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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

The Coarseness of the Brontës: A Reappraisal (Conference, 10 – 11th August 2017)

Registration is now open for this two-day conference which aims to re-evaluate the charge of ‘coarseness’ so often directed at the Brontë family. How and in what ways does ‘coarseness’ manifest in […]

(27 Jun 2017) » The Coarseness of the Brontës: A Reappraisal (Conference, 10 – 11th August 2017)

Unlocking the Secrets of Medieval Musical Manuscripts

Many people find music hard to read. How, then, do you set about deciphering music and song lyrics written 500 years ago in a timeworn medieval manuscript? Timothy Glover (UCLA) […]

(26 Jun 2017) » Unlocking the Secrets of Medieval Musical Manuscripts

New Issue of Postgraduate English (Number 34, 2017)

The new issue of our open access journal, Postgraduate English, is out now, with four articles showcasing the best of postgraduate literature research from scholars around the world. This issue was edited by […]

(22 Jun 2017) » New Issue of Postgraduate English (Number 34, 2017)

Encyclopedia Entries on Middle English Literary Works (CFP)

The valuable reference work, The Literary Encyclopedia, is looking for qualified writers to enhance its coverage of Middle English Literature. If you wish to contribute, please contact one of the volume editors for Medieval […]

(20 Jun 2017) » Encyclopedia Entries on Middle English Literary Works (CFP)

Time Machines: Time Travellers (Interactive story show, 22nd June)

Travel through the fourth dimension in this special late event in connection with the exhibition, Time Machines, featuring live performances, interactive stories, music and film. Start the evening with some […]

(17 Jun 2017) » Time Machines: Time Travellers (Interactive story show, 22nd June)

Imitation and Innovation: Uses of the Past in the Medieval and Early Modern World (Conference, 11th-12th July)

Registration is now open for the annual Medieval and Early Modern Students Association conference, which runs from 11th to 12th July at Hatfield College.  This will focus on how people […]

(16 Jun 2017) » Imitation and Innovation: Uses of the Past in the Medieval and Early Modern World (Conference, 11th-12th July)

Gower, His Contemporaries, and Their Legacy in MSS and Early Printed Books, 1350-1550 (Conference, 9th-14th July)

The fifteenth biennial conference of the Early Book Society and the IVth International Congress of the John Gower Society will be hosted by Durham University from 9th to 14th July 2017. The Congress […]

(14 Jun 2017) » Gower, His Contemporaries, and Their Legacy in MSS and Early Printed Books, 1350-1550 (Conference, 9th-14th July)

Storytelling as Time Travel and Counter Futures in Contemporary Black Fiction and Art (Talks, 19th June)

Join two of the academics behind the Time Machines exhibition for an insight into time travel and its role in art and literature. Professor Simon James will explore the time-bending […]

(14 Jun 2017) » Storytelling as Time Travel and Counter Futures in Contemporary Black Fiction and Art (Talks, 19th June)

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 2017

Interested in postgraduate study? Click on the above image to register and download our 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.