English Literature PhD/MA by Research (On-Campus or by Distance Learning)

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Our principal areas of research expertise include Medieval English (for example, Old English, Chaucer, Langland, Lollard writing, Reformation writing and medievalist writers such as Tolkien ); Early Modern English (for example, Brown, Daniel, Donne, Johnson, Marlowe, Middleton, Shakespeare, Spenser); Restoration, 18th century and the Romantics (for example, Swift, Goldsmith, Johnson, Wordsworth, Pope); and 19th and 20th century research (for example, J.G.Ballard, Conrad, Dickens, T.S.Eliot, Michael Field, Wyndham Lewis, Zadie Smith).

Course fact file

Duration: PhD – 3 years full-time; 6 years part-time; MLitt - 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time; MA by Research – 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

Start date: January 2014, September 2014

Details

The MA by Research programme requires you to prepare a dissertation of up to 40,000 words on a topic of your choice, for which an academic staff member will provide expert supervision.

The MLitt involves undertaking research on a chosen topic leading to the preparation of a thesis of 60,000 words.

The PhD – the most advanced research degree – leads to a dissertation of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice and under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff. You can study for a PhD on campus or by Distance Learning.

At Birmingham you also have the option of studying languages, free of charge. Almost no other UK University offers you the opportunity to learn the intense graduate academic language skills which you may need to pursue your research.

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2014/15 are currently as follows:

  • Home / EU £3,996 full-time; £1,998 part-time
  • Overseas: £12,565 full-time; £6,282.50 part-time

Learn more about fees and funding.

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

University of Birmingham graduates - including those due to graduate in summer 2014 - may be entitled to a fee reduction through the College of Arts and Law Alumni Bursary scheme.

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To be eligible for these awards, candidates must hold either an offer of a place to study or have submitted an application to study at the University. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

Entry requirements

Learn more about entry requirements

International students

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

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Research interests of staff

The following summary indicates our principal areas of research expertise. Please view our staff profiles for further possible research topics.

Our work in Medieval English ( for example, Old English, Chaucer, Langland, Lollard writing, Reformation writing and medievalist writers such as Tolkien) extends through medieval literature into concerns with editing, print production, bibliography, manuscript studies, and non-manuscript verbal cultures of the Middle Ages; and also with relations between medieval verbal and visual cultures. In the Early Modern area (for example, Brown, Daniel, Donne, Johnson, Marlowe, Middleton, Shakespeare, Spenser), our focus on drama extends into the reception of the dramatists in later periods, running alongside work on cultures of manuscript, print and 17th century women’s writing. In Restoration, 18th century and Romantics (for example, Swift, Pope, Johnson, Wordsworth, Goldsmith) we focus on reading literary works in their historical and cultural contexts, with special interests in the editing of texts, in language and lexicography, in reception of the medieval, and in gender.

Our 19th century, 20th century, and contemporary research (for example, J.G.Ballard, Conrad, Dickens, T.S.Eliot, Michael Field, Wyndham Lewis, Zadie Smith) has a particular focus on the period 1830–1940 (especially Victorianism, Aestheticism and Modernism, literature and science, periodisation, and historiography); and on Postmodernism, Cultural Theory, Postcolonialism and Film (especially psychoanalysis, nationhood, space and place, Black British and British Asian writing, gender and sexualities, and literary and cultural studies). The research themes of materiality of the text (for example, textual editing, history of the book, media history) and gender (for example, women writers, relevant theoretical approaches) can be pursued across all these periods.

Employability

The University of Birmingham has been ranked 8th in the UK and 60th in the world for post-qualification employability in the latest global survey of universities commissioned by the International Herald Tribune.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by the employability skills training offered through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School.

Over the past five years, over 95% of our English postgraduates have been in work and/or further study six months after graduation using the transferable skills gained in their postgraduate degree. Graduate occupations have included banking, the charity sector, education, higher education, local government, police, PR, and media.