We offer the opportunity to undertake research in English Literature, delivered on campus or through distance learning.
You will have access to a range of world-class resources in the University’s Main Library and the Cadbury Research Library where a host of rare manuscripts and archives are available. The department also fosters a range of connections with local partners such as the Library of Birmingham, the largest municipal library in Europe, and the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, itself part of the wider School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies.
Our principal areas of expertise include Medieval English (for example, Old English, Chaucer, Langland, Lollard writing, Reformation writing and medievalist writers such as Tolkien ); Early Modern English (for example, Daniel, Donne, Jonson, Marlowe, Middleton, Shakespeare, Spenser, Milton); Restoration, 18th century and the Romantics (for example, Swift, Goldsmith, Pope, Johnson, Macpherson, and Wordsworth,); and 19th-century, 20th- century and contemporary research (for example, Hardy, Wilde, James, Conrad, Woolf, T. S. Eliot, Ballard, DeLillo, and Coetzee).
The MA by Research programme requires you to prepare a dissertation of up to 40,000 words on a topic of your choice, for which an academic staff member will provide expert supervision.
The PhD – the most advanced research degree – leads to a dissertation of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice and under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff.
You can study an MA by Research or PhD programme on campus or by distance learning. Please note that if you are studying with us by distance learning, the programme includes a fully-funded annual visit to campus for each full year of your programme (every two years for part-time students).
For more information on distance learning including answers to frequently asked questions, student experiences and funding opportunities, please see our distance learning website.
About the School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies
"Welcome to the School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, in the College of Arts and Law. This is one of the largest Schools in the College, and variety is our watchword. We offer one of the most extensive ranges of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the country. Our research expertise is equally diverse, and we welcome students and researchers from all over the world." - Professor Andrzej Gasiorek, Head of School
We particularly encourage creative thinking, with a range of pioneering programmes including Masters opportunities in Creative Writing, Film and Television and Shakespeare and Creativity. Our creative offerings are also strengthened by the development of our Department of Film and Creative Writing – established in 2015 – which has opened up exciting new opportunities for postgraduates to benefit from synergies between the two fields.
Our well-established Departments also provide an excellent environment for postgraduate study. The Department of Drama and Theatre Arts has a highly respected national and international reputation for excellence in teaching and research. We are also one of the leading centres for the postgraduate study of English in the UK, spanning language and literature. The Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics is a world-leading centre of excellence for both teaching and research in this field.
We are also proud to be home to the world-renowned Shakespeare Institute, based in Stratford-upon-Avon. Situated within walking distance of Shakespeare’s birthplace, school and grave, and the theatres of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), the Shakespeare Institute offers postgraduate students and scholars an academic experience unrivalled by any other university.
Funding and Scholarships
There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham
. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgfunding
Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays
Virtual Open Days
If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk