School of English and Drama

How to Apply for a PhD

We welcome applications from those wishing to join the Department of English’s internationally recognised academic community.

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To find out more about the Department, we invite you to attend an Open Evening or to contact Professor Claire Preston, the Director of Graduate Studies for English. For advice on completing your research proposal and gathering references, see our Making an Application page. See below for information on:

Entry Requirements and Qualifications

Your previous academic qualifications and other relevant experience will be taken into account when your application is assessed. While each application is assessed on its merits, applicants are normally expected to hold a good undergraduate degree (a solid 2.1 or above) and a master’s degree (usually with an average of 65 or above, preferably with elements of distinction) in fields related to your proposed area of PhD research. 

Before applying for postgraduate research at Queen Mary, all candidates should ensure they have graduated, or are about to graduate from an internationally recognised MA programme, achieving at least one element at distinction level relevant to their proposed field of research. The School of English and Drama cannot consider any applications without an MA. This requirement may be waived in accordance with College regulations but only under exceptional circumstances.

IMPORTANT: We understand that you may not have completed your master’s degree at the time of application, in which case we will consider results available at that point.  If successful you will be offered a conditional place. This will normally be conditional on your successfully completing the MA and gaining at least one mark at Distinction level.


Advice and Support

If you have the requisite qualifications we encourage prospective applicants to make their initial enquiry by completing the SED PhD English Enquiry Form 2018 [DOC 35KB] and emailing it to Claire Preston (, who will advise you on your project and answer any queries you might have about pursuing doctoral research in English at Queen Mary.

Prospective applicants who have already developed full research proposals presented in accordance with our guidelines (see here) and who have consulted our staff pages to identify potential supervisors are also encouraged to contact Claire Preston ( for advice in advance of making a formal application.

Further information on the application process is supplied by the College Admissions Office.




Please visit our funding page for information, or the College’s site on funding research degrees.