Research course

English Language and Literature

UCL - University College London · English Language and Literature

Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree in English Literature or a related subject is a pre-requisite for this programme, and a UK Master's degree in a relevant discipline, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard will normally be required.

Months of entry


Course content

One of the highest-ranking English departments in the UK, UCL English provides excellent opportunities for PhD students to study in the heart of literary London, with access to vast quantities of resources and research materials, and a high number of academic staff working on a diverse range of specialist research topics.

UCL is one of the best universities in which to study for an English PhD. UCL English Department has specialists in every period of English and American literature, as well as English language, with an outstanding record of internationally recognised scholarship and publications. A PhD in English at UCL will allow you to pursue original research and make a significant contribution to your field.

Students accepted for admission are given a principal supervisor with whom the student will work closely during the course of the degree. A subsidiary supervisor is also appointed to provide additional advice. Great importance is attached to matching student and supervisor, and ensuring that students' progress is well monitored. Students meet either one or other supervisor approximately ten times during the academic year.

Graduate students initially register for the MPhil degree, but usually upgrade to full PhD student status in the second year, if progress is satisfactory. (The English Department does not offer a standalone research Master's programme, nor is it possible to be admitted as a PhD student directly.) In addition to the upgrade review in the second year, progress is also reviewed at the end of each year. Students who are making good progress will usually be offered opportunities to gain teaching experience from the second year onwards.

There are normally about 45 students undertaking research degrees in the department. They form a diverse, friendly, and vibrant intellectual community. There is a full programme of departmental research seminars (at which papers are given by invited speakers and graduate students), and students also have access to a wide range of seminars and research events across UCL and the University of London. Research skills training is provided both within and beyond the department.

PhD students at UCL have access to an incomparable range of libraries and libraries, including the British Library and Senate House Library (the library of the University of London). They can also apply to spend a period as a visiting scholar at Yale as part of the UCL-Yale Collaborative Partnership.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil/PhD
    part time
    60 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details