Admission to the PhD Programme in English Studies requires applicants to submit a thesis proposal. For a thesis in Literature, the proposal should contain the following:

  1. Provisional title of the thesis
  2. Suggested supervisor
  1. Introduction to the topic
    • Establish your topic of research giving enough background information to contextualise your study.
    • Define in a precise way the scope of your research. This involves narrowing down the wider topic.
    • Highlight the new contribution/s you are making to the field or explain the gap you are addressing.

4. Literature review of the topic

    • Present the state of existing research on your topic. Point out the relevance of your study to a broader problem or debate in the field.
    • Critically analyse each source that you cite. A suggested minimum number of resources is five with a maximum of seven major publications in the field.
    • Explain connections between the different sources (themes, perspectives, patterns, paradoxes) in order to state the point of your research.
  1. Provisional research questions
    • Clearly state, and briefly explain three or four research questions. Research questions will be provisional and will most likely change as your research progresses.
    • If needed, you may include related sub-questions.
  1. Literature and Culture
    • If your thesis involves or is centred on critical theory, locate your thesis within the critical continuum, identifying schools of thought, certain theories or thinkers.
    • If your thesis proposal involves or is centred on archival research, explain what sources you wish to consult and how your findings will expand current knowledge.
    • If your thesis involves or is centred on literary or cultural history, specific author or authors, or on reception, explain which precedents you will base your thesis on.
    • If your thesis does not comfortably fit within the above categories, briefly outline your line of research, and the value of previous research in your chosen field.
    • In all cases, explain, in however provisional a form, what you aim to contribute to our existing understanding of literary and cultural studies.
  1. Schedule for completing a PhD thesis
    • Provide a tentative calendar schedule from the time of your enrolment as a PhD student and state the tasks you expect to accomplish at each stage.
  1. References

A Note on Format

    • The proposal should not exceed 4000 words and should be written in  Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri (12 point text; 10 point notes).