Research course


Open University · Department of English

Entry requirements

PhD: The normal minimum entrance requirement is an upper second class honours degree or master's degree, relevant to the proposed area of study, from a recognised higher education institution in the UK. You should also have experience of academic research in the previous four years, normally in the form of either a master's degree in research methods, an undergraduate degree with a research element in the final year, or work-related experience with evidence through research reports.

MPhil: Applicants should normally hold, or be expecting to obtain, a bachelors degree with at least first or upper-second class honours, or an equivalent qualification. However, entry requirements differ between academic areas, and sometimes a taught masters degree is also required.

Months of entry


Course content

Research in this area embraces a diverse range of periods, topics and approaches. Our research extends from the early modern to the contemporary, includes all the main literary genres, and is characterised by a strongly interdisciplinary approach and ethos. The English discipline hosts two long-established research groups; Postcolonial Literatures and Book History and Bibliography with groupings in creative writing, literature and music, life-writing, and the writing of the romantic period. We currently have five full-time and 15 part-time PhD students, working on a range of subjects such as spirituality in children's literature, gardens in Rumer Godden's fiction, John Le Carré, representations of the First World War, Virginia Woolf, Louis MacNeice and broadcasting, African, Caribbean and South Asian Literature. Creative writing candidates are also working on novels with wide ranging themes and eras. We warmly welcome applications from prospective research students.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    part time
    72 months
      full time
      36 months
      • MPhil
        full time
        15 months
          part time
          24 months

          Course contact details

          Postgraduate Admissions Tutor

          +44 (0)1908 652092