The Renaissance and the eighteenth-century are two of the richest periods in English literature, as well as areas in which some of the most exciting new critical and textual scholarship has been concentrated. The relations between these periods are made especially close by the conflicts as well as the continuities that can be traced between them.
All the major writers of the eighteenth-century were passionate readers of Shakespeare, Jonson Milton and Spenser, with some publishing major editions of their works. Yet Pope and Swift, Dryden and Johnson saw themselves not just as the inheritors of their literary forebears, but as their masters, correcting and improving the literature of the Tudor and Stuart eras before them, as the products of a golden but unrefined age. What is at stake in the mighty contests that arise from the great works and the cultural shifts of the Renaissance and the eighteenth-century is the development of ‘English Literature’ itself.
Conversation with other students and researchers through departmental talks, seminars, conferences, and associated research centres such as the Liverpool Medieval and Renaissance Research Centre and the Eighteenth-Century Worlds Centre will help you situate that reading within a thriving academic context.
Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014
In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), we ranked 10th out of 89 in the UK for 4* (world-leading) and 3* (internationally excellent) research.
Strong postgraduate community
With over 150 taught and research students from all over the world, you will be part of a genuine international community. You will be able to participate in our lively research culture through attending regular seminars and lectures by guest speakers as well as our own staff and students. A legacy from former tutor Miriam Allott has allowed the department to host a creative writing fellow (currently the poet Sean Borodale), and a vibrant series of international poetry readings. Recent conferences include ‘On Liberties’ at St Deiniol’s Library, and ‘Renaissance Old Worlds’ in collaboration with the British Library. As a doctoral student you can participate in the optional English Graduate Teaching Programme, which allows doctoral students to get the best of the teaching opportunities available without making significant demands on their time.
The independence of study, clarity of expression and management of time demanded by all our taught programmes equip the successful graduate with the skills and knowledge base required for further academic study and research in English and other areas.
However, many graduates choose to enter careers such as teaching, publishing and journalism, or to work in the business sector, often in human resources, administration, marketing or sales.
Successful alumni have gone on to teach English at elementary, secondary and tertiary levels in schools around the globe. A significant number of MA graduates have also continued their studies to PhD level.
Successful alumni have gone on to teach English at elementary, secondary and tertiary levels in schools around the globe. A significant number of MA graduates have also continued their studies at PhD level.