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Open university phd dissertations in english literature

Open university phd dissertations in english literature in English

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Daniel Donoghue
Director of Graduate Studies
Office: Barker 208

Gwen Urdang-Brown
Graduate Program Administrator
Office: Barker 157

Lauren Bauschard
Graduate Program Assistant
Office: Barker 160

Featured News 11. 21. 14

Last Wednesday, the category of 2017 declared their concentrations so we welcomed fifty-six sophomores towards the British Department.

The Graduate Enter in British results in the levels of Master of Arts (AM) and Physician of Philosophy (PhD). The AM is an essential part from the doctorate program, and for that reason only students who plan to pursue the PhD are qualified for admittance to the Graduate Enter in British.

This Program

This program takes from four to seven many years to complete, using the majority finishing in 5 or 6 years. The very first 2 yrs are dedicated to coursework and also to preparation for that PhD Qualifying Exam (the “General” exam) at the outset of the 2nd year. The 2nd and third years are dedicated to get yourself ready for the Dissertation Qualifying Exam (the “Field” exam) and writing the Dissertation Prospectus. The 4th, fifth and, where necessary, sixth years are spent finishing the doctorate dissertation. In the third year before the final year (when they’re generally based on Dissertation Completion Fellowships), students also devote time for you to teaching and also to developing teaching skills.

Students with prior graduate training or individuals having a shown ability may complete their dissertations within the 4th or fifth years. Students are strongly frustrated from taking greater than seven many years to complete this program except underneath the most exceptional conditions.

This program aims to supply the PhD candidate having a broad understanding of the concept of British, including critical and cultural theory. Additional important skills include facility using the tools of scholarship—ancient and modern other languages, bibliographic procedures, and textual and editorial methods. This program also emphasizes the opportunity to write well, to complete solid and innovative scholarly and demanding operate in a specialized field or fields, to educate effectively, and also to make articulate presentations at conferences, workshops, and symposia.


The minimum residence requirement is 2 many years of enrollment entirely-time study, with as many as a minimum of 14 courses finished with recognition grades (no grade less than B-).

The minimum standard for acceptable operate in the Graduate School is really a B average in every academic year.


  • No less than 14 courses should be completed no after the finish from the second year.
  • A minimum of ten courses should be in the 200- (graduate) level, and a minimum of six of those ten should be taken inside the department. Graduated pupils within the British department may have priority for admission into 200-level courses.
  • The rest of the courses might be either in the 100- or even the 200-level.
  • Students typically devote a part of their course operate in the very first year to get yourself ready for the “General” exam, focusing more and more on their own field within the second year.

Independent Study and inventive Writing

  • Students may petition to consider among the 100-level courses as independent study (British 399) having a professor, although not prior to the second term of residence.
  • Other independent study courses is going to be allowed only in exceptional conditions along with the consent from the professor and director of graduate studies (DGS).
  • Just one creative writing course, which counts like a 100-level course, may count toward the PhD degree course needs.

Credit For Work Done Elsewhere (Advanced Standing)

When the student has completed a minimum of three 200-level courses having a grade of the or perhaps a-, no more than four graduate-level courses might be transferred using their company graduate programs, in the discretion from the Director of Graduate Studies.

Transferred courses won’t count toward the the least ten needed 200-level courses, and can be counted as 100-level courses.


A maximum of one Incomplete might be transported forward at anyone time with a graduate student within the British Department. It should be composed no after six days after the beginning of the following term.

In trying to get a partial, students should have signed permission in the instructor and also the DGS, or even the course under consideration might not count toward this program needs. If students don’t complete work through the deadline, the program won’t count toward this program needs, unless of course you will find documented extenuating conditions.

Language Needs

A studying understanding of two languages is needed. Normally, Latin, Ancient Greek Language, Old British, French, German, Spanish, and Italian would be the recognized languages. Other languages might be acceptable when the DGS deems them relevant and appropriate to some student’s program of study. Students may match the language needs:

(1) by passing a 2-hour translation exam having a dictionary
(2) if you take a 1-term literature course within the selected language
(3) or if you take two relation to Old British*, elementary Latin or Ancient Greek Language.

