events relating to Postgraduate study, including study fairs, visits and international events.

Key Information

3-4 years full-time, 4-7 years part-time, study mode : research, doctor of philosophy, faculty of english, course - related enquiries, application - related enquiries, course on department website, dates and deadlines:, michaelmas 2024 (closed).

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Lent 2025 (Closed)

Easter 2025 (closed), funding deadlines.

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

Similar Courses

  • English Studies MPhil
  • European, Latin American and Comparative Literatures and Cultures by thesis MPhil
  • European, Latin American and Comparative Literatures and Cultures by Advanced Study MPhil
  • Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Korean Studies) MPhil
  • Asian and Middle Eastern Studies by Research (Korean Studies) MPhil

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English Literature MPhil, PhD

The research-led English Literature MPhil and PhD enable you to study a specialist area of literature.

You are currently viewing course information for entry year:

Start date(s):

  • September 2024
  • January 2025

Join our thriving School with an energetic, creative and well-resourced research culture. Throughout your English Literature MPhil/PhD, you'll benefit from expert supervision.

Our specialist areas of literature range in periods from the medieval to the contemporary. We normally offer supervision in the following areas:

  • Medieval and Early Modern literature
  • 18th-century and Romantic
  • Victorian literature
  • Postcolonial and Black Atlantic literature
  • American literature
  • children’s literature
  • medical humanities
  • poetry criticism
  • scholarly editing and animating text
  • theatre and performance

Important information

We've highlighted important information about your course. Please take note of any deadlines.

Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to Covid-19.

View our  Academic experience page , which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2023-24.

See our  terms and conditions and student complaints information , which gives details of circumstances that may lead to changes to programmes, modules or University services.

Related courses

Qualifications explained.

Find out about the different qualification options for this course.

An MPhil is available in all subject areas. You receive research training and undertake original research leading to the completion of a 40,000 - 50,000 word thesis.

Find out about different types of postgraduate qualifications

A PhD is a doctorate or doctoral award. It involves original research that should make a significant contribution to the knowledge of a specific subject. To complete the PhD you will produce a substantial piece of work (80,000 – 100,000 words) in the form of a supervised thesis. A PhD usually takes three years full time.

How you'll learn

Your work will focus on a single, sustained piece of writing and research. The MPhil thesis is a maximum of 50,000 words and the PhD thesis is a maximum of 100,000 words.

You'll be assigned a supervisor or a supervisory team who you will meet on a regular basis. Your supervisor will be able to give you advice on reading and research training. They'll help you use our research facilities and support you in the development of your work. Our research training programme will support you with researcher development training throughout the programme.

You'll be taught and based on our Newcastle campus. There may be opportunities to carry out work with our School's partner institutions .

Depending on your modules, you'll be assessed through a combination of:

We offer a wide range of projects for the thesis. These will be provided by our academics. You can also propose your own topic.

Our mission is to help you:

  • stay healthy, positive and feeling well
  • overcome any challenges you may face during your degree – academic or personal
  • get the most out of your postgraduate research experience
  • carry out admin and activities essential to progressing through your degree
  • understand postgraduate research processes, standards and rules

We can offer you tailored wellbeing support, courses and activities.

You can also access a broad range of workshops covering:

  • research and professional skills
  • careers support
  • health and safety
  • public engagement
  • academic development

Find out more about our postgraduate research student support

Your development

You'll have plenty of opportunities to network with fellow students and staff and become part of our School research community. These include:

  • our Postgraduate Speaker Series
  • lunchtime Postgraduate Forum seminars
  • an annual postgraduate conference organised by our postgraduate students

You can also take part in a range of university and regional research groups and centres.

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) researcher development programme 

Each faculty offers a researcher development programme for its postgraduate research students. We have designed your programme to help you:

  • perform better as a researcher
  • boost your career prospects
  • broaden your impact

Through workshops and activities, it will build your transferable skills and increase your confidence.

You’ll cover:

  • techniques for effective research
  • methods for better collaborative working
  • essential professional standards and requirements

Your researcher development programme is flexible. You can adapt it to meet your changing needs as you progress through your doctorate.

Find out more about the Researcher Education and Development programme

Doctoral training and partnerships

There are opportunities to undertake your PhD at Newcastle within a:

  • Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT)
  • Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)

Being part of a CDT or DTP has many benefits:

  • they combine research expertise and training of a number of leading universities, academic schools and academics.
  • you’ll study alongside a cohort of other PhD students
  • they’re often interdisciplinary
  • your PhD may be funded

Find out more about doctoral training and partnerships

If there are currently opportunities available in your subject area you’ll find them when you search for funding in the fees and funding section on this course.

The following centres/partnerships below may have PhD opportunities available in your subject area in the future:

  • ESRC Northern Ireland/North East (NINE) Doctoral Training Partnership
  • Northern Bridge Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership

Your future

Our careers service.

Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.

Visit our Careers Service website

Quality and ranking

All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body

From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK

Check the government’s website for more information .

The School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics is a lively and diverse community with over 700 undergraduates and 200 postgraduates.

We are based in the Percy Building. Our purpose-built postgraduate suite includes:

  • several dedicated computer clusters
  • meeting rooms
  • lounge area

Our award-winning  Philip Robinson Library has an extensive audio-visual collection.

You will also be part of the rich research culture in the  Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and may be able to participate in and lead events for our research groups.

We encourage the use of the archival opportunities offered by our various partner institutions, including the Seven Stories Centre for the Children's Book, the Wordsworth Trust (Dove Cottage), and the Keats-Shelley House in Rome.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2024 entry (per year), home fees for research degree students.

For 2024-25 entry, we have aligned our standard Home research fees with those set by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) . The standard fee was confirmed in Spring 2024 by UKRI.

If your studies last longer than one year, your tuition fee may increase in line with inflation.

Depending on your residency history, if you’re a student from the EU, other EEA or a Swiss national, with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you’ll normally pay the ‘Home’ tuition fee rate and may be eligible for Student Finance England support.

EU students without settled or pre-settled status will normally be charged fees at the ‘International’ rate and will not be eligible for Student Finance England support.

If you are unsure of your fee status, check out the latest guidance here .

Scholarships

We support our EU and international students by providing a generous range of Vice-Chancellor's automatic and merit-based scholarships. See  our   searchable postgraduate funding page  for more information.  

What you're paying for

Tuition fees include the costs of:

  • matriculation
  • registration
  • tuition (or supervision)
  • library access
  • examination
  • re-examination

Find out more about:

  • living costs
  • tuition fees

If you are an international student or a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland and you need a visa to study in the UK, you may have to pay a deposit.

You can check this in the How to apply section .

If you're applying for funding, always check the funding application deadline. This deadline may be earlier than the application deadline for your course.

For some funding schemes, you need to have received an offer of a place on a course before you can apply for the funding.

Search for funding

Find funding available for your course

Entry requirements

The entrance requirements below apply to 2024 entry.

Qualifications from outside the UK

English language requirements, admissions policy.

This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.

Download our admissions policy (PDF: 201KB) Other policies related to admissions

Credit transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can allow you to convert existing relevant university-level knowledge, skills and experience into credits towards a qualification. Find out more about the RPL policy which may apply to this course

  • How to apply

Using the application portal

The application portal has instructions to guide you through your application. It will tell you what documents you need and how to upload them.

You can choose to start your application, save your details and come back to complete it later.

If you’re ready, you can select Apply Online and you’ll be taken directly to the application portal.

Alternatively you can find out more about applying on our applications and offers pages .

Open days and events

You'll have a number of opportunities to meet us throughout the year including:

  • campus tours
  • on-campus open days
  • virtual open days

Find out about how you can visit Newcastle in person and virtually

Overseas events

We regularly travel overseas to meet with students interested in studying at Newcastle University.

Visit our events calendar for the latest events

  • Get in touch

Questions about this course?

If you have specific questions about this course you can contact:

Sherelle Coulson Programme Administrator School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7199 Email: [email protected]

For more general enquiries you could also complete our online enquiry form.

Fill in our enquiry form

Our Ncl chatbot might be able to give you an answer straight away. If not, it’ll direct you to someone who can help.

You'll find our Ncl chatbot in the bottom right of this page.

Keep updated

We regularly send email updates and extra information about the University.

Receive regular updates by email

Chat to a student

Chat online with current students with our Unibuddy platform.

Social media

Get involved with the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics   social media

  • How You'll Learn
  • Your Development
  • Your Future
  • Quality and Ranking
  • Fees and Funding
  • Entry Requirements
  • Open days & events

The University of Manchester

Alternatively, use our A–Z index

Attend an open day

Discover more about this subject area

PhD Education / Overview

Year of entry: 2024

  • View full page
  • Bachelor's (Honours) degree at 2:1 or above (or overseas equivalent); and
  • Master's degree in a relevant subject - with an overall average of 60% or above, a minimum mark of 60% in your dissertation (or overseas equivalent)

Full entry requirements

Apply online

Please ensure you include all required supporting documents at the time of submission, as incomplete applications may not be considered.

Application Deadlines

For consideration in internal funding competitions, you must submit your completed application by 19 January 2024.

If you are applying for or have secured external funding (for example, from an employer or government) or are self-funding, you must submit your application before the below deadline to be considered. You will not be able to apply after this date has passed.

  • For September 2024 entry: 30 June 2024

Programme options

Programme overview.

  • 2nd in the UK for Education (Complete University Guide 2024).  
  • The University of Manchester was ranked in the top 10 in the UK for Education research (overall GPA, REF2021).
  • Learn with research-active experts in the field of education and work with highly diverse cohorts of students and staff.
  • Contribute to improvements in the overall wellbeing of students, their families and communities throughout the world through research.

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The University holds regular open days, where you will have the opportunity to tour the campus and find out more about our facilities and programmes. On this day, you will find out more about the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) and meet academic and admissions staff who will be able to answer any questions you have.

For more information, see Open days.

We will be conducting our PGR virtual open week in October 2024. Find out about future events and postgraduate research sessions by signing up for our email alerts.

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2024, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • PhD (full-time) UK students (per annum): £6,000 International, including EU, students (per annum): £21,500
  • PhD (part-time) UK students (per annum): £3,000 International, including EU, students (per annum): £10,750

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

Your fees will cover the cost of your study at the University, as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision, examinations and graduation (excluding graduation robe hire).

Payment of tuition fees will also entitle you to membership of The University of Manchester library, the Students' Union and the Athletic Union.

Scholarships/sponsorships

There are a range of scholarships, studentships and awards to support both UK and overseas postgraduate researchers, details of which can be found via the links below.

To apply University of Manchester funding, you must indicate in your application the competitions for which you wish to be considered. The deadline for most internal competitions, including School of Environment, Education and Development studentships is 19 January 2024.

All external funding competitions have a specified deadline for submitting the funding application form and a separate (earlier) deadline for submitting the online programme application form, both of which will be stated in the funding competition details below.

For more information about funding, visit our funding page to browse for scholarships, studentships and awards you may be eligible for.

  • ESRC North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP) PhD Studentships - Competition Closed for 2024 Entry
  • School of Environment, Education and Development Postgraduate Research Studentships 2024 Entry - Competition Closed for 2024 Entry
  • China Scholarship Council - The University of Manchester (CSC-UoM) Joint Scholarship Programme - Competition Closed for 2024 Entry
  • Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (Least Developed Countries and Fragile States)
  • President's Doctoral Scholar (PDS) Awards - Competition Closed for 2024 Entry
  • Trudeau Doctoral Scholarships 2024 Entry
  • Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (High Income Countries)
  • School of Environment, Education and Development Enhancing Racial Equality (SERE) Studentship - Competition Closed for 2024 Entry
  • Humanities Doctoral Academy Humanitarian Scholarship 2024 Entry

Contact details

Programmes in related subject areas.

Use the links below to view lists of programmes in related subject areas.

Regulated by the Office for Students

The University of Manchester is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS aims to help students succeed in Higher Education by ensuring they receive excellent information and guidance, get high quality education that prepares them for the future and by protecting their interests. More information can be found at the OfS website .

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Manchester, including our Degree Regulations and Complaints Procedure, on our regulations website .

phd in english in uk universities

University of Sheffield ranked within the top 20 in 2025 Complete University Guide

The University of Sheffield has been ranked 18th in the UK in the 2025 Complete University Guide, a rise of two places from last year.

Firth Court

  • University of Sheffield ranked 18th in the UK in 2025 Complete University Guide 
  • The guide, which ranks 130 institutions across the UK, also places the University second in Yorkshire and Humber
  • The news follows the University being voted University of the Year, Best Students' Union and Best Student Life at the Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCAs) 2024 last month

The annual rankings, which support prospective students in making informed decisions about their future, also ranked the University second in Yorkshire and Humber. 

Ranking 130 institutions across the UK, the main league table is based on ten measures: entry standards, student satisfaction, research quality, research intensity, academic services spend, spending on student facilities, continuation, student-staff ratio, graduate prospects and outcomes. 

The news follows the University of Sheffield being voted University of the Year, Best Students' Union and Best Student Life at the Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCAs) 2024 last month. The awards, which are the largest annual university awards in the UK voted for exclusively by students, also saw the University shortlisted in the Facilities, Student Support and International categories.

Shemina Davis

Staff profile photo of Shemina Davis

Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.

Graduate visa route should remain, report finds, after home secretary raised immigration concerns

James Cleverly commissioned an emergency report into the graduate visa route over concerns it was being abused for immigration purposes.

phd in english in uk universities

Political reporter @alixculbertson

Tuesday 14 May 2024 14:31, UK

Trinity College file pic

The graduate visa route should remain as it is key to funding British universities and is "not undermining the quality and integrity" of higher education, a new report has said.

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) looked at whether the visa was being abused and if it was not being "driven more by a desire for immigration" after Home Secretary James Cleverly requested an emergency review in March.

A graduate visa permits overseas students to stay in the UK for up to three years after completing a university course in the UK. Partners and children can also apply as dependents.

Former immigration minister Robert Jenrick published a report last week calling for the graduate visa to be abolished, claiming it "allowed people to come and work in the gig economy and on very low wages".

University and industry leaders had voiced fears that the route, introduced in 2021, could be axed or curtailed if the report had been negative, with universities reporting a steep drop in international students applying over fears of restrictions being introduced.

But the committee, made up of five university professors and a Home Office representative, said they found "no evidence of widespread abuse" of the graduate route.

"The risks of abuse are relatively low due to the limited number of conditions the route imposes," the report said.

phd in english in uk universities

It also found the visa route is helping universities to expand the range of courses offered while making up for financial losses from domestic students and research, and is "supporting the government's international educational strategy".

The report said 114,000 graduate route visas were granted for applicants in 2023, with a further 30,000 for dependents.

It said students from India, Nigeria, China and Pakistan account for 70% of all graduate visas, with India accounting for more than 40%.

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MAC chair and leading labour economist Professor Brian Bell, the head of economics at King's College London, said: "Our review recommends the graduate route should remain as it is, and is not undermining the quality and integrity of the UK's higher education system.

"The graduate route is a key part of the offer that we make to international students to come and study in the UK.

"The fees that these students pay help universities to cover the losses they make in teaching British students and doing research.

"Without those students, many universities would need to shrink and less research would be done.

"This highlights the complex interaction between immigration policy and higher education policy."

A government spokesman said: "We are committed to attracting the best and brightest to study at our world-class universities, whilst preventing abuse of our immigration system, which is why the home secretary commissioned an independent review of the graduate route.

"We have already taken decisive action to address unsustainable levels of migration and our plans are working, with a 24% drop in visa applications across key routes in the first three months of this year, compared with the same period last year.

"We are considering the review's findings very closely and we will respond fully in due course."

Bristol.England.September 07, 2018.The Wills Memorial Tower of Bristol University Seen from Park Row

Reacting to the report, Mr Jenrick said the graduate route "should be scrapped" and the UK needs to "urgently unwind the sector's growing dependency on foreign students" as he called the route a "backdoor for foreign students to do low-wage work...that isn't attracting top talent".

He said the review's conclusions were "constrained by the narrow terms of reference deliberately set by the government" to back up their International Education Strategy that includes the "arbitrary target" of attracting 600,000 foreign students a year.

"If you order white paint, you get a whitewash," he said.

The British Chambers of Commerce welcomed the report and said businesses have told them finding people with the right skills to plug the gaps "remains a serious issue".

The MAC recommended the government establishes a mandatory registration system for international recruitment agents and that universities should be required to publish data on their spend on recruitment agents and the number of students recruited through such means to ensure the route is not exploited.

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phd in english in uk universities

The report found most people on the graduate route had completed postgraduate courses, with the highest growth in the visa from non-Russell Group universities' postgraduate courses - accounting for 66% of all graduate visas.

Since 2021, the proportion of main applicants aged over 25 has increased by 15 percentage points to 54% in 2023.

It also found graduate visa holders are initially overrepresented in lower-paid work but their job prospects and wages improve over time.

Among the first cohort of graduate visa holders, about half moved to skilled worker visas, primarily into skilled roles.

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Informatics: ILCC: Language Processing, Speech Technology, Information Retrieval, Cognition PhD, MPhil, MScR

Awards: PhD, MPhil, MScR

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Informatics: ILCC: Language Processing, Speech Technology, Information Retrieval, Cognition

Upcoming Introduction to Postgraduate Study and Research events

Join us online on the 19th June or 26th June to learn more about studying and researching at Edinburgh.

