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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Kingston University
Penrhyn Road
Kingston upon Thames
Surrey KT1 2EE

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 9000

English - PhD students

Current PhD topics

English literature topics:

Study pic


  • Individuality, Identity and the Uncanny in the Plays of Phyllis Nagy
  • Boat of Letters: Exploring the Poetics of Reticence
  • Psychopathy in the novels of Iris Murdoch
  • The Idea of (Un)belonging in Post-1989 Black British and Post- Yugoslav Women’s Writing
  • Lucian Freud's Portraits: Curatorial Ekphrasis in Contemporary British Poetic Practice

Enquiries are welcome from students wishing to undertake research in any of the areas listed. It is possible to undertake postgraduate research full-time or part-time. You are encouraged to contact any member of staff, by email, telephone or letter, for an informal conversation prior to application. You can find out more about staff research interests by looking at the people page.

We encourage students to present conference papers and to publish work during the second and third years of their PhD registration.

Works recently accepted for publication include:


  • Vedrana Velickovic: Eastern Europeans in Contemporary Literature and Culture: Imagining New Europe (Palgrave 2016)
  • Claire Crowther: Stretch of Closures (volume of poetry), Shearsman Press, February 2007
  • Kathy McKean: 'Impermanence and Displacement in Weldon Rising, The Strip
    and Never Land
    by Phyllis Nagy' in Dimple Godiwala (editor), Alternatives in the Main Stream: British Queer Theatre (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007/8)
  • Sarah Whitehead: 'Breaking the Frame: How Edith Wharton's Short Stories Subvert their Magazine Context' in The European Journal of American Culture (2007/8)

Guidelines for making proposals can be found on the research degrees page. If you are interesting in studying for a degree in Creative Writing, please also see the English Literature Assessment Criteria: For Creative Writing PhD Students.

The Faculty occasionally advertises student bursaries for research in literary studies or creative writing. Such advertisements usually appear in February or early March in the Guardian's Higher Education Supplement, published on Tuesdays, or in the Times Higher Education, published on Thursdays.

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