Aston Memorial in Lancaster

PhD Programmes

Doctoral study, through which you devise and pursue your own research programme, is available in English Literature or Creative Writing. We also offer doctoral study which brings together these two disciplines.


Culture and Community

We have a dynamic community of around 70 doctoral research students working in all areas of Literary Studies and/or Creative Writing. Our students have a good track record in winning funding from the University, the AHRC and, in the case of our many international students, their home sponsors. Our students also have success in publishing their work, and moving on to careers within universities, within the literary world, and beyond.

Dr Amanda Vernon (Lancaster)

Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, University of Tübingen, 2024-25.


Students are welcome, if they wish, to study away from Lancaster, with supervision taking place on Teams, and many University Library resources available online.

If studying here in Lancaster, as most do, your one-to-one supervisory tutorials will usually take place in your supervisor’s office in the Department on our beautifully landscaped campus, at the heart of which is the award-winning University Library with its bespoke Postgraduate Study Space.

Our PhD students also enjoy our rich programme of free literary events, many of which take place in Lancaster’s historic Castle Quarter. Our venues here include not only the spectacular Castle but also the beautiful medieval Priory and, indeed, The Storey, a wonderful Victorian-build arts centre, where you can drop-anchor and work at the Postgraduate Study Hub.

Finally, Lancaster-based students benefit from being close to the Lake District, home of the Romantic poets and indeed the archive-rich Wordsworth Trust, with whom we have a formal partnership, offering our students an annual study-day, all-year-round free entrance, and (on a competitive basis) four residential internships each year.

View from The Storey

Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

Our students have access to a rich array of , enabling them not only to develop as scholars, critics, and writers but also to learn skills relating to work as future archivists, librarians, and curators.


The Department houses around 30 scholars, critics, and writers providing doctoral supervision across a vast range of Literary Studies and Creative Writing.

Find a Supervisor
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Guidance for English Literature and Creative Writing PhD candidates

Further guidance on the research proposal structure, writing a personal statement and submitting a writing sample has been provided for those wishing to apply for the PhD in either English Literature or Creative Writing. 

PhD Application Guidelines

How to Apply

To apply for an MA or PhD programme please use the Lancaster University online application portal. For advice on what to include in an application, please see the programme entry requirements found on the course listings. 

Guidance on How to Apply

Postgraduate Fees & Funding

Lancaster has a wide range of funding opportunities and offers scholarships and bursaries such as the Alumni Loyalty Scholarship and Postgraduate Loan Scheme. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences also offers a scholarship scheme, whilst external funding is available for PhD students from the AHRC.

Faculty Funding

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences offers a Postgraduate scholarship scheme, whilst external funding is available for PhD students from the AHRC. Forms and further information on these funding schemes can be found on the Faculty funding website. The Department contact for scholarship enquiries is:

Faculty Funding

Have a question about MA or PhD Study?

Further support is available via the 'How to Apply' link. If you have any questions about the programmes please email If you have any questions regarding the application process, or entry requirements please contact the University Postgraduate Admissions Team, email


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