Postgraduate research study in English

Full or part-time independent study opportunities

We offer a rich and warm post-graduate culture in English and Creative Writing at Plymouth, based in fellowship and scholarly interaction with the other departments in the Faculty, especially History and the History of Art. We offer full or part-time PhD and ResM independent study supervision.

English and Creative Writing staff have published widely, and the subject had outstanding results in the last Research Assessment exercise (over 70% was ranked at 3* or 4*, internationally excellent and/or world leading, making our outputs per staff amongst the best in the UK). 

Duration Course type location
4 years Full-time, Part-time route available Plymouth

We particularly welcome doctoral research in the following areas:

  • Literature from 1600 to the present
  • Literary and cultural exchange between Britain and
  • New England
  • Writing and the environment
  • Creative writing
  • Early modern literature
  • Writing and literature of the ‘long’ 18th century
  • Modern and post-modern literature
  • Life writing and creative non-fiction.

Our community

Draw on the expertise of staff in areas from Restoration literature to utopias of the mind, from early European encounters with native Americans, to women in the First World War, or work with our internationally successful creative writers.

Among others, at present we are supervising creative writing projects inspired by and working with Nepalese women’s poetry, and one exploring the relationship between woods, memory and place. 

Critical projects include phenomenology in Virginia Woolf’s writing, trauma in Holocaust studies, and William Blake’s construction of a spiritual self.

You will be invited to be part of a community that is sustained by multiple research seminar series, cross-disciplinary collaboration and outward-facing engagements: from the Peninsula Arts lecture series to our work with city creative writing groups, from our commitment to the digital humanities, to our involvement with Plymouth's massive new History Centre across the road.

Adhraa came from Iraq to complete her PhD at Plymouth University

It was at Plymouth University that I could perfect my English language and feel like a true researcher and the knowledgeable academic I wanted to be.

Adhraa’s PhD: The Influence of 20th Century British War Poetry on the Development of Modern Iraqi War Poetry

Find out more

Entry requirements

A 2:1 or first-class honours degree or a masters degree from a UK higher education institution in a relevant subject.

Applicants normally have to supply a research proposal, personal statement, and occasionally evidence that they are prepared to undertake the proposed project. This may include a portfolio, or a sample of critical writing, depending on their area of study.

Other UK or overseas qualifications may also be accepted – with academic reference

Fees, costs and funding

Please visit tuition fees for postgraduate research for information about fees. This course is in Band 1 for fees purposes.

You are responsible for meeting all of the costs related to your own research project, beyond the resources available in the department.

This programme is eligible for a postgraduate loan.

How to apply

Submitting your application

Complete your application and upload supporting documents to the Doctoral College by completing our online application form.

Questions on the application process?

We're here to help. Please take a look at the Doctoral College web pages where you'll find a wealth of information.

You can view or download our postgraduate research admissions policy.

If you have a disability and would like further information on the support available, please visit our Disability services website.

International Student Advice provides support for our international students.

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