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English Department Admissions

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Click on the tabs below for information on admissions to our Undergraduate degrees, Postgraduate Taught Courses, Postgraduate Research degrees and Practice-based Research degrees. 

Admissions

You will find the answers to many of your general enquiries about admissions on this page or in the Admissions FAQs. If you have any further queries about specific courses, please email the Admissions Tutor for that course:

English Department telephone number: +44 (0)1784 443214

General Information

The English department at RHUL takes around 100 Single Honours English (Q300) students, while our joint honours programmes lift our overall student numbers to a current annual intake of about 155 students.

Process for Undergraduate Admissions

Admission is usually based on the relevant member of the admissions team (above) reading the UCAS form and making a decision on the strength of what he or she sees on the form. The whole document is important: predictions, past results, school reference, personal statement (and so any preliminary inquiries to us on the lines of ‘I am predicted AAB, will I get a place if I apply?’ will invariably be met by the response that we have to see the whole of a UCAS form to come to a final decision). In a few cases, where the decision is for some reason difficult to make, an applicant may be sent an admissions aptitude test. 

Selected applicants for QW34 English-Drama may be asked to attend a day of workshops. Applicants for QW38 English-Creative Writing are asked to complete a short portfolio based on two assignments.  Instructions for this can be found on the Admissions portfolio for Creative Writing| page.  Applicants will be notified of the need to complete this portfolio assignment once the Admissions Department has received their applications, but applicants may wish to prepare ahead.  Applicants who do not submit this portfolio will not be considered.

Our standard A-level offer is AAB for Single Honours English| and for most Joint Degree Programmes.  One of the grades should be in English.  We are particularly strict about the stipulation that our students have an A (or A*) in their A-level English Literature. We are aware that a relatively high proportion of A-level students taking the exam get the A grade (23.1% - ten years ago this figure was 15.6%), and consider that all the very marginal decisions (people whose total of points is very close to the A grade requirement) will have been discussed and confirmed as B grades by the relevant A-level examination board.

Departmental Open Days for Undergraduates

After you have received an offer of a place, you will be invited to a Departmental Open Day: to visit the campus, hear more about the degree, meet some of the academic staff and students, etc. It is recommended that you attend one of these if you can, but it is not obligatory.

The dates of the next Applicant days are:

22nd January 2014 - for Single Honours Applicants 
5th February 2014 - for English and Drama Applicants
19th February 2014 - for Creative Writing Applicants

5th March 2014 - for all Joint Honours Applicants

12th March 2014 - for Single Honours Applicants

 

Click here to view a draft programme of our Applicant days|

Application numbers

The RHUL English course is sought after, and entry is competitive. While we do not publish our exact numbers of applicants the total amounts to a figure approaching nine applications for each place available.

Places on QW38 English-Creative Writing are, in terms of numbers of applicants to places on offer, the most sought after. The admissions tutors for QW38 hold very firmly to the view that such a course, with its close attention to large amounts of original writing by the students, cannot sustain a growth equal to demand, and limit numbers as near as they possibly can to two seminars groups of about 16 students.

Equal Opportunities statement|

Admissions FAQs|  

General Information 

The entry requirement for Postgraduate Taught Courses in the English Department is normally at least an Upper Second in Single Honours English or Combined Honours English, but candidates with degrees in other subjects or with relevant publications will be considered. Overseas applicants should have a degree of equivalent standard and must possess a high level of competence in spoken and written English. Applications can be made throughout the academic year, but the course always begins at the end of September.

Admissions Procedure

It is recommended that applicants use the online application service Embark|. This service offers a speedier and more accurate exchange of applicant data, on-line reference requests and allows applicants to save incomplete application records for completion at a later date.  

+ Click here for further information from the College on How to Apply|

Specific Requirements 

For specific information relating to the entry requirements for your particular taught course, please consult the individual home pages relating to your MA.

Admissions to individual MA Programmes are considered by the MA Directors. They are happy to answer any enquiries to which you cannot find answers online, and you should email them directly.

