Study this programme anywhere in the world and receive a fully accredited University of London degree

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Modern Languages

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 Modern Languages Research offers doctoral research supervision in the following broad areas:

  • French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese studies
  • Literature
  • Cultural studies

There is also a range of comparative and interdisciplinary study topics.

PhD study in Modern Languages
The Institute of Modern Languages Research is home to a diverse, international and vibrant community of scholars covering our major language areas

The Institute of Modern Language Research's research strength lies in its combination of the study of several language fields: French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. 

Its academic staff specialise in literature, cultural studies, history of ideas and comparative studies: the city (especially Berlin, Trieste), borders, the body, psychoanalysis, gender and sexuality, feminism, women's writing, Jewish writing, exile writing, children's literature, etc. 

Because of its function as a centre for academic events in European culture, the Institute has national and international contacts with researchers in its fields. The Institute is thus particularly well placed to offer supervision for projects that cross national and disciplinary boundaries. 

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 potential supervisors and subject areas, as well as details about available funding opportunities and more information about distance learning research degrees.