Literary and Cultural Studies PHD

Why choose this course

At the Research Centre for Mobilities in Literature and Culture, we bring together researchers from across the School of Literature and Languages to examine pressing social and cultural issues. These themes of exploration include social and cultural networks; cities and urban culture; subversive space and the imagination of alternative spaces; disconnections and connections; embodiment and the practice and politics of movement; post-humanism; transnationalism and its limitations.

We’re part of TECHNE, an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded doctoral training partnership, which provides access to comprehensive academic and professional training programmes, as well as the possibility of funding for your studies. Our projects are currently looking at areas such as the work of British artist George Frederic Watts (1817-1904), cartoneras publishing in South America and French migration and anarchist movements.

We’re part of the interdisciplinary School of Literature and Languages, which has research active staff in English Literature, Creative Writing, Film Studies, Translation Studies, Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, and Literary and Cultural Studies. 

You’ll join a cosmopolitan, multilingual and multicultural community of students and scholars, and we see our research students as being a core part of the School.

What you will study

It normally takes three-years of full-time study or six years of part-time study to complete our PhD in Literary and Cultural Studies. You’ll take a confirmation viva at 12-15 months (or 24-30 months part-time) and then be assessed by a thesis and viva examination.

You’ll be assigned two supervisors, who you’ll meet with monthly to discuss your progress. Your supervisors will guide you through your PhD, and will give you feedback and advice on your work.

As a doctoral student in the School of Literatures and Languages, you’ll receive a structured training programme covering the practical aspects of being a researcher, including grant writing, publishing in journals, and applying for academic jobs.

Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Start date
PHD Full-time 48 months January 2019
PHD Full-time 48 months October 2018
PHD Part-time 96 months January 2019
PHD Full-time 48 months April 2018
PHD Full-time 48 months July 2018
PHD Part-time 96 months April 2018
PHD Part-time 96 months July 2018

Additional costs

There are additional costs that you can expect to incur when studying at Surrey. Find out more.

Code of practice for research degrees

Surrey’s postgraduate research code of practice sets out the University's policy and procedural framework relating to research degrees.

The code defines a set of standard procedures and specific responsibilities covering the academic supervision, administration and assessment of research degrees for all faculties within the University.

Download the code of practice for research degrees (PDF).

Research themes

  • Latin American literary and cultural studies
  • Transnational history and its methodologies
  • Franco-British political and cultural exchanges, nineteenth and twentieth centuries

Our academic staff

See a full list of all our academic staff within the School of Literature and Languages.


Research facilities

You’ll be allocated desk space within the School of Literature and Languages, and you’ll also be able to take advantage of our common rooms for socialising and networking with other students and staff.

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to hold a good Bachelors degree and/or Masters degree (2:1 or equivalent) in languages (with a literary or linguistic background), or in related subject areas is required. For other topics, a good Bachelors degree and an MA in a relevant topic is required.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category and at least 7.0 in the writing component.

View the other English language qualifications that we accept.

If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.

Selection process

Selection is based on applicants meeting the expected entry requirements, assessment of application, successful interview and suitable references where required.


Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Oversees fees
Full-time January 2019 £4,260 £16,000
Full-time October 2018 £4,260 £16,000
Part-time January 2019 £2,130 £8,000
Full-time April 2018 £4,195 £16,000
Full-time July 2018 £4,195 £16,000
Part-time April 2018 £2,100 £8,000
Part-time July 2018 £2,100 £8,000

For fees payable in 2018/19, these will increase by 4 per cent, rounded up to the nearest £100 for subsequent years of study. Any start date other than October will attract a pro-rata fee for that year of entry (75 per cent for January, 50 per cent for April and 25 per cent for July).

Overseas students applying for 2018 entry should note that annual fees will rise by 4% rounded up to the nearest £100.

View a complete list of all fees for our research programmes.


We have a host of partly and fully-funded studentship opportunities available.

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences studentship

Funding information:
This studentship includes a tuition fee waiver (home/EU or international) and a maintenance stipend at current research-council rates for a full-time PhD.

Development of novel radiation-grafted powder ionomers for use in high performance alkali membrane fuel cells

Funding information:
Funding status: Directly Funded Project (European/UK Students only) EU/UK  fees for 3 years: 2018-19 level £4195 Standard stipend for 3 years: 2017-18 level £14,553 £5k bench fees across three-year project

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University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH