Centre for Studies in Literature

Postgraduate study


The MRes Humanities and Social Sciences, a Master's by research, is available in the study of English Literature. For information on how to join our MA programme, please contact: humanities.admissions@port.ac.uk


The Centre also offers PhD supervision for a wide range of specialist areas in literary studies as well as critical and cultural theory. We welcome in particular applications that fall within the Centre's research strengths:

  • Early Modern Writing
  • Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture
  • Twentieth and Twenty-First Century British and American Literature

Doctoral candidates are normally supervised by a team of three staff and fully integrated in the Centre's research culture of conferences, symposia, workshops and seminar series. They benefit from designated postgraduate facilities, such as a postgraduate study area, close links with the Centre for European and International Research, and they organise their own work-in-progress postgraduate seminars. The faculty also organises an annual postgraduate conference. There are currently 23 full-time PhD students and 40 part-time PhD candidates in the faculty. Read more.


To make an application, or to learn more about the application process, please visit the university's Postgraduate Research pages: 

Apply for PhD study

PhD Bursaries

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences offers fully-funded PhD bursaries across the range of specialisms within the Centre for European and International Studies Research. Opportunities are usually advertised in the December of each year, for October entry the following year. Read more about postgraduate study and bursaries.

Dr Melanie Seddon, recent doctorate

I joined the Centre for Studies in Literature in 2012 after being awarded an SSHLS postgraduate bursary and spent the next three and a half years reading for my doctorate under the supervision of Dr Christine Berberich. Portsmouth was a great choice for me because it gave me the opportunity to be part of small team of active researchers who were happy to give a lot of support and advice. I was able to develop professionally by enrolling on Portsmouth’s GPROF teaching module and was also supported to gain associate fellowship of the HEA in 2014. After gaining this experience I led seminars and gave lectures on three of the undergraduate modules that were closest to my research interests. In addition to this, I found time to organize two Postgraduate Research Conferences with my peers which gave me the opportunity to forge links with other researchers. I was encouraged by my supervisory team to present my work to the wider academic community and gave papers in Bristol, London, Florida and Milwaukee as well as representing the university at two meetings of the wonderful Dickens Universe conference at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2013 and 2014. It was an experience I will never forget!

After passing my viva in 2016 and I moved directly into scholarly publishing, managing the editorial office for a portfolio of academic journals. I am confident that the publishing experience I gained at Portsmouth helped me secure this job – during my studies I was put forward for an editorial assistant post at Victoriographies journal at EUP and I also helped set up a new literary journal. Recently I have changed role and currently hold the position of Learning Designer at Wiley Education Services where I liaise with university partners to create and design on-line postgraduate master’s degrees.

Dr Melanie Seddon, recent doctorate

Faculty Postgraduate Centre

The Postgraduate Centre offers a support base for students to assist with all aspects of admission. We very much welcome your interest in postgraduate research and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Email: humssresearch@port.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0) 23 9284 6037