Choose your event and register

Research profile

Strongly interdisciplinary in nature, the Institute for Language, Cognition and Communication ( ILCC ) is dedicated to both basic and applied research in the computational study of language, communication, and cognition, in both humans and machines.

As technology focuses increasingly on language-based communication tools, research into the automation of language processing has become vital. ILCC offers you the broadest research scope in the UK, and a strong computational focus.

Our primary areas of research are:

  • natural language processing and computational linguistics
  • spoken language processing
  • dialogue and multimodal interaction
  • information extraction, retrieval, and presentation
  • computational theories of human cognition
  • educational and assistive technology
  • visualisation

Much of our research is applied to software development, in areas as diverse as social media, assisted living, gaming and education.

  • ILCC Website

You may find yourself working closely with other departments of the University, particularly the School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences.

Many of our researchers are involved in cross-disciplinary research centres, for instance:

Centre for Speech Technology Research ( CSTR )

The Centre for Speech Technology Research ( CSTR ) is an interdisciplinary research centre linking Informatics and Linguistics. Founded in 1984, it is now one of the world's largest concentrations of researchers working in the field of language and speech processing.

CSTR is concerned with research in all areas of speech technology including:

  • speech recognition
  • signal processing
  • acoustic phonetics
  • information access
  • multi-modal interaction
  • dialogue systems

The Centre is home to state-of-the-art research facilities including:

  • specialised speech and language-orientated computer labs
  • a digital recording studio
  • perception labs
  • a meeting room instrumented with multiple synchronised video cameras and microphones

There is also access to high-performance computer clusters, the University storage area network, a specialist library, and many speech and language databases.

  • Centre for Speech Technology Research

Centre for Design Informatics

Data-driven innovation is transforming society and the economy. In the Centre for Design Informatics, we design systems for better human data interaction, in diverse settings such as health, culture, mobility and finance.

We explore design from, with, and by data: the central concern is the design of data flow which sustains and enhances human values. Relevant technologies range from:

  • the Internet of things
  • blockchains
  • data visualisation
  • interaction design
  • social computing

Programme structure

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses.

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

Training and support

You will carry out your research within a research group under the guidance of a supervisor. You will be expected to attend seminars and meetings of relevant research groups and may also attend lectures that are relevant to your research topic. Periodic reviews of your progress will be conducted to assist with research planning.

A programme of transferable skills courses facilitates broader professional development in a wide range of topics, from writing and presentation skills to entrepreneurship and career strategies.

The School of Informatics is committed to advancing the representation of women in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. The School is deploying a range of strategies to help female staff and students of all stages in their careers and we seek regular feedback from our research community on our performance.

The award-winning Informatics Forum is an international research facility for computing and related areas. It houses more than 400 research staff and students, providing office, meeting and social spaces.

Amongst other research facilities, it also contains:

  • several robotics labs
  • an instrumented multimedia room
  • eye-tracking and motion capture systems
  • a full recording studio

Its spectacular atrium plays host to many events, from industry showcases and student hackathons to major research conferences.

Nearby teaching facilities include:

  • computer and teaching labs with more than 250 machines
  • 24-hour access to IT facilities for students
  • comprehensive support provided by dedicated computing staff

Among our entrepreneurial initiatives is Informatics Ventures - set up to support globally ambitious software companies in Scotland, and nurture a technology cluster to rival Boston, Pittsburgh, Kyoto and Silicon Valley.

Career opportunities

While many of our graduates pursue an academic career, others find their skills are highly sought after in the technology industry. A number of our students serve internships with large UK and international software developers, while others take up positions with major social media companies.

Entry requirements

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, typically in an area of informatics, such as artificial intelligence, cognitive science or computer science. You should have experience in computer programming.

We may also consider a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in engineering, linguistics, mathematics, philosophy, physics or psychology.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

  • Entry requirements by country
  • English language requirements

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced ( CAE ) / C2 Proficiency ( CPE ): total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE : ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 59 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS , TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE , in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

  • UKVI list of majority English speaking countries

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

  • Approved universities in non-MESC

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than five years old* at the beginning of your programme of study. (*Revised 05 March 2024 to extend degree validity to five years.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • Academic Technology Approval Scheme

If you are not an EU , EEA or Swiss national, you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme clearance certificate in order to study this programme.

Fees and costs

Scholarships and funding, featured funding.

  • School of Informatics scholarships for research students
  • Research scholarships for international students
  • Edinburgh Doctoral College Scholarship

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK's governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your residency status.

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

  • UK government and other external funding

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Search for funding

Further information

  • IGS Admissions Administrator
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 3091
  • Contact: [email protected]
  • School of Informatics Graduate School
  • Office 3.42, Informatics Forum
  • Central Campus
  • Programme: Informatics: ILCC: Language Processing, Speech Technology, Information Retrieval, Cognition
  • School: Informatics
  • College: Science & Engineering

Select your programme and preferred start date to begin your application.

PhD Informatics: ILCC: Language Processing, Speech Technology, Information Retrieval, Cognition - 3 Years (Full-time)

Phd informatics: ilcc: language processing, speech technology, information retrieval, cognition - 6 years (part-time), mphil informatics: ilcc: language processing, speech technology, information retrieval, cognition - 2 years (full-time), mphil informatics: ilcc: language processing, speech technology, information retrieval, cognition - 4 years (part-time), msc by research informatics: ilcc: language processing, speech technology, information retrieval, cognition - 1 year (full-time), msc by research informatics: ilcc: language processing, speech technology, information retrieval, cognition - 2 years (part-time), application deadlines.

Applications for 2024/25 entry are now open and can be submitted all year round.

Please submit your completed application at least three months prior to desired entry date.

If you want to be considered for School funded PhD scholarships you must apply by one of two rounds:

Please note that some University and School scholarships require separate applications via the Scholarships portal.

(Revised 25 October 2023 to update application deadlines)

(Revised 15 February 2024 to extend the round 2 application deadline)

  • How to apply

You must submit two references with your application.

You must submit an application via the EUCLID application portal and provide the required information and documentation. This will include submission of:

  • a Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • a research proposal (2-5 pages long)
  • degree certificates and official transcripts of all completed and in-progress degrees (plus certified translations if academic documents are not issued in English).
  • two academic references

Only complete applications will progress forward to the academic selection stage.

Read through detailed guidance on how to apply for a PGR programme in the School of Informatics:

  • School of Informatics PGR Application Guidance

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

UK universities at risk as international student numbers plunge, report says

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UK Graduate Visa: Indian students aspiring to study abroad have a reason to cheer. Know what the latest rules are

The graduate route visa offered to international students will continue in its current form, the uk's migration advisory committee noted in its review report on tuesday. the visa was introduced in july 2021, following which the number of international students going to the uk grew significantly..

Indian students comprise around 40 per cent of the total number of graduate route visa holders, the report stated.

In a relief to thousands of students from India who are planning to go to the United Kingdom this year, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) recommended the continuation of the graduate route work visa, also known as PSW or post-study work visa, in its current form.  

This visa enables international students to work for two years in the UK after graduating from a British university such as a Russell Group university (top institutions) like Oxford, Cambridge or LSE , or a non-Russell Group one such as Sussex, SOAS and University of West London. 

For the unversed, the committee was entrusted with the task by Home Secretary James Cleverly to review the graduate route visa and submit the report on May 14. 

Key findings of the report:

Will the graduate rote visa be axed, as was anticipated by some sections of students and agents.

No, the visa category will continue in its current form, the MAC report has noted.

During the review, did they find that the objectives of introducing this category were met?

It is mentioned in the report that there was a target of six lakh international students in the UK which was meant to be achieved by 2030. However, this target has been met way before the deadline. While it is difficult to assess the contribution of the graduate route towards meeting of this target, the review shows it has played a major role.

“Based on our analysis, the graduate route is broadly achieving its objectives and supporting the International Education Strategy. We recommend retaining the graduate route in its current form," the report reads.

ALSO READ | UK appoints its first woman high commissioner to India

Is there any abuse of the graduate route?

The committee categorically mentioned that there was no evidence of widespread abuse of this visa category i.e., graduate route. The risks of abuse are low on account of the limited number of conditions the route imposes. However, the report mentions that the exploitation may be happening because of poor practices by agents who may be mis-selling UK higher education. 

How many Indians make use of the visa?

It was highlighted that a total of 1.14 lakh graduate route visas were issued in 2023, and another 30,000 were given to dependants. The report highlighted that the use of the graduate route was highest among four countries which are  India, China, Pakistan and Nigeria – thus comprising 70 per cent of all graduate visas, out of which India alone accounted for 40 per cent, i.e. a total of 45,600. 

