The English Department provides an excellent environment for postgraduate study, research, and creative work. The main University library is well stocked with standard texts and critical works on a very wide range of topics; and the National Library of Wales, adjacent to the campus, is one of the UK’s five copyright libraries, holding one of the most extensive collections of books and manuscripts in Europe. As a department that values a stimulating research ethos highly, we place great emphasis on the provision of high quality teaching, supervision and facilities for our postgraduate community. As a result, our postgraduate community is dynamic and thriving. It is very pleasing to note that our graduates secure employment in teaching, academia, publishing, and various other professional fields.
We welcome enquiries and proposals for PhD study in all periods of literature in English, from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century. The Department's particular strengths include:
Restoration and C18th Literature
C19th and C20th American Literature
Contemporary Poetry and Fiction
Welsh Writing in English
Gothic Literature and Ghost Stories
Postcolonial Literature (especially African Literature)
Ethnic American Literatures
Literary Theory (especially Ecocriticism, Gender Studies, Queer Theory, Marxism, New Historicism, Psychoanalysis, Poststructuralism, Postcolonialism)
The department has a proud tradition of research excellence, as demonstrated in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) assessment. It found that 97% of research assessed was found to be of international standing or higher.
All academic staff in the Department of English and
Creative Writing are active scholars and experts in their fields. They are
either qualified to PhD level or have commensurate experience. Our Lecturers
either hold or are working towards a Higher Education teaching qualification
and the majority of academic staff also hold the status of Fellow of the Higher
All academic staff in the Department of English and Creative Writing are active scholars and experts in their fields. They are either qualified to PhD level or have commensurate experience. Our Lecturers either hold or are working towards a Higher Education teaching qualification and the majority of academic staff also hold the status of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Welsh medium modules available
Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.
Year 1 Core (40 Credits) Arts Research Students must take the following centrally provided research training modules
In addition to the standard application materials (please seehow to apply), prospective research students must submit a research outline of 1000 words. This should include:
Key research questions to be addressed
A brief outline of the structure of your thesis (chapters, sub-sections, etc.)
Why you are interested in this topic
How you propose to make a novel intervention in your chosen field
In outlining your proposal, you should ensure that it has some compatibility with the topic-areas of at least one member of the Department's staff. For more specific information, please begin by looking at theresearch interestsof the English Department staff.
Applicants are strongly advised to contact the Department first before constructing their outline proposal. Further information regarding what is required from the research proposal is available in thePhD in Literature Application Procedure.
Non-native English speakers are required to take a University recognised test of academic English language proficiency with required minimum proficiency levels equating to an IELTS score of 7.0 or a TOEFL score of 610 (paper based test) or 250 (computer based) with an essay rating of 5.5.
Applicants who have successfully undertaken a Bachelors degree in a UK University are exempt from this requirement.
To apply for a research course, please see our How to Apply page