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REF rankings 2014: King's is one of the top 20 leading institutions worldwide (2014 QS World University Rankings). The 2014 Research Excellence Framework confirmed the world-class standard of research undertaken in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities and its leading international reputation. The Department of English is ranked 8th in the UK and 2nd amongst Russell Group universities according to the framework's "power" metric, which takes into account both the quality and quantity of research activity.Research income: AHRC/Leverhume/British Academy combined: £300,000Current number of academic staff: 69Current number of research students: 108
Recent publications:Darker Than Blue: On the Moral Economies of Black Atlantic CultureArchaic Style in English Literature, 1590-1674The Cambridge History of Early Medieval LiteratureTheatre in the Expanded FieldModernist Voyages: Colonial Women Writers in London 1890-1945Perceiving Pain in African Literature
Current research projects:Cultural Exchange in a Time of Global Conflict: Colonials, Neutrals and Belligerents in theFirst World War (HERA funded)Scrambled Messages: The Telegraphic Imaginary 1857-1900 (AHRC funded)Behind Enemy Lines: Literature and Film in the British and American Zones of Occupied Germany 1945-49 (ERC funded)Modern Moves: Kinetic Transnationalism and Afro-Diaspora Rhythm Cultures (ERC funded)Ergo Media on digital lifewritings (ERC funded)Sloane's Treasures (AHRC funded)Current and recent doctoral projects:Boredom and the Northern Irish ‘Troubles’The ‘Unstageable’ in Contemporary PerformanceReading for Money in Modernist Literature‘Things’ in Anglo-Saxon Literature and CultureAmerican Literary RegionalismPartner organisations:Shakespeare's GlobeCourtauld InstituteRoyal Society of LiteratureImperial War MuseumBritish LibraryBritish Museum
Joint PhDs available: Exciting opportunities to gain a joint PhD with either the National University of Singapore or Hong Kong University or Humboldt.
Duration 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
Study mode Full-time,Part-time
Awarding institution King's College London/King's and HKU/NUS/Humboldt for joint programme
Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities
Department Department of English
Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.
General entry advice
Applicants should normally have:
A Bachelor's degree with 1st Class honours in English (or international equivalent)
or a Master of Arts in English with High Merit - 65% or higher in the UK system (or international equivalent)
Those applying for one of the joint degrees are encouraged to contact an academic at King's to develop research links with the partner institution.
Admission to our research programmes will initially be for the MPhil but we expect students to transfer to the PhD after an appropriate period, by agreement with their supervisor and the Departmental Postgraduate and Research Committee.
Applicants are required to submit an essay of not more than 5,000 words, preferably on a topic related to their chosen research topic. Applicants who completed their MA or BA more than 10 years ago will normally be expected to submit a new piece of work.
Applicants for the Joint PhD programme must contact the relevant departments at both universities before submitting an application in order to discuss the suitability of their topic for the joint programme and to locate potential supervisors. Applications should initially be submitted to the proposed home institution only, ie where the student will start and finish their programme. Students should note that acceptance onto the programme may take slightly longer than for single-institution PhDs because of the additional steps involved. Further details, including FAQs, can be found on the King’s Worldwide web pages.
Applicants who choose King’s as their home institution should apply through the online system, selecting the appropriate Joint PhD option from the drop-down list. In addition to the standard supporting documentation, applicants should submit a Travel Plan form indicating how they intend to divide their time between the two partner institutions. Students must spend a specified amount of time in each institution, details of which can be found in the ‘Notes’ section of the Travel Plan form.
It is recommended that students submit applications for the Joint PhD programme by the end of March to begin the following September.
The deadline for applications is detailed below for 2016 and 2017 entry. Prior to these dates all applications will be given equal consideration and considered on their individual merits. After these dates applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.
April 2016 entry - Application deadline will be on the 19th February 2016 for UK/EU and international students.
September 2016 entry - Application deadline will be on the 29th July 2016 for international students and 2nd September 2016 for UK/EU students.
January 2017 entry - Application deadline will be on the 31st October 2016 for international students and 2nd December 2016 for UK/EU students.
King’s is one of the oldest English departments in the country and is home to a lively group of academics and students engaged in the study of literary cultures from the 7th to the 21st centuries. English at King's is characterised by an exceptionally wide range of research activities reflected at all levels of its teaching programme. Academics in the department have cross-period interests in literature and material and visual cultures, contemporary literary theory, performance studies, literature and medicine, gender and sexuality, post-colonialism and the theory and practice of biography.
