School of English

Research Degrees in English



Research degree (PhD) students in the School of English are an integral part of a culture in which research of international significance is conducted across the key disciplinary areas of:

  • English Language and Applied Linguistics;
  • Medieval studies;
  • Literature and Drama from the Early Modern period to the Contemporary;  
  • Creative Writing

The School has a highly successful and rapidly expanding culture of externally-funded, single and interdisciplinary research projects.

Key facts about the School of English

  • 9th in the UK for 'research power' (REF 2014)
  • The School of English has over 40 members of research active academic staff. Our research collaborations are fostered via the School’s Research Centres and Institute who host regular conferences and symposia.
  • Our PhD students are highly active in the research community, run research and reading groups, organise symposia, and present their work at conferences across the globe.
  • Our PhD graduates develop their academic careers in institutions across the world. 

Key Facts about The University of Nottingham

  • Britain’s global university with campuses in the UK, China and Malaysia
  • 8th in the UK by research power
    (According to REF 2014)
  • We’re consistently one of the top choices for graduate recruitment among UK employers in the annual High Fliers report.

Postgraduate Community

Vibrant, distinctive and growing postgraduate culture

Our PhD students work in a uniquely wide variety of single and interdisciplinary fields.

Our students join a lively, diverse and truly international body of researchers, in which an exceptionally wide range of specialist interests is combined with a close-knit sense of community. All staff are research active and involved in advanced teaching and supervision.


Student Video Profiles 

Research degree students from the School of English talk about their experiences at Nottingham

Jemima Matthews, PhD English

Thesis title: Use and Abuse of the Thames 1550-1650

Sam Haddow - PhD English

Thesis title: Playing with the past: The Politics of Historiographic Theatre

Teva Vidal - PhD English

Thesis title: Houses and Domestic Life in the Viking Age and Medieval Period: Material Perspectives from Sagas and Archaeology


Facilities and resources

We are located in the Trent Building, University Park Campus

Research Students' Study Space

The School has dedicated work space on the third floor of the Trent Building for Research students in the School. For those full-time research students who like to base themselves on campus, PCs are provided, and printing/photocopying facilities are available nearby for use throughout the year. Students visiting the campus less regularly are welcome to hot-desk.

Library Facilities

The University of Nottingham has rich library resources in the early and medieval periods, with a large collection of manuscripts from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries and extensive book holdings in Old and Middle English, Old Icelandic, Viking Studies, and runology. To find out more about Manuscripts and Special Collections, click here.

The School is, in addition, home to the English Place-Name Society (EPNS) library and archive.

In English Literature, the University's Hallward Library has an exceptional DH Lawrence archive, containing Lawrence family papers, manuscripts, first editions, and books owned by Lawrence. It has also recently acquired the famous Lazarus collection.

Other internationally renowned collections include the Portland Literary Collection (seventeenth and eighteenth century materials), the Cambridge Drama Collection (a printed collection of over 1,500 items, comprising plays and works about the British theatre from 1750-1850), and a rich collection of 1930s theatre materials.

Additional resources are offered by the locally held Byron collections and the Tennyson Research Centre.

Computer Rooms

Students can access general IT facilities through a number of IS computer rooms/areas conveniently located around the University campuses.


Visiting us

Opportunities to see the campus, School and all the facilities Nottingham has to offer

The School does not hold an Open Day for Postgraduate Research Students. You are welcome to come and visit Nottingham and should contact Jo Pullen, Postgraduate Administrator (PhD) to arrange your visit.

You are very welcome to attend the Arts Postgraduate Open Day on Wednesday 2nd December. If you are interested in attending then please get in touch with Jo Pullen, Postgraduate Administrator (PhD)

Campus tour video

Virtual open day

The University of Nottingham welcomes you on a virtual open day.


Find out more about studying English at Nottingham


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School of English

Trent Building
The University of Nottingham
University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5900
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 5924