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English - Research

Course overview
A PhD dissertation should make a substantial and original contribution to its field of knowledge. The PhD degree is awarded for work that is 'worthy of publication, in whole or in part, as a work of serious scholarship' (NUI Galway Calendar). The length of the dissertation in English is normally 60,000–80,000 words. The duration of research is usually four years.

The Department of English strongly recommends that prospective students register for the Structured PhD in English (PAC Code GYG08). As part of the doctoral training available on the Structured PhD programme, students avail themselves of a range of interdisciplinary taught modules.

Entry requirements

The minimum qualification necessary to be considered for admission to the PhD programme is a high honours, primary degree (or equivalent international qualification), for 'other such evidence as will satisfy the Head of Department and the Faculty of his/her fitness' (NUI Galway Calendar). It is more usual, however, for successful applicants to have already gained a Master's degree.

Additional requirements for PhD (English)
We strongly urge prospective applicants to first discuss their plans with the member of staff whose academic area of interest is most appropriate.

In addition to your online application, you must submit in hardcopy a sample of academic writing (e.g. a recent BA or MA course essay) and a 1500-word research proposal. This proposal must be structured under the following headings:
1. Description of proposed research (800 words) This section should describe clearly the subject and scope of your research. You should indicate the critical problems or questions you propose to investigate.

2. Critical context (350 words) This section should describe, as far as you can tell, the extent of the scholarly work already done on your topic. You should be able to explain how your research will challenge or extend this existing knowledge.

3. Methodology (250 words) Here you should describe the research methodologies you will employ, and explain why you have chosen them (e.g. critical biography, feminist analysis, genre study, interdisciplinary analysis, etc.)

4. Sources and archives (100 words) Give a preliminary indication of the primary and secondary material you expect to examine, and how much of the material may be found at NUI Galway. You will be able to avail of inter-library loans and will be eligible to apply for some travel funding during the course of your research .

Admission is at the discretion of the PhD Applications Committee of the Department which assesses all applications. The success of your application will depend on a number of factors: the quality and viability of the proposal, your qualifications and achievements to date, the reports of two referees, and the availability of appropriate supervision.

For further information, please contact the department's Postgraduate Research Co-ordinator:
Dr Sean Ryder
Department of English,
National University of Ireland, Galway
Tel. +353-(0)91-493009


GYB12 Full Time
GYB13 Part Time

The duration of research is usually four years.

Further enquiries

Ms. Dearbhla Mooney
Tel: 353 91 493 339

Research areas

Dr. Rebecca A. Barr: literature of the 'long' eighteenth century; masculinity and literature; printing and print culture; the novel: contemporary poetry and visual culture.

Dr. Daniel Carey: early modern travel writing; literature and colonialism; early modern literature and philosophy; John Locke; seventeenth-century literature and science; eighteenth-century fiction, esp. Defoe; the Enlightenment and postcolonial theory.

Dr. Julia Carlson: 19th and 20th century American literature; censorship, medical humanities.

Dr. Cliodhna Carney: Chaucer; medieval aesthetics; medieval literary theory; Spenser.

Dr. Marie-Louise Coolahan: Women's writing in early modern Ireland; Renaissance manuscript culture.

Prof. Adrian Frazier: Late 19th- and early 20th-century Irish writers, such as George Moore, W. B. Yeats, Oscar Wilde; the Abbey Theatre; 20th century Irish theatre; contemporary Irish poetry; biography; critical theory: literary non-fiction: Golden Age Hollywood Cinema.

Dr. John Kenny: Creative Writing and Practice.

Dr. Patrick Lonergan: Globalization and theatre; theatre and the creative industries; modern Irish drama; the works of John Millington Synge; Shakespeare and Ireland.

Dr. Frances McCormack: Old and Middle English literature: in particular the works of Chaucer, religious and devotional literature, and heresy.

Dr. Sinead Mooney: Beckett; modernism; translation studies; 20th century Irish writing.

Dr. Muireann O'Cinneide: Victorian Literature; women's writing; politics and literature; colonial & post-colonial writing, particularly travel writing.

Dr. Lionel Pilkington: Irish theatre history; Irish cultural politics and cultural history; Southern Irish Unionism and Irish Protestantism; J.M. Synge, W.B. Yeats, and Lady Gregory; colonialism and cultural theory.

Prof. Sean Ryder: 19th century Irish culture; the work of Thomas Moore and James Clarence Mangan; digital humanities; critical editing; film studies.

Dr. Elizabeth Tilley: 19th century Gothic literature and history of the novel; 19th century serials, Irish publishing history and periodical production; book history; links between
art and literature.

Dr. Adrian Paterson:
Modernism; fin de siècle, nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature; literature and the arts, especially music; orality, print, performance, technology, including radio broadcasting; Irish poetry in English; the works of W.B.Yeats, Ezra Pound, James Joyce.

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