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PhD, MPhil, MRes English

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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 five research areas:

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

Creative writing

The PhD in Creative Writing is an opportunity to work on an extended project (up to 80,000 words) under the supervision of a successful, published author.

Find out more about the PhD in Creative Writing.

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:

  • 20th & 21st century literature & culture
  • American literature & culture
  • postcolonial literature & theory
  • Victorian, Edwardian & Neo-Victorian
  • Renaissance
  • Scottish studies
  • gender & sexuality
  • animal studies
  • life writing
  • periodical/newspaper culture
  • heritage
  • linguistic & cognitive literary studies
  • experimental literature
  • Alasdair Gray Studies
  • critical medical humanities
  • critical disability studies
  • queer theory
  • monster theory 

Recent and current PhD projects supervised by English Studies include the representation of animals in the illustrated police news; the impact of the discovery of neanderthals on literary culture in the late nineteenth century; the concept of the will in renaissance writing; Alexander Trocchi; Nathaniel Hawthorne; a cognitive approach to spatial patterning in novels; metaphors and L2 learners of English.

Our research & expertise

Postgraduate students at Strathclyde are part of the Scottish Graduate School in Arts and Humanities and have been involved in organising postgraduate conferences for the Graduate School.  There have been postgraduate symposia on interdisciplinarity and animal studies, and a postgraduate creative writing workshop in animal studies.

Colleagues in English are active in researching writing about the experience of travel, from tourism to migration and refuge. This work is part of a critical engagement with how we can revise ideas about heritage in transnational contexts that challenge ‘authentic’ connections to place or memory. Churnjeet Mahn is currently working on monograph analysing queer travel and tourism in contemporary postcolonial writing and is leading a strand of a major AHRC grant on lost memories and experiences of Partition in Punjab.

We maintain a strong research base in Scottish Studies, with particular interests in popular culture and the recovery of lost Scottish writing, and also contemporary Scottish literature, for example Alasdair Gray Studies. Recent works that have come out of this research include Poets of the People’s Journal, Dr Eleanor Bell’s The Scottish Sixties: Reading, Rebellion, Revolution? And The International Writers’ Conference Revisited: Edinburgh, 1962, while Dr Rodge Glass’s research on Alasdair Gray over the last 15 years includes his biography of Gray, first published in 2008. Dr Maria Sledmere’s additional work as editor-in-chief of the Glasgow-born SPAM Press continually informs research around small press publishing, popular culture, the post-internet and innovative poetry and poetics in Scotland and beyond.

We are also active in Critical Medical Humanities research, especially where it intersects with the study of gender, race and sexuality. Recent and current projects in this field include Dr Sophie Jones’s book project on the politics of reproduction in US literature and film of the 'long 1960s', and ongoing research into the medicalisation of attention and post-1945 American literature. Dr Donna McCormack has recently completed an AHRC leadership fellowship on organ transplantation in contemporary literature and film. The monograph emerging from this project explores queercrip embodiments and belongings as forms of anticolonialism. This research brings together queer, crip, postcolonial and critical race theories to address questions around the meaning of life and death, including who controls these categories and lived experiences, and what other, less dominant, knowledges may teach us about these uncertain definitions.

Projects

We have hosted a number of funded doctoral projects, including the AHRC-funded Adult Autistic Readers of Literary Fictional Narrative: A Cognitive Aesthetics Approach; Poetry, Song and Community in the Industrial City: Victorian Dundee; Industrial Workers as Readers: Libraries, Reading Rooms and the Industrial Workplace in the Long Nineteenth Century; The People’s Friend? Recovering Scottish Popular Magazine Culture; Towers and Schemes in Revolt: Community Literature and Cultural Activism in Glasgow 1960 – 1990; and 'City Recorder': Alasdair Gray’s Practice & The 'Disappearing City' of Glasgow.

Colleagues in English and Creative Writing work closely together and also with colleagues in Journalism, Media and Communication, History, and Languages, all of whom work within the Department of Humanities. Students are co-supervised across different subject areas within the school, as well as across the University and with other Scottish universities.

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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are per academic year unless otherwise stated.

Entrants may be subject to a small fee during the writing up period.

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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Scotland
  • 2024/25: TBC
  • 2023/24: £4,712
England, Wales & Northern Ireland
  • 2024/25: TBC
  • 2023/24: £4,712
International

£18,050

Funding

Our postgraduate students are eligible to apply for doctoral studentships from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities and the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland.

Take a look at our funding your postgraduate research web page for funding information.

You can also view our scholarships search for further funding opportunities.

Postgraduate research opportunities

Search for all funded and non-funded postgraduate research opportunities.

Additional costs

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

 

Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

Find out what our students think

Our research

Our research in English language and literature covers all periods from the Renaissance to the present day. Colleagues in English, Creative Writing and in Journalism work closely together and also with colleagues in History and Languages, all of whom work within the Department of Humanities.

Find out more about our research

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Supervisors

English

NameAreas of expertise
Elspeth Jajdelska 
  • cognitive science of Literature
  • history of reading
  • literature and wellbeing
Nigel Fabb
  • linguistics and literature
  • psychology of literature
  • comparative world literature
Erica Fudge
  • animal studies
  • Renaissance studies
  • animal literary & cultural studies
  • Renaissance to modern
Sophie Jones
  • critical medical humanities
  • gender & the body
  • critical disability studies                                       
Churnjeet Mahn
  • postcolonial writing and theory
  • travel writing and theories of transnationalism
  • LGBTQI writing 
Eleanor Bell
  • 20th-century Scottish literature
  • Scottish literary magazines
  • 1960s literature and culture
Sarah Edwards
  • Edwardian/neo-Edwardian literature and culture
  • life writing
  • architecture and literature
Sarah Bernstein
  • Scottish studies, especially 19th century
  • experimental & hybrid writing
  • literature & the welfare state
  • mid-century literature
  • commons
Donna McCormack
  • postcolonial & critical race theories
  • contemporary literature & film
  • critical medical humanities 
  • queer theory
  • crip theory
  • monster theory
Steven Veerapen
  • Shakespeare & Renaissance studies
  • historical fiction
  • historical biography
  • creative writing

Dr Jordan Kistler

  • 19th-century literature and science
  • gothic studies
  • museum studies

Charles Pigott

  • Indigenous Literatures
  • Ecocriticism
  • Multilingual Literatures

*Cross-listed with Spanish

Creative Writing

The Creative Writing team at Strathclyde have a broad range of interests and specialisms. Please find here, a brief outline of some of the areas in which our staff welcome PhD applications. For more information, please contact staff directly.

NameAreas of expertise

Sarah Bernstein
sarah.bernstein@strath.ac.uk

 

I would welcome Creative Writing PhD proposals in the following areas: 

  • experimental & hybrid forms
  • literary fiction
  • short fiction
  • lyric essay

Andrew Meehan
andrew.meehan@strath.ac.uk  

I’m an Irish/Scottish novelist who has also had a substantial career in feature film script development, hence my research watchtower faces in a few directions.

Overall, I’m very interested in how narrative works, and how we put our stories together. The age-old tension between form and formula. I would particularly welcome PhD proposals in the following areas: 

  • screenwriting
  • historical fiction
  • experimental fiction
  • Irish fiction and Irish screen drama
  • romantic drama/comedy 
Rodge Glass
r.glass@strath.ac.uk

I am a novelist, short story writer, graphic novelist and biographer, with an interest and experience in supervising to completion works of fiction, non-fiction and creative-critical investigation.

My own PhD was a creative biography of the Glaswegian visual and literary artist Alasdair Gray, and I retain an interest in creative non-fiction and especially in ways of telling the stories of literary lives. I would particularly welcome PhD proposals in the following areas:  

  • Alasdair Gray studies 
  • the contemporary short story 
  • the contemporary novel  
  • contemporary Scottish literature  
  • Jewish fiction and non-fiction through time  
  • Latin American literature  

 

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Support & development

The Graduate School

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

Our staff will support you through your studies and you'll become part of a community of students who get involved with our 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 helps 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.

Careers

The University Careers Service can help you with everything from writing your CV to interview preparation. Take a look at our careers service pages to get more information.

Student support

From financial advice to our IT facilities, we have a wide range of support for all students here at Strathclyde. Get all the information you need at Strathlife.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 140 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

Postgraduate research at the Strathclyde Doctoral School

The Strathclyde Doctoral School provides a vibrant and comprehensive student-centred research and training environment in order to grow and support current and future research talent.

The School encompasses our four faculties and is committed to enriching the student experience, intensifying research outputs and opportunities, and ensuring training is at the highest level. As a postgraduate researcher, you'll automatically become a member of the Strathclyde Doctoral School.

Find out more about the Doctoral School

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Apply

Entry requirements

Normally, a first-class or upper second-class Honours degree, or overseas equivalent.

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 English isn’t your first language.  For postgraduate studies, we require a minimum overall IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent (no individual test score below 5.5, the test must be taken within two years of the programme start date)
  • two references, one of which must be academic
  • funding or scholarship information
  • research proposal of 1,500-2,000 words in length, detailing the subject area & 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.

Supervisors

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 on 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 Department of Humanities to refine it. If your chosen supervisor is 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 receive 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.

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

English

PhD
part-time
Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

English

PhD
full-time
Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

English

MPhil
full-time
Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

English

MPhil
part-time
Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

English (partner organisation)

full-time
Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

English (partner organisation)

part-time
Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Start date: Sep 2024

English

MRes
full-time
Start date: Sep 2024

Start date: Sep 2024

English

MRes
part-time
Start date: Sep 2024

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

English (partner organisation)

full-time
Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

English (partner organisation)

part-time
Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

English

PhD
part-time
Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

English

PhD
full-time
Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

English

MPhil
full-time
Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

English

MPhil
part-time
Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Start date: Sep 2025

English

MRes
full-time
Start date: Sep 2025

Start date: Sep 2025

English

MRes
part-time
Start date: Sep 2025

Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

English

PhD
part-time
Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

English

PhD
full-time
Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

English

MPhil
full-time
Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

English

MPhil
part-time
Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

English (partner organisation)

full-time
Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

English (partner organisation)

part-time
Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

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Contact us

Admissions

Graduate School

Telephone: +44 (0)141 444 8400

Email: hass-pgr-applications@strath.ac.uk

Lord Hope Building Level 1 - LH128
141 St. James Road
Glasgow
G4 0LT