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The School of English is a thriving research community that covers a broad range of areas, including literature, linguistics, creative writing, drama and theatre studies. We offer PhD research degrees through funded studentships and self-funded options.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), 77 per cent of our research was rated as either 'world-leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*). The REF panel judged 100 per cent of our impact beyond academia to be either 'outstanding' (4*) or 'very considerable' (3*), and ranked us in the top 20 English departments nationally for proportion of research outputs (books, articles, and software) at 3* or 4* level.

We have an impressive track record of funded projects from UK research councils and our work features regularly in world-leading academic journals and publishers' catalogues. Our internationally renowned WebCorp web search software provides examples of language in context for use in research and teaching, while our eMargin tool, designed for the collaborative annotation of electronic texts, is being used widely across the HE sector and beyond.

We have longstanding research clusters in descriptive linguistics and in the broad area that might be defined as 'Traditional English Scholarship' comprising of literature and drama and theatre studies. We have a strong track record of external engagement with schools, businesses and arts organisations. Our Institute of Creative and Critical Writing is devoted to cultivating the literary arts and the life of ideas with public masterclasses, workshops and talks.

Our work is grouped into the following areas:

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Midlands4Cities Collaborative Doctoral Award with Writing West Midlands

A qualitative study of the reception of the literary arts and its implications for public funding for writing in the Midlands and beyond. Download details >>

Collaborative Doctoral Awards (CDAs) are co-designed between an M4C university and an external partner organisation. CDAs offer a project with established research aims, responding to particular needs in the cultural, creative and heritage sectors. The supervisory teams are pre-established and are made up of academics from a Midlands4Cities university and a member of the external partner organisation.

A Collaborative Doctoral Award allows you to:

  • Produce a quality thesis under expert academic and partner supervision
  • Gain first-hand experience of partner organisations outside the university environment
  • Enhance employability and skills

For further details, please visit the Midlands4Cities website.

Research Degrees - PhD