PhD English

PhD English Literature

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.

Overview

Research Strengths

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:

  • Medieval Literature
  • Restoration and C18th Literature
  • Romantic Literature
  • Victorian Fiction
  • C19th and C20th American Literature
  • Modernism
  • Postmodernism
  • Contemporary Poetry and Fiction
  • Women's Writing
  • Children's Literture
  • Welsh Writing in English
  • Irish Writing
  • Literary Geography
  • 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.

Our Staff

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.

Our Staff

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.

Course Content

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

Semester 1

Research Skills And Personal Development PGM0100

Principles Of Research Design PGM0210

Ways Of Reading PGM0410

Semester 2

Research Skills And Personal Development PGM0120

Year 1 Core (40 Credits) Research students must take the following centraly provided research training modules

Semester 1

Research Skills And Personal Development PGM0100

Semester 2

Research Skills And Personal Development PGM0120

Year 1 Options

Semester 1

Principles Of Research Design PGM0210

Ways Of Reading PGM0410

Semester 2

Ways Of Working PGM1810

How to Apply

Your Application

In addition to the standard application materials (please see how to apply), prospective research students must submit a research outline of 1000 words.  This should include:

  • Title
  • Key research questions to be addressed
  • Sources/methodology
  • 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 the research interests of 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 the PhD 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

Departmental contact details 

Tel: (01970) 621945

Fax: (01970) 622530

Email: jxr@aber.ac.uk

Department of English and Creative Writing

Aberystwyth University

Penglais Campus

Aberystwyth

SY23 3DY

If you'd like to see how we assess your application please click and watch our Application videos.

Further Information

It is important you feel at home in the Department, University and Town. Here are some links for you to explore these areas further:

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