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English Language and Literature

Research programmes

DPhil in English (all subjects)

Course Code | 000592 

DPhil in English (to 1550)

Course Code | 000591

Successful applicants are allocated a supervisor who will be a specialist in the student’s area of research. Research areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Early Modern Studies External link
  • Medieval Literature
  • Eighteenth-century Literature
  • Colonial and Postcolonial Literature
  • American Literature
  • English Language and Linguistics
  • Romanticism
  • Nineteenth Century and the Fin de Siècle
  • Critical Theory
  • Gender Studies
  • Film Studies

All research programme applicants are admitted first to Probationer Research Student (PRS) status and may reapply for admission to full DPhil status during their first year. Under the guidance of their supervisor, DPhil students complete a thesis of 80,000 to 100,000 words. They have the opportunity to attend a wide range of classes, seminars and lectures in order to learn bibliographic and research skills, interact with other researchers or gain new perspectives on their work.

There is an active and lively graduate organisation, English Graduates at Oxford (EGO), that organises study skills and career development seminars, social events and conferences.

The Graduate Consultative Committee (GCC) represents the interests of graduate students in a more formal way. Research students also have the opportunity to attend the Preparation for Learning and Teaching in Oxford Workshop in order to join the teaching register, and there are courses available to develop further teaching skills.

How to Apply

The deadline for the DPhil in English (all subjects) is 24 January 2014. The deadlines for the DPhil in English (to 1550) are 24 January 2014 and 14 March 2014.

Applicants wishing to apply for AHRC funding or Faculty studentships must apply by the January deadline.

The standard set of materials you should send with any application to a research course comprises:

In addition to the standard documents above, applicants to either of the DPhil programmes in English should provide two (2) relevant academic essays or other writing samples from their most recent qualification of 2,000 words each, or 2,000-word extracts of longer work.

Alternatively, applicants to either of these programmes may provide one (1) longer writing sample of 4,000 words.  

Please follow the detailed instructions in the Application Guide, and consult the Faculty of English website for any additional guidance.

Taught programmes

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MSt in English (650–1550)

Course Code | 000611 

MSt in English (1550–1700)

Course Code | 000615

MSt in English (1700–1830)

Course Code | 000619

MSt in English (1830–1914)

Course Code | 000618

MSt in English (1900–Present)

Course Code | 000614

MSt in World Literatures in English

Course Code | 000625

The MSt can serve both as an autonomous degree programme for students wishing to pursue more advanced studies in English literature for one year or as an excellent preparation for doctoral research. In the first two terms, students can choose from a wide range of options both within and beyond their chosen strand, as well as developing their research skills through courses in bibliography, palaeography and theories of text.

Students also research and write a dissertation under the guidance of a specialist supervisor.

  • Length of programme: Nine months
  • Core and optional courses:
    • Core course: Literature, Contexts and Approaches
    • Core course: Dissertation
    • Optional courses: Bibliography, Palaeography and Theories of Text
    • Optional courses: Special Options

MSt in English (English and American Studies)

Course Code | 003460 

This MSt can serve both as an autonomous degree programme for students wishing to pursue more advanced studies in English and American Studies for one year or as an excellent preparation for doctoral research.

Students follow a similar structure to that of the other MSts, but in place of one special option students will take a compulsory core course in American Studies, designed to introduce them to the methods and practices of interdisciplinary study in this field.

Students will be required to write their dissertation on an approved topic in the field of English and American Studies (broadly conceived, and allowing scope for comparative studies).

  • Length of programme: Nine months
  • Core and optional courses:
    • Core course: Literature, Contexts and Approaches
    • Core course: American Studies
    • Core course: Dissertation
    • Optional courses: Bibliography, Palaeography and Theories of Text
    • Optional courses: Special Options

MSt in English Language

Course Code | 000595

The programme is designed to serve as an autonomous degree programme for students wishing to pursue more advanced studies in English language or as preparation for doctoral research.

The course aims to enable students to gain advanced knowledge of the history, structure and uses of the English language, of the social and cultural influences on its development and use, and of the theoretical and analytic approaches which have been used to study it.