The majority of those (91 per cent) on the graduate route finished their Taught Master’s degree. Interestingly, most of the growth is from postgraduate courses of non-premier universities’ (known as non-Russell Group), accounting for 66 per cent of all graduate visas.

ALSO READ | UK visa: Will Indian students face restrictions on post-study work after review today?

Is the graduate visa undermining the quality of the UK university system?

The report concluded that the PSW (post study work) route is not undermining the quality of the UK university system. Under the current models, this route is enabling universities to expand the range of courses they offer while compensating for financial losses they incur on domestic students and research.

This visa has also contributed to diversifying the range of universities which benefit from the financial contribution made by global student body.

What work do graduate visa holders do during and after their time on the route and are they contributing to the economy?

It was highlighted that the graduate visa holders generally find lower-paid work (such as in health and care occupations), but this does not remain forever. Their outcomes happen to improve gradually, over a period of time. 

ALSO READ |   No Dunki route to London anymore: Why is Rishi Sunak deporting UK’s illegal immigrants to Rwanda? An explainer

After one year, it was observed, their earnings do not deviate too much from those of locals, eespecially 15 months after their studies complete. 

Among the first group of graduate visa holders, nearly 50 per cent ended up securing Skilled Worker visas, which means into skilled work. It is also worth noting that the graduate visa holders who move into the Skilled Worker route get earnings and work in occupations that are comparable to local graduates.

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International Admissions

We are now accepting Graduate applications for Fall 2024, and Spring 2025.* *Please contact your department for application open terms and deadlines.

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Our community welcomes you

Each year, the university enrolls approximately 1,700 international students. We are proud to offer extensive support and services to our international population. International applicants should plan to apply early so they have ample time to obtain their immigration documents and make living arrangements in the U.S. Any F-1/J-1 students planning to obtain their I-20/DS-2019 should contact the Center for Global Engagement at [email protected] . Please check with your department regarding deadlines. 

International Admissions Requirements

In addition to meeting graduate university admissions requirements, international applicants must also meet the following University requirements to be considered for admission. 

English Language Proficiency Requirement

Official English Language Proficiency results are required of all international applicants whose native language is not English. The following are the minimum scores required for admission to the University, although some departments require higher scores at the graduate level: 

Internet based TOEFL ( IBTOEFL ): 80 

Paper based TOEFL ( TOEFL ): 550 

International English Language Testing System ( Academic IELTS ): 6.5 

Pearson Test of English ( PTE ): 55 

Duolingo : 120 (Summer 2022 and Forward)

Cambridge C1 Advanced Level : 180  (Fall 2022 and Forward)

Michigan Language Assessment : 55  (Fall 2022 and Forward)

Although official scores are required, most departments will begin to review your application with self-reported scores, while they are waiting for the official scores to arrive. You can self-report your scores on your Online Status Page, after you submit your application. 

The English Language Proficiency requirement can be waived, at the University-level, for applicants who have earned a minimum of a BA or higher in the US or in an English-Speaking Country. Please note, your department may still require proof of English-Language proficiency. *A variety of countries are exempt from the English language proficiency requirement.

Transcript and Credential Evaluation Requirements

All transcripts/academic records that are not in English must be accompanied by certified English translations. 

To be considered "certified," documents should be true copies that are signed and dated by an educational official familiar with academic records. Any translated record should be literal and not an interpretive translation. Documents signed by a notary or other public official with no educational affiliation will not be accepted. 

If the transcript/academic record does not indicate the degree earned and date the degree was awarded, separate proof of degree is required. 

International applicants or degrees earned from international institutions must submit their official transcripts through the SpanTran pathway portal, or from another NACES approved evaluator. SpanTran has created a custom application for Florida State University that will make sure you select the right kind of evaluation at a discounted rate. Florida State University recommends SpanTran as our preferred credential evaluation because it offers an easy way to streamline the application process.

Please read more about our general transcript requirements on our  Graduate Admissions page. 

International Transfer Credit

International transfer credit is awarded for coursework completed at an accredited (recognized) institution of higher learning. No credit is awarded for technical, vocational, or below-college-level coursework, or courses completed with grades below "D-." An official course-by-course evaluation is required for all academic records from non-U.S. institutions. We recommend the evaluation be done by a member of the  National Association of Credential Evaluation Services . 

Link to Center for Global Engagement Website

SUPPORT TO HELP YOU THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS.

