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Introduction to Postgraduate English Literature

Lancaster University welcomes UK and international students to a wide range of postgraduate courses, and the Department of English and Creative Writing is particularly well-placed to offer a friendly, supportive and intellectually stimulating environment for all its postgraduate students.

Read more about our writing and research interests, and the wide range of work published in recent years by members of our Creative Writing and our English Literature staff.

Photo of Terry EagletonAlongside the History Department, the Department of English & Creative Writing is the largest recruiter of postgraduate students in the Humanities at Lancaster. At the present time we have around 80 PhD-level research students on our books (this includes both full and part-time students) and approximately 70-80 students taking our various Masters degree programmes. This means we have the ‘critical mass’ necessary for a buoyant and stimulating postgraduate and research culture.


Paul MuldoonAs a world-class department focused both on literary study and creative writing, our staff includes a host of eminent scholars and authors including Professor Terry Eagleton, formerly Thomas Warton Professor of English Literature at Oxford and Professor Paul Muldoon, formerly Professor of Poetry at Oxford.  Professor Eagleton is one of the world’s most famous literary critics and Professor Muldoon one of the world’s most eminent poets. Each year both offer a series of public lectures, open MA seminars, and Ph.D. tutorials. 

We offer (MA/PhD) 'Research Methods' and (PhD) 'Work in Progress' seminars to all campus-based students, which ensures that there is a regular forum at which all our research students can meet, socialise and support one another. The students on the various taught MA courses in English Literature have, of course, opportunities to meet each other on their various modules, while PhD students can choose to meet at any of a large number of reading groups tailored to specific research areas. All of these things contribute to the formation of a supportive and tight-knit postgraduate community.

Our MA students organise their own summer conference each year. In 2015, ‘Reconfiguring Boundaries’ featured papers on topics as various as ‘The wounds become him’: seeing the soldier’s body in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus’, ‘Simulating Freaks in American Horror Story: Freak Show’ and ‘Hashtag Poetry: Poets of Colour and the Contemporary Age’.

Research students can present papers at our annual Gothic Study Day or one of the many conferences organised by PhD students themselves. Recently, these have included ‘Eating Otherwise’, ‘Fictions of Corporeal Diversity: A Symposium on Literary Disability Studies’ and ‘Locating Fantastika’.

The Department also runs its own online journal, 'The Luminary', edited by postgraduates.

In recent years, the Department has welcomed a series of distinguished international scholars to participate in postgraduate seminars, workshops, readings and symposia: Professor J. Hillis Miller (University of California at Irvine), Professor Simon Critchley (New School of Social Research, New York) and Mieke Bal (University of Amsterdam).

Postgraduate resources and events

Forthcoming Events

Visiting Researchers

Course Handbooks

English Postgraduate Handbook (2014 -15)

Student Journals

Cake publishes poetry, flash fiction and reviews with work from established poets and newcomers alike. Go to Cake»

Share research and make connections with other researchers. Go to the Luminary»


The Flash Journal is an undergraduate run termly journal which publishes fiction, poetry, critical and hybrid work by current Lancaster undergrads. Go to Flash»

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