A PhD or MPhil in English Literature enables you to undertake a substantial independent research project, which should be of a publishable standard. It takes three years full-time or six years part-time, and the MPhil takes two years full-time or four years part-time.
You submit a thesis of up to 90,000 words for PhD assessment and 60,000 words for MPhil assessment, demonstrating original research with a significant contribution to the subject area. This is followed by an oral examination of the thesis (a viva voce examination, or viva).
Related research groups:
- the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Research (MEMO)
- the Centre for research into Gender in Culture and Society (GENCAS)
- Centre for Research into the English literature and language of Wales (CREW)
We offer supervision in most areas of literature from the middle ages to the present. Our particular research strengths include:
- Welsh writing in English
- American literature
- Medieval, renaissance, eighteenth and nineteenth-century writing and culture
- Modernism and postmodernism
- Irish poetry
- Contemporary literature
- Critical and cultural theory
- Science Fiction and Ecology/Environmentalism
- Human-Animal Studies
Your project will be agreed in consultation with supervisors and we recommend these discussions are started before applying, to help draw up an initial proposal.
There are no taught PhD classes but upon request you may attend MA modules relevant to your thesis. You typically undertake a number of distinct but related research studies that ultimately form the basis of your dissertation.
You will develop and hone research skills needed for high-level work in any field of English literature, while skills and training programmes available on campus provide further support. You will have the opportunity to deliver presentations to research students and staff at departmental seminars, and at the College of Arts and Humanities Postgraduate conference.
You may also have the chance to teach undergraduate tutorials and seminars from the second year, for which you receive training and payment. Financial support is also provided (subject to approval) for attending conferences or conducting research away from Swansea.
The Research Excellence Framework 2014 reported on postgraduate research in the department
The environment in the Department is ‘conducive to producing research of mostly at least internationally excellent and at its best world-leading quality
‘Arrangements for postgraduates were deemed of world-leading quality
‘There is clear evidence of the development of a research culture into which research students are fully integrated
‘There are excellent arrangements for support, training and employability’.