Research course

English Literature

Institution
University of Surrey · Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Qualifications
PhD

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Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to hold a good first degree (a minimum 2:1 or equivalent) and an MA in a relevant topic.

Months of entry

January, April, July

Course content

We perform innovative and world-leading research across literature, writing and linguistics, and have been ranked as one of the top ten English departments in the UK by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 and the Guardian University Guide 2020 for our undergraduate programmes.

We’re at the forefront of new knowledge in fields including literature, translation, language, linguistics, creative writing, and film studies. With a strong focus on research and writing in international contexts, we can provide you with a network of research links and support for your professional or academic career.

Our research concentrates on a range of periods, themes and subjects, including:

  • medieval literature
  • Shakespeare and the Renaissance
  • romanticism
  • Victorian and 19th-century literature
  • modern and contemporary literature
  • creative writing
  • film studies.

Our diverse mix of subject specialities mean that we are a vibrant and imaginative community with lots of opportunity for intellectual exchange.

Our English Literature PhD will train you in critical and analytical skills, research methods, and knowledge that will equip you for your professional or academic career. It normally takes around three or four years to complete our full-time PhD.

You’ll be assigned a primary and secondary supervisor, who will meet with you regularly to read and discuss your work and progress. For us, writing is essential for understanding and developing new perspectives, so you’ll be submitting written work right from the start of your course.

In the first year of your PhD, you’ll refine your research proposal and plan the structure of your work with the guidance and support of your supervisors. As you go into your second and third year, you’ll gradually learn to work more independently, and your supervisors will guide you on how to present at conferences and get your work published.

After 12-15 months, you’ll submit a substantial piece of work for a confirmation examination. The examination will be conducted by two internal members of staff not on your supervisory team, and will give you the opportunity to gain additional guidance on your research-to-date. Following submission of your completed thesis, a viva will be conducted by a panel of one or more external examiners as well as an internal examiner.

Research support

The professional development of postgraduate researchers is supported by the Doctoral College, which provides training in essential skills through its Researcher Development Programme of workshops, mentoring and coaching. A dedicated postgraduate Careers and Employability team will help you prepare for a successful career after the completion of your PhD.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    96 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Name
Admissions
Email
admissions@surrey.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)1483 682 222