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MPhil/PhD in Critical and Cultural Theory

Director of Postgraduate Studies: Dr Laurent Milesi

There is a substantial and thriving community of doctoral students in the Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory currently pursuing a rich variety of research interests. They are supervised by a supportive and enthusiastic staff with unrivalled theoretical knowledge.

We welcome PhD applications in staff specialist areas, such as the following:

At present, topics under supervision include ‘Schizoanalysis of the attention economy: labour, time and power in control societies’; ‘Zoogrammatology: animality, meaning, and signifying practices’; ‘Astronaut Bodies and Humanity's Imagined Futures'; ‘Carnival Performance Aesthetics: How are the performance aesthetics present in the Trinidad Carnival relevant to art-making in the Diaspora’; ‘Diaspora and Multiculturalism: British South Asian Women Writing’; ‘Appendicology: Man, Animal, Machine’; ‘A Genealogy of Literariness’; ‘Femininity and Masculinity in Three Selected Twentieth Century Thai Romance Fictions’; ‘Women representation in the Arabic media: an Islamic feminist perspective’; ‘Race, Cultural Diversity and Representation in Press Coverage and Collective Memory of Cardiff Docklands from the 1850s to the 1960s’; ‘Debating multiculturalism: the ghost of colonialism revisited?’; ‘Recent British Asian Literature and the Cosmopolitan Agenda’; ‘Coming of age in South Korea: Ethnographies and Histories of Transgression’; ‘On the Nature of Poetic Address in Blanchot, Celan and Cixous’; ‘Memory, History and Identity: Narratives of Partition in the South Asian Communities of Cardiff’; ‘The phenomenology of queer space and time, via a critique of heteronormative maturity narratives’;  ‘Writing the real: Deleuze and contemporary poetry’; 'The Highs and Lows of Modernism: A Cultural Deconstruction'; ‘The concept of the body in its relation to time’.

Special features of this research group:

Click here for further details of current and recent PhD topics in the Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory.

Information for Doctoral Students

Several Theory Reading groups run throughout the autumn and spring semesters (e.g. The Critique of Value Reading Group and  the Ecotheories Reading Group).   Research Seminars, and skills training workshops run throughout the academic year, and students may also join  a number of optional student-led discussion groups throughout the year (for example, Assuming Gender). . We also organise a regular Graduate Conference and students are encouraged to become involved in the annual international conference organised by the Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory. In May 2014 we held an International Conference on the Cultural Politics of Memory.   Further varied training and skills acquisition is available via the University Graduate College.

From their second year, students have the opportunity to teach on the undergraduate English Literature degree and receive mentoring sessions from a full-time member of staff. Full-time PhD students are allocated study space, which provides computing facilities, networked information and access to email and the internet.

The Centre has a good record in attracting AHRC funding for its doctoral students and its completion rates are excellent. Students frequently publish work in international journals and many alumni of the Centre go on to full-time lecturing positions in Higher Education in the UK, Europe, North America and the Middle and Far East.

Admissions Information

Applications are welcome from graduates with at least a 2.1 (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline. We would normally also expect applicants to have successfully completed a relevant MA  The MA in Critical and Cultural Theory provides an ideal basis for students wishing to undertake research leading to the degree of PhD. Alternatively, where successful applicants do not hold a relevant MA, new PhD students attend a Doctoral Programme consisting of the first two terms of our MA course. They submit assessed essays, before proceeding to full-time work on their thesis. Essays take account of the material taught in the course.

We welcome enquiries from prospective students, whether you wish to talk about your own possible projects and areas of interest or to obtain further information about PhD and MPhil programmes in Critical and Cultural Theory.

The School welcomes applicants from students from outside the United Kingdom. More information is provided on our International Students page. Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS overall score of at least 7, with 6.5 or more in each sub score.


The Centre welcomes enquiries from those wishing to secure AHRC-funding from the South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW-DTP) .  The SWW-DTP has announced the details of its recruitment process for studentships commencing in October 2015. See  The DTP will be awarding up to 52 doctoral studentships for entry in September 2015.  The awards will be made on the basis of academic merit, with no fixed quota assigned to any one institution or subject area within the DTP.  For further information see the School’s funding web page.  Please contact the English subject lead Dr Jane Moore ( or the Programme Director, Dr Laurent Milesi ( to discuss your intended research proposal in the first instance.

For further funding information please visit the following sites:


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For further details please contact:

Postgraduate Office

Phone: +44 (0)29 208 74722

Cardiff School of English, Communication
and Philosophy
Cardiff University
John Percival Building
Colum Drive
CF10 3EU

Student Views

"I came to Cardiff University to do my MA in Critical and Cultural Theory because I was drawn to the prestige of the programme and to the breadth of topics I would have the opportunity to explore. I found the course exciting, challenging, and fascinating, and the community of students and academics welcoming and encouraging. After that year it was an easy decision to stay on in the department to do my PhD. I have found my time as a PhD student so far even more fulfilling, and I am extremely appreciative of the resources provided by the department, the school, and Cardiff University. I know my research has taken shape under the guidance and support of this programme and I am very grateful for the opportunities I have been afforded."

Katherine Deerfield
PhD Critical and Cultural Theory Student