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School of Cultural Studies and Humanities

  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Profile Description

The School of Cultural Studies and Humanities is the home of English Literature, Creative Writing, History and Media Studies research at Leeds Beckett University. Staff in the School have wide experience of traditional academic publishing as well as of creative writing as a research practice. We also particularly welcome students whose work is on the boundaries of these disciplines or those who want to undertake interdisciplinary studies.

Our research is supported by the Centre for Culture and the Arts which has a particular focus on cultural research strands which address questions of inclusion, diversity and equality.

The English and Creative Writing Team supports doctoral research in the broad domains of post-1500 English literature, with an especial focus on the contemporary, on women's writing, on literature and disability and on English literature beyond the British Archipelago and American Studies. Additional areas include the historical periods of the long eighteenth century, the Victorian age and the early twentieth century. We have extensive expertise in literary theory too. Creative writing students may also enrol to conduct practice-led or practice-based research in any domain of creative writing from poetry to screenwriting, and students seeking to undertake a more interdisciplinary approach to English (for example at the intersections of literature and history or literature and film) are very much encouraged to apply.

History at Leeds Beckett is focused on the modern (post-1500) period. The team has expertise across a range of topics, and temporal and geographical contexts. Our staff have specialisms in British, European and global history, often framed by a cultural and social history approach. We have real strengths in areas such as the history of crime, punishment and rehabilitation, Environmental history, public history, European history, Gender and Women's history and life-writing (one of the many areas where joint supervision with colleagues from English could be appropriate). We are also able to support heritage-related studies. We have strong relationships with local and regional heritage organisations (such as Leeds Museums and Galleries) and we are keen to further develop and enhance our public history offering. We would very much welcome students seeking to undertake research in this area.

In Media, there are three interrelated strands of expertise. The first is media representation and communication: we have considerable expertise in the role of ‘new' and old' media in the reproduction and disruption of social inequalities and stigma. The second is media culture: we have expertise in celebrity studies, political economy, iconography and cultural industries. The third strand of our work is an empirical examination of the sensory, affective and embodied dimension of mediated spaces: we explore bodies and well-being in virtual reality, ruins, heritage sites, art work, urban and rural spaces. A deep theoretical engagement and commitment to innovative methods runs across each strand.

The School and the Centre are both based in our City Campus in the Broadcasting Place Development. We have good facilities for doctoral candidates and a thriving research culture to which we welcome all candidates to contribute.

To discuss your ideas please feel free to contact Dr Andrew Lawson (Reader in American Literature and Postgraduate Research Tutor) at ; or Professor Ruth Robbins (Director of Research for Cultural Studies) at

Funding Notes

If you have the correct qualifications and access to your own funding, either from your home country or your own finances, your application will be considered. Student loans can be taken out for this PhD programme.

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