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Durham University

School of Modern Languages & Cultures


When you undertake a research degree, at either MA or PhD level, you work with a designated supervisor on a research topic of your choice. Supervision on a wide range of cultural and linguistic topics as shown on the left hand-side menu of this page. Consulting our staff pages will help you identify a researcher with expertise in the field which interests you.

Research degrees offered in the School

1 year full-time study
2 years part-time study
50,000 word thesis
3 years full-time study
6 years part-time study
100,000 word thesis

How to apply

The first step should be to identify a staff member in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures whose research interests and expertise are relevant for your project. A list of all academic staff, by department, can be consulted at You can also click on the tabs (left) for more information on areas of research expertise and supervision available.

Once you have discussed the project with a suitable prospective supervisor, you should complete the Durham online application (

Applications for PhD study should include the following attachments:

- An up-to-date CV highlighting academic and (if relevant) professional achievements.

- A 750-word case for support (PhD proposal including details of how the project fits proposed supervisory team, the School and its research environment

- Transcript of marks of BA degree or equivalent and MA if completed (if in progress please include an official list of results achieved to date issued by your university).

Please note that your case of support should include the following details:

  • The research question(s) or problem(s) to be addressed
  • The research context(s) in which the question(s) or problem(s) is/are located
  • The contribution to knowledge and understanding that the project expects to make
  • The methodology to be employed in addressing the research question(s)/problem(s)
  • The sources to be used during the research project, where are they located, and how will they be accessed
  • A brief explanation of how the project fits the University’s and the School’s research environment (research institutes and centres, research groups, staff expertise).

If you wish to apply for funding please remember to express interest for the relevant scheme(s) in the funding section of the Durham online application. Further information about postgraduate funding opportunities for the School of Modern Languages and Cultures can be found here:

Most deadlines for postgraduate funding applications are around mid-February every year (for entry in October).


For general enquiries about postgraduate research in the School, contact the Director of Postgraduate Education, on Alternatively, feel free to approach any member of the research-active staff directly if you wish to enquire about their research interests or the possibilities of research supervision.