English research degrees

How to applyEnglish

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Our programmes

English at Hull is friendly, inclusive and supportive, and characterised by the internationally excellent research that informs our postgraduate degree supervision. Our academic staff have expertise in all literary periods, from Old Norse to 21st century literature. We have renowned expertise in medieval literature and medievalism, Shakespeare and Renaissance drama, early modern literature and politics, 19th-century studies (particularly the novel and the visual arts), modern and contemporary literature (particularly poetry and fiction), genre fiction (gothic, crime and science fiction), and creative writing.

We offer two research options for postgraduate students – MRes English (Literature and Creative Writing pathways) or a PhD (English or Creative Writing). You have access to the superb facilities of the newly refurbished Brynmor Jones Library, as well as our Graduate School. PhD students have exclusive use of the library’s Postgraduate Lounge. Research is strongly interdisciplinary and enhanced by the research networks of its centres: the Andrew Marvell Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, and the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies. Training in subject-specific research skills and methodologies is provided by the department, on top of the University’s Postgraduate Training Scheme.


Our academic experts welcome applications for postgraduate research across a broad range of topics. Research broadly fits into six key themes:


Research in medieval literature at the University of Hull encompasses a complementary but diverse range of specialisms, ranging from Old Norse to medievalism. .

Given the interdisciplinary nature of all medieval research and the ways in which it is grounded in archival study, colleagues in the medieval cluster have research interests in multiple categories. Specific areas of interest include textual practice and identity; mythology and moralia; and epistemologies of medievalism in film, media and television


  • Professor Elisabeth Salter
  • Dr Martin Arnold
  • Dr Lesley Coote

Early Modern

The Renaissance and Early Modern cluster has strong research and teaching expertise in Shakespeare; sixteenth- and seventeenth-century drama and poetry; literature and politics; Renaissance intertextualities; drama and visual culture; and the literature of ruins. 


  • Professor Janet Clare
  • Dr Cliff Forshaw
  • Dr Ann Kaegi
  • Dr Jason Lawrence
  • Dr Richard Meek
  • Dr Stewart Mottram

18th and 19th Century

The eighteenth and nineteenth-century specialists in the Department of English constitute a lively and enterprising research culture at the cutting-edge of international and interdisciplinary scholarship. Research is supported by the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies (CNCS).


  • Professor Katharine Cockin
  • Professor Valerie Sanders
  • Dr Kevin Corstorphine
  • Dr Anna Fitzer
  • Dr Jane Thomas
  • Dr Catherine Wynne

Modern and Contemporary

Research expertise includes work on: D. H. Lawrence; crime fiction; gothic, horror and science fiction; the novel; women's writing; women's suffrage literature; poetry; literature and place; literature and the life cycle (age, youth, children's literature); literature and law; and auto/biography.


  • Professor Katharine Cockin  
  • Dr Jennie Chapman  
  • Dr Cliff Forshaw
  • Dr Bethan Jones
  • Dr David Kennedy
  • Dr Sabine Vanacker
  • Dr Sam Perry

Creative Writing

Creative writers in the Department of English have expertise in creative non-fiction, crime fiction, the novel, short fiction including flash fiction, and poetry. Research is supported by The Philip Larkin Centre for Poetry and Creative Writing, which has hosted many of the world's finest writers such as Hilary Mantel, Christopher Hampton, Edna O'Brien, and Kate Mosse.


  • Professor Martin Goodman
  • Dr John Wedgwood Clarke
  • Dr Cliff Forshaw  
  • Dr David Kennedy
  • Mr Simon Kerr


The Department of English has research expertise in Critical Discourse Analysis; and teaching expertise in social aspects of language in use: language and power, language and journalism, stylistics. Language experts in the Department of English work across disciplinary boundaries and maintain links with colleagues in other departments, most notably with the School of Modern Languages.


  • Dr Micheal Farelly

Admissions status

Open for admission in 2018/19

Research options

PhD: 4 years (full-time) / 7 years (part-time)

MA by Research: 1 year (full-time) / 2 years (part-time)


Home/EU: £4,195 (full-time) / £2,098 (part-time)

Overseas: £12,800 (full-time)

*Please note, the fees shown are for 2017/18 entry. The fees for 2018/19 have not yet been confirmed, and may increase.

These fees are for all English research degrees research programmes on this page. For courses lasting more than one year, small annual increases may apply. For more information, please visit www.hull.ac.uk/money.

The Postgraduate Training Scheme

It is now widely recognised by employers, professional bodies and research funding agencies that specialist expertise alone is not sufficient preparation either for research or a subsequent career. With this in mind, the University of Hull requires all its postgraduate research students to follow a research training programme relating both to their particular field of study and to generic skills; for example, information technology and communication skills.

Postgraduate Training Scheme

Next steps


For information about bursaries and how to fund your studies see our money page, or take a look at our PhD scholarships page for specific funded PhD opportunities.

Entry requirements

Students with a BA degree of first or second upper class or equivalent in any discipline of the Arts and Humanities can apply.

MRes English (Literature and Creative Writing pathways)

Two academic references, a sample of your written work in literary studies or creative writing, amounting to at least 4,000 words, and a dissertation proposal.

PhD English or PhD Creative Writing

Two academic references, ideally from your MA studies. A sample of your written work in literary studies or creative writing, amounting to at least 10,000 words, and a thesis proposal.
International students (language requirements)

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. For other English language proficiency qualifications acceptable by this University, please click here.

If your English currently does not reach the University’s required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.


English at Hull has a proud reputation for producing internationally excellent research and delivering a first-class teaching experience.

Students benefit from studying in a city steeped in literary history, as well as a contemporary literary scene befitting of Hull's status as the UK City of Culture 2017.