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About the Programme

About French PhD

Our department offers research strengths in all periods of French literature, modern French history and politics, Francophone literature and French thought. There are several active research seminars and reading groups in which staff and research students participate.

We provide formal, subject-specific training and individual guidance on research methods, writing research proposals, applying for funding and presenting research papers.

Current students are working on topics across the whole range of French literary studies, and many of our recent PhD graduates have gone on successfully to academic posts or postdoctoral fellowships.

Most recent REF rankings: The Modern Languages departments were ranked 9th in the Research Excellence Frameworks's (REF) power rankings which take into account the quantity and quality of research activity and performed well in terms of impact with 100% of their research rated as having an outstanding (4*) or considerable reach and significance.

• Current number of academic staff: 12 permanent (all research active).
• Current number of students: 24.

• Recent staff publications:

Simon Gaunt, Marco Polo's Le Devisement du Monde: Narrative Voice, Language and Diversity
Emily Butterworth, The Unbridled Tongue: Babble and Gossip in Renaissance France
Nicholas Harrison, Our Civilizing Mission: The Lessons of Colonial Education
Sanja Perovic, The Calendar in Revolutionary France - Perceptions of Time in Literature, Culture, Politics
Siobhan McIlvanney, Figurations of the Feminine in the Early French Women's Press, 1758-1848
Patrick French, Thinking Cinema with Proust

Course study environment
As a research student, you will have designated primary and secondary supervisors. Students will see their primary supervisor regularly, and perhaps as often as every two weeks during the first year of research. You will be strongly encouraged to attend research seminars in the department and beyond, and be expected to present your research in the departmental seminar at some point.

We offer a dedicated study space for our postgraduate research students on the fourth floor of our Virginia Woolf building.

Our students benefit from funds to subsidise student attendance at conferences, and to contribute towards research costs. We have exchanges at graduate level with the Université de Paris X Nanterre and the Ecole Normale Supérieure Lyon.

Postgraduate training
All MPhil/PhD students in their first year who have not studied literary theory are given the opportunity to attend all or part of the MA compulsory module: Reading Theory/Reading Practice, which looks at literary and critical theory through discussion of readings of literary texts, followed by discussions of key polemics and debates in critical theory.

Our students attend training sessions with specialist librarians at the British Library and the King's Maughan Library.

Students also participate in a full programme of training events run under the auspices of the Arts and Humanities Research Countil (AHRC) doctoral training partnership, the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP). Students also attend the relevant research training workshops offered by the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, the Centre for Doctoral Studies, and the Institute of Modern Languages Research.

Free language tuition at King's
All research students in any discipline at King's can take a module from a choice of over 25 languages with the Modern Language Centre without any additional cost. 

More information can be found here.

Funding Notes

Find out more information about fees on our course web page on the King’s website

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