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MPhil/PhD English

Embark on an intensive, supervised piece of investigative work and build your own original area of expertise. You can choose from a wide range of research topics, from Renaissance literature to creative writing. The way you complete your PhD can also vary widely, from writing an extended 80,000 word thesis to a practice based PhD that comprises a 40,000 word thesis and one or more original creative works.

Course length 3-7 Year(s)
Location City Campus

Course description

A research degree in your chosen English subject is a period of intensive, supervised investigative work. It builds on your previous academic or professional experience and allows you to develop an original area of expertise.

We offer research opportunities in • creative writing • eighteenth-century and romantic writing • linguistics • the Renaissance • contemporary and modern literature.

You work closely with a director of studies and a supervisor who are specialists in your chosen field to produce an extended thesis of up to 80,000 words in the case of doctoral research.

Our English and writing staff also supervise our innovative practice-based PhDs, which combine research with creative work, to produce a thesis of up to 40,000 words accompanied by one or more pieces of original creative work.

There are regular research training events, PhD seminars and informal meetings where you can practise delivering conference papers in a supportive environment.

We have a vibrant research culture and a high proportion of research-active staff. We value and support all our research students who make a vital contribution to the intellectual life of the University.

Funds are available to support you in attending conferences and we encourage you to deliver papers and publish your work. Occasionally we may be able to offer faculty and departmental bursaries. Some part-time teaching may also be available.

Direct PhD registration is normally only available if you hold a relevant UK masters degree or have substantial relevant research experience.

This degree is hosted within the Faculty of Development and Society Graduate School. The Graduate School website provides a communication hub for students and staff engaged in research, information about our research work, and useful contact information.

Entry requirements

2017 entry requirements

To apply for a MPhil or PhD (subject to confirmation) we normally expect you to have a masters degree in English or another appropriate discipline, plus a first or upper second class honours degree or equivalent.

If you do not have such academic qualifications we may consider your application individually, based on your personal, professional and work experience, and other formal qualifications. You may also be able to claim credit points which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your qualification at Sheffield Hallam. Find out more

Direct PhD registration may be permitted if you hold a masters degree, or an overseas masters degree of equivalent standard, which is postgraduate according to the UK Quality Assurance Agency’s National Qualifications Framework and included training in research and a research-based project report/dissertation or equivalent.

If English is not your first language you typically need an IELTS 7.0 score with a minimum of 7.0 in all skills or equivalent. If your English language skill is currently below IELTS 7.0 we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English score.

International and European entry qualifications

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.

Course structure

Full-time – at least 35 hours a week on average over three years

Part-time – at least 12 hours a week on average for up to seven years

There is a split mode available for international students who want to study in their own country.

Various start dates

Typical modules may include

Course design

Your study depends on your chosen area of research but includes a compulsory research methods module if you do not have prior research qualifications at postgraduate level.

  • research programme submitted for approval by our Research Degrees Committee
  • report and oral presentation for the confirmation of PhD stage
  • submission of thesis and viva


You can go on to teach English in further and higher education. You can also find creative and publishing careers.


Home / EU student

Please note tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation. More information can be found in the ‘Tuition Fee Increases’ section of our Fees Regulations (PDF, 2.10 MB)

2017/18 academic year

Full-time – typically £4,195 a year
Part-time – typically £2,098 a year

Fees are aligned to Research Councils UK (RCUK) fees.

International student

2017/18 academic year

Typically £12,400 a year

Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs information

How to apply

Complete the application form available at www.shu.ac.uk/study/form

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.

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