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.

Months of entry

January, April, October

Course content

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

Information for international students

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)

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

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%.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    part time
    72 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • MPhil
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

+44 (0)1895 265599