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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 an MRes student of Modern Languages 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.

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.

This module introduces you to the key thinkers, themes and debates that constitute the European critical tradition. The module provides a contextual overview of primarily post-Kantian critical philosophy and critical theory mainly in the German tradition of the 19th and 20th Centuries.

It is likely to cover thinkers such as Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud as well as Heidegger, Adorno and Benjamin. Each thinker will be presented both in terms of their interlocutors and respective historical contexts, and in terms of their subsequent interpretations and uptake in a variety of disciplines and approaches.

Discussion is structured around several overarching themes that have driven critical and philosophical debate. These are likely to include:

  • the limits of reason;
  • power and knowledge;
  • history and historicity;
  • subjectivity;
  • the politics of culture.

This module explores the work of a range of thinkers who have interrogated the work of the philosophers who constitute the “canon” of thinkers schooled in the European critical tradition.

It follows on from and engages with the work explored in Traditions of Critique but the structure of the discussion it presents can be followed without attendance on that module.

Following in its thematic development the exploration of the limits of critique, it revisits the history and geography of critique by offering an introduction to a number of thinkers, from a range of backgrounds, including postcolonial theory, feminism, structuralism and post-structuralism, and considers the variety of ways in which such thinkers have problematised central tenets of European Enlightenment thinking.

This module has been developed to introduce you to a range of research techniques and methodologies. It will also help you develop a variety of valuable transferable skills for your future career.

You will achieve:

  • greater confidence in dealing with original research
  • a recognition of the huge range of approaches that can be used to address research questions.

We build on the research skills you have already developed during both your undergraduate degree and discipline-specific MA modules. The emphasis is on:

  • ensuring you are possessed of a range of practical ways to approach research
  • making you think about the nature of your discipline-specific approaches within a context of growing interdisciplinarity.

You will have the chance to consider topics as varied as:

  • academic publishing
  • digital transformations
  • use of illustrations in dissertations.

You will also have the opportunity to hear academics from across the Faculty talk about the problems they have confronted and how they overcame them.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Mastering the Arts introductory video 

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 has been developed to introduce you to a range of research techniques and methodologies. It will also help you develop a variety of valuable transferable skills for your future career.

You will achieve:

  • greater confidence in dealing with original research
  • a recognition of the huge range of approaches that can be used to address research questions.

We build on the research skills you have already developed during both your undergraduate degree and discipline-specific MA modules. The emphasis is on:

  • ensuring you are possessed of a range of practical ways to approach research
  • making you think about the nature of your discipline-specific approaches within a context of growing interdisciplinarity.

You will have the chance to consider topics as varied as:

  • academic publishing
  • digital transformations
  • use of illustrations in dissertations.

You will also have the opportunity to hear academics from across the Faculty talk about the problems they have confronted and how they overcame them.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Mastering the Arts introductory video 

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 2022 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.

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

UK fees are set in line with the national UKRI maximum fee limit. We expect fees for 2022 entry to be confirmed in February 2022.

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will pay international tuition fees in most cases. If you are resident in the UK and have 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be entitled to 'home' fee status.

Irish students will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for 'home' fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our information for applicants from the EU.

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

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

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
My research is focused primarily on contemporary travel narratives in French and Francophone literatures and films. The importance of this field has been steadily growing in recent years and is presently at an important juncture in terms of its crossover between disciplines that range from literary and film studies to ethnography.
Professor Jean-Xavier Ridon, Professor of French and Francophone Studies

Related courses

Research Excellence Framework

We are ranked 8th in the UK for research power (2014). The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system used by UK higher education funding bodies to assess research quality in universities.

  • Modern Languages and Linguistics ranked 5th nationally
  • 83% of research in Modern Languages graded as ‘world-leading’ or internationally excellent
  • 97% of research in the Faculty of Arts is of international qualit
  • More than 97% of research at Nottingham is recognised internationally
  • More than 80% of our research is ranked in the highest categories as world-leading or internationally excellent
  • 16 of our 29 subject areas feature in the UK top 10 by research power

This content was last updated on 01 July 2021. 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.