Research course

Twentieth-century and Contemporary Literatures

Open University · Department of English

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) and an MA (or equivalent)

Months of entry


Course content

The Department of English supports research in a wide range of different aspects of 20th-century and contemporary writing. These include individual author studies, critical and cultural theory, biography, world literature and debates around globalisation, and range across genres. Several staff have specific interests in creative writing, supported by the Contemporary Cultures of Writing Research Group and Wasafiri (, the Arts Council-funded magazine of international contemporary writing. Further subjects are covered by research strengths in the history of the book, material cultures, and colonial and postcolonial literatures.

We welcome applications that correspond with current staff research interests. We expect detailed and well-structured proposals which set out specific research questions and clearly outline their originality and critical approach. If you would like to discuss your ideas informally before submitting an application, please contact the department.

Potential research projects

We welcome applications to study topics that complement our current research.

Current/recent research projects

  • Popular genre fiction in Indian writing in English: recent trends in the Indian literary marketplace
  • Margiad Evans: body and book. An analysis of the novels, journals and illness narratives
  • The last survivors of Hiroshima - a study in memory and trauma
  • Twentieth-century poets of the First War
  • Freethinkers, a novel and inventing history: how do research, imagination and memory fuse creatively in the writing of an historical novel?
  • Virginia Woolf: nineteenth-century legacies

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website for more information

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
variable months
full time
36 months
part time
72 months

Course contact details

Dr Fiona Doloughan
+44 (0)1908 652092