Any course come to match the language requirement should be passed having a grade of B- or better. Literature-level language courses count for course credit elementary language courses don’t. *Please be aware that just the spring semester of Old British will count for the graduate course requirement (like a 100 level course) when come to fulfill a language requirement.

Types of past language exams are available here .

The (Non-Terminal) Master of Arts Degree

To be able to make an application for the AM degree, students must complete, having a grade of B or better, no less than as many as seven courses, including no less than four British courses, a minimum of three which should be in the graduate (200-) level, and something additional course that must definitely be taken in the graduate level, but might be used in another department. Students should also fulfill a minumum of one of the departmental language needs.

General Exam

At the outset of the 2nd year, students will require a 75-minute dental exam, with different listing of authors and/or titles that the Department can make readily available for each entering class within the summer time just before its arrival. The examiners is going to be three regular people from the department (assistant, affiliate, or full professors), whose names won’t be disclosed ahead of time.

Candidates whose performance around the exam is judged insufficient is going to be marked as “not yet passed” and should retake test at any given time to become determined. If candidates don’t spread the 2nd attempt, they won’t be able to carry on within the program.

Note: Students must fulfill a minumum of one language requirement through the finish from the newbie to become qualified to accept General Exam.

Field Dental Exam

The objective of the area Dental is twofold: to look at students’ preparation in primary teaching and scholarly fields they mean to assert, and also to explore a growing dissertation subject.

The 2-hour examination is usually taken prior to the finish from the Fall Studying Duration of the 3rd year of graduate study, although you’ll be able to go as late because the finish of Feb, if the need arise. Test is carried out with a three-person examination committee, selected through the individual student, normally from one of the tenured and ladder faculty from the British department, (the chair by June one of the second year, and also the remaining examiners by no after September one of the third year).

One faculty member functions as chair from the committee and assists students when deciding on its other people. This committee, or some some of it, will probably still function as individual students’ dissertation advisors.

Throughout the exam, students are requested to show an sufficient understanding of each of the main primary works and selected scholarly works within their selected fields, and also to provide a first account of the dissertation project.

Individuals two purposes–representing the selected field and providing an initial account of the dissertation project–are symbolized by two separate lists, each composed of primary and scholarly works, attracted up through the student in consultation using the examination committee.

Each committee meets its advisee four or five days prior to the exam (i.e. prior to the Thanksgiving break) to finalize fields lists and discuss test format.

This exam is graded Pass/Fail.

Dissertation Prospectus

The dissertation prospectus, signed and approved by three advisors (or two co-advisors, having a third committee member to become added later on), arrives within the Graduate Office six &#8220business days&#8221 after passing the area Dental Examination. The &#8220business days&#8221 don’t range from the Winter Recess, so students passing test four days before Winter Recess begins, for instance, might have another two days after the beginning of classes early in the year Term to accomplish the prospectus.

The prospectus is neither a draft chapter nor an in depth road-map from the next 2 yrs work however a sketch, no more than 7 to 10 pages, from the subject where a student intends to write. It provides an initial account from the argument, structure, and scope from the intended management of the subject. The overview is going to be adopted with a bibliography.

The prospectus is presented in consultation using the dissertation advisors, who’ll meet students at least one time early in the year from the third year to go over the prospectus and also to draft a timetable for that writing from the dissertation.

In planning for a timetable, students have to keep in mind (1) that two draft chapters from the dissertation should be performed by the center of their fifth year, if they’re to become qualified to try to get completion fellowships within their sixth year, and (2) that students generally go into the employment market in nov their sixth year, with a minimum of two final chapters along with a third draft chapter completed. They ought to keep in mind that term-time fellowships and traveling fellowships might be at hand within the fifth year, however that these require applications that are due as soon as December or The month of january from the 4th year. Note: The timetable described above could be faster if your student so wishes and it is able to achieve this.

