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English Literature (PhD)

2023-24 (also available for 2022-23, 2024-25)

This course is eligible for Doctoral loan funding. Find out more.

Start date

3 July 2023

18 September 2023

15 January 2024

Duration

The maximum duration for a PhD is 3 years (36 months) full-time or 6 years (72 months) part-time with an optional submission pending (writing-up) period of 12 months.

Sometimes it may be possible to mix periods of both full-time and part-time study.

If studying on a part-time basis, you must establish close links with the University and spend normally not less than an average of 10 working days per year in the university, excluding participation in activities associated with enrolment, re-registration and progression monitoring. You are also expected to dedicate 17.5 hours per week to the research.

Application deadlines

For July 2023

24 April 2023 for Home, International and Scholarship students. The July 2023 intake is for full-time PhD students only

For October 2023 

09 June 2023 for International and Scholarship students 

30 June 2023 for Home students 

For January 2024 

20 October 2023 for International and Scholarship students

17 November 2023 for Home students 

For April 2024 

26 January 2024 for International and Scholarship students 

23 February 2024 for Home students

About the research degree

A PhD is the highest academic award for which a student can be registered. This programme allows you to pursue an independent, cutting-edge research project that will make an original contribution to knowledge in your field.

A full-time PhD is a three-year programme of research that culminates in a thesis that should not normally exceed 80,000 words.

You are expected to work to an approved programme of study, which will be determined through discussion with your supervisors. During this time, you will develop your skills through attendance at workshops, conferences, seminars, and/or masterclasses. You will develop your critical thinking to a high level, and gain important professional skills to support your subsequent career

Entry requirements

The normal level of attainment required for entry is:

  • Master's degree from a UK University or equivalent, normally with a classification of merit or distinction, in a discipline appropriate to the proposed programme, or
  • an upper second class honours degree (2:1) from a UK university in a discipline appropriate to that of the proposed programme, or
  • appropriate research or professional experience at postgraduate level, which has resulted in published work, written reports or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 7.0 overall with no element lower than 6.5, or equivalent. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

What can I research?

We have expertise in literature and culture from the sixteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Our particular areas of expertise include:

  • Lifewriting and literary biography
  • Environmental literature: Shakespeare to the present.
  • Women’s writing and the Renaissance
  • The Victorian period and its afterlife
  • Representations of Romani history and experience
  • Literature of canals, waterways and rivers, the ‘Blue Humanities’
  • Literatures of ageing
  • Narrating illness
  • Contemporary women novelists
  • Modern and contemporary poetry, in particular Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Seamus Heaney
  • Postmodernism and beyond

We also welcome proposals that fall in the general areas of: Contemporary and Modern Literature, the Victorian Period, the Long Eighteenth Century, the Renaissance, and the Medieval Period.

There are different ways to find the right research topic for you:

  1. Find a supervisor and design your own research project – explore the Huddersfield Research Portal to find research and researcher expertise to find the area you’re interested in.

  2. Browse our listed funded opportunities.

  3. To find out more about the research we conduct, take a look at our Research, Innovation and Skills webpages, where you will find information on each research area. (https://research.hud.ac.uk/research-subjects/english/) To find out about our staff visit ‘Our staff' which features profiles of all our academic staff.

You will need to complete a research proposal outlining your proposed project (to be submitted along with your research degree application form). We will then look for academics within the University who have the expertise and knowledge to supervise you and guide you through your research degree. You are encouraged to contact members of staff working in your area of interest prior to submitting an application.

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Researcher Environment

Huddersfield has over 1,000 research students. We have students studying on a part time and full time basis from all over the world with around 45% from overseas and 55% from the UK.

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant.

If you are interested in finding our further information about our staff or research centres please refer to the [Research|www.hud.ac.uk/research] section of the website

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

When you are offered a place on a research degree, your offer will include confirmation of your supervisory team, and the topic you will be researching.

Whilst the University will use reasonable efforts to ensure your supervisory team remains the same, sometimes it may be necessary to make changes to your team for reasons outside the University’s control, for example if your supervisor leaves the University, or suffers from long term illness. Where this is the case, we will discuss these difficulties with you and seek to either put in place a new supervisory team, or help you to transfer to another research facility, in accordance with our Student Protection Plan.

Changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, for example the University being unable to access its buildings due to fire, flood or pandemic, or the University no longer being able to provide specialist equipment. Where this is the case, we will discuss these issues with you and agree any necessary changes.

Your research project is likely to evolve as you work on it and these minor changes are a natural and expected part of your study. However, we may need to make more significant changes to your topic of research during the course of your studies, either because your area of interest has changed, or because for reasons outside the University’s control we can no longer support your research. If this is the case, we will discuss any changes in topic with you and agree these in writing. If you are an international student, changing topics may affect your visa or ATAS clearance and if this is the case we will discuss this with you before any changes are agreed.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by the University’s Terms and Conditions and a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.