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Research opportunities in the Department of English and Related Literature

Department of English and Related Literature

About the Programme

The Department of English and Related Literature is a world-leading department. One of the UK's largest graduate schools, we are proud to have built a welcoming, international community with a global outlook.

Our diversity of research interests means we are well-positioned to supervise research in any field of literature from the Middle Ages to the present day, including literatures in languages other than English. We are also proud to offer our new PhD in English with Creative Writing.

Our staff are leaders in their fields, and we provide exceptional supervisory support, as well as a dynamic and supportive environment in which to pursue your studies. You'll have access to outstanding research resources, including our superb library and archive facilities, our custom-built Humanities Research Centre, and our renowned interdisciplinary research centres.

Why us?

  • One of only two UK English departments to receive a score of 100% for research environment in REF 2014
  • Highest proportion of world-leading 4* research among UK English departments (REF 2014)
  • Ranked 22nd in the world by QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020, and 4th in the UK by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021
  • Unparalleled research resources, including the Borthwick Institute for Archives, King's Manor Library, York Minster Library and the nearby British Library Document Supply Centre at Boston Spa
  • A number of prominent journals and book series are edited from the Department, including Studies in the Early Middle Ages, Shakespeare Quarterly, the Journal of Victorian Culture, and the Journal of Commonwealth Literature
  • Our PhD graduates have a superb record of going on to successful academic careers, or pursuing alternative career paths which make the most of their skills as researchers, writers, and critics

Research in the Department is split into four schools covering Medieval, Renaissance, Eighteenth Century/Romantic and Modern time periods, though we welcome research that disrupts these period divides. We possess significant research expertise in the literature and language of other cultures, from ancient Greece to contemporary Pakistan, and our theoretical commitments take in everything from disability studies to theology, and from narrative studies to ecocriticism and animal studies. Our wide-ranging expertise encompasses the full array of genres, from drama, prose and poetry to film, television, Instapoetry, computer games and material culture.

We offer:

  • A diverse programme of research seminars, conferences and public lectures from world-leading academics and writers, from within the department and across the globe
  • Dedicated research training for all research students, which includes planning and writing your thesis, using resources (both electronic and printed), handling research data, delivering conference presentations, preparing and submitting material for publication and career development
  • The opportunity to undertake skills classes in modern languages, palaeography, bibliography, and classical and medieval Latin
  • Funding through the White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH), as well as university and departmental bursaries and scholarships

What next?

Check that your research interests align with the expertise of a member of our staff. Once you've identified a potential supervisor, please contact them before applying to discuss your application and potential research areas.

Complete an application:
PhD in English
PhD in English and Creative Writing

Contact us

+44 (0)1904 323366

Research degrees in the Department of English and Related Literature
Research in the Department of English and Related Literature
Department of English and Related Literature


Postgraduate funding in the Department of English and Related Literature
Funding for research degrees

Funding Notes

This programme is waiting to confirm funding from a university or external source. This may depend on attracting suitable students and applications are welcome. Please see the programme details for more information.

How good is research at University of York in English Language and Literature?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 36.01

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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