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Humanities research degree MPhil/PhD

With internationally renowned researchers, state-of-the-art facilities, a passion for interdisciplinary working and a focus on real-world impact, the Faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities has a lot to offer research students.

Overview

Why do a research degree in the School of Humanities at De Montfort University?

  • In the Research Excellence Framework, English and History finished joint 1st nationally for proportion of 4*/3* Impact. REF2014
  • The REF2014 result confirmed the existence of clusters of excellence (in Photographic History and Textual Scholarship, for instance), and highlighted the success of the Faculty’s strategy of encouraging the development of a broader and deeper research culture
  • Our research students have an excellent record of employment, with former students employed in postdoctoral and lectureship positions
  • In preparation for academic careers, the Humanities doctoral training programme offers advice on writing for publication, beginning to teach, presenting work and conference organisation
  • Staff at DMU are experts in their fields, with clusters of excellence recognised in REF2014, in Photographic History, the history of immigration and Textual Editing

Our research students are currently working in areas such as sports history, minority cultures, the history of photography, film adaptations of literary texts, ekphrastic poetry, short fiction, textual scholarship and Shakespeare.

Recent and current PhD students have published articles in peer-reviewed journals and edited collections, including AdaptationThe DickensianImmigrants and MinoritiesThe Journal of Poetry TherapyLiterature/Film QuarterlyInternational Journal of the History of SportThe Journal of Adaptation in Film and PerformanceShakespearePatterns of PrejudicePapers of the Bibliographical Society of AmericaThe Popular Imagination and the Dawn of Modernism: British Middlebrow Writing 1880-1930Sherlock and Transmedia Fandom: Essays on the BBC seriesThe Encyclopaedia of Modernism and A Companion to Wyndham Lewis, Joyce and Lawrence.

Creative Writing students benefit from Leicester Centre for Creative Writing being embedded in the rich regional writing networks of the East Midlands and beyond, allowing for opportunities to participate in the creative health of the region.

English Language, Literature and Creative Writing

 

Research in English Language and Literature is world-leading in areas ranging from medieval to contemporary literature, language, creative writing and digital humanities. Our acclaimed scholars work at the cutting edge and the quality of our research is internationally recognised. In addition to publishing monographs, collections, editions and studies, we contribute to wider academic debate through international conferences, editorial boards, media interviews and peer reviews.

English is home to four international journals – AdaptationLiterature and HistoryShakespeare and Theatre Notebook – and is a venue for international conferences and symposia.

We also have an excellent track record in employability, with our research students going on to careers at Columbia University and the universities of Tuzla, Leeds, Bangor, Portsmouth and Bath, as well as DMU.

The Centre for Textual Studies is devoted to traditional textual scholarship and the use of new and emerging technologies to support the development of literary culture.

Fields of study include bibliography, textual criticism, scholarly editing, adaptation studies, the sociology of bibliography, book history and periodical studies. We encourage research that strengthens the ties among these related fields and draws on advanced electronic technologies.

The Centre for Adaptations is an interdisciplinary hub that draws on the research of colleagues in film studies, media studies, imaging and communication design, drama and English to produce innovative approaches to the study of the adaptation of literary texts. We have a lively research culture and host several conferences a year.

We are also home to a substantial number of postgraduate students, some supported by Arts and Humanities Research Council bursaries.

Key areas of study include the translation of literary texts to stage or screen and back again, and the development and transformation of archetypal literary characters and motifs across various media. We host the journal, Adaptation (Oxford University Press) and the book series, Screen Adaptations (Methuen and Norton), and organise workshops that bring together academics from universities across Europe and America.

History

 

With a focus on social and cultural themes and particular strengths in migration, diaspora and ethnicity, global and transnational history, our History research is internationally recognised.

Key areas of research include British social, cultural and economic history, agrarian history, the history of Islamic South Asia and the Indian Ocean world, national and regional identities in Britain and the political history of south-eastern Europe. The internationally recognised Migration History Group is a hub for innovative research on interdisciplinary aspects of migration, refugee and minority history.

Recent funding includes a grant from the Gerda Henkel Foundation to further the history of gender politics in Pakistan and support from the Leverhulme Trust to explore the lives of communities bordering the Indian Ocean between 500 and 1,500 CE.