All members of staff are actively involved in research: most have gained an international reputation for the quality of their scholarship and are frequently called on to contribute their specialist knowledge to newspapers and other media Staff in the department regularly attract large-scale research grants from the European Research Council, Wellcome Trust, AHRC and Leverhulme Trust. We have over 100 doctoral students from all over the world working on a wide range of projects. Many are AHRC-funded and some are working on collaborative doctoral projects with our cultural partner institutions. We also have a significant number of postdoctoral researchers in the department who contribute greatly to our research community. We have a diverse and thriving seminar culture with lively critical interchange of graduate students and staff. We place great emphasis on pastoral care and are a friendly and welcoming department.Joint PhD programmeExciting opportunities are available to undertake a joint PhD programme either with Hong Kong University (HKU), the National University of Singapore (NUS) or Humboldt in Berlin. There are a number of areas where research expertise at King’s overlaps with our partnerships with these international institutions, enabling excellent supervisory teams for students. The fields of postcolonialism, performance studies/drama, modernism, and 18th-19th century literature are especially strong across all our partners, but the full breadth of literary studies can usually be accommodated via our joint programmes. In undertaking a joint degree, students have access to studying in vibrant international contexts, making the research experience a rich and rewarding one. FAQs about joint PhDs can be found on the King’s Worldwide web pages.
Study EnvironmentOur home in the new Virginia Woolf Building offers many spaces for postgraduate students to work and socialise. The department hosts a number of vibrant research seminars series and symposia open to all graduate students. In addition, there is a student-led graduate reading group and online journal which allows students to present, discuss and publish their work. We also organise an annual graduate conference attended by students and staff in the department which provides a friendly and supportive forum in which research students can give papers on their work. Students are encouraged to organise their own events, with Departmental and College support.Postgraduate trainingThere is a range of training provided for students, by the Graduate School, the Facultyl of Arts and Humanities and the English Department. A significant number of our students are AHRC-funded through the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP) which also provides doctoral training. Within the Department, we run a series of ‘Skills Lunches’, which are informal lunch meetings with staff, covering specific topics, including Upgrading, Attending Conferences, Applying for Funding, etc. Topics for these sessions are generally suggested by the students themselves, so we are particularly responsive to student needs. We also run more formal workshops of varying kinds, particularly connected to career development and the professions (for example, ‘Applying for Jobs’ and ‘How to Write an Academic CV’). Furthermore, individual research groups within the department also provide various forms of trainings, including ‘Work in Progress’sessions, in which students raise research/methodology questions related to their own projects.Through our Graduate Teaching Assistantship Scheme, doctoral students are given the opportunity to teach in the department and are trained and supported as they do so.
The department hosts a number of vibrant research seminars series and symposia open to all graduate students. In addition, there is a student-led graduate reading group and seminar which allows students to present and discuss their work. We also organise an annual graduate conference attended by students and staff in the department which provides a friendly and supportive forum in which research students can give papers on their work. Students are encouraged to organise their own events, with Departmental and College support.
There is a range of training provided for students, by the Graduate School, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and the English Department. Within the Department, we run a series of ‘Skills Lunches’, which are informal lunch meetings with staff, covering specific topics, including Upgrading, Attending Conferences, Applying for Funding, etc. Topics for these sessions are generally suggested by the students themselves, so we are particularly responsive to student needs. We also run more formal workshops of varying kinds, particularly connected to career development and the professions (for example, ‘Applying for Jobs’ and ‘How to Write an Academic CV’). Furthermore, individual research groups within the department also provide various forms of trainings, including ‘Work in Progress’ sessions, in which students raise research/methodology questions related to their own projects.
In the heart of London
Watch our video to get tips and advice on applying for an Arts & Humanities PhD at King's College London.
Full time tuition fees - Home/EU
£4,600 p.a. (2016/17)*
Full time tuition fees - Overseas
£17,000 p.a. (2016/17)*
Part time tuition fees - Home/EU
£2,300 p.a. (2016/17)*
Part time tuition fees - Overseas
£8,500 p.a. (2016/17)*
English Research with Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin
Full time tuition fees - Home/EU
English Research with National University of Singapore
English Research with University of Hong Kong
*This tuition fee maybe be subject to annual increases.
Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.
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