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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.

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.

“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


News Feed: Latest Research

Sacred Symbols, Snake-Women and Sisterhood: Crafting Power in Medieval Origin Stories (Public lectures, 15th August)

The second of our Late Summer Lectures takes us back to the medieval period. Join Alexandra Claridge, Olivia Colquitt and Madelaine Smart as they explore medieval origin stories whose presentation of mythical beginnings and endings raises fundamental questions of sovereignty, legitimacy, and genealogy. All welcome to Alington House, Durham on 22nd August from 17.30. Alexandra begins with... Continue Reading →

(16 Aug 2018) » Sacred Symbols, Snake-Women and Sisterhood: Crafting Power in Medieval Origin Stories (Public lectures, 15th August)


“The Beginning of Sound Film -The End of Literary Modernism?” and “The Rise of Populism and a Call for the New Sincerity in Contemporary Fiction” (Public lectures, 15th August)

Our Late Summer Lectures series is back in 2018, and begins by looking at how literature reflects trends and developments in wider culture and politics. In the first talk, Lara Ehrenfried will show how the advent of sound film influenced modernist writers. In the second, Arya Aryan identifies a new trend in writing as authors... Continue Reading →

(9 Aug 2018) » “The Beginning of Sound Film -The End of Literary Modernism?” and “The Rise of Populism and a Call for the New Sincerity in Contemporary Fiction” (Public lectures, 15th August)


Calling All Lumbering Devils and Renaissance Ladies: Volunteer for the ‘Souls of the North’ Show

Could you work a Wild Horse? Lumber like a hairy devil? Fight with sticks in a sword dance? Be a Renaissance lady? The research team that brought you Theatrum Mundi are seeking volunteers to perform in a new re-enactment of historic traditions of death, to take place on September 12th on Palace Green, Durham.  Souls of the North... Continue Reading →

(8 Aug 2018) » Calling All Lumbering Devils and Renaissance Ladies: Volunteer for the ‘Souls of the North’ Show


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

Interested in studying with us? Sign-up to receive our newsletters for prospective postgraduate students.

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.