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Key Programme Information

Entry Year


Programme length

2 year(s)


Arts, English and Languages


The School of Arts, English and Languages offers programmes which map broadly onto the following research areas:

  • Broadcast Literacy
  • Contemporary American Literature and Culture
  • Creative Writing
  • English Speech and Language
  • Irish Literature
  • Medieval Studies
  • Modern Literary Studies
  • Poetry
  • Renaissance Studies

The School's strategy is to develop opportunities for cross-fertilisation across all its research programmes. Lists of current and past postgraduate research can be found on the School of English website, alongside staff profiles which list their publications and research interests.

Research Strengths

A number of major research projects (including Doctoral and Postdoctoral posts in Language and Linguistics, Medieval Studies, Modern Literary Studies and Renaissance Literature) have been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Poetry and Irish writing remain at the core of the School's research expertise.

Entry Requirements

The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, and a Masters-level qualification or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.

International Qualifications

For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.

Additional Information for International Students

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required.

*Taken within the last 2 years.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme. Please click the links below for more information:

  • English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English

How To Apply

Applicants for Postgraduate programmes are strongly advised to carefully read the important information and follow the steps set out here before submitting their application via the Postgraduate Direct Applications Portal.

If you have queries on course content please contact the school representative below.

Professor Moyra Haslett
School of Arts, English and Languages
Tel: 028 9097 5103

How To Apply

Career Prospects

A significant number of our PhD students become academics, in the UK and Ireland and internationally. Others become archivists, researchers, editors, teachers, civil servants, writers, librarians, theatre practitioners, voluntary sector workers and a range of other diverse forms of employment.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Find out more

Special Features

Students have access to the McClay Library, and the Institute for Conflict Transformation and Social Justice. Weekly research seminars bring together staff and students, and students are encouraged to not only take part in networks and groups within and beyond the University, but also to organise events such as conferences and readings.

The PhD in Creative Writing is staffed by outstanding writers such as Garrett Carr, Ciaran Carson, Leontia Flynn, Jimmy McAleavey, Darran McCann, Sinead Morrissey and Glenn Patterson. The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, is the first Centre of Excellence for poetry in Ireland and provides resources for emerging and established poets, researchers and critics, and serves to link creativity to criticism and academic scholarship.

Students can make use of the Institute of Irish Studies and the network of disciplines within Queen's contributing to Irish Studies, including History, Politics, Anthropology and Sociology. They are also supported by the outstanding collection of manuscript and print collections concerning the study of Ireland held by the McClay Library, which is the host institution for JSTOR Ireland. The annual Interdisciplinary Linguistics group conference (iLINC) provides additional opportunities to engage in interdisciplinary and international discussion of research for speech and language students.

All postgraduate research students have the opportunity to apply for teaching opportunities in their second year of study and are strongly encouraged to present research-in-progress. School of English PhD students also have the opportunity to apply for the position of Research Fellow in the final year of their study, as part of Queens's established link with the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities at Vanderbilt University (Nashville).

Fees & Funding

There is a range of funding and scholarship options available to those considering study at Queen's.

Find out more

For tuition fee information see //

PhD Funded Studentships
We offer fully funded studentships to outstanding postgraduate researchers across our three faculties and five Doctoral Training Centres. Find PhD funding opportunities.

A number of our PhD students are funded by AHRC (through the ‘Northern Bridge’ consortium) and DEL scholarships. The deadline for applications for these scholarships is usually in mid-January.

For fees and funding information please see the University's Graduate School website.

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Postgraduate Experience

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Our dedicated hub for postgraduate students, providing state-of-the-art facilities for study, and high-quality training and development programmes within a diverse interdisciplinary community.

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Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell

Honorary Graduands Winter 2017

University of Manchester Vice-Chancellor Receives Honorary Degree from Queen’s

14/12/2017 - Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell is receiving an Honorary Degree at Queen’s University Belfast today.

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Queen’s launch MBA programme to enhance career progression

11/12/2017 - Queen’s University has launched a new MBA programme in response to the increasing demand from employers for MBA and business school graduates.