Research course

Black Studies

University of Nottingham · School of American and Canadian Studies

Entry requirements

2:1 (or international equivalent) in an arts, humanities or social science subject; for PhD-level study, we would usually expect you to hold, or be working towards, a masters degree in a relevant subject.

We encourage you to get in touch with the Director of the Black Studies PhD, Dr Karen Salt, about your research proposal before submitting an application. They may be able to help you with your proposal and offer support to find funding opportunities in your area.

Details of research supervisors in American and Canadian Studies can be found on the department website.

If you are exploring the option of a PhD in Black Studies, but have come from another field of study, such as the social sciences, you are still welcome to apply and are advised to contact the Director for specifically tailored advice on research opportunities with us. Postgraduates can enter the programme with a range of backgrounds in arts, social science or humanities subject areas. As a research-intensive programme, all applicants are offered the chance to acquire the expected skillsets through coursework, workshops or additional training.

Months of entry

January, December, July, April, February

Course content

The PhD programme in Black Studies at the University of Nottingham is the only programme of its kind in Europe. It is housed in the Department of American and Canadian Studies in the Faculty of Arts.

The department is the largest such department in Europe and has long-standing experience in supervising PhDs to successful completion. Our students’ and staff research expertise have consistently focused on black studies, African diaspora studies and African American studies. The growth and national reputation of the Centre for Research in Race and Rights (C3R), which is based in the department, has enabled it to engage on a national level with organisations, governmental bodies, charitable groups, communities and activists interested in investigating the roles, lives, cultures, politics, representations, activism, art, histories and movements of people of African descent.

The opportunity of undertaking a Black Studies PhD comes at a crucial time within the UK, as students, communities and institutions of higher education increasingly begin to think through curriculum offerings and begin to re-centre the lives and voices of people around the globe within their research. As a programme steeped in interdisciplinary methods and critical reflection, the Black Studies PhD is a place for comparative study that allows postgraduates to consider the impact of racial systems, class formation, identity, creative expression, political futures, class, gender, sexuality and sexual expression, resistance, power and other topics as they emerge from and influence the lives of black people (variously defined) in the UK, the Americas, Europe, Africa and other global sites. Although housed in a department focusing primarily on North America, the Black Studies PhD programme is transnational in focus and intent.

Fees and funding

Qualification and course duration


various months

Course contact details

Dr Karen Salt