English Literature (PhD/MPhil)
3 years (PhD), 1 year (MPhil) (Full-time) / opportunities available (Part-time) / n/a (Distance / E-Learning)
To offer knowledge and expertise to take you on to a role in Higher Education, or employment requiring high-level skills in research or advanced subject knowledge.
- A highly successful programme with a flourishing postgraduate community
- A dynamic interdisciplinary research culture with a variety of seminar series running throughout the academic year
- A wide range of research training opportunities, including a thesis workshop programme and support for giving papers at conferences
- PhD students are encouraged to publish.
- Full-time PhD students are allocated study spaces with computing facilities, networked information and access to email and the internet
- The School makes funding available each year for PGR students who wish to attend conferences/undertake library or archive visits in order to assist with their PhD studies
We offer a full range of expertise, but the following areas are of particular strength:
- Old English and Old Norse studies
- Robin Hood Studies
- Chaucer and Medieval Literature
- Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature
- Literature and Culture of the Long Eighteenth Century
- The Gothic
- Jane Austen
- Victorian Literature
- Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Literature
- Postcolonial Literature
- African American Literature
- Irish Literature
- Welsh Literature written in English
- Women's Writing
- Literature, Gender and Sexuality
- Literature and Slavery
- Crime Fiction
- Literature and Law
- Literature and Visual Cultures
- Editing and Adaptation
- The History of the Book
More information about staff and their research areas is available on the School's website.
The School enables students to develop professional discipline-specific skills through its fortnightly English Literature thesis workshop, with more generic training provided via the research programmes run by the University’s Graduate College. At the end of their candidatures, doctoral students at Cardiff have gained the capacity for independent and innovative critical thinking and possess a rich array of transferable skills. These include: advanced communication in a variety of written and oral contexts; sophisticated analysis of a range of complex research materials; organization and synthesis of findings; assimilation, evaluation and distillation of competing arguments.
A number of our students go on to careers in Higher Education both in the UK and abroad, taking up positions either as full-time lecturers or postdoctoral fellows. Other typical employment destinations are publishing, journalism, public relations, arts administration, teaching, advertising, the civil service, law and the media.
“I studied for my MA degree at Cardiff University and am now in the final stages of a PhD in English Literature. My experience as a postgraduate at Cardiff, in both taught and research contexts, has been wonderful. The School of English, Communication and Philosophy is committed to and highly supportive of its doctoral students, providing a thriving research community in which to study, which is both friendly and professional. The expert tuition and guidance I have received throughout my doctoral programme have been invaluable. Also, the School’s generous financial support, available to all postgraduate students, has enabled me to represent the University at several high-profile academic conferences. These opportunities to share my research with other students and academics within my field of study have contributed greatly to the quality of my work and expanded my career horizons." Elizabeth Ford, in the final stages of her PhD in English Literature
"There are many reasons why people decide to pursue an MA or PhD. For some, it might be a lifelong ambition, for others it could be something new – a welcome change. I think that for me it was a combination of the two, and choosing a place to start was a difficult choice. So, why did I choose Cardiff University? For a start, let’s make no bones about it, Cardiff University boasts excellent research resources: it offers a wealth of archival materials, great libraries, and a strong research faculty. In other words, it offers the kinds of qualities you generally read about in leaflets and brochures like this one. But, for me, the greatest thing about Cardiff is its sense of community. Staff are friendly and helpful, researchers are excellent guides happy to challenge and encourage you, and fellow students become friends that are enthusiastic and supportive. I have found that the research facilities here have given me a strong foundation for my work, but the support of Cardiff University’s research community has given me the confidence to turn my interests into more than just a hobby." Rhys Tranter 3rd Year English Literature PhD student
Suitable for graduates in English Literature and Humanities. A First or upper Second class
Students who have not completed an MA or a research training methods course normally follow the first two terms of the taught MA while reading for their PhD thesis.
Applications for research degrees should be accompanied by a research proposal (approximately 1000 words). This should include a draft title, rationale (the relevance and value of the research at this time), objectives, research questions and research methods. Applications for English Literature should also include a writing sample of no more than 4,000 words.
Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.
For the full range of funding possibilities on offer, see our Postgraduate Funding Opportunities page.
UK & EU Full Time for 2013/14
UK & EU Part Time for 2013/14
International Full Time for 2013/14
International Part Time for 2013/14
Next intake: The University has four entry points for research degrees; 1st October, 1st January, 1st April or 1st July
Name: ENCAP Postgraduate Admissions
Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 0322