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PhD, MPhil, MResEnglish

Research opportunities

We offer MRes, MPhil and PhD degrees in English. 

You can study an MPhil or an MRes over the course of one year or a PhD over three years.

You can study whichever option you'd like in any of our four research areas:

  • Literary Linguistics
  • Literature, Culture & Place
  • Journalism & Creative Writing
  • Renaissance Studies

Creative writing

We've particular expertise in the historical novel, writing for children, radio drama, lyric and ekphrastic poetry (a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art).

The MRes in creative writing is an opportunity to work on an extended project (up to 30,000 words) under the supervision of a successful, published author.

English language & literature

Postgraduates in English language and literature will be supervised by researchers with international reputations in a range of fields, from the Renaissance period to the present day.

Our areas of expertise include:

  • literary linguistics
  • literature
  • culture and place (especially Scotland, Canada and the modern city)
  • inter-disciplinary areas such as animal studies, popular and middlebrow cultures, and digital humanities


We specialise in political journalism, investigative journalism, journalism and health, and ethics in journalism.

Postgraduate research students are supervised by award-winning journalists and distinguished academics.

Our research & expertise

We're home to the British Animal Studies Network and the University-funded research cluster on 'Literature, Culture and Place/Digital Humanities'.

We've strong research and supervision links with the departments of Architecture, Psychology and the Business School.

Our postgraduate students organise conferences. Recently they held a conference called 'Oscillate! Metamodernism and the Humanities: Critical and Creative Practice', as well as two creative writing conferences, one in the context of the literary festival Aye Write. Students also present their work at our 'Languages and Literatures' research seminar.

Postgraduate students have also organised a literary competition that responds to the University’s collection of scientific instruments. Students edit the peer-reviewed journal, Ecloga, participate in staff-graduate reading and writing groups and in the high profile series of visiting talks organised by the Keith Wright Literary Fellow.

We're a member of the European Doctoral Network in Culture, Criticism and Creativity, which hosts regular seminars in London, Berlin and Copenhagen. The community of creative writers at Strathclyde also benefit from regular visits by industry professionals, including literary agents and TV editors.

PhD students: become more employable

You're at the heart of everything we do.

This is why we enrol you on our Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development programme (PgCert RPD).

This certificate qualifies you for things you'll do as a research student here, like project management, conference speaking, public engagement, teaching and more.

It means when you go forward into the job market, you're a step ahead of your competition.

It also supports your research while you're here and helps us give you a first class student experience.

All you have to do is plan these activities alongside your doctorate, documenting and reflecting your journey to success along the way.



Fees & funding


All fees quoted are per academic year unless otherwise stated.

Here are our fees for 2015/2016:

Scotland/ EU

  • £4,052 (full-time)

Rest of UK

  • £4,052 (full-time)

International students

  • £11,250 (full-time)


Our postgraduate students are eligible to apply for doctoral studentships from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Students have also competed successfully for the Carnegie-Caledonian PhD scholarships and for the University’s Tranche studentships. The details for these schemes can be found on the websites of the Graduate School, the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities and the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland.

Have a look at out our scholarship search for any funding opportunities available.

Research Council studentships (AHRC, BBSRC, ESPRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, STFC)

  • Full Research Council studentships can only be awarded to UK and EU students.
  • If you're an EU student, you're eligible for Research Council studentships if you've been living in the UK for three years, including for studying, immediately before starting your PhD.
  • If you're an EU student and you haven't been living in the UK for three years, you may be eligible for a 'fees only' studentship.
  • If you're an international student, you can only be funded by a Research Council if you have the Right to Abode (ie if your passport describes you as a British citizen), if you have Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK or have the right of permanent residence in the UK under EC law. 
  • If you have full Refugee status, you're eligible for fees and stipend.

Travel awards

Postgraduate Research Travel Award

This award contributes to the costs of conference and international travel for research purposes. The fund is open all year round but you can only make one application during your PhD.

Mac Robertson Travel Award

This is a joint fund between the University of Strathclyde and the University of Glasgow.

It provides funding for students studying an PhD or an MRes, to undertake a course that lasts from two months to a year at a centre of advanced study either in or outside Scotland. It doesn't cover conference travel and applications close in May each year.

Finn Randall Travel Award

This award was created in memory of Finn Randall, an alumnus of the University of Strathclyde and an adventurous traveller.

It was established to help a registered student with the cost of a particular travel scheme that's considered to be the most enterprising and relevant to their course of study. It doesn't cover conference attendance or travel for research purposes. Applications close in March each year.

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year.

How can I apply?

You can apply for a postgraduate research degree at any point in the year.

All you have to do is complete an online application.

Entry requirements


The application

During the application you'll be asked for the following:

  • your full contact details
  • transcripts and certificates of all degrees
  • proof of English language proficiency if you're applying as an international student
  • two references, one of which must be academic
  • funding or scholarship information
  • research proposal of 250 to 1,000 words in length, detailing the subject area and topic to be investigated

By filling these details out as fully as possible, you'll avoid any delay to your application being processed by the University.


You'll need to identify your research supervisor before you finalise your application, preferably as soon as possible.

When you've identified a potential supervisor, based upon how well your research interests match theirs, drop them an email to introduce yourself.

In the email, make sure you attach a draft of your research proposal along with a copy of your CV.

Don't worry about how rough your research proposal may be at this stage - you'll have help from the School of Humanities to refine it.

If your chosen supervisor if available to work with you, they'll confirm this and nominate a potential second supervisor.

As soon as a second supervisor is confirmed, an offer of study will be sent to you through Pegasus; our online application system.

If you accept our offer, you'll then be sent a full offer in writing via the email address you provide.

Accepting an offer

Once you've accepted our offer, we'll need you to fulfil any academic, administrative or financial conditions that we ask.

UK or EU students

If you're applying as a UK or EU student, you'll then be issued with your registration documentation.

You can apply for a postgraduate research degree at any point in the year.

All you have to do is complete an online application.

Support & development

The Graduate School

The Graduate School is a friendly and supportive study environment for all our research students studying subjects within Humanities & Social Sciences.

Our staff will support you through our studies and you'll become part of a community of students who get involved with out workshops, seminars and competitions.

Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PgCert RPD)

Our PgCert RPD programme aims to ensure you get the most out of your current research activities at Strathclyde and help you prepare for your future career as a researcher.

We'll help you recognise and develop your transferrable skills that'll have a positive impact on your research, now and in the future.


We have a great careers service here at Strathclyde that can help you with everything from writing your CV to interview preparation.

Student support

´╗┐From financial advice to our IT facilities, we have loads of different support for all students here at our University.

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