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English Literature, American Literature and History of the Book

MPhil/PhD Programmes

The School of Advanced Study is the UK's national research hub in the humanities and offers a world-class research environment to our postgraduate students.

The Institute of English Studies offers doctoral research supervision in the following broad areas:

  • Bibliography
  • Book illustration
  • History of the book from the medieval period to the present
  • History of authorship, communication, printing, publishing from 1800, readers and reading
  • Reception history
  • Modern literary manuscripts and genetic criticism
  • Textual scholarship, scholarly editing and digital humanities
  • Author-focused studies (e.g. J M Barrie, Chaucer, Dickens, T S Eliot, Scott Fitzgerald, Hardy, D H Lawrence, Melville, Shakespeare, R L Stevenson, Twain, W B Yeats)
  • Medieval manuscript studies and palaeography
  • Early modern print culture Victorian, twentieth-century, American, Anglo-American, Anglo-Irish and Scottish literature
PhD in English Literature, American Literature and History of the Book
The Institute of English Studies fosters a vibrant, interdisciplinary research culture and provides a unique configuration of academic resources.

The Institute of English Studies (IES) occupies a position at the centre of the academic study of English in the United Kingdom. It is recognised nationally and internationally as a centre of excellence for its research activities, and in the provision of resources to the academic community as a whole.  

A vibrant, interdisciplinary research culture is fostered within the IES, and more broadly within the School of Advanced Study, part of the University of London, which provides a unique configuration of academic resources for postgraduate and postdoctoral research 

The School of Advanced Study runs an extensive research training programme, open to all postgraduate students, as well as an active public engagement calendar. The School is part of the AHRC-funded London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP), through which we are able to offer a number of studentships in humanities disciplines, as well as the range of studentships and bursaries available through our institutes. 

How to apply 

Before agreeing to accept you, the School will require you to submit a research proposal, so it is worthwhile having this drafted ahead of a formal application. Once you have contacted the School, you will be put in touch with a potential supervisor.  

Distance learning

Students are required to attend our London campus at set intervals to complete an intensive research training module, for upgrade, and for the viva but will otherwise study at their own location. This option is available to UK, EU and international students on the same basis as our on-campus PhD programmes (three years full time, six years part time). Fees are the same as for our on-campus PhD programmes. Please note that not all institutes and supervisors offer this option, and that some topics are not appropriate to be studied this way.

This programme is also available to be studied on campus in London. Visit the School of Advanced Study website to find out more about the degree overview and structure, teaching and assessments, available funding opportunities and more information on applying.