MA Creative Writing
Professor Andrew Motion
Andrew.Motion@rhul.ac.uk|
+44 1784 443216

MA English Literature
Dr. Mark Mathuray
Mark.Mathurayrhul.ac.uk|
+44 1784 276425

MA Modernism and Contemporary Literature
Professor Robert Hampson
R.Hampsonrhul.ac.uk|
+44 1784 443223

MA Medieval Studies
Dr. Jenny Neville
J.Neville@rhul.ac.uk|
+44 1784 414115

MA Shakespeare
Professor Kiernan Ryan
K.J.P.Ryan@rhul.ac.uk|
+44 1784 443224

MA Victorian Literature, Art & Culture

Dr. Vicky Greenaway

V.L.Greenawayrhul.ac.uk|

Phone: +44 1784 443222


Frequently Asked Questions

For specific queries, please consult our list of Frequently Asked Questions for Postgraduate Taught Courses. 

Contacts

Director of Graduate Studies (Postgraduate Taught Courses)
Dr. Mark Mathuray
Mark.Mathurayrhul.ac.uk|
+44 1784 276425

Faculty Administrator (Postgraduate)
Lisa Dacunha

Lisa.Dacunha@rhul.ac.uk|

+44(0)1784 443215

General Information

We welcome postgraduate applications from students who have or are about to obtain an MA in an appropriate subject, but candidates with degrees in other subjects or with relevant publications will be considered. Overseas applicants should have a degree of equivalent standard and must possess an excellent level of competence in spoken and written English.We usually also expect students to have achieved at least a 2:1 or equivalent in their first degree. We also accept applications from non-standard applicants who can demonstrate experience and aptitude. We recognise that Creative Writing students may not have a traditional academic career.

Supervision

To determine whether the department can supervise your project, you should first consult the staff research pages then contact a potential supervisor directly to discuss your proposal. 

Admissions Procedure

Applications can be made throughout the academic year; studies may commence in September or January. However, if you intend to apply for AHRC funding or certain RHUL awards, you need to apply by the deadlines and through the procedure as advertised on the  Postgraduate Research| page under Information for Prospective Students.

Our standard application procedures involves filling out an on-line application, which you can find on the postgraduate research ‘How to Apply’  |page. 

In addition to any documents required by the college, you will need to submit the following directly to the English Department:

  • Any relevant funding application forms, if applying for funding (please see the TECHNE applications page for information on postgraduate funding).
  • Two samples of work in English, which should take the form of one

    a) two short academic essays (5000 words) for a PhD in English Literature.
    b) one short academic essay (5000 words) and a sample of creative writing (approx. 5000 words of fiction; 15 pages of poetry; or equivalent in video, sound and other documentation of poetic practice)  for a PhD in Creative Writing & Practice-based Research

  • Research proposal (up to approx. 2000 words)
  • Two academic references
  • Degree Transcripts (original or a certified copy)

Please send all of these materials to the following e-mail address:  English.PGAdmissionsrhul.ac.uk|

+ For further information on all aspects of the programme, including Admissions, please consult our our  Postgraduate Research| page under 'Information for Prospective Students.'

Contacts

Director of Graduate Studies (Research)
Professor Adam Roberts
A.C.Robertsrhul.ac.uk|

+44 1784 443511

Director of Graduate Studies (Practice-based Research)
Dr. Will Montgomery
Will.Montgomeryrhul.ac.uk
| +44 1784 276424

Faculty Administrator (Postgraduate)
Lisa Dacunha
Lisa.Dacunha@ AT  rhul.ac.uk|
+44(0)1784 443215

General Information

We welcome applications from students who have or are about to obtain an MA or MFA in a related discipline.  We also expect students to have achieved at least a 2:1 or equivalent in their first degree. We accept applications from non-standard applicants who can demonstrate experience and aptitude, including persons from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and creative practitioners who may not have had a traditional academic career.   

Potential Supervisors

We recommend that you consult the Creative Writing and Practice-based Research Page| and look through the research profiles of our academic staff involved in supervision.  It is worth determining whether your research interests resonate with any of the specific areas of interests outlined and, if so, to emphasise this in your application.  You may also choose to get in direct contact with a potential supervisor, sending a preliminary proposal for their consideration.

Research Proposal

Although there is no set model for how to put together your research proposal, the following is a basic outline of what you might include:

  • Research Questions (3-5 questions)
  • Research Aims / Objectives
  • Research Context 
  • Research Methodology (including both creative and critical work)
  • Proposed Outcomes (including contribution to knowledge)
  • Selected Bibliography

Applications Procedure

Applications will be considered at any time of the year; studies may commence in September or January. However, if you intend to apply for AHRC funding or certain RHUL awards, you need to apply by the deadlines as advertised.  See relevant deadlines for funding on the main Postgraduate Research| page.

We recommend that you use our online application process. |This service offers a speedier and more accurate exchange of applicant data, on-line reference requests and allows applicants to save incomplete application records for completion at a later date.

In addition to any documents required by the College, you will need to submit the following directly to the Department of English:

  • RHUL application form
  • Two samples of written work in English including:
    a) one sample of critical work (up to 12,000 words) 
    b) one sample of creative work such as a short piece of fiction (up to 20,000 words), a small portfolio of poems (up to 15 pages) or documentation of related practice (e.g. performance, installation, sound, time-based and new media, book works) as appropriate.
  • Two academic references
  • Degree transcripts (original or a certified copy)
  • Research proposal (up to approx. 2000 words)

+ Please send these materials to English.PGAdmissionsrhul.ac.uk|
+ For more information on deadlines and funding opportunities, please see the Postgraduate Research| page under Information for Prospective Students.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please see also our list of Frequently Asked Questions for Postgraduate Research.

Q: What is a Practice-based PhD?

A practice-based PhD creates new knowledge by means of practice.  For those who come to a practice-based PhD with an already fully-formed creative practice, this may entail drawing out a research question or investigation from your existing practice.  For others this may entail devising a research question or area of interest and then devising the most appropriate practice-based methodology for pursuing it.  In either case, it entails an intrinsic connection between theory and practice; creative work and critical writing.  For additional information on the practice-based PhD see the 'Related Resources' section on the Creative Writing and Practice-based Research| home page.

Q:  What is a Creative Writing or Practice-based PhD at Royal Holloway? 

We currently have students developing novels, poetry collections, plays and creative work involving experimental poetic practices across disciplines and through a wide range of media.   This creative component is coupled with the submission of a written critical component.  The relationship between the creative and critical work varies depending on the specific project, but can involve writing a critical reflection on the creative work and process of generating it; critically engaging with the work of related writers or artists; forwarding practical and/or theoretical lines of inquiry initiated by the creative practice, and so forth.  

Q:  What qualifications do I need to have?

We welcome applications from students who have or are about to obtain an MA or MFA in a related discipline.  We do, however, recognise that Creative Writing and related practitioners may not have a traditional academic career and so accept applications from non-standard applicants who can demonstrate relevant experience and aptitude.

Q:  Is there a deadline for applying?

Applications will be considered at any time of the year. However, if you intend to apply for AHRC funding or certain RHUL awards, you need to apply by the deadlines as advertised for the these awards.  See information with relevant deadlines on the main Postgraduate Research Page.|

 Q:  Is there funding available for Creative Writing and Practice-based PhD's?

Each year the English Department at Royal Holloway offers one Reid Scholarship offering a tuition fee reduction at the Home/EU rate and a maintenance award of up to £13,250 per annum. Intended for a new PhD student to work with our thriving Creative Writing and Practice-based Research| cluster.  In addition, we recommend that you look through GRANTfinder.co.uk| for relevant funding opportunities.

Q:  What materials do I need to submit with my application?

You will need to submit the following:

  • RHUL application form
  • Two samples of written work in English including:
    a) one sample of critical work (up to 12,000 words) 
    b) one sample of creative work such as a short piece of fiction (up to 20,000 words), a small portfolio of poems (up to 15 pages) or documentation of related practice (e.g. performance, installation, sound, time-based and new media, book works) as appropriate.
  • Two academic references
  • Degree transcripts (original or a certified copy)
  • Research proposal (up to approx. 2000 words)

Q:  Who will supervise me?

Candidates will be matched with appropriate supervisors upon acceptance to the program.  However, we recommend that you look at the list of potential supervisors on the Creative Writing and Practice-based Research| page to see if there is a specific person that you think you would like to work with.  It may be worth contacting this person with your proposal in the first instance.

Contacts

Director of Graduate Studies (Practice-based Research)
Dr. Will Montgomery
Will.Montgomery@rhul.ac.uk
+ 44 (0) 1784 276590

Faculty Administrator (Postgraduate)
Lisa Dacunha

Lisa.Dacunha@rhul.ac.uk|

+44(0)1784 443215

 
 
 

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