Phd in English Literature, Creative Writing and Linguistics



Research environment As a Surrey postgraduate research student you will work in the collegial environment of the School of English and Languages. In addition to meetings with two supervisors, you will have access to a range of services to support and develop your writing and research skills, including the University’s Researcher Development programme.

As well as being a student in the School, we will support your contribution to larger initiatives such as the University’s Postgraduate Conference. We will also encourage you to develop your critical thinking, problem solving and presentation skills, with support available to attend conferences and make essential research trips.

Research centres / groups

  • TRANS: Transnational Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Surrey Morphology Group

Key research areas include:

English Literature

  • Transnational studies, especially in relation to travel
  • Postmodern literature
  • Victorian studies
  • Medieval and Early Modern writing
  • Sexuality and women’s writing
  • The Gothic
  • Writing and science
  • Shakespeare studies

Creative Writing

  • Historical fiction
  • Experimental poetry
  • Humour
  • Thrillers
  • Women’s writing

Theoretical Linguistics

  • Theoretical morphology
  • The syntax-morphology interface
  • Linguistic gender and categorisation
  • Linguistic typology, including canonical typology
  • Fieldwork-based descriptive linguistics

Applied Linguistics

  • Communication in business settings
  • Diaspora studies
  • Globalisation

Research programmes:

  • PhD English (Literature, Creative Writing or Linguistics)

Research degrees programme overview We particularly welcome topics that cross discipline boundaries.

At the core of our PhD programmes are the regular meetings that you will have with your supervisors. For us, writing is key to understanding and developing new perspectives: you will be submitting written work from the very start. In the first year, you will – with the guidance and support of your supervisors – lay the foundations of your research by refining your research proposal, engaging with the literature and planning the structure of your work, based on an agreed timetable. Throughout your studies we are committed to thinking about your long-term career as well as your time at the University.

Key to the planning of your work is training in generic skills (for example, giving presentations and managing your time) as well as participation in a module in research methods. You will gradually learn to work more independently as you progress into your second and third years, or the equivalent for part-time students. Your supervisors will guide you on how to present at conferences and the process of getting published.

Entry Requirements A good first degree (2:1 or equivalent) and an MA in a relevant topic. In exceptional cases, students with a good first degree will be considered for Creative Writing where there is a substantial or promising creative portfolio. Students are initially registered for a PhD with probationary status and, subject to satisfactory progress, are subsequently confirmed as having PhD status. Non-fluent speakers of English are required to have IELTS 6.5 or above, with a minimum of 7.0 in the Writing component.

Studentship opportunities An annual Faculty of Arts and Humanities Studentship is available on a competitive basis.

Further information
For full programme information and information on how to apply, please visit the ‘Apply’ button below.

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