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Postgraduate research degrees in English and related literature

We welcome applications for research projects across a whole range of literary periods and genres, including world literature, film, literatures in languages other than English, works in translation and creative writing.

Why study with the Department of English and Related Literature at York?

We have a distinguished research and teaching record, with wide-ranging research interests in the literature and culture of all periods, both in English and a number of other languages (including French, German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic and Latin). We've scored strongly in the latest Research Excellence Framework and rank highly in league tables domestically and internationally.

Our research degrees

We also offer the PhD in English and the PhD in English with Creative Writing as a Distance Learning option for students unable to reside full-time in York.

Research expertise

We invite applications from candidates who are eager to work in any area of interest covered by our department's research expertise. Find out more about the research expertise of our staff.

Before writing your research proposal, we advise you to consult the list of staff research interests and identify potential supervisors in the department. When making your application, you are advised to make your research proposals as specific and clear as possible. You should indicate the member(s) of staff that you wish to work with.

PhD monographs

Many of our PhD graduates have transformed their research into monographs. This showcase is an impressive way to mark the culmination of your time at York.

Our research community

Our research is organised into four major areas, each represented by a Research School: the Medieval, Renaissance, 18th Century and Romantic, and Modern Schools. 

The size of our graduate community, as well as the intellectual diversity of our graduate students, makes York a very stimulating environment in which to pursue a research degree in English. We play a major part in six interdisciplinary research centres:

You'll have the opportunity to work with our interdisciplinary research centres in order to develop a highly distinguished project. A number of prominent journals and book series have editors in our department.

Visiting postgraduate researchers 

Spend up to a year in York as a visiting research student from a university outside the UK.

Scholarships and funding

Find out about scholarships and studentships that are available to students in the Department of English and Related Literature.

Research resources

We offer a rich range of resources for literature students on campus and around the city, as well as specialist research facilities and archives.

Find out more about our facilities

Writers at York

Writers at York is a lively programme of readings and workshops, bringing exciting new voices and some of the most important contemporary writers to York.


  • You'll receive support in applying to and presenting at professional conferences, preparing and submitting material for publication and applying for jobs.
  • You'll benefit from training in handling research data, various modern languages, palaeography and bibliography. Classical and medieval Latin are also available. The Humanities Research Centre also offers a rich array of valuable training sessions.
  • We also offer training in teaching skills if you wish to pursue a teaching post following your degree. This includes sessions on the delivery and content of seminars and workshops to undergraduates, a structured shadowing programme, teaching inductions and comprehensive guidance and resources for our graduate teaching assistants.
  • You'll have the opportunity to further your training by taking courses accredited by Advance HE: York Learning and Teaching Award (YLTA) and the York Professional and Academic Development scheme (YPAD).

Next steps