The Center for Global Engagement (CGE) and its staff are here to serve international students and their families. They may advise you about:

  • F and J visa requirements
  • Cultural adjustment
  • Employment matters
  • Housing assistance
  • Assistance with personal concerns
  • Maintaining your visa status

Many academic programs only accept applications for a specific admit term. Contact your academic department to determine which admit term to apply. It is recommended that you submit your application as soon as the admit term opens. CGE also assists students throughout the New International Student Checklist and Process . You may learn more about what CGE has to offer by emailing [email protected]

Link to Center for Intensive English Studies Website

Center for Intensive English Studies

Need to improve your English skills? FSU’s Center for Intensive English Studies can help! At CIES, you will be given personalized instruction by highly qualified teachers in a safe, friendly environment.

Please note that admission to and completion of the CIES program does not necessarily guarantee admission to the University as a degree-seeking student.

CIES also offers:

  • TEFL certification  opportunities
  • Credit-bearing courses and workshops  to enhance your English speaking ability

Learn more about how the Center for Intensive English Studies can help you.  

Florida State University is required by U.S. federal regulations to verify the financial resources of each applicant prior to issuing the Form I-20. If granted admission to the University, an email with instructions on how to complete the I-20 will be sent from the Center for Global Engagement (CGE). You will provide information verifying your financial support (bank statements, award letters, scholarships, etc.) through the I-20 application. FSU requires proof of financial support for the first year of study and demonstrated availability of funds for the length of your academic program

Estimated International Student Costs:

For more information on estimated costs of living and the I-20 process, please visit  CGE’s website .  

I-20 Application

Shortly after admission, students will receive an email with instructions for completing the online I-20 application to demonstrate proof of adequate funding. Florida State University is required by U.S. federal regulations to verify the financial resources of each applicant prior to issuing the Form I-20. Applicants must show proof of financial support for the first year of study and confirm availability of funds for the length of the academic program.

For more information, contact the Center for Global Engagement at [email protected] .

US Federal Grants and Loans are not Awarded to International Students

Graduate students may apply to their respective departments for assistantships or fellowships, although funds are very limited. For further information, please contact your academic department directly. 

SPEAK (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit) is a test for evaluating the English speaking ability of non-native speakers of English. At FSU, the SPEAK test is administered by the Center for Intensive English Studies to international students who have been appointed or will be appointed as teaching assistants in an academic department at Florida State University.

For more information, click here .

  Explore Funding Opportunities 

May the TOEFL be waived?

The TOEFL may only be waived as a test requirement if the student has received a bachelor's or master's degree from a U.S. institution.

Can you review my documents prior to applying?

Students must submit the application, application fee, and any required departmental materials for application materials to be reviewed.

Can the application fee be waived?

Unfortunately, the Office of Admissions is unable to waive the application fee payment for graduate applicants.  In order to complete your application for review, you must submit the application fee payment by logging in to your Application Status Check ,  along with any other documents required by the department. 

When will I receive a decision?

Applications are reviewed holistically by each graduate department. Please contact your department for information about decision timelines. Please note that the application must first be completed before it can be reviewed. Contact your department for more information.

Can the GRE be waived?

FSU is currently waiving the GRE requirement for most master’s and specialist programs through Fall 2026*. For more information on whether the requirement can be waived, please contact your graduate department. 

* Excludes the College of Business

What if I don’t meet the English Language Proficiency score requirements?

​​​​​​ The FSU Center of Intensive English Studies (CIES) offers comprehensive courses to help students improve their English skills. Students who complete the top-level of the CIES program will not have to take an English Language Proficiency test.

What is the F-1 visa/I-20 process?

  • Students can learn more about the I-20 process here .
  • Students can learn about the visa here .

Do you have funding available for International students?

  • The Graduate School offers fellowship and grant opportunities for graduate students. For current FSU students, the  Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards  assists in identifying and applying for external funding opportunities. In addition,  here is some more information  about additional funding opportunities for international students. 
  • There may also be additional funding opportunities through your department. Please contact your graduate representative for assistance. If you do not know who to contact, please email us at [email protected] for assistance.

Are there on-campus housing opportunities?

University housing costs are not included in the tuition and fees at Florida State University. If you want the option of living on campus, you can apply for housing online as soon as you are officially admitted to FSU. Housing at university-owned residence halls and apartments fill quickly. You can also find off-campus housing options by clicking here .

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  29. International Admissions

    Our community welcomes you. Each year, the university enrolls approximately 1,700 international students. We are proud to offer extensive support and services to our international population. International applicants should plan to apply early so they have ample time to obtain their immigration documents and make living arrangements in the U.S.