English specialisms - MPhil / PhD
MPhil/PhD-level study is for English graduates, currently without a masters degree or equivalent postgraduate experience, who want to develop their knowledge of a specific area of English studies to a high level of academic achievement.
The MPhil/PhD is largely non-taught and your main submission will be a thesis written under the supervision of a member of staff (the director of studies) with expertise in the area chosen. Additional support is available from other internal/external academics. Your thesis will be a piece of original research that makes a significant contribution to scholarly knowledge in your particular field of study.
The broad topic to be investigated will be defined by you with more specific details agreed through discussion with the director of studies.
Particular areas of expertise in the department are the work of Virginia Woolf, women’s writing in the 19th and 20th centuries, Modernism, children’s literature, and literary and cultural theory.
Careers & professional development
The course is useful if you wish to become a lecturer in English literature, carry out research in higher education or if you are looking to develop areas of expertise related to your present or intended career outside higher education.
English staff in the School of Arts, Media and Education value their relationships with students and provide friendly and supportive postgraduate research supervision.
During the first 12 to 18 months of the course you will be registered for an MPhil and carry out research towards this end.
Assuming satisfactory progress as indicated by a transfer report, you will then transfer to the award of PhD. At the transfer stage you have the option of writing-up for an MPhil only if you wish. Either qualification is awarded subsequent to the production of a thesis and an oral examination.
At the start of the course you will be encouraged to broaden your knowledge of research training by attending relevant sessions of the University’s postgraduate training programme and at relevant research seminars hosted by the school. You will be encouraged to participate in the latter and, as a PhD student, you will also be encouraged to disseminate your research more widely, at conferences and in academic journals.
Applications for MPhil/PhD study are considered in the following areas:
Virginia Woolf studies.
Modernism (individual authors; concept of modernism; gendered modernism).
Women’s writing (individual authors of 19th and 20th centuries; theory of women's writing).
Children’s literature, particularly in the following areas: children’s fiction, from 19th century to contemporary authors; popular children’s writers; picture books and graphic novels; literary and cultural theory; conceptions of childhood; children’s film and adaptations.
- Literary and cultural theory (especially psychoanalysis, work of Julia Kristeva, Bakhtinian dialogism, reader-response, Foucauldian discourse approaches).
Projects are available in the areas detailed in the 'research topics' section, above. Before submitting a formal application you should contact the postgraduate research degree admissions tutor in English to discuss the area in which you wish to work.
A more detailed proposal of a research topic will then be agreed between you and the supervisor(s) as part of the formal application process.
This school offers programs in: