Royal Holloway is the lead member of the TECHNE London and South-East Doctoral Research Consortium, which offer doctoral and masters awards for those commencing study in September. Students wishing to study in the Department of English will be able to apply to TECHNE for a doctoral award by submitting an application to the department. Please see the TECHNE Applications and Funding page for further information on the application procedure for TECHNE funding as well as other College studentships.
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. We usually expect students to have achieved at least a 2:1 or equivalent in their first degree.
Overseas applicants should have a degree of equivalent standard and must possess an excellent level of competence in spoken and written English. (Required IELTS scores are 7 overall with 7 in writing, and no remaining subscore to be below 5.5 if the applicant requires a student visa.)
Students are initially registered for an MPhil degree and transfer to PhD on satisfactory completion of the upgrade process. Full-time PhD students are expected to complete their degree in three years (with a fourth and final year for writing up).
We recommend that you first consult the staff research pages 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 consider sending a preliminary research proposal to a potential supervisor ahead of completing your formal application. In addition to this preliminary proposal, you may also choose to send your writing sample. Sending out material in this manner will offer you a sense of whether your proposed area of research matches the specific expertise and interests of any potential supervisor(s) with whom you might like to work. Alternatively, should you decide to go straight into the formal application procedure, your proposal will be circulated to all potential supervisors for consideration.
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 for PhD in English Literature
Please visit our TECHNE Applications and Funding page for information on the applications procedure for PhD in English Literature.
AHRC Studentships and College Studentships
Those intending to study for a PhD in the Department of English are able to apply for Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) studentships and for College Studentships. Please visit our TECHNE Applications and Funding page for more information on how to apply. College studentships are offered to unsuccessful TECHNE applicants before other applicants are considered. Funding for non-EU overseas students is limited to a very small number of fee waivers allocated by the Faculty.
Please direct any further enquiries about Postgraduate Research in the Department of English to the Director of Graduate Studies Dr Will Montgomery.
The college offers a full platform of generic skills training through the Postgraduate Research Student pages. There is also full Practice-Based PhD Programme run by the Faculty.
The English Department runs a series of Research skills seminars. Relevant training sessions run by other departments and instituitons such as the Institute for English Studies will be advertised.
The faculty runs a series of interdisciplinary seminars, workshops and lectures for Practice-based students.
Advice and pastoral support is initially by your supervisor (advice on the content and direction of your PhD), your advisor or relevant Director of Graduate Studies (pastoral matters), or the departmental administrator (admin queries), and also by various facilities in the college.
See also our page with Information for Current Students in Postgraduate Research for full information on training and support provided.
Click here for details of our current postgraduate research students, by Research Area:
Click here to view the Creative Writing and Practice-Based PhD Programme
Books by recent PhD students include:
- Sam Halliday, Science and Technology in the Age of Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, and James: Thinking and Writing Electricity (Palgrave US, 2007)
- Yael Levin, Tracing the Aesthetic Principle in Conrad's Novels (Palgrave, 2008)
- Rodney Rosenquist, Modernism , the Market, and the Institution of the New (CUP, 2008)
- Mike Wainwright, Darwin and Faulkner's Novels: Evolution and Southern Fiction (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2008)
- Kumiko Mukai, Hawthorne 's Visual Artists and the Pursuit of a Transatlantic Aesthetics (Peter Lang, 2008)
- Jane Grogan, Exemplary Spenser (2009) awarded the Isabel G. MacCaffrey Prize by the International Spenser Society
- Jinny Colby, Brett Easton Ellis: Underwriting the Contemporary (Palgrave, 2011)
- Neema Parvini, Shakespeare's Histories: Beyond Historicism (Edinburgh, 2012)
- Neema Parvini, Shakespeare & Contemporary Theory: New Historicism & Cultural Materialism (Continuum, 2012)
- Andrew Purrsell, co-ed., Within the Tides (The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Joseph Conrad, 2012)