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Department of English Studies

Postgraduate Study

The strength and breadth of the Department's research in English Literature were recognised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework90% of our research activity was judged to be 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent.' As a teaching department, we are the highest rated department overall in the Complete University Guide 2018.

“Durham's PhD programme has given me the freedom to study independently, and also to seek out new research opportunities and intellectual activities which interest me and support my research, such as the Institute of Advanced Study, working with the Kaleidoscope or Postgraduate English journals, or attending the Department's seminar series.”

Alistair Brown, former PhD student

The Department has research links with scholars in several countries, including Australia, France, Japan, Poland, the Czech Republic, Canada and the United States. We also participate in the activities of interdisciplinary research centres within Durham University, such as the Centre for 17th-Century Studies, the Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, the Centre for Poetry and Poetics, and the Centre for Medical Humanities.


News Feed: Latest Research

Skinny Dipping and Death: Review of The Anna Karenina Fix at Durham Book Festival

War and Peace hit the UK bestseller lists in 2016 in the wake of the BBC adaptation, challenging the perception that Tolstoy and his contemporaries are too wordy and dull […]

(16 Oct 2017) » Skinny Dipping and Death: Review of The Anna Karenina Fix at Durham Book Festival

New Podcast: Fiction and the Victorian Vivisector

The idea of vivisection – performing surgical experiments on live animals in the name of science – makes many people squeamish. Not surprisingly, the ethics of animal experimentation were hotly […]

(13 Oct 2017) » New Podcast: Fiction and the Victorian Vivisector

Taking off the Stabilisers: Review of Robert Webb at Durham Book Festival

The comedian Robert Webb has received great acclaim for his book How Not to Be a Boy, which tackles important questions about gender and male identity in the twenty-first century. Martin […]

(12 Oct 2017) » Taking off the Stabilisers: Review of Robert Webb at Durham Book Festival

Review of The Sparsholt Affair, by Alan Hollinghurst

As it moves from the 1940s to the present day, Alan Hollinghurst’s new novel The Sparsholt Affair traces the complexities of gay sexuality against the backdrop of a changing England. Ahead of […]

(12 Oct 2017) » Review of The Sparsholt Affair, by Alan Hollinghurst

Not Just About Broad Beans: Review of Allan Jenkins and Alys Fowler at Durham Book Festival

Two recent memoirs suggest that gardening can be less about taming the outer world of nature, and more a therapeutic way to come to terms with the inner wilds of the […]

(11 Oct 2017) » Not Just About Broad Beans: Review of Allan Jenkins and Alys Fowler at Durham Book Festival

Walpole as Designer (Public lecture, 17th October)

Enter the marvellous world of Strawberry Hill, a revolutionary neo-Gothic house designed by Horace Walpole, at this free public lecture on 17th October at 18.15, in Elvet Riverside 141. This […]

(11 Oct 2017) » Walpole as Designer (Public lecture, 17th October)

Our History Defines Us: Review of Sinéad Morrissey, Colette Bryce and Tara Bergin at Durham Book Festival

Ireland has produced some of the world’s greatest poets over the years, but the Poetry Book Society brought three current, and female, Irish poets to the fore in a showcase […]

(11 Oct 2017) » Our History Defines Us: Review of Sinéad Morrissey, Colette Bryce and Tara Bergin at Durham Book Festival

Poetry Reading with Martin Dyar (17th October)

Meet the Irish poet, Martin Dyar, at this Durham Book Festival fringe reading, at St Chad’s College, Durham from 18.00 on 17th October. Free and open to all, with no […]

(10 Oct 2017) » Poetry Reading with Martin Dyar (17th October)

How to Apply

Apply to study at Durham University.

Fees and Funding

Further information relating to the fees and costs of postgraduate study and the range of funding sources available.

Postgraduate Prospectus 2018

Interested in postgraduate study? Click to register and download our 2018 prospectus.

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Postgraduate Newsletters

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Postgraduate English logo

The Department hosts one of the longest-running online postgraduate journals in literary studies, Postgraduate English, which is edited by two PhD students each year.