Drama MPhil, PhD

Arts, English and Drama
Entry requirements:
2:1 + and a master's
3 years (PhD), 2 years (MPhil)
6 years (PhD), 4 years (MPhil)
Start date:
January, April, July, October 2018
UK/EU fees:
International fees:


The School of the Arts, English and Drama is a thriving research community with a proven record for both creative and scholarly outputs of international excellence in the fields of the arts in the broadest sense of that term: visual, literary and performative.

Our research takes place both through individual scholarship and in collaboration with research partners across the UK and the world, and we investigate new directions in both the creation and the analysis of a wide range of cultural forms.

Our unique range of research opportunities encompass art, design, history, theory, theatre, performance, post-medieval literature, publishing, linguistics studies, and creative writing, including theatre, fiction and poetry.

Our research programme is versatile and can be purely theoretical or a practice-led interrogation of creative processes and their outcomes.

We are particularly interested in research that includes reflection within and across the boundaries of our disciplines, and encourage projects which have the potential to make a substantive contribution to the academic and social/economic impact of our research.

Our research includes conceptual research leading to published outcomes and applied research leading to industrial and commercial applications and/or professional and public commissions.

We are also committed to knowledge transfer and knowledge exchange projects. We use our research strengths to form links with the creative industries, developing the entrepreneurial side of our activities, and fostering a range of productive and effective knowledge transfer partnerships.

Entry requirements

A good undergraduate degree (typically 2:1 or above) and master’s level qualification, or equivalent experience, is expected.

IELTS: overall 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component.

Who you'll be working with

A thriving interdisciplinary research community, staff in the School of the Arts, English and Drama participate in internationally recognised creative and scholarly research across the visual, literary and performative arts. We continually seek to explore new directions in the creation and analysis of diverse cultural forms through individual scholarship and national and global partnerships.

Our facilities

We cater specifically for the different needs of our programmes with state-of-the art facilities, and a rich range of different research methodologies, from archival research to new digital approaches.

You will have access to shared study space and all facilities within the School and across the University, including library and IT services.

Research areas

Early Modern

The research group is a forum that develops projects, and supports researchers, whether established or early career, where the specialism is an aspect of Early Modern culture or literature.

Gendered Lives

Gendered Lives is a multi-disciplinary research group at Loughborough University which has been established to bring together those researching gender, how it is experienced, and how it is represented in personal documents and cultural objects.

Politicized Practice

The Politicized Practice Research Group starts from a shared question rather than a specific disciplinary context, asking, how can contemporary art contribute to social and political change?

Theatre and Performance

The Theatre and Performance Research Group is concerned with research into all forms of performance, both historical and contemporary. Our research-active staff are currently involved in a variety of projects, both discipline-based and inter- and multi-disciplinary.

Your personal and professional development

Support from your supervisor

As a research student in the School of the Arts, English and Drama you will be involved in leading research activities, and provided with research skills training from internationally recognised academics.

You will have two supervisors who provide academic support throughout your research, and additional support and advice within the School is provided by the Director of Doctoral Programmes and the Research Student Administrator.

The University also provides support through the Doctoral College and a wide-range of student services

Skills and experience

A PhD programme will give you the opportunity to develop new and highly sought after skills which can set you up for a range of careers. It’s a chance to make a novel contribution to knowledge, to become a world expert in a particular field, and it can open a range of doors with different employers. You'll also enhance your interpersonal skills, such as networking and relationship building, which will be invaluable in your future career.

In addition to the University’s extensive training provision, the School organises a specific programme tailored to the needs of Arts, Drama, English and Publishing research, which includes practice-based methodologies.

You will also benefit from a range of other opportunities to meet regularly with other students and academic staff by means of the weekly PGR seminar series, research forums, research seminars and involvement in the School’s Research Groups. We encourage students to present at conferences, publish, exhibit their work, and to contribute to our lively research community.

Future career prospects

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • Freelance Screenwriter
  • Millward Brown, Senior Project Manager
  • Loughborough University, Lecturer
  • Sultan Qaboos University, Assistant Professor
  • National Chengchi University Taipei
  • Savannah College of Art and Design, Professor.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

How to apply

We advertise a limited number of studentships once a year. Throughout the year we advertise unfunded projects. Outside of these opportunities many prospective students choose to make a speculative application to do research in an area that they feel passionate about, such applications are welcomed and strongly encouraged. Feel free to look at the research pages of our School website for inspiration. For informal enquiries you can either contact the Director of Doctoral Programmes or particular staff members whose research aligns with your own interests.

Drama research proposal

Your proposal should be approximately 2,000 words and include a provisional title, the research questions that form the core of the enquiry, and the scope of the topic. You should outline the methods, approach and theory to be adopted and the relationship to current research and literature in the field. You should also include a set of chapter headings (with a brief outline of each chapter’s likely content), a bibliography of the reading you consider relevant to your research (indicating the titles you have already consulted), and a provisional timetable.

In the case of a proposal for a creative thesis, an account of the creative component, and the role that it will play in the overall research plan, is also necessary.