The International Centre for Sports History and Culture is widely regarded as the leading centre for the study of sports history in the world, with acclaimed historians in the fields of football and rugby history, and women’s sport. We believe that the study of sport provides valuable insights into aspects of social and cultural history that are neglected or overlooked by traditional historical approaches. With close ties to the National Football Museum and the Rugby Football League Heritage Committee, we recent projects include sport and the military, the history of sports medicine since 1920, and women in rugby league. We publish the journal Sport in History and book series Sport, History and Culture, and we host the annual Historians on Sport conference. 

The Photographic History Research Centre has a unique approach to photographic history and its social and cultural manifestations. Our innovative research spans the history of photography from early 19th century to the present day, and focuses on themes of cultural memory, displacement, loss and identity. We are committed to crossing disciplinary boundaries to explore the multiple strands of photographic history, approaching it as an interconnected set of social and cultural processes. Key areas of interest include the body and the nude in art and photography, creative imaging in photography, video and holography, digital preservation and access, migration, identity and diaspora in art and photography and 19th and early 20th-century photographic history.

More courses like this:

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Design research degrees

 

  • UK/EU
  • International

Key facts for UK/EU students

Fees and funding: Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Contact details: The Graduate School Office team is here to guide you through these processes and ensure you stay on track.

Room 1.06, John Whitehead Building 
De Montfort University 
The Gateway 
Leicester 
United Kingdom 
LE1 9BH

Email: researchstudents@dmu.ac.uk 

Key facts for international students

Fees and funding: Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Contact details: The Graduate School Office team is here to guide you through these processes and ensure you stay on track.

Room 1.06, John Whitehead Building
De Montfort University
The Gateway
Leicester
United Kingdom
LE1 9BH

Email: researchstudents@dmu.ac.uk

Entry criteria

Entry requirements 

In order to be admitted as a candidate for a research degree an applicant shall normally:

  • Possess a UK Honours degree with at least an upper second class honours, or an academic or professional qualification which the University deems to be equivalent (eg. an overseas qualification); and
  • Demonstrate competence in the use of the English language to the satisfaction of the University.

For further details contact the DMU Graduate School Office.

Guidance

Guidance on the equivalence of qualifications is available from the Student and Academic Services. Applicants without the normal qualifications outlined above may be considered for registration by the University on their merits in relation to the nature of the proposed research programme and by submission of a non-standard qualifications request by the prospective supervisor.

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent before you start the course is essential. English Language tuition, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Structure and assessment

 

Supervision and assessment

Progression cycle

 

 

Researcher Development, Review and Assessment

Training Needs Analysis
During the probationary period, you will carry out a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) in order to personalise the range of skills development in research required for your project . You will complete this within three months of enrolment for full-time students and six months for part-time students. A range of compulsory and optional courses from the Researcher Development Programme form the basis of the TNA, which can be supplemented according to your specific needs (eg in languages, technical skills, etc). The TNA is submitted online with the support of your supervisor.

Formal Review
All research students registered on the Doctoral Researcher Programme carry out a Formal Review to confirm PhD as their award aim (This does not apply if you are studying for the MA/MSc by Research or if you are aiming for an MPhil). The Formal Review submission includes a detailed review of literature relevant to your topic along with discussion of your proposed research methods and work you have undertaken to that point—such as data collection and/or analysis, as well as your plans for the work required to complete your project. Students completing practice-based PhDs (for example where artistic creation is part of the research methodology) will also submit examples of practical work completed to that point.

Annual Review
A formal Annual Review Panel is held to discuss in detail your proposed research objectives for the following year and the research project achievements of the previous year.

Progress Reports
Online progress reports are required at least once a month. As a research student you are required to discuss your work regularly with your supervisors as an essential part of the teaching and learning contract between you and the University. These Progress Reports are an important record of the interactions you have with your supervisors and really help keep your work on track to successful completion.

Completion Period

Thesis Submission
The submission of your thesis for examination is be accompanied by a thesis submission form which confirms the originality of the work. You will complete this form when your thesis is submitted to the Graduate School Office (GSO).

The Viva Voce Examination
All research degree students undergo an oral examination, the ‘viva voce’, which takes place after you have submitted your thesis to the GSO. The examination team consists of at least two academics with significant expertise in your field. Normally there will be one internal examiner (a member of staff of the University) and an external examiner who is chosen for their particular experience and academic status.. Your first supervisor will take responsibility for arranging the viva voce examination once the nominated examiners have been approved by your Faculty and the Director of Graduate School.

Contact Hours
Full-time research degree students are expected to undertake at least 35 hours a week of study throughout the year. Part-time students are expected to undertake 12 hours per week. This will include meeting regularly with your supervisor, as set out in the Code of Practice for Research Degree Students.

