Prospective PhD Students




The School aims to provide a stimulating and nurturing environment for postgraduate research. We are privileged to include many academics of the highest national and international research reputation, encompassing a wide range of fields from French, German and Russian Studies, Iberian and Latin American Studies, Linguistics and Film Studies to Literary and Cultural Studies, Modern Critical Theory and Cultural Theory, History of Ideas and Modern Continental Philosophy.

We receive financial support for projects from sources including AHRC, the ESRC and the Leverhulme Trust, and a number of staff members are fellows of the Royal Society of Arts, the AHRC Peer Review College, the British Academy and the Association of Art Historians respectively. Our postgraduate students enjoy the use of the facilities provided by the Arts Research Centre and the Lock-keeper's Cottage Graduate Centre.

Prospective research students are welcome to approach the School at any time in the academic year. We are happy to discuss research proposals and to provide advice both on academic matters and on possible sources of funding.



Finding a supervisor

  • You are strongly advised to identify a potential supervisor and provide them with a draft research proposal prior to making a formal application.
  • You will be able to find a list of staff in each department and their research interests by visiting our Academic Department pages and following the links to people.
  • You may alterntively constult the appropriate Graduate Studies Convenor for your chosen subject area.
  • We are open to proposals for research within individual departments and also to proposals requiring co-supervision, either within the School or involving other Schools in the Faculty.

  • If your research is based in linguistics, you will need to submit an Applicant Query Form to the department, ideally, BEFORE contacting any potential supervisors directly or making a formal application.



Research studentships

The School welcomes applications to be considered for the following awards for 2016/17 entry:

Further information on areas for potential PhD research can be found in the research and postgraduate pages of each departmental website.

Your application for admission will also be considered for a studentship.
Please ensure all the required documents are submitted as shown in our Application Checklist.
The application deadline for all Research Studentships for 2016/17 entry is 31st January 2016.
Candidates whose applications are received after the deadline will be considered for admission, but not for funding.



Research training

The School of Languages, Linguistics and Film delivers a research training programme, compulsory for students on all MA programmes in the School that research students are encouraged to attend.

The Centre for Academic and Professional Development at Queen Mary delivers research training and development opportunities to all research students in such areas as dissertation management (i.e., how to finish on time), academic publishing, research ethics, knowledge transfer, funding your research, and developing an academic career.



How to apply

Application process
You may apply at any time of the year. However, if you intend to begin your PhD at the start of the academic year in September, which we recommend, you should aim to submit your application before August, (unless you are also applying for funding when you may need to apply much earlier).

Application Checklist

Application Form:
This is available via the online application process.

Degree Transcripts/Certificates:
You should include those that you have already obtained. If you need to post these, please provide copies, not the original documents. If these documents are in a language other than English, a certified translation must also be provided.

English Language Proficiency:
Overseas applicants from non-English speaking countries should provide evidence of proficiency in English.

Writing sample in English:
Flexible word length, but maximum 10,000 words.

Research proposal:
You must include a 1,500-word research proposal. Ideally you would finalise this following consultation with your potential supervisor and it should be headed with a provisional title for your project

Personal statement:
This should typically be one side of A4 paper in which we recommend that you include:

  • Why you would like to undertake a PhD in your discipline.
  • Why Queen Mary is the right place for you to undertake this research.
  • What ethical issues you will need to consider in undertaking this research.
  • What research training and professional preparation you have already received.
  • What further training you think you will need to complete a PhD.

Reference Letters:

  • You will need to obtain two academic reference letters. Please note, we do not request references and you will need to do this yourself.
  • Whilst it is preferred that reference letters are uploaded and submitted with your application (on headed paper and signed), they can alternatively be sent via email to Research Admissions.
  • References not uploaded with your application should arrive no later than one week following submission of your application.

    Please make sure that references adhere to the formatting below:

  • References should be endorsed by an appropriate institution official stamp or on official institution letterhead if they are submitted or forwarded from you in electronic or in paper format. 
  • If your referee would like to keep their reference confidential and will email your reference to us, we can only accept it if it is sent from a university email address. References from a personal email address such as 'Yahoo' or 'Hotmail' are not acceptable.
  • If the reference is emailed or sent via post, the admissions team will match and upload your reference to the online application.
  • Please ensure your referees include your full name and application number where possible.



English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence of your proficiency in English. The College's preferred test is the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) and the School will normally require a score of at least 7.0, plus 7.0 in the writing element. Further details and a table showing how the IELTS compares with scores of other tests which are accepted by the College for entry can be found on the College website for English Language Requirements.




Enrolment and Induction

Enrolment for 2016/17 takes place in September (date to be announced). Once you are in receipt of an offer, have accepted your place online and met any conditions set, instructions for online pre-enrolment will be sent to you by the Research Degrees Office from August. You will then need to complete your enrolment in person. If it is not possible to confirm your place in time for enrolment in September, or if you intend to begin your PhD at any other time of the year, you will be sent pre-enrolment instructions in time for one of the next available enrolment slots which are set on the first working day of each month.

A College Induction Event and School Induction Meeting will be held for all new PhD students (details to be announced in the summer of 2016).




Further information

The Doctoral College supports the life-cycle of Postgraduate Research Degrees at Queen Mary University Of London by working with both postgraduate research students and staff to support a thriving research community. The Doctoral College works with schools, institutes and academic services across QMUL to oversee the recruitment and admission, training and development, academic progression and examination of QMUL’s PhD students.

The QMUL website also contains information on admissions, accommodation, fees, fundinginternational students and open events or to order the Postgraduate Prospectus.

For more information about applying for postgraduate study in the School, please contact:
Postgraduate Studies
Tel: +44 20 7882 8332