Postgraduate research in English literature and creative writing


Creative Writing and English Literature are situated within the Department of Humanities. This department sits within the School of Creative and Cultural Industries, which teaches a quarter of all degrees – both undergraduate and postgraduate – within the Kingston School of Art (KSA). These vibrant departments and schools support a diverse community of postgraduate/PhD students.

Our staff members produce world-leading research, according to the most recent UK-wide Research Excellence Framework. English Literature staff members are all widely published active academics in their fields, from early modern writing to Gothic literature, from postcolonial studies to queer theory. Creative Writing staff members all engage in practice-based research, and they have published a wide range of award-winning and widely translated fiction, memoir and poetry.

When you begin your research project, you will be assigned a supervisory team who will support your intellectual and creative development. You will also have the opportunity to enjoy many extra-curricular events and activities, whether that's by capitalising on our London location with field trips, or by taking advantage of the exciting events organised by one of the School's research groups.

Staff members and their research

At Kingston University, you will be part of an innovative research community that is making a difference to society, culture and the economy. In the 2022 Research Excellence Framework (REF), 70% of the University's research was considered either world leading or internationally excellent.

You can find out more about the successful projects that were run by the University by looking at the impact case studies. Among these case studies are two led by members of staff within the Department of Humanities:

As these two examples show, staff members within English literature and creative writing represent a wide range of specialisms. You can see lists of the specialisms below. You can also see staff members' profiles listed at the bottom of this page, which show the specialisms of each staff member, their current supervisory candidates and their research outputs.

English literature

  • Early modern, Victorian, 20th century and contemporary British
  • American and world literatures
  • Life writing and travel writing
  • Popular literatures
  • Women's writing
  • Writing and the natural and built environment
  • the Gothic
  • Critical theory, including postcolonial studies, trauma theory and queer theory.

Creative writing

  • Popular fiction, including crime writing
  • Life writing
  • Writing and trauma
  • Writing and contemporary British society
  • Experimental writing
  • Writing, psychoanalysis and neuroaesthetics
  • Connections between critical theory and creative practice
  • Writing and gender
  • Writing about the Climate Emergency.

Research community

As a postgraduate researcher within the Department of Humanities, you will benefit from a dynamic research environment, an engaged postgraduate community as well as many exciting research groups and resources across KSA. KSA is home to 11 research groups and/or resources, including the Writing Cultures Group, R/GM (the Race/Gender Matters research group), the Iris Murdoch Archive and CRMEP (the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy).


When it comes to funding your research, you have three main options. Your research could be self-funded, you could enquire about the doctoral loans offered by the Government, or you could explore the University's scholarship, studentship or discount opportunities.

Since 2018, the University has offered a range of studentships. Every year, there are at least 25 awards available, ranging from tuition fee-only up to fully-funded studentships. There are also dedicated studentships for Kingston Alumni and for Black, Asian and Minority Ethic applicants, with the latter award offering successful candidates a place on our RISE Research Leadership Academy. The larger of these studentships will not only pay for your tuition feed but also a yearly stipend – in 2022/23, this was close to £20,000 per year.

Kingston University is also a member of the TECHNE consortium, which comprises nine universities in London and the South East. TECHNE awards almost 60 Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) studentships each year across a range of arts and humanities disciplines. The TECHNE Doctoral Training Partnership aims to produce scholars who are highly motivated and prepared for academic, public or professional life. A diverse and rich range of training workshops and opportunities is available to students, enabling them to engage with partners in the arts and cultural sector.

If you are unable to take advantage of these studentships or scholarships, you may be eligible for a 10% Alumni Discount. This is open to any progressing student who wishes to stay at Kingston University to study a full-time or part-time postgraduate degree or research programme.