Triangle

Research overview

Are you interested in how modern languages shape our understanding and experiences in the world? Do you have a particular intercultural topic you want to research? We offer expert supervision in a variety of subjects, allowing you to focus on an area of your choice in your discipline. Once agreed by your main supervisor and co-supervisor, you will work closely with them on your research topic through a series of supervisions that will help you develop your project and build your research skills.

As a Modern Languages MRes student, you will join a lively research community, and have access to your own dedicated study space shared with other students from related courses. You will be an active participant in our departmental research seminars and special lectures and host your own work in progress seminar. You will also be asked to contribute to the end-of-year Postgraduate Forum with a mini-presentation of your own.

"We have a very active and dynamic research community where students and academics work on projects across many disciplines. This interdisciplinary environment offers students the opportunity to communicate and exchange ideas which can be very inspiring." Jean-Xavier Ridon, Director of Postgraduate Studies - read full conversation

Find out more about research expertise in Modern Languages and Cultures

Course content

The heart of the MRes is your thesis. It'll be approximately 25,000 words and counts two thirds (120 credits) towards your degree. You'll agree the subject and focus with your supervisor before you start your degree and it will be marked by both an internal and an external examiner with the possibility of a viva to confirm the award.

The remaining one third (60 credits) of your MRes studies is made up from modules you select. They will be agreed with your course leader and are chosen from taught modules at the appropriate level, from the Research Academy Research Training Programme or other university-wide modules. All module choices should support your research topic.

Some relevant modules available from the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies include:

This module will allow you to use the short story and other forms of short fiction to explore intercultural relationships. You will discover the discipline of comparative literature using short fiction written in the languages of three of Europe's Empire nations (France, Spain and Portugal), the Arabic tradition and twentieth-century China.

All the texts will be available in English but if you can read any of them in the original languages you are encouraged to do so.

Build a critical and reflective approach to your translation practice by understanding the varying theories that have been prominent in the Western world. You will study the history of translation, potentially including comparative literature, and different translation and transfer models across a range of genres.

You’ll have the opportunity to examine a number of case studies for each theory of translation, in a variety of different languages. But don’t worry, proficiency in these languages is not a prerequisite, as we will focus on translation dynamics.

This module will provide you with an introduction to current theoretical approaches and research methods in linguistics, with particular emphasis on the study of language in its historical and social contexts.

Initially, you will be introduced to current topics and methods in sociolinguistics, including:

  • language variation
  • language standardisation and de-standardisations
  • language status
  • data collection (questionnaire design, interview techniques, ethical considerations)
  • discourse analysis.

We’ll then consider historical sociolinguistics and discover how social factors have interacted with language choices and language change in the past.

Finally we’ll examine corpus linguistic approaches to investigating historic and contemporary language which will include web and social media.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to try out techniques in research design and data collection due to the module’s practical orientation.

This module will consist of a programme of reading to be agreed with the module director in a field of study within the area of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies.

This module will consist of a programme of reading to be agreed with the module director in a field of study within the area of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules.

This module introduces you to the wide range of interdisciplinary research happening in the Faculty of Arts. We invite you to ‘think outside the box’ in relation to your own research, while learning key research techniques and methods. The module aims to:

  • introduce the ideas, practices, complexities, and opportunities of interdisciplinary research in the arts
  • enable you to practice critical self-reflexivity about the conventions and expectations of your own disciplines in relation to those of others
  • train you in core research skills necessary for graduate-level study
  • develop your confidence in communicating research findings to non-specialist audiences

You will build on your existing research skills gained from your university career to date. Furthermore, you will develop a more nuanced understanding of your own research practice, inspiring you to explore different approaches questions. In addition, you will develop an understanding of professional practice in areas such as:

  • academic publishing
  • knowledge exchange
  • dissertation planning and writing
  • professional communication

This module is worth 20 credits.

Explore the ways cultures interact, exchange ideas, arts and commodities. You'll be introduced to relevant theories contextualized with case studies ranging from the early modern period to the present day. You'll be encouraged to take a cross-disciplinary approach to postgraduate study and research in Modern Languages across the areas of linguistics, history, politics, critical theory, literature, film, the visual arts, and culture and media studies.

You'll study a range of key areas central to intercultural studies in Modern Languages: languages and transcultural experience, empires and the (post) colonial world, nation and immigration, cosmopolitanism, multiculturalism and globalisation, and gender and ethnicity. 

You'll also develop practical research skills, such as: presentational skills, academic writing skills, and career planning.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2023 entry.

QualificationMRes
Degree

2:1 (or international equivalent) in an arts, humanities or social science subject

QualificationMRes
Degree

2:1 (or international equivalent) in an arts, humanities or social science subject

International and EU equivalents

We accept a wide range of qualifications from all over the world.

For information on entry requirements from your country, see our country pages.

IELTS7.0 (6.5 in each element)
English language requirements

As well as IELTS (listed above), we also accept other English language qualifications.

This includes TOEFL iBT, Pearson PTE, GCSE, IB and O level English.

Meeting our English language requirements

If you need support to meet the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional English course. Presessional courses teach you academic skills in addition to English language. Our Centre for English Language Education is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

If you successfully complete your presessional course to the required level, you can then progress to your degree course. This means that you won't need to retake IELTS or equivalent.

For on-campus presessional English courses, you must take IELTS for UKVI to meet visa regulations. For online presessional courses, see our CELE webpages for guidance.

