German Research


MPhil/PhD, option of joint PhD with Stuttgart/Sorbonne or Humboldt University


Part Time, Full Time


Our PhD programme has grown in recent years to become one of the largest and dynamic in the UK. We now offer a range of distinct PhD programmes, including joint programmes that offer unique opportunities for co-supervision in the UK and Germany. The MPhil/PhD in German is based at King’s College London, and leads to a PhD from King’s College. Our Joint-PhDs with the Humboldt University of Berlin, the University of Stuttgart or the Sorbonne (University of Paris IV) involve at least one year at our partner institutions in Berlin, Stuttgart or Paris, and lead to a Joint-PhD conferred by both institutions.

Our current research students work mainly in cultural and historical studies from the Middle Ages to the present day, including literary studies, film and cinema studies; theatre studies; literary and cultural theory; and the history of ideas. In the field of literary and cultural studies, applications are further welcome from students with interests in the study of nation, identity and memory; gender; realism and modernism; the classical tradition; and comparative literature and performance. The Department's links with European Studies also provide an important focus for research on migrant communities; post-1945 political movements; gender and politics; international relations; European identities and German history.

As a research student, you will have designated primary and secondary supervisors, and most students will see their supervisor at least every two weeks during the first year of research. We will monitor your progress through termly written reports and annual reviews. You will be strongly encouraged to attend research seminars in the department and beyond, and expected to present your research in the departmental seminar at some point. We offer a dedicated study space for our postgraduate research students on the fourth floor of our Virginia Woolf building. Our students benefit from funds to subsidise student attendance at conferences, and to contribute towards research costs. As a student, you will also have access to the facilities of the Institute of Modern Languages Research.

The department organises individual training for graduate students, tailored to their specific needs. All postgraduate research students in the department attend a regular graduate research seminar that provides a forum to discuss practical, methodological and theoretical issues relating to their research. Students also participate in a full programme of training events run under the auspices of the new AHRC doctoral training partnership, the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP) ( Students also attend the relevant research training workshops offered by the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, the Graduate School, and the Institute of Modern Languages Research.



The Joint-PhD is an innovative integrated programme that offers unique opportunities for the very best PhD supervision in a pan-European context. The programmes offered provide candidates with the opportunity to divide their PhD study between two prestigious universities enjoying full supervision at both. While supervisions and regular graduate seminars enable students to construct a theoretical, historical and systematic framework for their research, the Joint-PhD also organizes international colloquia and workshops at which students can present and discuss their work with peers and academic staff across the institutions involved. The programme builds on an extensive network of existing institutional links, joint teaching experience and collaborative graduate programmes between King’s and the partner universities.

Joint PhD with the Humboldt University, Berlin

The programme builds on an extensive network of existing institutional links, joint teaching experience, emerging research collaborations, and collaborative graduate programmes between King’s and the Humboldt. Current research projects include studies on Queer Theory, the Modernist Novel, and multilingual German literature.

Joint PhD with the University of Stuttgart/University of Paris, Sorbonne (Paris IV)

This well-established tri-national PhD programme leads to the award of a Joint PhD. It provides candidates with the opportunity to divide their PhD study between two prestigious universities, and to access resources at partner institutions including the German Literature Archive in Marbach and the Institute for the History of Medicine of the Robert Bosch Foundation. Recent and current research projects include the internationalization of satire in Early Modern texts; history, translation and poetics in early 20th-century texts; the international reception of contemporary German bestsellers; the global dissemination of theories of totalitarianism; existentialism in postwar German literature; and the role of journals in the dissemination of poetics.


Applications are welcome from across the field of German Studies, including Comparative Studies with a substantial German element.

FAQs about joint PhDs can be found on the King’s Worldwide web pages.

Head of group/division
Professor Erica Carter
Awarding institution
King's College London/King's and Stuttgart/Sorbonne or Humboldt for joint programme
Expected to be: MPhil two years FT, three years PT; PhD three years FT, four-six years PT. September to September, January to January or April to April.
Strand Campus.
Student destinations
Academia, publishing, media, civil service.
Year of entry 2016
Offered by
Maughan Library