PhD English

PhD English Literature

The English Department provides an excellent intellectual environment for postgraduate study. The main University library is well stocked with standard texts and critical works, 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 research ethos highly, we place great emphasis on the provision of high quality teaching, supervision and facilities for our postgraduate community. We have dedicated a significant level of financial resources to this in terms of both studentships and other resources such as computing and office facilities. As a result, our postgraduate community is dynamic and thriving. It is very pleasing to note that our graduates secure employment in academic and various other professional fields.


Research Strengths

We welcome enquiries and proposals for PhD study in all periods of literature in English, from the medieval period to the twenty-first century.  The Department's particular strengths include:

  • C19th and C20th American Literature
  • Ethnic American Literatures
  • Creative Writing (Prose and Poetry)
  • Literary Theory - especially
  • Ecocriticism
  • Gender
  • Sexuality and Queer Studies
  • Marxism
  • Poststructuralism
  • Postcolonialism
  • Travel Writing
  • Welsh Writing in English
  • Women's Writing
  • Medieval Literature
  • Early Modern and Renaissance Literature
  • C18th and Augustan Literature
  • Romantic Literature
  • Victorian Fiction
  • Modernism
  • Postmodernism
  • Contemporary Poetry
  • Postcolonial Literature - especially African

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.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

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

How to Apply

Entry Requirements

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
  • Why you are interested in this topic

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.

Apply online for a research course in English Literature

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