Writing And Submitting Articles and Professional Writing Workshop

Students are needed to submit articles to some scholarly journal through the finish of the fifth year (acceptance isn’t needed). Failure to do this would increase the risk for lack of good standing. This really is encouraged for those students, and can apply like a requirement starting with the incoming type of 2015-16. Along with this new requirement, the department has built an expert writing workshop available to British department students only. Attendance won’t be needed but expected of scholars in residence. Students is going to be expected to accept course at some point before the start of the sixth year, and ordinarily early in the year of the fifth year. The program is going to be graded Sitting/Unsat.

Dissertation Counseling

Students should assemble several faculty people to supervise the dissertation. Several supervisory plans are possible: students may make use of a committee of three faculty people who share nearly equal responsibility for counseling, or having a committee composed of the principal faculty consultant an additional and third readers. Within the first scenario, among the three faculty people is going to be requested to function as a nominal chair from the committee within the second scenario, the main consultant can serve as chair. When the scope from the project requires it, students should consult the DGS about together with a faculty consultant from the department apart from British or from another college.

The counseling mode selected is going to be indicated towards the department once the prospectus is posted. Whatever the structure of counseling, three faculty visitors needed to approve the finished dissertation. If it’s considered helpful, chapter conferences between your student and also the entire committee might be arranged in consultation using the chair.

The Dissertation

Following the dissertation prospectus continues to be approved, candidates use their dissertation company directors or their dissertation committee. All the designated advisors must approve the ultimate work.

The doctorate dissertation is anticipated to become an authentic and substantial work of scholarship or critique, excellent healthy and content. The department accepts dissertations on the huge assortment of topics involving an extensive selection of methods to literature. It sets no specific page limits, preferring to provide students and company directors just as much freedom as you possibly can.

Dissertation Defense

The Dissertation Defense is going to be essential for finding the PhD, though it won’t be a pass/fail examination. The defense is needed for those students who joined this program in 2007 or after.

The type of the defense is really as follows:

  • Each student’s defense is a separate event
  • Additionally towards the student and also the advisors, the participants typically include any interested faculty and then any interested graduated pupils
  • The Graduate Office will announce the approaching defense to any or all people from the department, unless of course otherwise per a student
  • The big event will begin having a 15–20 minute presentation through the student and last for the most part 1 hour 30 minutes
  • If your student leaves Cambridge and can’t return easily for this function, the Graduate Office will request interactive video

Plans is going to be supervised through the Graduate Office but conducted through the student (just like the Fields examination) students is going to be needed to transmit an e-mail towards the Director of Graduate Studies and also to the Graduate Program Administrator, having a copy for their advisors, indicating your day, time, and placement from the defense

The meeting for any May degree must occur whenever after advisors have signed off around the dissertation and a minimum of per week before Commencement. Used, however, a student will have to defend after advisors have signed off and before advisors disperse. The period will usually be between 1–14 May, and many most likely in the past of May. It can be a student to coordinate the plans.


Students begin teaching within their third year. Ordinarily they educate discussion sections in courses as well as in the department’s program of tutorials for undergraduate honors majors.

Preparation for any teaching career is really a needed a part of students’ training, and Teaching Guys take advantage of the supervision and guidance of department people.

Teaching guys are needed to consider British 350, the Teaching Colloquium, within their newbie training. Additionally, they ought to make use from the facilities in the Bok Center for Learning and teaching.

Doctorate Conferences (“Colloquia”)

The Department of English’s Doctorate Conferences (generally known as &#8220Colloquia&#8221) gather students and school from Harvard along with other institutions to go over current research in literature. Colloquia meet regularly through the academic year, and all sorts of Harvard graduated pupils and school should you can attend them, no matter primary field(s) of great interest.

Placement Seminar

As students close to the finish of the dissertation writing, they might have a seminar preparing these to seek academic along with other employment. Students find out about the resume process, develop resume cover letters and CVs, and exercise presenting the work they do in interviews and job talks, all inside a rigorous and supportive atmosphere. Students should leave the seminar with strong materials to do the job market, confident identities because the expert scholars and teachers they’ve become, and obvious articulations of methods they’ll lead to literary studies within the years ahead. The seminar supplements and formalizes the extensive informal placement counseling offered within the department.

Graduate Student Progress Timeline

This document supplies a year-by-year introduction to needs for acceptable progress within our program.

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