Research in the Department of English embraces a wide range of periods, topics and approaches. Our research extends from the early modern to the contemporary, includes all the main literary genres, and is characterised by a strongly interdisciplinary approach and ethos. The department hosts two long established research groups – the Postcolonial Literatures Research Group and the Book History and Bibliography Research Group – and there are emerging research groupings in creative writing, literature and music, life-writing, and the writing of the romantic period. We currently have six full-time and about 15 part-time PhD students in the department, working on topics as diverse as spirituality in children’s literature, gardens in Rumer Godden’s fiction, John Le Carré, representations of the First World War, Charlotte Smith, Virginia Woolf, Louis Macneice and broadcasting, and popular fiction of the Afghan Frontier, 1839–1939. We warmly welcome applications from prospective research students.
The Open University houses two ongoing digital archives based on the department's research projects:
If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:
For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under ‘Your questions’ on the right of the page.