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MPhil/PhD in English Literature

Director of Postgraduate Studies: Dr Jane Moore

Romancing Treason: The Literature of the Wars of the Roses by Dr Megan Leitch.

Cardiff is known internationally for the quality of its research in English Literature and 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 English Literature.

We are committed to innovative research across a broad range of literary periods, theoretical fields, and cultural phenomena, with special emphasis on Late 19C/ Early 20C Literature, Modernism, Women's Writing, Postcolonial Studies, Wales and Ireland, Text and Image, Shakespeare and Renaissance Studies, Romanticism, Crime Fiction, Pre-Early Modern and Medieval, as well as areas as diverse as Old Norse and Modern Drama, Creative Writing and Arthurian Romance. Please see the English Literature Research pages for a full list of research specialisms.

Students who begin an MPhil or PhD programme without having taken an MA follow the same training course as is provided for the MA students, while working for their PhD/MPhil. There is also a full programme of seminars and workshops for PhD and MPhil students which run alongside their individual research work with their supervisors. Continuing PhD students attend a regular Reading Group and skills training sessions, as well as a number of student-led discussion groups throughout the year. As from their second year, students have the opportunity for teaching 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.

Admissions Information

Applications are welcome from graduates with at least a 2.1 in English Literature (and/or a relevant discipline).

The School welcomes applications from students from outside the United Kingdom. More information is provided on our International Students page.  Applicants whose first language is not English are required to have an IELTS qualification (or an equivalent) with an overall score of 7 and at least 6.5 in each sub score.

The MA in English Literature provides an ideal basis for students wishing to undertake research leading to the degree of PhD. Alternatively, in certain cases PhD students attend the first two terms of the MA course, and submit the assessed essays, before proceeding to full-time work on the thesis. Essays take account of the material taught in the course, but may also constitute draft sections of the doctoral project.

Research Opportunities for Postgraduate Research Students and Visiting Scholars

For a list of areas of research expertise covered by the English Literature Research Group click here.

Research Training

Research training is a vital element of our provision. Generic training is organised by and run through the University Graduate College.

At subject level, English Literature runs a fortnightly thesis workshop group for all PhD students. In addition, a flourishing programme of visiting speakers, coordinated in conjunction with the Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research, provides a forum for the wider discussion of research and research methodologies.

Cardiff Humanities Research Institute (CHRI)

The Cardiff Humanities Research Institute, founded in 2007, provides an exciting forum for developing inter and cross-disciplinary work in the Humanities. The School plays an active role in the Institute which embraces both staff and postgraduate research activity.


There is PhD funding available for 2015/16 via the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership. For more information see the School funding page.

The School also offers Postgraduate Research Starter bursaries on a competitive basis.  The bursaries are the equivalent of one year of the full-time Home/EU fees.

For funding information please visit the following sites:


Find Undergraduate courses

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For further details please contact:

Postgraduate Office

Phone: +44 (0)29 208 70322

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

Student Views

"During the MA I enjoyed being able to choose modules from the wide range of options available. I chose a broad mixture of subjects, spanning from Medieval Romance to Modernisms, which allowed me to gain a breadth of knowledge before specialising during the dissertation and subsequently into the PhD. The transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study felt almost seamless as we received practical guidance in managing our own research throughout the MA. Overall, it has been a mixture of the staff, fellow students, and the school’s research culture that have made me want to continue postgraduate studies in ENCAP. The academic staff are friendly, knowledgeable and engaging, and I literally cannot speak highly enough of the school’s administrative staff who always appear ready to give help and support where it’s needed. In terms of the research culture, the school’s lecture series are not only great for keeping us up to date with the latest research, but alongside the wine receptions and meals that often follow them, they provide a great opportunity to meet with fellow students, academic staff, and visiting academics. One of the best characteristics of the school is its friendliness, both staff and students, and it is this feature in particular which makes it conducive to excellent research."

Judith Dray – MA English Literature and PhD English Literature (she is researching  Prayer in Vernacular Middle English Literature)