• Unit(s) of assessment: English Language and Literature
  • School: School of Arts and Humanities


NTU English undertakes research across the major areas and periods of literary studies, from the early modern period to the 21st Century. The diversity of the discipline is reflected in our research: much of our work is historicist, with a focus on the cultural location and significance of texts and traditions; many of us focus on recent and emerging theoretical debates in literary and cultural studies; and staff explore the interface of critical and creative practice. Our work includes textual editing, research across many Anglophone literary geographies, the history of the book, archival and manuscript research, and a focus on radical and marginal cultural production. Specialist areas of focus include:

  • American literature and culture
  • Creative writing and critical-creative research
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Modernism
  • Periodical Studies
  • Post-colonial and world literature and culture
  • Science, technology, and literature
  • Travel writing

English is also the home of the first journal dedicated to travel writing, Studies in Travel Writing and Trent Editions, a publishing imprint that promotes neglected, radical, and marginal writing.


We work collaboratively with many regional and national groups and organizations, including:

Staff are committed to engaging with these and other partners, and to ensuring that our research benefits those beyond English literary studies and outside of academic environments. Our research is culturally and socially transformative at the local, regional, and international levels.

NTU is part of the AHRC Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership

If you are interested in undertaking postgraduate research in English at NTU, please contact the Doctoral School, or any member of staff, for further details.

Funding for postgraduate research is provided by NTU’s PhD Studentship Scheme and by the AHRC M3C Doctoral Training Partnership

Research Centres

NTU English hosts two dedicated specialist centres:

  • The Centre for Travel Writing Studies, founded in 2002, remains a world leader in this field. This Centre facilitates, promotes, and disseminates scholarly research on travel writing and its contexts, without restriction of period, locus, or type of travel writing.
  • The Centre for Postcolonial Studies, founded in 2000, works across Arts & Humanities and Art & Design disciplines to advance contemporary debates in postcolonial writing, culture and theory.

Staff also contribute to other NTU research centres, including the Centre for Inequality, Culture, and Difference and the Centre for Philosophy and Everyday Life.

REF 2014

The 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) found 70% of NTU English research to be world leading or internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance, and rigour. 100% of our research environment was classed in the highest categories of 4* and 3*, and 87% of our research was assessed as world leading and internationally excellent in terms of its impact beyond academic contexts.

According to the Times Higher Education's subject rankings based on research intensity, these results place us in the top half of UK English departments. REF assessors commended ‘the world-leading excellence in all areas’ of our research, and confirm that it has ‘outstanding and very considerable reach and significance’.

You can read about the impact of our research by viewing some of our recent projects.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418