Visa restrictions

International students must have valid UK immigration permissions for any courses or study period where teaching takes place in the UK. Student route visas can be issued for eligible students studying full-time courses. The University of Nottingham does not sponsor a student visa for students studying part-time courses. The Standard Visitor visa route is not appropriate in all cases. Please contact the university’s Visa and Immigration team if you need advice about your visa options.

We recognise that applicants have a variety of experiences and follow different pathways to postgraduate study.

We treat all applicants with alternative qualifications on an individual basis. We may also consider relevant work experience.

If you are unsure whether your qualifications or work experience are relevant, contact us.

Applying

Before you apply for the MRes you should find a supervisor and discuss your prospective research project with them.  

Contact us to discuss a possible match between your research ideas and our supervisory expertise or browse our staff directory to learn more about members of academic staff and their research.

Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about applying for postgraduate research.

How to apply

Fees

QualificationPhD
Home / UKTo be confirmed
InternationalTo be confirmed

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.

You'll be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to buy your own copies of core texts.

Funding

School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies Masters Scholarships

These financial awards are for students who intend to do an on-site Masters in the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies (CLAS) before progressing to a PhD. The scholarships cover:

Find out more about the School of CLAS Masters Scholarships.

Routes into Masters Scholarships

Aimed at UK-based students intending to progress on to PhD research. The scholarships cover:

Find out more about the Routes into Masters Scholarships.

Other ways to fund your fund your postgraduate course

There are many ways to fund your research degree, from scholarships to government loans.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding

Support

We offer research students:

  • advanced research training
  • expert supervision (each student is allocated two supervisors)
  • frequent reviews and feedback on progress
  • departmental research seminars/work in progress sessions
  • well-equipped work bases, with excellent library and IT facilities
  • support for research trips and conference attendance, inter-library loan

Student services

The University provides a range of support and information to enhance your student experience.

You will have access to:

  • academic and disability support
  • childcare services
  • counselling service
  • financial support
  • visa and immigration advice
  • welfare support

English language courses

Our Centre for English Language Education offers presessional English courses to help develop your English and study skills.

The centre is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK, so you can be sure that the teaching and facilities are high-quality. You can also access free English language support alongside your academic course.

Students’ Union

University of Nottingham Students’ Union represents all students. You can join the Postgraduate Students’ Network or speak to the dedicated Postgraduate Officer.

There are also a range of support networks, including groups for:

  • international students
  • black and minority ethnic students
  • women
  • students with disabilities
  • LGBT+ students

SU Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice on issues such as accommodation, financial and academic difficulties.

Researcher training and development

The Graduate School training and development programme empowers postgraduate students and early career research staff to develop the skills required in their research and future careers.

Researcher training and development

The Researcher Academy is the network for researchers, and staff who support them. We work together to promote a healthy research culture, to cultivate researcher excellence, and develop creative partnerships that enable researchers to flourish.

Postgraduate researchers at Nottingham have access to our online Members’ area, which includes a wealth of resources, access to training courses and award-winning postgraduate placements.

Graduate centres

Our graduate centres are dedicated community spaces on campus for postgraduates.

Each space has areas for:

  • studying
  • socialising
  • computer work
  • seminars
  • kitchen facilities

Student support

You will have access to a range of support services, including:

  • academic and disability support
  • childcare services
  • counselling service
  • faith support
  • financial support
  • mental health and wellbeing support
  • visa and immigration advice
  • welfare support

Students' Union

Our Students' Union represents all students. You can join the Postgraduate Students’ Network or contact the dedicated Postgraduate Officer.

There are also a range of support networks, including groups for:

  • international students
  • black and minority ethnic students
  • students who identify as women
  • students with disabilities
  • LGBT+ students

SU Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice on issues such as accommodation, financial and academic difficulties.

Where you will learn

Research in the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

Research students come to Nottingham from the UK and overseas bringing with them diversity of cultural and disciplinary backgrounds which offers a rich, rewarding and supportive postgraduate community to be part of. 

As a modern languages research student, you will be involved a programme of visiting speakers and regular symposia organised by staff and students. This will cover areas such as; seminar presentations, film cycles, discussion panels and much more.

Careers

Whether you are considering a career in academia, industry or haven't yet decided, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Expert staff will work with you to explore PhD career options and apply for vacancies, develop your interview skills and meet employers. You can book a one-to-one appointment, take an online course or attend a workshop.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Many of our postgraduates have chosen academic careers and are currently in full-time posts in the UK. Others have moved into the civil service, the cultural industries, the media, publishing, teaching or translation.

The research training all our postgraduates follow equips them with a range of key transferable skills, such as analytical thinking, time management, and presentation and research skills.

78.4 % of postgraduates from the Faculty of Arts secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary was £23,045*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Ridon, Jean Xavier
A good MRes/PhD candidate has the ability to ask the right questions (it's not always easy to find the right questions) and the enthusiasm to look for answers. Obviously, they also need the ability to look critically at texts, whether that be literature, film or other artefacts.
Professor Jean-Xavier Ridon, Professor of French and Francophone Studies

Related courses

Research Excellence Framework

We are ranked 7th in the UK for research power (2021), according to analysis by Times Higher Education. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a national assessment of the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

  • The Department of Modern Languages and Cultures was placed 6th nationally
  • 88% of research in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures was graded as world-leading or internationally excellent
  • 88% of the Faculty of Arts’ research was graded as world-leading or internationally excellent
  • 90%* of our research is classed as 'world-leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*)
  • 100%* of our research is recognised internationally
  • 51% of our research is assessed as 'world-leading' (4*) for its impact**

*According to analysis by Times Higher Education ** According to our own analysis.

This content was last updated on 04 August 2022. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.