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Research Degrees

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures is a great place to undertake your postgraduate research. We presently have over 40 research students, from the UK, mainland Europe and around the globe, carrying out PhD or MA work on topics as diverse as translation, literature, theatre, cinema, and photography, and participating in a variety of postgraduate activities, including dialogue days and research seminars. We welcome applications for students wishing to study for a PhD, or to undertake an MA by Research.


World leading research

Our research encompasses all the traditional areas of Modern Languages and Cultures, as well as a number of less orthodox topics. Unlike many UK universities, we offer expertise ranging from medieval manuscripts to the modern media, including film and photography. Many of our researchers are among the world's leaders in their fields. Particular strengths include:

  • Medieval and Early Modern literature and culture
  • 19th- and 20th-century literature and culture
  • Visual culture (film, photography and art)
  • Literary and musical culture
  • Performance arts
  • Gender and sexuality studies
  • Critical and cultural theory
  • History (cultural, political and intellectual)
  • Cognitive metaphor theory
  • Translation studies

Research highlights of the School can be found here

A dynamic research community

As an MLAC research student you will be invited to participate in dedicated postgraduate research seminars where you can discuss your work and share your experiences with other students. Moreover you will have the opportunity to attend staff seminars and lectures by major figures in modern language research.

Research training

All research students at Durham University have the opportunity to participate in dedicated research training. This will help you manage your research, as well as to plan your future career. It also provides an excellent opportunity to meet postgraduates studying many other subjects at Durham.

Language support

If English is not your first language there is excellent language support available, provided by our English Language Centre.