Full-time

Normally, a full-time student will have:

  • By 3 months - Completed the Training Needs Analysis (TNA) online, in conjunction with their supervisor
  • By 6 months - Submitted an Application to Register for a Research Degree to the Graduate School Office (GSO)
  • By 12-15 months - Submitted the Formal Review form and Formal Review Report to the GSO
  • At 24 months - Participated in an Annual Review along with your supervisory team and an independent assessor. Your supervisor will arrange this
  • By 36 months - Been transferred into the ‘Completion Period’ by the GSO if three years of full time registration has been completed and will have participated in an Annual Review
  • At 36+ months - Submitted an examinable thesis to the GSO in order that this can be forwarded to the examiners in preparation for the viva voce examination. Students who have not submitted their thesis at this time will be charged continuation fees and will no longer be eligible for UK Council Tax Exemption. Students who encounter delays in submitting their thesis will continue to participate in Annual Reviews until thesis submission.
  • Within 48 months - Have participated in a successful viva voce examination and received a recommendation for the award

Part-time

Normally, a part-time student will have:

  • By 6 months - Completed the Training Needs Analysis (TNA) online, in conjunction with their supervisor
  • By 12 months - Submitted an Application to Register for a Research Degree to the Graduate School Office (GSO), participated in an Annual Review
  • By 18-24 months - Submitted the Formal Review form and Formal Review Report to the GSO
  • At 36 months - Participated in an Annual Review along with your supervisory team and an independent assessor. Your supervisor will arrange this
  • At 48 months - Participated in an Annual Review
  • By 60 months - Been transferred into the ‘Completion Period’ by the GSO if three years of full time registration has been completed and will have participated in an Annual Review
  • At 60+ months - At the end of the Completion Period, submit an examinable thesis to the GSO in order that this can be forwarded to the examiners in preparation for the viva voce examination. Students who have not submitted their thesis at this time will then be charged continuation fees.  Students who encounter delays in submitting their thesis will continue to participate in Annual Reviews until thesis submission.
  • Within 60 months - Have participated in a successful viva voce examination and received a recommendation for the award

 

 

Facilities and features

Campus development

Over the next few years we are continuing our investment in the DMU campus to provide the modern, inspiring environment our students deserve. A £136 million transformation of our city centre site will see improved teaching rooms, eating areas and the Students’ Union, and create a beautiful area of parkland at the very heart of the campus.

The centrepiece is an impressive new base for the Faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities – with sector-leading teaching facilities that will help DMU to be one of the foremost providers of creative higher education in the UK.

Health and wellbeing

At DMU we understand the importance of a healthy mind in a healthy body which is why we have invested heavily in our recreational and leisure facilities and have a full counselling team to provide confidential support if necessary.

A chaplaincy also provides non-denominational religious support and a doctor’s surgery on campus delivers a full NHS service to students and the local community. 

DORA

DORA (De Montfort Open Research Archive) is De Montfort University’s research repository. It forms the primary public and institutional record of DMU research outputs.

DORA currently lists over 10,000 items, and the breadth of research at DMU means that these include articles, conference papers, books, book chapters, and other material available in a digital form. The record for each item contains descriptive information as well as, where possible, a version of the final research output.

Opportunities and careers

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Early Career Researchers

DMU is committed to supporting the development of its Early Career Researchers. More information of the training and development available can be found throughout this section and details of those courses particularly aimed at Early Career Research staff can be found here. The development of research students rests with the Graduate School.

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Training and Development

Research is central to our mission at De Montfort University and is at the heart of our vibrant academic environment. Support for the training and development of our staff is a key objective within our Research Strategy and we aim to provide continuing professional development for researchers at all points in their careers.

The Research, Business and Innovation Directorate supports the needs of our research staff and included within this is support of training and development. The RBI coordinates with other Directorates and Faculties across the University with the aim of providing as broad a programme of courses and sessions as possible.

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The Concordat

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, developed and supported by Research Councils UK and Universities UK and supported by Vitae, is an agreement between the funders and employers of researchers in the UK.

DMU is fully committed to implementing The Concordat and holds Vitae’s associated HR Excellence in Research Award.  In line with DMU's Research Strategy for 2013 - 2017, the Directorate of Research, Business and Innovation and the Graduate School work with Faculties to support our researchers in their research and career development.  We seek to align our activities to the seven key principles of The Concordat which cover all areas of research activity.

Research Strategy

REF 2014

Ethics 

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