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English and Creative Writing Research Degrees

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Unlock your potential in English Literature and Creative Writing.

Studying English literature and/or Creative Writing at PhD or MPhil level enables you to contribute culturally, intellectually and imaginatively to the world around you, developing exceptional transferable skills along the way.

Here at the University Ƶ, you will be part of a thriving research culture, underpinned by longstanding research excellence and a wide range of regular training sessions, reading groups, and visiting speakers.

You will also be able to take advantage of our unique and highly active research centres, through which you will be able to connect with like-minded people, share ideas and hear about the latest work in the field. Among others, these include the internationally-recognised Iris Murdoch Research Centre, the Chichester Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tale and Fantasy, and the Chichester Centre for Critical and Creative Writing.

As a PhD or MPhil student, you will be able to work with critics and writers whose work is known both nationally and internationally. You will be allocated a supervisory team of at least two members of appropriately qualified academic staff, one of whom will be your Director of Studies.

Browse our staff profiles below to find out more about our research interests and get in touch directly. For more general enquiries, please contact our Research Degree Coordinator for English Literature and Creative Writing, Professor Fiona Price at f.price@chi.ac.uk.


Our Supervisors

Browse our staff profiles to explore our research specialisms

Professor Hugh Dunkerley

Professor of Literature and Environment

Supervising creative and critical PhDs, I am both a poet and an ecocritic. My interests include contemporary poetry and literary representations of environmental crisis and the Anthropocene.

Dr Naomi Foyle

Reader in Critical Imaginative Writing

My research interests span contemporary poetry, speculative fiction and experimental fiction, with a particular focus on how these genres frame, represent and explore understandings of disability, neurodivergence, gender, 'race', class, colonial histories and LGBT+ experience. I welcome applications for creative writing PhDs in any of these intersecting areas.

Dr Suzanne Joinson

Reader in Creative Writing

My research interests include autofiction, autobiography, memoir, life writing, literary prose, creative non-fiction, personal essays and writing that engages with visual arts. I have an interest in supervising in any of these intersecting areas.

Dr Miles Leeson


I have an interest in supervising any of the following intersecting areas; contemporary British and European fiction, intertextuality in fiction, trauma studies, transdisciplinary work in philosophy and ethics in relation to literature.

Professor Benjamin Noys

Professor of Critical Theory

My research areas includes modern and contemporary theory, psychoanalysis, cultural politics, poetry, the graphic novel, speculative fiction and the avant-garde. I supervises projects focused on modern and contemporary theory, cultural politics, popular cultural forms, science fiction and speculative fiction.

Professor Fiona Price

Professor of English Literature

My research areas include eighteenth-century Romantic-period literature, with particular interest in the novel and women’s writing. I also research the historical novel and realism in the novel and I will supervise in any of these areas.

Dr Paul Quinn

Director of the Chichester Centre for Fairy Tales, Fantasy and Speculative Fiction

My research was in the area of Catholicism and the Early Modern Stage. I am willing to supervise in the following areas: fairy tales and folklore, fantasy and sci-fi, early modern literature and culture, Protestant, Catholic, and anti-Catholic literature and culture, 1550 - the present, Irish literature and culture and literature of the First World War.

Dr David Swann

Senior Lecturer in English & Creative Writing

My research interests include: working class experience, literary experimentation, comedy combined with tragedy and when characters are strong (or weak in ways that are strong). I am willing to supervise in the above areas, but have an open mind, with the exception of serial killers and body horror.

Critical and Creative Writing Research

Fairy Tales, Fantasy and Speculative Fiction Research

Course Requirements

Our PhD and MPhil programmes are available as full-time and part-time study options. Candidates may pursue a higher degree in English Literature, Creative Writing, or a joint critical/creative PhD in both areas.

Research proposals should include an overall statement of your research area and aims (research questions can be useful here), an overview of current criticism and where your research can fit into it (including any gaps in current scholarship), and a basic breakdown (into chapters or other applicable units) of the overall project.


How to Apply

Once you've decided on your topic/area of interest, normally the first step is to identify a potential supervisor with expertise most related to your area of interest. You can contact them directly, asking if they would be available and interested in supervising your intended project.

Applicants will also need to include a sample of written work of approximately 3,000 words.

All students are interviewed by their potential supervisor(s) and a Research Degree Coordinator or nominated other.

To apply: /research/phd-and-mphil-degrees/


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