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Postgraduate Research (AAH) / By Published Work (AAH)

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Year Of Entry

  • Level(s) of study: Postgraduate research
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Part-time (day)
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: October 2021
  • Course duration: 4 / 8 / 2 year(s)
  • 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 the following PhD projects in the 2021/22 academic year:

  • Early modern generals and leadership
  • French prison cultures
  • Nuclear literature since the Cold War
  • Nostalgia for the future: re-imagining lost home in the European borderlands
  • American women writers and their transnational connections
  • Transatlantic village literature
  • Discourse and the neoliberal university
  • Postcolonial studies: activism, resistance, consciousness
  • Maintaining cultural identity among UK-based Pacific islands diaspora
  • Literature and globalisation
  • Public health reasoning

We are also accepting applications for PhD research in the following subject areas in the 2021/22 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.

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).

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)

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

To apply for a PhD please submit a research proposal (between 1,000 and a maximum of 2,000 words) which addresses the following points:

  • Provisional title
  • The topic or area to be investigated (the subject or field that you are going to investigate)
  • The problem or hypothesis to be tested (the research questions or problem you want to address, the research objectives)
  • The relationship of the proposed research to the published literature and to current research in the field (how your project relates to other work)
  • An indication of the unique contribution to knowledge that the thesis is anticipated to make (the gap in research that your work will fill and what you hope to find out)
  • The methods and techniques to be used in the research (how you propose to go about the research)
  • A provisional timetable for the project, indicating anticipated activities
  • If applicable, details of your previous work in the proposed field, or relationship to prior experience or study
  • Bibliography of sources already consulted or identified as of relevance to your proposal.

How to apply

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

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

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.

Please take a look at our postgraduates’ guide funding page for information about sourcing grants, bursaries and scholarships, and much more.


See our fees and funding page for details.


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

Still need help?

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