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.
Languages at Queens was ranked third in the UK in the most recent research assessment, and 85% of our research was judged to be of international excellence.
World Class Facilities
- Students have access to a range of state of the art facilities including the McClay Library and the Graduate School, and can take part in the Queen’s University Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme.
Internationally Renowned Experts
- Languages at QUB was ranked third in the 2014 Research Assessment Framework. 85% of our research was judged to be ‘internationally excellent or world leading’.
- Languages at Queens was ranked third in the UK in the most recent research assessment, and 85% of our research was judged to be of international excellence.
- Students are integrated into a very lively interdisciplinary research culture, have access to state of the art facilities including the McClay Library and the Graduate School.
- Students will have the opportunity to work with world-leading specialists across a wide variety of fields
Nineteenth, Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature
Text and Image
Caribbean literature and theory
Linguistics (sociolinguistics, variation, corpus linguistics, discourse analysis)
Literature and visual cultures
Nineteenth-century novel and poetry
Postcolonial literature and theory
Twentieth and twenty-first century French and Francophone literature and film
We also have a strong record in supervising comparative and interdisciplinary theses across the different languages represented in the School of Modern Languages and with other Schools in the University. A number of recent and current research projects have been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the EU (Horizon 2020), including a project on the digitisation of popular culture in a transnational frame, one on cultural tourism and the role of festivals and one on temporality in French and Occitan oral narrative.
Many of our PhD graduates have moved into academic and research roles in Higher Education in the UK, France, the Middle East and Australia, while others have secured posts in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (UK), and in the education sector more broadly. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability.
People teaching you
Dr Claire Moran
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.
Please review the eligibility criteria on the webpages. If you believe that you meet these criteria then follow the steps below:
Select ONE potential supervisor from our list of Academic Staff (http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/ael/Connect/Staff/#d.en.682133 /) and send an email containing:
A brief CV (1-2 pages maximum)
A concise statement that you are interested in studying for a PhD, stating when you would start, and how you would plan to fund the research
A brief statement of the research question or interest, and how you think the question could be investigated
Our academic staff welcome approaches from prospective students; staff can liaise with applicants to develop a research proposal of mutual interest. The potential supervisor should get back to you within a couple of weeks. They may invite you to meet with them or they may invite you to apply formally.
If you have difficulty identifying or contacting an appropriate supervisor, please contact Dr Claire Moran (email@example.com) who will be happy to help.
For part-time study – the closing date for this option is 31st August each year.
For full-time study (self-funding) – for those full time candidates who do not wish to compete for a studentship or who are not eligible to compete for a studentship the closing date is 31st August each year.
For full-time study and application for a scholarship/award; please be aware that awards are only available to full time students. Candidates wishing to apply for scholarships available within the School must apply for full-time study at the same time. Available scholarships and closing dates are detailed on the School's Scholarships web page: https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/ael/Study/FundingScholarships/#postgraduate
Students will meet regularly with their supervisor(s), who will provide written and oral feedback; a formal assessment process takes place annually.
This Annual Progress Review requires students to present their work in writing and orally to a panel of academics from within the School. Successful completion of this process will allow students to register for the next academic year.
The final assessment of the doctoral degree is both oral and written. Students will submit their thesis to an internal and external examining team who will review the written thesis before inviting the student to orally defend their work at a Viva Voce.
Supervisors will offer feedback on draft work at regular intervals throughout the period of registration on the degree.
Students will have access to the state of the art McClay Library and to the recently developed Graduate School.
A 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. While a Master’s degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is not essential, it is desirable and applicants without this qualification will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
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.
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.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: 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.
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) £4,407 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £4,407 Other (non-UK) EU £4,407 International £16,950
Tuition fees for students from Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and the EU have not been set for 2020-21. The tuition fees for 2019-20 was £4,327. This normally increases by inflation annually and will be set in January 2020. The international fee quoted above is for the academic year 2020-21.
There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may also be other extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies . Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £100 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, and library fines. In undertaking a research project students may incur costs associated with transport and/or materials, and there will also be additional costs for printing and binding the thesis. There may also be individually tailored research project expenses and students should consult directly with the School for further information.
How do I fund my study?PhD Funded Opportunities
Find PhD funding opportunities and studentships by subject area.Doctoral Training Centres at Queen's
Find out more >
Queen's has seven outstanding competitive Doctoral Training Centres, with each one providing funding for a number of PhD positions and more importantly a hub for carrying out world class research in key disciplines.New UK PhD loans
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The UK Government will introduce new doctoral loans of up to £25,000 for PhDs and equivalent postgraduate research programmes from 2019. Loans will be offered to English-resident students to study all types of doctorate at universities across the UK.International Scholarships
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Information on scholarships for international students, is available at www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships.
How to Apply
Find a supervisor
If you're interested in a particular project, we suggest you contact the relevant academic before you apply, to introduce yourself and ask questions.
To find a potential supervisor aligned with your area of interest, or if you are unsure of who to contact, look through the staff profiles linked here.
You might be asked to provide a short outline of your proposal to help us identify potential supervisors.
Fees and Funding