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Postgraduate Research in English

Taught MA in English

The MA in English provides intensive tuition in postgraduate literary studies and also develops the skills required for independent literary research. The first two-thirds of the MA comprises course work, and the final third a mini-dissertation. To get an idea of the level of work involved and the approach taken on this MA, see the introductory material and set texts for MA English Part 1 (A815).

PhD Degrees in English

The Department of English at The Open University offers PhD supervision in the areas of the five Research Groups –  Book History, Postcolonial Literatures, Contemporary Cultures of Writing, The Romantic Period, and Literature and Music – as well as in any area of English or Creative Writing that matches the research expertise of individual staff members. Please consult individual staff profiles for further information. Discover more Postgraduate News and Events, including details of successfully completed PhDs and of publications by current and recent PhD students.

We invite applications for October 2018 entry to our PhD programme.

How to apply

Details of the application procedure are available from the Research Degrees website.

Detailed advice on how to produce a research proposal is also available online. Key issues to bear in mind from the start include the fact that a PhD should be 'an original contribution to knowledge' - so you need to check existing scholarship in your field. Second of all, as how to produce a research proposal indicates, it is always useful to have research questions guiding your enquiry.

For PhD proposals with a Creative Writing focus, see the specific information and guidance.


Successful applicants to our PhD programme will have the opportunity to apply for a CHASE AHRC studentship. These awards cover fees and a stipend for students based in the UK, and fees only for EU residents. The studentships are available through the Consortium for Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE), which brings together the OU, the Courtauld Institute of Art, Goldsmiths, University of London and the Universities of East Anglia, Essex, Kent and Sussex. For more information about CHASE, please visit


The deadline for completed applications for the year commencing in October 2018 is 10th January 2018.


Please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Tutor:
Phone: +44 (0)1908 652092.

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