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Postgraduate research in literary studies

Ready to start your research career? Explore our postgraduate research degrees in Literary Studies

If you want to take your expertise in the written word into a postgraduate research degree in Literary Studies, Portsmouth is the perfect place to do it.

Our researchers at the Centre for Studies in Literature are experts in early modern writing, with a particular strength in Victorian literature and culture, and twentieth- and twenty-first-century British and American literature. 58% of our English Language and Literature research outputs were rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.

In an increasingly globalised world where upheaval is rapidly becoming the new normal, we're studying how different literature can shed new light on issues such as corruption, war and justice. We're exploring how literature shapes our opinions on cultures, communities and people; how it can empower unrepresented and marginalised voices; and how it can be used as a weapon to repress and control.

As a postgraduate research student, you can make your own contribution to the important work we're doing.

Research degrees

Find out about our PhD, MPhil, and PhD by Publication opportunities in Literary Studies below, including how to apply, entry requirements and funding your degree. For more detailed information about the application process, visit our How to Apply pages.

Literary Studies PhDs and MPhils

Explore our pre-approved funded and self-funded PhD projects in Literary Studies, or submit your own research idea. 

PhD and MPhil projects

Fully-funded projects

There are currently no funded PhD projects available in this area – for more information on funding your own research project, visit our pages on funding your research degree.

Self-funded projects

There are currently no pre-approved self-funded projects available in this subject area. If you'd like to submit your own PhD proposal, please read the information below.

Submit your own idea

If you already have a research idea, find a supervisor whose research interests match yours by searching our Find a PhD Supervisor page. Once you've identified someone suitable, contact them to discuss your idea.

PhD by Publication

A PhD by publication is a postgraduate research degree based on research you've already undertaken and had published (excluding self-publishing) before registering with us.

Eligible research outputs include peer-reviewed academic papers, complete books or chapters in anthologies, and other materials accepted for publication, exhibited or performed. You'll have to submit these materials for examination between 6-12 months after registering with us.

For more information, please visit our PhD by Publication page.

Duration, fees and funding

How long will my research take?

  • MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
  • PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
  • PhD by Publication: 1 year part-time

How much will my research degree cost?

PhD and MPhil

  • Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,327 p/a*
  • Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,164 p/a*
  • International full-time students: £14,300 p/a*
  • International part-time students: £7,150 p/a*

PhD by Publication

  • External candidates: £4,327 p/a
  • Members of University of Portsmouth staff: £1,550 p/a

*All fees are subject to annual increase

Funding support

MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan.

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan.

For information on other sources of funding, visit our funding your postgraduate research degree page.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for a PhD, MPhil or Professional Doctorate include a good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications may be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.

If English is not your first language, you'll need English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Support and facilities

When you join us, you'll be supported by our Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team, who'll help you get the most from our facilities. The Graduate School will help you become part of our thriving, collaborative research community, and help grow your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events.

What can a postgraduate research degree do for my career?

Once you complete your postgraduate research degree, you'll be a highly-skilled researcher with the knowledge and skills to make an impact in many different industries.

Your postgraduate research qualification demonstrates to potential employers that you're an intelligent, capable and motivated person, with provable abilities and experience in critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.

Apply for a Literary Studies research degree

Apply for a research degree in Literary Studies by completing our online form. 

Current research

Explore the work we're doing across our 4 areas of research expertise in English Literature.

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