Critical and Cultural Theory

Students on the PhD Critical and Cultural Theory receive supervision from academic staff with a long-standing commitment to excellence and diversity in research, who work at the forefront of pioneering research in critical and cultural theory.

Programme aims

The PhD programme aims to offer knowledge and expertise to take you on to a role in Higher Education, or employment requiring high-level skills in research or advanced subject knowledge.

Distinctive features

  • The School has a dynamic interdisciplinary research culture with a variety of seminar series;
  • The School offers a wide selection of research training opportunities, including a thesis workshop and reading groups;
  • Continuing PhD students attend a fortnightly reading group and a weekly skills training session;
  • PhD students are encouraged to publish;
  • The School has a dedicated suite for its research students with computing facilities, networked information and access to email and Internet;
  • As from their second year, students have the opportunity for teaching on the School’s undergraduate degree programmes, and receive mentoring sessions from a full-time member of staff;
  • The School makes funding available each year for postgraduate research students who wish to attend conferences or undertake library archive visits that are related to their PhD studies.

Key facts

Mode of study Full-time, part-time
Qualification PhD, MPhil
Full-time duration PhD 3 years, MPhil 1 year
Part-time duration PhD 5 years, MPhil 2 years
Start dates January, April, July, October

"Positioned at the interface of different traditions, methodologies, theoretical approaches, disciplines and practices, our pioneering research engenders challenging and fascinating questions for our staff and, through our PhD supervision and research-led teaching, also for our students at all levels." Professor Alison Wray, Director of Research in the School of English, Communication and Philosophy.

The School’s research is recognised internationally for its excellence and was ranked in the top ten for the quality of its English Language and Literature research, including Creative Writing, in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF2014).

Cardiff University has recently joined the world's top 100 universities for the study of English Language & Literature in the 2016 QS World University Rankings.

We welcome PhD applications in staff specialist areas, such as the following:

  • Critical Marxism
  • Cultural History
  • Deconstruction
  • Deleuze studies
  • Digital theory and game studies
  • Eco-humanities
  • Gender, sexuality and race
  • German aesthetics and Frankfurt School
  • Postcolonialism, Nation and culture
  • Postmodernism
  • Posthumanism
  • Theories of the literary
  • Trauma and memory studies.

Supervisors

More information about staff and their research areas can be found on the School's website.

Research environment

The School takes the training of research students very seriously, providing the facilities and supervisory guidance to help each student flourish intellectually and work productively. The School has a dedicated suite of PhD research rooms with excellent networked IT facilities.  Each student has a travel budget and a contribution to photocopying costs, as well as free printing facilities. We regularly check with students what training they need, and ensure that it is provided. Our PhD students can apply to get teaching experience with us, and our unique ‘Learning to Teach’ programme is accredited by the Higher Education Academy. The School holds a yearly conference to allow PhD students the opportunity to share work with their peers in a supportive and stimulating multi-disciplinary environment. The Arts and Social Studies Library is well-stocked with books and academic journals in all our subject areas, electronic resources, and specialist collections such as Cardiff Rare Books, a rich collection of over 14,000 items ranging from fifteenth-century incunabula to twentieth-century fine press books.

In a competitive jobs market, our students are encouraged and supported in building up the skills that will make them employable, whatever their career direction. We value the rich experience of our many overseas students, and actively attend to their specific needs in relation to their cultural context of study and the demands of writing elegantly in a second language.

A number of our students go on to careers in Higher Education both in the UK and abroad, taking up positions either as full-time lecturers or postdoctoral fellows. Other typical employment destinations are publishing, journalism, public relations, arts administration, teaching, advertising, the civil service, law and the media.

Funding

The School offer bursaries worth one year of the Home/EU fee on a competitive basis. For more information, please email encap-pg@cardiff.ac.uk.

The School welcomes enquiries from applicants who are considering applying for funding for a PhD in Critical and Cultural Theory from the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership for 2017-18. Please contact encap-pg@cardiff.ac.uk with your enquiry.

Name Deadline
AHRC-funded South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership 12 January 2017

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

As well as completing the online application form, the research proposal and supporting documents, we also require a sample essay of around 4,000 words in English written by you on any literary or cultural topic of your choice (something that you have previously submitted for your master’s degree, for instance). You are recommended to email the postgraduate administrator at encap-pg@cardiff.ac.uk with your research proposal and a sample essay prior to making a formal application.

Guidelines for writing a research proposal can be found here.

Suitable for graduates in Humanities and Social Sciences. A First or Upper Second class UK honours degree, or equivalent is required.

Students who have not completed an MA or a research training methods course may be asked to audit Theory Modules on the MA English Literature.

English language requirements

The School welcomes applications from students outside the United Kingdom. For non-native speakers of English, an IELTS overall score of 7.5 with at least 7.0 in each sub score is essential.

Please read our English language requirements for more details.

Contacts

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ENCAP Postgraduate Admissions

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