School of English and Drama

Making an Application

You will need to make a formal application to the Department via the College Admissions Office.

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This page contains details about this formal application, as well as additional advice about:

For students seeking QMUL funding, the deadline for applications is 31st January 2018.

 To make a formal application, you have to:

  • complete the application form (available on the central Queen Mary website). Where you are asked to specify your research group, please put classical, medieval, early modern, eighteenth-century, Romanticism, nineteenth-century, modern or postcolonial
  • write a full research proposal (1500 words maximum) and statement of purpose (one side, A4). For further details, see below
  • supply a current academic CV
  • send two references, which should be by academics wherever possible
  • supply your degree certificate and university transcripts
  • IELTS scores (if applicable)

Your hardcopy or electronic version of the College application form should be sent direct to the College Admissions Office along with all accompanying material.

All applicants will be interviewed before they are offered a place.


Research Proposal

This 1500-word proposal should outline the thesis you wish to undertake, explaining its scope, development, and how you will bring it to successful completion. The proposal should, at minimum, cover the following areas:

  • A concise description of the project. What is the topic you propose to investigate?
  • Research context. What scholarship is relevant to your inquiry and how do you situate your own project in relation to it?
  • Research questions. What are the key research questions your inquiry aims to address?
  • Research methods. How do you intend to address your research questions?
  • Scope. What is the repertoire of core material – critical, historical, archival etc. – which you intend to examine in the thesis? What is the rationale for the selection of this material? How do you envisage structuring the thesis?
  • Timescale (not included in the word count). How will you plan the project such that it is completed within 3 years of full-time study or 5 years of part-time study? (College maximums are 4 years of full-time study and 7 years of part-time study). Note: a full-time studentship covers a three-year period
  • Bibliography (not included in the word count). Identify texts, resources, archives etc. that are central to your investigation

We are happy to read a final draft of your proposal but please send it well in advance of submitting the final application.


Statement of Purpose

This one-page (one-side, A4) statement should be used by candidates to provide information which is not necessarily contained in their Research Proposal. This can include:

  • previous academic and other experience relevant to their proposed research
  • why the candidate wishes to undertake their specific research at Queen Mary, and how it might fit with the research interests and strengths of their chosen Department/School, and supervisor(s)
  • what research training and professional preparation the candidate has already received, and what further training they think they will need to complete the doctorate
  • what ethical issues (if any) need to be considered in undertaking the research



When selecting referees for your application, please choose those who can testify to your preparedness to undertake PhD research.  In most cases this means academic staff with whom you have studied previously.  Where relevant, referees from outside the university may be appropriate, but they should still be able to speak effectively to your potential to undertake research at a doctoral level.


Application Form

You can find the electronic application form to complete on Queen Mary's central website.