Ranked second nationally in the Research Assessment Exercise 2008, our department offers research strengths in all periods of French literature, modern French history and politics, Francophone literature and French thought. There are several active research seminars and reading groups in which staff and research students participate.
We provide training and individual guidance on research methods, writing research proposals, applying for funding and presenting research papers. In conjunction with the Modern Language Centre, we recently established a pioneering programme of specialist training in advanced French language and pedagogy for graduate students, to help them prepare to teach French at university level and to publish their research in French.
Current students are working on topics across the whole range of French literary studies, and many of our recent PhD graduates have gone on successfully to academic posts or postdoctoral fellowships.
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 be expected to present your research in the departmental seminar at some point. Our students benefit from funds to subsidise student attendance at conferences, and to contribute towards research costs. We have exchanges at graduate level with the Université de Paris X Nanterre and the Ecole Normale Supérieure Lyon.
We encourage all MPhil/PhD students in their first year to attend the MA course: Reading Theory/Reading Practice, which looks at literary and critical theory through discussion of readings of literary texts, followed by discussions of key polemics and debates in critical theory. There is a regular departmental research seminar, which features presentations of work in progress by our graduate research students and staff, and students also organise their own seminars and reading groups.
We offer our students training sessions with specialist librarians at the British Library and the King's Maughan Library, as well as training workshops and individual guidance on writing research proposals and applying for funding. Graduate students of medieval French literature also have the opportunity to join a team working under Professor Simon Gaunt on the 'Roman de la Rose' Digital Surrogates project.
Head of group/division
Professor Simon Gaunt/Dr Johanna Malt
King's College London
Expected to be MPhil two years FT, three years PT. PhD three years FT, four-six years PT, usually starting September.
Many of our recent PhD graduates have gone on to successful careers in academia. Other destinations include teaching, journalism, cultural management.
Year of entry 2013