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MPhil/PhD in English Literature

Director of Postgraduate Studies: Professor Katie Gramich

Key Concepts in Crime Fiction by Dr Heather Worthington.

Cardiff is known internationally for the quality of its research in English Literature and we welcome enquiries from prospective students, whether you wish to talk about your own possible projects and areas of interest or to obtain further information about PhD and MPhil programmes in English Literature.

We are committed to innovative research across a broad range of literary periods, theoretical fields, and cultural phenomena, with special emphasis on Late 19C/ Early 20C Literature, Modernism, Women's Writing, Postcolonial Studies, Wales and Ireland, Text and Image, Shakespeare and Renaissance Studies, Romanticism, Crime Fiction, Pre-Early Modern and Medieval, as well as areas as diverse as Old Norse and Modern Drama, Creative Writing and Arthurian Romance. Please see below for a full list.

Students who begin an MPhil or PhD programme without having taken an MA follow the same training course as is provided for the MA students, while working for their PhD/MPhil. There is also a full programme of seminars and workshops for PhD and MPhil students which run alongside their individual research work with their supervisors. Continuing PhD students attend a regular Reading Group and skills training sessions, as well as a number of student-led discussion groups throughout the year. As from their second year, students have the opportunity for teaching on the undergraduate English Literature degree and receive mentoring sessions from a full-time member of staff. Full-time PhD students are allocated study space which provides computing facilities, networked information and access to email and the internet.

Admissions Information

Applications are welcome from graduates with at least a 2.1 in English Literature (and/or a relevant discipline).

The School welcomes applications from students from outside the United Kingdom. More information is provided on our International Students page.

The MA in English Literature provides an ideal basis for students wishing to undertake research leading to the degree of PhD. Alternatively, in certain cases PhD students attend the first two terms of the MA course, and submit the assessed essays, before proceeding to full-time work on the thesis. Essays take account of the material taught in the course, but may also constitute draft sections of the doctoral project.

Research Opportunities for Postgraduate Research Students and Visiting Scholars

The following are particular strengths in the English Literature Research Group, and applications from well-qualified students to work with us are very welcome:

Arthurian and Middle English Literature; Old English and Old Norse Studies
Professor Carl Phelpstead. Dr Rob Gossedge. Dr Megan Leitch.

Contemporary Fiction
Professor Ann Heilmann. Dr Julia Jordan. Dr Becky Munford.

Crime Fiction
Professor Martin A. Kayman. Dr Heather Worthington

Cultural History
Dr Neil Badmington. Professor Ann Heilmann. Professor Martin A. Kayman. Professor Radhika Mohanram. Dr Jane Moore. Dr Carl Plasa.

Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Literature
Dr Melanie Bigold. Professor Martin A. Kayman. Dr Anthony Mandal. Dr Jane Moore.

Editing Theory and Practice
Dr Melanie Bigold. Professor Martin Coyle. Dr Anthony Mandal. Professor Julia Thomas.

History of the Book

Professor Bill Bell. Dr Julia Jordan. Dr Anthony Mandal.

Irish Studies
Dr Jane Moore.

Music and Theatre Studies
Dr Irene Morra. Professor Martin Coyle.

Postcolonial Studies
Professor Radhika Mohanram. Dr Carl Plasa

Shakespeare and Renaissance Studies
Professor Martin Coyle. Dr Irene Morra.

Twentieth-Century and Modernism
Dr Neil Badmington. Professor Katie Gramich. Dr Julia Jordan. Dr Carl Plasa. Dr Irene Morra. Dr Laurent Milesi. Professor Radhika Mohanram. Dr Becky Munford.

(Neo-) Victorian and Nineteenth Century
Professor Bill Bell. Professor Ann Heilmann. Dr Anthony Mandal. Dr Carl Plasa. Professor Julia Thomas. Dr Heather Worthington.

Welsh Writing in English
Professor Katie Gramich. Dr Rob Gossedge.

Women Writers
Dr Melanie Bigold. Professor Ann Heilmann. Professor Katie Gramich. Professor Ann Heilmann. Dr Jane Moore. Dr Becky Munford.

Research Training

Research training is a vital element of our provision. Generic training is organised by and run through the University Graduate College.

At subject level, English Literature runs a weekly thesis workshop group for all PhD students. In addition, a flourishing programme of visiting speakers, coordinated in conjunction with the Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research, provides a forum for the wider discussion of research and research methodologies.

Cardiff Humanities Research Institute (CHRI)

The Cardiff Humanities Research Institute, founded in 2007, provides an exciting forum for developing inter and cross-disciplinary work in the Humanities. The School plays an active role in the Institute which embraces both staff and postgraduate research activity.


The following funding is available for 2013/14 in this subject area:

AHRC full scholarships (then a link to the AHRC information on the ENCAP web)

Two full President's Research Scholarships in the area of Multi-Culturalism

One full President's Research Scholarship in the area of Neo-Victorianism.

For further information please visit the following sites:


Find Undergraduate courses

Find Postgraduate courses

For further details please contact:

Postgraduate Office

Phone: +44 (0)29 208 70322

School of English, Communication
and Philosophy
Cardiff University
John Percival Building
Colum Drive
CF10 3EU

Student Views

"I studied for my MA degree at Cardiff University and am now in my third and final year of study for a PhD in English Literature. My experience as a postgraduate at Cardiff, both taught and research, has been wonderful.  The School of English, Communication and Philosophy is committed to and highly supportive of its doctoral students, providing a thriving research community in which to study, which is both friendly and professional.  The expert tuition and guidance I have received throughout my doctoral programme have been invaluable.  Also, the School’s generous financial support, available to all postgraduate students, has enabled me to represent the University at several high-profile academic conferences.  These opportunities to share my research with other students and academics within my field of study have contributed greatly to the quality of my work and to my career horizons."

Elizabeth Ford, currently studying for a PhD in English Literature