We provide a relevant, modern and above all enjoyable environment in which to undertake your research project, along with the opportunity to gain the additional skills and understanding you need to start a career in any number of areas including academia.
How will you learn?
Our research degree programme is led by academic staff and allows you to engage with and contribute to the world-leading research undertaken by academic staff in English and Humanities at Southampton. Independent learning is the core of postgraduate research, but we will guide you through the research experience by providing a dedicated supervisory team who will be on hand to help you to shape and direct your research project. You will have a main supervisor and second advisor with expertise in your area and, if there are gaps in your knowledge when you start with us, you will have the opportunity to audit relevant courses on one of our taught master's degrees. Throughout your PhD you will have access to training sessions on topics such as academic writing, organising conferences, writing a paper, and turning PhD chapters into articles. You will have many opportunities to give papers and presentations and you will receive feedback from peers and academic staff on how you can improve your work, maximise its effectiveness and gain recognition for your efforts.
Research in English is organised around four research centres (the CMRC, SCECS, C19th and CMCW), each of which runs a programme of lectures, seminars and workshops throughout the year. Doctoral students are encouraged to get involved with these events by organising workshop and seminar panels, chairing sessions and giving papers. As you progress through your PhD you will also be encouraged to attend conferences beyond the institution and to engage with the wider academic community in the UK and internationally. Equally, you will benefit from specific research resources at Southampton which include Chawton House Library, which specializes in early women's writing in English; the Broadlands Archive, containing the papers of Palmerston and Mountbatten and the collections of the Parkes Centre for Jewish/non-Jewish Relations.
Students on the DL pathway have electronic access to learning resources (e.g. Blackboard; VLE; EAP Toolkit, an online English for Academic Purposes self-access resource) as well as additional support from the learning technologists based in the Faculty’s eLanguages unit. The Hartley Library offers an extensive and growing collection of e-books and electronic articles (JSTORE).
The goal of an PhD is a final thesis of 75,000 words which will be examined by an internal and external examiner at an oral examination. Formative feedback on your progress at postgraduate research level takes the form of regular reading of your work and detailed feedback on it from your supervisory team. You will meet with your supervisor approximately once a month to discuss your progress and the direction of your research, and you will also receive feedback from your advisor.
Formal formative assessments take place after the first nine and eighteen months of your studies respectively. After the first nine months of your studies, you will deliver a presentation to postgraduate students and academic staff and receive feedback At eighteen months - or earlier if your supervisory team considers you ready.
A PhD is an excellent preparation not only for an academic career but for a range of professions including arts administration, journalism and the civil service. Your research will develop to a high level the key skills employers seek such as problem solving; team work; deadline and project management; cultural awareness; working independently; using your initiative; relationship-building; critical thinking and research analysis. Above all, you will learn to communicate your ideas and enthusiasm to a wide range of audiences.