PhD at the Institute of English Studies
University of London, School of Advanced Study
London, United Kingdom
Distance Learning, On-Campus
3 - 6 years
Full time, Part time
GBP 6,130 / per year *
30 Nov 2023
Earliest start date
08 Jan 2024
* home, full-time | £15500: international, full-time. fees vary depending on mode of study and fee status. please visit our website for updated fees
Undertaking doctoral research allows you to develop in-depth knowledge while making a meaningful contribution to your chosen field.
The Institute of English Studies (IES) provides a unique scholarly community in which to pursue doctoral research. We offer research supervision in several literature-related subject areas, ranging from book history to contemporary writing. With guidance from our expert supervisors, you'll carry out extensive independent research culminating in a thesis of up to 100,000 words.
This degree presents the opportunity to gain expertise in your area of interest while also honing a range of transferable skills. On completing this course, you'll be well prepared for specialist career paths both within academia and beyond.
The Institute of English Studies
The Institute of English Studies (IES) occupies a position at the heart of the academic study of English in the United Kingdom. The Institute offered the world’s first degree in Book History and was founded to help establish it as a discipline.
Today, the Institute is recognized nationally and internationally as a center of excellence for its research activities, and in the provision of resources to the academic community as a whole. A vibrant, interdisciplinary research culture is fostered within the IES, and more broadly within the School of Advanced Study.
The Institute’s core activities include providing supervision for postgraduate research students in specialist areas of English studies and related disciplines; delivering the long-established Master’s degree in the History of the Book; hosting major collaborative research projects; providing essential research training in book history and paleography; and facilitating scholarly communities in all areas of English studies. It specializes in the history of the book, manuscript and print studies, textual scholarship , and digital editing.
The School of Advanced Study
The School of Advanced Study at the University of London brings together eight internationally renowned research institutes to form the UK's national center for the support of researchers and the promotion of research in the humanities.
Scholarships and Funding
Our students fund their studies in a variety of ways including scholarships, bursaries, and fellowships, as well as government loans and postgraduate loans.
We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries that you don't need to pay back and are awarded based on personal circumstances or academic achievement. Funding at the postgraduate level is competitive so it’s a good idea to plan financially before starting your course.
- The London Arts and Humanities Partnership Studentship
- University of London Scholars Awards
- Yusuf Ali Scholarship offered by the Institute of Commonwealth Studies
- Stefania Barichello International Travel Bursary
- JB Trapp Scholarship offered by the Warburg Institute
- Rubinstein Scholarship offered by the Warburg Institute
The Institute of English Studies(Opens in a new window) offers doctoral research supervision in the following broad areas:
- Book illustration
- History of the book from the medieval period to the present
- History of collecting
- History of printing
- History of publishing from 1800 to the present
- History of readers and reading
- Textual scholarship, scholarly editing, and digital humanities
- Author-focused studies (e.g. J.M. Barrie, Dickens, Scott Fitzgerald, Hardy, D.H. Lawrence, Melville, Shakespeare, R.L.
- Stevenson, Twain, W.B. Yeats)
- Medieval manuscript studies and paleography
- Early modern print culture
- Victorian literature
- Twentieth-century literature
- American literature
- Anglo-American Modernism
- Scottish literature
Before submitting an application you are advised to contact a member of the academic staff who has interests in your proposed field of study to discuss your proposal.
Full-time study for the Ph.D. degree entails three or a maximum of four years of independent research, culminating in the writing of a thesis of not more than 100,000 words. Part-time students complete the same program in five, or a maximum of six years.
After submission of the thesis, you'll attend an oral examination conducted by an internal examiner, from the University of London, and an external examiner, normally from another British university.
There is no formal coursework, but you'll be expected to participate in a weekly seminar on Work in Progress and to present a paper every year from their second year onwards. In your first year, you are required to attend a weekly class on Techniques of Scholarship. You are also encouraged to participate in the regular seminars held at the Institute during the academic year.
The School of Advanced Study offers students with an appropriate topic and level of local resources the opportunity to undertake a Ph.D. by distance learning. These students are required to attend our London campus at set intervals to complete an intensive research training module, for upgrade, and for the viva but will otherwise study at their location. This option is available to UK, EU, and international students on the same basis as our on-campus PhD programs (three years full-time, six years part-time). Fees are the same as for our on-campus Ph.D. programs. Please note that not all institutes and supervisors offer this option and that some topics are not appropriate to be studied this way.
Program Tuition Fee
The Institute of English Studies' holds several collections, which are mainly integrated within the Senate House Library. Central to our collections are the History of the Book teaching collection, the Museum of Writing, and the T. Sturge Moore Collection.
The Institute also aims to make available a number of its publications in SAS-Space, an online library for humanities and social sciences research outputs, Items including the documentary outcomes of research projects, University Trust Lectures (e.g. the John Coffin and the Hilda Hulme Memorial lectures), papers from presentations given at or in association with the Institute, including selected research seminar papers, and outstanding dissertations at Masters and Doctoral level are available and regularly updated.
The Institute also has several helpful key networks. For example, the Institute administers the day-to-day business of the Bibliographical Society (BibSoc), a world-renowned leader in the study of the book and its history. We also have connections with London's Palaeography Teachers’ Group, a group of experts in paleography from across the federal University of London and beyond. Many of the teachers run courses as part of the London Palaeography Summer School and are also involved in some of the courses at the London Rare Books School.
More broadly, the School of Advanced Study itself offers excellent resources for interdisciplinary research by bringing together eight internationally renowned research institutes that support the promotion of research in the humanities.
The School of Advanced Study is also home to the previously mentioned Senate House Library, the central library for the University of London. The Art Deco building, which the School and Senate House Library are part of, is a literary landmark in the heart of Bloomsbury, located next to the British Museum. The Library occupies the fourth to the nineteenth floors of the building, with a range of historic library reading rooms and collections.
Much like the Institute Institute itself, the School offers a broad range of events, seminars, and conferences that we encourage you to engage with.
You can also take advantage of a varied and challenging research training program, with general research skills training and research methodologies courses provided through the School and subject-specific training provided within the institutes