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Comparative Literature Research, MPhil/PhD

  • Funded PhD Programme (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Programme (European/UK Students Only)

Profile Description

REF rankings 2014: The 2014 Research Excellence Framework confirmed the world-class standard of research undertaken in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities and its leading international reputation. The Department of English is ranked 6th in Europe (QS Subject Rankings 2018) according to the framework's "power" metric, which takes into account both the quality and quantity of research activity.

Research supervision: Coordinated by the Postgraduate and Research Committee, it links some of the highest-rated literature teaching departments in the country.

Partner organisations: ongoing co-operation in research and student exchange takes place between the programme and the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Joint PhDs available: Exciting opportunities to gain a joint PhD with the University of Hong Kong or National University of Singapore.


We welcome applications from students with research interests in any area of modern, medieval and classical literature in the western European languages and in the modern languages of China, India, Africa and the Middle East. Special research focuses include: the afterlife of Greco-Roman antiquity in later Western literature; the tradition of melancholy from antiquity to 1800; modern Greek poetry; pain in African literature; gender and modern Chinese literature; space in the 19th century European novel; Palestinian and Israeli world literature; linguistics, philology and comparative literature.
Current PhD topics include:
• Metonymy in ancient Greek and German poetry
• French critical thought and comparative literature
• The Bengali novel and representations of Africa
• Transnational modernisms
• Modern Chinese literary representations of the city
• Illness narratives in Arabic
• Palestinian and Arab-American speculative fiction

Course study environment

Research students present their work at the regular Research Seminar and participate in the Comparative Literature Graduate Reading Group and the annual Comparative Literature Graduate Conference. They also attend other Department seminars as appropriate including at the Global Institutes and the Arts and Humanities Festival. The various Institutes of the University of London School of Advanced Study run a wealth of seminars. In addition, King's Comparative Literature plays a pivotal role in the London Intercollegiate Comparative Studies network, which hosts its own seminars.

Postgraduate training

Training involves the Research Seminar; courses organised by the King's Centre for Doctoral Studies; and specialised research training in the University of London's School of Advanced Study. In addition, you can enhance or broaden your language competence through daytime or evening classes in the Modern Language Centre. All Comparative Literature research students have the opportunity to acquire teaching experience

More information can be found here.

Funding Notes

Full-time tuition fees:

£5,300 per year (MPhil/PhD, Comparative Literature) UK/EU

£5,300 per year (MPhil/PhD, Comparative Literature with the University of Hong Kong or National University of Singapore) UK/EU

Part-time tuition fees: £2,650 per year (MPhil/PhD, Comparative Literature) UK/EU

Current regulations allow some students to pay UK tuition fees on the basis of their EU citizenship or residency. Until these eligibility criteria are changed, the EU tuition fee will remain the same as the UK tuition fee.

How good is research at King’s College London in English Language and Literature?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.50

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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