French and Francophone Studies are part of the Modern Languages research cluster which provides a vibrant environment for both disciplinary and interdisciplinary scholarship. Recognised as a centre of excellence for research into the languages, literatures, histories, and cultural identities of Europe and beyond, the cluster is founded on a dynamic and forward-looking research ethos. Established research strengths in French include nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century literature, linguistics, visual cultures, medical humanities, popular culture, postcolonial writing and Franco-Chinese writing.
A PhD in French gives you the opportunity to follow your own research interests and to make an original contribution to the field. You will refine your skills in independent research, critical thinking, time management, and oral and written communication. A completed PhD is almost always required for academic jobs in French.
You will normally register, in the first instance, as an 'undifferentiated PhD student' which means that you have satisfied staff that you are capable of undertaking a research degree. The decision as to whether you should undertake a PhD is delayed until you have completed 'differentiation'.
Differentiation takes place about 9-12 months after registration for full time students and about 18-30 months for part time students. You will submit work to a panel of up to three academics and this is followed up with a formal meeting with the 'Differentiation Panel'. The Panel then make a judgement about your capacity to continue with your study. Sometimes students are advised to revise their research objectives or to consider submitting their work for an MPhil qualification rather than a doctoral qualification.
To complete a doctoral qualification you will be required to submit a thesis of approx. 80,000 words and you will be required to attend a viva voce [oral examination] with an external and internal examiner to defend your thesis.
A PhD programme runs for 3-4 years full-time or 6-8 years part-time. Students can apply for a writing up year should it be required.