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French Research MPhil/PhD



  • REF rankings 2014: The Modern Languages departments are ranked 9th in the REF's power rankings which take into account the quantity and quality of research activity and performed well in terms of impact with 100% of their research rated as having an outstanding (4*) or considerable reach and significance
  • Current number of academic staff: 13 permanent (all research active).
  • Current number of students: 18.
  • Recent publications:
    • Marco Polo’s Le Devisement du Monde: Narrative Voice, Language and Diversity
    • Poisoned Words: Slander and Satire in Early Modern France
    • Furetière’s Roman bourgeois and the Problem of Exchange
    • The Calendar in Revolutionary France - Perceptions of Time in Literature, Culture, Politics
    • Inheritance in Nineteenth-Century France
    • The Collector in Nineteenth-Century French Literature
    • Georges Labica: un philosophe en colere
  • Current research projects:
    • Medieval Francophone Literary Culture outside France
    • Deviant Speech in the Early Modern Period
    • Horace in the Eighteenth Century
    • World History as World Court: The Theatrical Origin of Human Rights
    • Sexuality under the Restoration
    • Casts, Imprints and Traces in Modern and Contemporary Art
    • The Cinematographic Imaginary in Proust
    • A Future for Alcibiades: Male Homosexuality after Foucault, Lacan and Bersani
    • The Politics of Racism in France
    • Colonial Education

Key information

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

Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Department Department of French


Entry requirements

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

Minimum 2:1 first degree, usually in French (or in a combined honours degree including French), followed by a taught master's degree with an overall grade of at least merit. Applications from candidates with other qualifications may be considered if relevant experience or equivalent qualifications can be demonstrated.

Application procedure

Before applying please consult the department's web pages to determine if we have a suitable research supervisor for your project. You will need to submit a sample of your written work (in English or French) of no more than 5,000 words in length and a research proposal of up to two sides in length (plus bibliography) along with your application. Applicants will normally be interviewed by two members of the department's staff, one of whom will be your prospective supervisor. 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 Admissions and Research Committee.

Personal statement and supporting information

No information required.

Course intake

Approximately .

Application closing date

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.



Course detail


The Modern Languages departments are ranked 9th in the 2014 REF's (Research Excellence Framework) power rankings which take into account the quantity and quality of research activity.  The departments also performed well in terms of impact with 100% of their research having an outstanding (4*) or considerable reach and significance. 

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 formal, subject-specific training and individual guidance on research methods, writing research proposals, applying for funding and presenting research papers. 

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.

Course study environment

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.

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. We have exchanges at graduate level with the Université de Paris X Nanterre and the Ecole Normale Supérieure Lyon.

Postgraduate training

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

Contact for information

Postgraduate Admissions, Admissions Office tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 1649 fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200

Contact email

Course website

Career prospects

Career destinations

Many of our recent PhD graduates have gone on to successful careers in academia. Other destinations include teaching, journalism, cultural management.


Applying for a PhD

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Fees and funding

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)*

*This tuition fee maybe be subject to annual increases.

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.


Next steps

Upcoming events

Jun 11
Undergraduate open day - Health subjects

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Jun 25
Undergraduate open day - Arts & Science subjects

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Jul 09
Undergraduate open day – Health subjects

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