Postgraduate research

English

PhD, MPhil

English at Leicester All research areas within English are offered as:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - campus based full-time and part-time 
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil) - campus based full-time and part-time

For Applied Linguistics and TESOL research please visit our Education research subject page.

Please refer to the How to Apply section below before submitting your application.

Supervision and research areas

We offer PhD and MPhil supervision in English in areas compatible with the research interests of our academic staff including:

Themes

  • History of the Book
  • Literature, Medicine, and Science
  • Literature and War
  • Literature, Art, and Film
  • Literature and Adolescence
  • Life Writing
  • Gender and Sexuality

Periods

  • Renaissance and Early Modern
  • Romantic and Victorian
  • 20th Century and Contemporary

Interested in a different research area?

It is important that the area you want to work in is broadly compatible with our research interests - otherwise we may not be able to accept your application.

However, please do not feel we will not be interested if there is not an exact match. It is sometimes possible to be flexible, so please contact us.

Entry requirements

You must hold a UK undergraduate (Bachelor's) degree with at least First-Class or Upper Second-Class honours or an equivalent qualification from a recognised overseas institution.

We would also normally expect applicants to hold a Master's degree.

See academic entry requirements and the English language entry requirements.

How to apply

Make sure we offer PhD supervision in the area in which you want to work.

You might be interested in signing up for our 5 week online course Discovering Your PhD Potential: Writing a Research Proposal. The course is offered through FutureLearn where you can register your interest for the next available course.

Prepare your supporting documents, with your application you need to include proof that you meet the academic entry requirements and the English language entry requirements

  • Download and save the Research Proposal Form and prepare your proposal. Complete all sections using the guidance on the form. If your proposal is not submitted on the Proposal Form your application will not be considered.
  • CV
  • Personal statement explaining your interest in the research, your experience, why it is worth doing and why we should consider you.
  • Copies of your Degree Certificates and Marks Transcripts of study already completed and if possible a transcript to-date of any study currently being undertaken.
  • If your documents are not in English please include an official translation.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency if applicable
  • In the reference section please enter the contact details of your two academic referees in the text boxes provided or upload letters of reference if already available.
  • In the funding section state clearly how you intend to fund your study.

Submit your application using the Apply Button at the bottom of this page. Please ensure you upload all the required documents and your completed Research Proposal Form, failure to do so may cause a delay in assessing your application.  

When to apply

We have intakes in January, April, July, and September each year.

You should try to submit your application as far in advance of your preferred start date as possible. If you are an international applicant and require a visa to study in the UK you should submit your application at least three-to-four months before the proposed start date.

After you have submitted your application, it will take a minimum of six weeks for you to receive a decision about your application.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees vary according to your fee status and the mode of study (full-time or part-time). For clarification please contact pgradmissions@le.ac.uk.

UK campus based

Full-time

  • 2023/24 academic year: £4,712
  • 2024/25 academic year: £4,786

Part-time

  • 2023/24 academic year: £2,356
  • 2024/25 academic year: £2,393

*UK fees will rise each year of study in line with UKRI rates.

International campus based

Full-time 

  • 2023/24 academic year: £16,200 - £18,200 per year
  • 2024/25 academic year: £17,550 - £19,700 per year

*International fees for research degrees in this subject area vary according to the nature of the research project to be undertaken. The applicable fee will be determined at the point an offer of admission is made and will be stated in the offer letter. International fees are fixed for the duration of study.

Please note that owing to UK visa restrictions, part-time campus-based registration is not normally available to international applicants.

Distance Learning

UK distance learning

If you are living in the UK during your DL studies you will pay the UK fee.

  • Starting in 2023/24 academic year: £21,850 total course fee
  • Starting in 2024/25 academic year: £23,650 total course fee 
International distance learning

If you are living outside of the UK during your DL studies you will pay the International fee.

  • Starting in 2023/24 academic year: £26,000 total course fee
  • Starting in 2024/25 academic year: £28,150 total course fee
Distance learning payment options

The fees quoted are the total fee for the PhD distance learning programme and are paid over the first four years of study. Fees can be paid using any of these options:

  • Total course fee paid in full before first year registration
  • Total course fee split into four annual payments with first annual payment made in full before first year registration
  • Total course fee split into 12 equal instalment payments, spread over years 1-4 of the study. The first instalment to be paid before first year registration

If study extends beyond the 4th year no further fees are required. A payment schedule will be sent with the offer letter.

Funding 

For a list of our available scholarships/studentships, please visit our funded opportunities pages.

PhD description

PhD students complete an independent research project under the guidance of a supervisory team. The maximum period of registration permitted before thesis submission is 4 years full-time / 7 years part-time.

Active research (including all experimental work, laboratory work, field work, and data collection) will typically take 3 to 3.5 years full-time / 6 to 6.5 years part-time. On completion of active research students may request approval to register for a writing-up period of up to 12 months.
The period of active research and writing-up together must not exceed the maximum registration period.

The thesis should not normally exceed 80,000 words and must make an original contribution to knowledge and contain work of publishable quality. The thesis must then be defended in a viva voce (oral) examination before a degree can be awarded.

PhDs explained

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