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Literature is an art or artistic creation that uses means of expression through language. Fundamental to the humanities, the study of literature offers students the opportunity to read, write, and think about big questions:

What makes us human? How do we know what is beautiful? What shapes our identities as individuals and in communities? How can language and art change the world? How does the way we use language change the way we think?

Language and literature are tools of expression that offer insight into the elements that make up a culture, the particular characteristics of a society or social group in terms of spirituality, intellect, emotion, and physical environment. 

The discipline of literature explores the interrelationships of literature with other types of cultural objects, such as film, digital media, and visual arts. Similar disciplines to literature are history, languages, and philosophy.

Applicants for PhD programs in Literature generally must have a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English literature or a related field. There are Universities and institutes that provide this PhD program for free or with scholarship or student loan options.

A Free PhD in Literature will deepen your mastery of period- and area-specific archives and develop your skills as a literary scholar. You will investigate the cultural categories of literature and media in both historical and contemporary contexts. 

What is a PhD in Literature ?

A PhD in Literature teaches students about written material. Some programs may explore certain types of literature in depth, such as plays or writings from a particular period or country. Literary theories may also be covered. Students pursuing their PhD in Literature can expect to study a variety of historical and contemporary texts from around the world.

The study of literature provides general knowledge in many fields of interest, enabling students’ analytical thinking and developing their ability to formulate sound arguments on any topic. Literature majors will become critical readers and writers and will gain academic skills to conduct original research in the field of literary studies.

Major topics in literature courses include: culture and literature, literary research topics, reading fiction, poetry, modern drama, classical literature, women’s literature. In addition to advanced knowledge of literary studies, students will expand their creativity and communication skills. 

Program, Subjects, and Content of the PhD in Literature

These are some of the subjects that may be included in the programmatic content of a PhD in Literature:

  • Medieval
  • Early Modern to 1780s
  • Romantic and Victorian Literature
  • Modernism
  • Contemporary literature
  • American Literature
  • Global literatures
  • Literature, science and medicine
  • Poetry and poetics
  • Creative Writing
  • Advanced literary criticism
  • Teaching Literature
  • Interpretation
  • Mythology in literature
  • Early literary forms

How Long Does the PhD in Literature Take ?

A PhD in Literature lasts 3 to 4 years full-time. Duration may vary depending on factors such as the country of origin, the institution or university offering the PhD program, the curriculum, mode of delivery of the program, schedules, whether it is taken part-time or full time, among others.

Where can I Work with a PhD in Literature ?

A large number of graduates of this program pursue careers in higher education or work on high-level research projects in the field of literature; some graduates pursue careers in freelance writing and editing. Graduates can find jobs in a variety of fields working as: editors, teachers, writers, book reviewers/journalists, historians and researchers.

Countries and Cities Where You Can Study a PhD in Literature for Free by Getting a Scholarship

  • United States
  • Spain
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Czech Republic
  • Cyprus
  • Switzerland
  • Canada

Institutes, Centers and Universities Where the PhD in Literature is Possibly Taught for Free, through Study Grants

PhD in Rhetoric, Composition and English Teaching

  • University of Arizona
  • Arizona, United States.

Doctor of Philosophy in Letters

  • The University of Texas at Dallas
  • Richardson, U.S.A.

PhD in Texts of Classical Antiquity and their Persistence.

  • University of Santiago de Compostela
  • Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Doctor of Philosophy in Arabic Literature and Criticism

  • UAEU University of the United Arab Emirates
  • Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.

PhD in Research Degrees in Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies.

  • SOAS University of London
  • London, United Kingdom.

PhD in Anglophone Literatures and Cultures

  • Charles University Faculty of Arts
  • Prague, Czech Republic.

PhD in English Literature and Comparative Cultural Studies

  • University of Cyprus
  • Nicosia, Cyprus.

PhD in English Languages and Literatures

  • University of Bern
  • Bern, Switzerland.

PhD in Languages, Literatures and Cultures

  • University of Calgary
  • Calgary, Canada.

PhD in Literature Price References

Prices for PhDs in Literature can vary. Prices range from $2,850 to $30,200 per year. In some cases it may cost more. The cost of this PhD will vary according to the country where it is given, the institution or university that gives the PhD, the modality, the duration and the materials provided during the study, among other factors.

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