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Research degrees in Arts and Humanities PhD

  • Level(s) of Study: Postgraduate taught / Postgraduate research
  • Start Date(s): October, January, April and June
  • Duration: 2 to 4 years full-time, or 4 to 8 years part-time.
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Campus: Clifton Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


The School of Arts and Humanities offer opportunities for postgraduate study leading to a PhD, by both full-time and part time study, across a wide range of disciplines.

Undertaking an PhD

Nottingham Trent University offers opportunities to study for a PhD by research in all its academic schools. Supervision is available by full-time or part-time study, and can sometimes be provided by distance learning.

We are currently accepting applications for PhD research in the following subject areas in the 2022/23 academic year:

  • Communication, Cultural and Media Studies
  • History
  • English Language and Literature
  • Modern Languages and Linguistics
  • Philosophy

Supporting your studies

Carrying out research for a PhD or ProfD requires different skills from undergraduate or taught postgraduate study. You will mostly work on your own research project, but we also emphasise the importance of regular meetings with your supervisory team.

The team consists of a director of studies (who will usually have expertise in your subject area) and at least one other supervisor selected for their complementary expertise such as relevant research methods.

The Graduate School Team will support you from your initial enquiry, through the application process and the various stages of your degree, until your viva voce examination and subsequent graduation. Once you begin your studies, you will have induction sessions to introduce you to the University, help you settle in and meet other researchers.


Visit the Doctoral School website for scholarship and bursary information. In addition, you can read about AHRC funding for UK / EU Arts and Humanities research students.

Researcher training

In addition to studying for a research degree, students undertaking traditional route PhDs will participate in researcher training. This combines general research training with specific topics associated with your discipline. The training focuses on the requirements of external research funding bodies and government requirements.

We also provide a structured programme of transferable skills training and career development. This is informed by the work of Vitae, the national organisation which support researchers throughout their careers.

What you’ll study

Conducting research for a PhD degree requires different skills from undergraduate study. You will work independently and in-depth on an original project under the guidance of your supervisory team.

The team is led by a Director of Studies, who will usually have expertise in the specific subject area relevant to your research, and who will take primary responsibility for supervising your work and monitoring your progress. You will also be supported by one or two other supervisors, who will adopt complementary roles and responsibilities. Before applying, you are strongly encouraged to consult the staff profiles on the School website in order to acquaint yourself with the research activity and expertise in the School.

All of our research degrees incorporate a well-chosen programme of study and research training to help you acquire and develop competency in the appropriate methodologies and techniques to support your work.

Research practice programme

Students have the opportunity to take part in the Research Practice Course, a part-time, module-based programme in research practice methodology. This School-wide practical course provides the knowledge, skills and support for you as a postgraduate research student and allows you to work alongside other research students across the Arts and Humanities. The course assists in the transition to research work and into the academic community, while nurturing a reflexive, critical attitude to both.

Staff Profiles

Gill Allwood


School of Arts & Humanities

Gill Allwood is Professor of Gender Politics at Nottingham Trent University and Visiting Professor at the College of Europe, Bruges. She has published widely on gender and EU external action,

Bill Niven

Professor in Contemporary German History

School of Arts & Humanities

Bill Niven

Phil Leonard


School of Arts & Humanities

Phil Leonard

Careers and employability

Your career development

Nottingham Trent University prides itself on the real-world relevance of its courses, and places particular emphasis on helping students to develop the academic and practical know-how that encourages initiative, innovation and academic excellence.

All our research degrees incorporate a programme of supporting studies designed to develop knowledge and skills of all aspects of the research process, including the funding and dissemination of research. This will ensure that you have the necessary expertise to successfully complete your doctoral programme and lay sound foundations for your future career.

Participation in academic conferences, seminars and external networks will cultivate contacts, skills and knowledge essential for successful research practice. These abilities are also transferable to a wide range of other careers. Researchers are also invited to take part in our own Research Conferences giving you the opportunity to present your work and discuss with other researchers at NTU.

There are some opportunities for research students to prepare for an academic career by teaching undergraduate students or supervising laboratory work. Students may also take part in the Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education training programme.

Although formal placements are not a requirement of PhDs, the University has strong links with professionals in business and industry.

There are opportunities to participate in ERASMUS overseas exchanges in some subject areas. The University has links with many other institutions such as:

  • Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • l'Université d'Angers
  • Universitat Ramon Llull (Barcelona)

Campus and facilities

Find out more about our facilities at NTU

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of a first or upper second-class degree or a Master's degree in a relevant discipline
  • A period of pre-PhD study is required for some subjects before entry to a PhD
  • And / or evidence of motivation and ability to conduct research at higher degree level
  • English language requirements - IELTS 6.5 (with minimum sub-scores of 6.0)

Fees and funding


See our fees and funding page for details.


Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our funding pages will answer all your questions.

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies. We award scholarships to those students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.


See our fees and funding page for details.


We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

How to apply

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Applicants who have taken a higher degree at a UK university are normally exempt from the English language requirements. Applicants who do not meet the English language proficiency requirement will normally be asked to complete an English Language course.

Application process

Visit the Doctoral School's step by step guide to make an application.