The English Literature PhD/MA By Research/MLit (On-Campus or By Distance Learning) programme from the University of Birmingham requires you to prepare a dissertation of up to 40,000 words on a topic of your choice, for which an academic staff member will provide expert supervision.

About

The English Literature PhD/MA By Research/MLit (On-Campus or By Distance Learning) from the University of Birmingham involves undertaking research on a chosen topic leading to the preparation of a thesis of 60,000 words.
The PhD – the most advanced research degree – leads to a dissertation of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice and under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff.

You can study an MA by Research or PhD programme on campus or by distance learning. Please note that if you are studying with us by distance learning, there is a compulsory annual visit to campus (every two years for part-time PhD students).

The following summary indicates our principal areas of research expertise. Please view our staff profiles for further possible research topics.

Thework in Medieval English ( for example, Old English, Chaucer, Langland, Lollard writing, Older Scots literature, Reformation writing and medievalist writers such as Tolkien) extends through medieval literature into concerns with editing, print production, bibliography, manuscript studies, and non-manuscript verbal cultures of the Middle Ages; and also with relations between medieval verbal and visual cultures.

In the Early Modern area (for example, Daniel, Donne, Johnson, Marlowe, Middleton, Shakespeare, Spenser, Milton) our specialisms in dramatic and non-dramatic writing extend into the reception of early modern writers in later periods and today, and run alongside our work on cultures of manuscript, print and 17th century women’s writing.

In Restoration, 18th century and Romantics (for example, Rochester, Behn, Swift, Pope, Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, Johnson, Wordsworth, Goldsmith) we focus on reading literary works in their historical and cultural contexts, with special interests in the editing of texts, in prose fiction, in language and lexicography, in the reception of Shakespeare, early modern and medieval literature, and in gender.

In 19th century, 20th century, and contemporary (for example, James, Harriet Wilson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Conrad, Ford, Wyndham Lewis, Woolf, Dorothy Richardson, T. S. Eliot, Kerouac, J. M. Coetzee, Zadie Smith, Don Delillo) we are particularly interested in the late Victorian period, Modernism and the contemporary and we utilise a number of thematic and theoretical approaches (including historiography, cultural theory, postcolonialism, cultures of reading, digital theory).

The research themes of materiality of the text (for example, textual editing, history of the book, media history) and gender (for example, women writers, relevant theoretical approaches) can be pursued across all these periods.

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If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, click on the Virtual Open Day / Open Day links below, under the "Relevant links" section.

By accessing the university website page, you will find all the contacts for all programmes.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date Application deadline and start date were not specified by the programme.
  • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Study intensity Part-time, Full-time
    • Intensity Flexible
    • Duration part-time 72 months

      PhD – 3 years full-time; 6 years part-time; MLitt - 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time; MA by Research – 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

    • Part-time variant
      Flexible
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus, Online
    • Time flexibility
      Semi-structured
    • Attendance
      No Attendance
    • Teacher support
      Continuous support with feedback on request
    • Student interaction
      Individual work/assignments (with online group discussions), Online group works/assignments
  • More information Go To The Course Website

Programme Structure

The MA by Research programme requires you to prepare a dissertation of up to 40,000 words on a topic of your choice, for which an academic staff member will provide expert supervision.

The MLitt involves undertaking research on a chosen topic leading to the preparation of a thesis of 60,000 words.
The PhD – the most advanced research degree – leads to a dissertation of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice and under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff.

You can study an MA by Research or PhD programme on campus or by distance learning. Please note that if you are studying with us by distance learning, there is a compulsory annual visit to campus (every two years for part-time PhD students).

English Language Requirements

This programme requires students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

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Academic Requirements

Entry requirements

Our requirements for postgraduate research are dependent on the type of programme you are applying for:

  • For MRes and MA by Research programmes, entry to our programmes usually requires a good (normally a 2:1 or above) Honours degree, or an equivalent qualification if you were educated outside the UK.
  • If you are applying for a PhD then you will usually also need to hold a good Masters qualification.

Any academic and professional qualifications or relevant professional experience you may have are normally taken into account, and in some cases, form an integral part of the entrance requirements.

If you are applying for distance learning research programmes, you will also be required to demonstrate that you have the time, commitment, facilities and experience to study by distance learning.

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

  • by holding an English language qualification to the right level
  • by taking and successfully completing one of our English courses for international students

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • GBP 13680 International
  • GBP 4121 EU/EEA
  • £2,061 part-time

Funding

Check the programme website for information about funding options.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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