Students will also acquire and apply relevant analytic and research skills, including various forms of transcription, the use of corpora, and the application of appropriate descriptive linguistic frameworks to different kinds of material.

Students undertake two courses from a list of options in areas such as language and gender; lexicography; language and media; English as a world language; the language of Middle English literature. Students also research and write a dissertation under the guidance of a specialist supervisor.

  • Length of programme: Nine months
  • Core and optional courses:
    • Core course: Topics in English language (History, Structure and Use)
    • Core course: Research Methods
    • Core course: Dissertation
    • Optional courses: Special Options

MPhil in English Studies (Medieval Period)

Course Code | 000620 

The programme is designed for students wishing to attain a thorough grounding in medieval English language and literature and related subjects at an advanced level, either as a preparation for doctoral research or as an autonomous qualification.

In the first year, students follow the MSt in English (650–1550).In the second year students have the opportunity to study three or four aspects of medieval culture in depth, including medieval languages, literatures, authors, philosophy, history and palaeography.

Students also submit a dissertation, which often forms the basis of doctoral research.

  • Length of programme: Twenty-one months
  • Core and optional courses:

    YEAR 1
    • Core course: Literature, Contexts and Approaches
    • Core course: Dissertation
    • Optional courses: Bibliography, Palaeography and Theories of Text
    • Optional courses: Special Options

    YEAR 2

For more information about the core and optional courses offered on our taught-course degrees and the programme specifications, see the English website.

How to Apply

The deadlines for the MSt in English (650–1550), MSt in English Language and MPhil in English Studies (Medieval Period) are 24 January 2014 and 14 March 2014.

The deadline for all other MSt programmes (i.e. 1550-1700, 1700-1830, 1830-1914, 1900-present, World Literatures in English, English & American Studies) is 24 January 2014.

Applicants wishing to apply for AHRC funding or Faculty studentships must apply by the January deadline. 

The standard set of materials you should send with any application to a taught course comprises:

In addition to the standard documents above, applicants to the any of the taught courses in English listed above should provide two (2) relevant academic essays or other writing samples from their most recent qualification of 2,000 words each, or 2,000-word extracts of longer work. 

Alternatively, applicants to the above programmes may provide one (1) longer writing sample of 4,000 words.  

Please follow the detailed instructions in the Application Guide, and consult the Faculty of English website for any additional guidance.

Academic resources

The English Faculty Library contains over 100,000 books and 150 journals, almost all of which are on open access. The library also contains several collections of rare books and manuscripts, including the Wilfred Owen Collection, the Napier Collection (Old and Middle English), and approximately 9,000 pre-1850 volumes; you can browse the Oxford University Library Services catalogue for full details.

The Faculty has an IT teaching room and a graduate workspace, each of which contain 25 terminals. Students also have the use of a graduate common room and kitchen.

In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (2010) the Faculty had the highest number of 3* and 4* research outputs, more than double that of almost every other department in the country. It was voted the top university department nationally for English in 2009 and 2010 by the Guardian University Guide. It is the largest English Department in the country with around 75 professors, readers and lecturers.

The Faculty offers a lively and diverse range of lectures, seminars and discussion groups to accommodate all interests.

Graduate destinations

Many of our taught-course students go onto doctoral research, both at Oxford and at other universities worldwide. Many of our doctoral students take up academic positions in the UK and overseas. Other graduates pursue careers in occupations including teaching, journalism, law, publishing and the civil service.

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www.english.ox.ac.uk

+44 (0) 1865 281140 / 271541
graduate.studies@ell.ox.ac.uk

 

 

 

 

Main areas of research interests

Research interests on the English website External link

 

Selection criteria

Selection criteria on the English website External link

 

English language requirements

Higher level


Funding/awards
  • AHRC studentships, Clarendon awards
  • Faculty studentships
  • Joint Faculty/College studentships

Funding information on the English website External link

 

Number of applicants
2012/13
Research degrees

192

Taught degrees

487


Number of places available
2013/14
Research degrees

40

Taught degrees

96


Statement of Provision
English Language and Literature - Taught and Research External link