Skip to main content Skip to navigation

PhD in Literary Translation Studies - Q2P6

**Applications for the PhD in Translation Studies have now closed. The PhD in Translation Studies will be replaced by the PhD in Literary Translation Studies from 2019-20. This webpage is in the process of being updated. Please contact Dr Chantal Wright with any questions in the interim.**

The Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick was ranked first in the country in the Research Excellence Framework 2014, and has expertise across a broad spectrum of specialisms, one of which is Translation Studies. Our focus within Translation Studies is primarily on literary and cultural translation: note that we do not offer supervision in Interpreting Studies or on topics related to technical translation. Please see our staff profile pages for more information, and the list of our current PhD and MPhil students to give you a sense of the projects being pursued in our department.

The Department's PhD in Translation Studies Admissions Tutor is Dr Chantal Wright and we strongly recommend that you contact her informally in the first instance with all queries relating to the PhD programme.

Applying to study for a PhD

The PhD is a demanding but intellectually and personally fulfilling degree. The final dissertation, which will be between 80,000 and 100,000 words, is expected to make an original contribution to knowledge and can be undertaken for a variety of reasons: as preliminary training for an academic career, an advanced degree that may contribute to a future career in other sectors, or simply as an exciting and rewarding pursuit in its own right.

A PhD in Translation Studies is largely a self-determined project, and a crucial part of the process is identifying, before you start, a viable research topic that you will complete within four years (full-time) or eight years (part-time).

Research proposal

Applicants should write a proposal of around 500 words outlining their area of study. This is an important part of your application and you should take the time to hone it carefully: your proposal should make specific reference to the themes, texts and/or authors that you will tackle, the theories or concepts that you will employ, and situate the project within the context of current critical work in Translation Studies. You might cite a few secondary works which have interested, inspired, or provoked you. This is not the place for a personal statement about your past career or future aspirations. We recognise, of course, that all projects change and evolve during the process of doctoral study, and that it's difficult to define a project in advance of carrying it out. For us to assess your application and identify possible supervisors, however, it is crucial for us to have a clear idea of the scope and subject of your project.

We recommend you take the time to look at the profiles of our staff who work in your research area in order to identify a potential supervisor or supervisors for your project. It can really help applicants to have corresponded with potential supervisors before submitting their formal application.

Successful applicants are assigned a supervisor and advisory mentor (who offers academic and pastoral support) from amongst the academic staff of the Department. On occasion it may be appropriate for a student to have two supervisors, sometimes with their second supervisor being in another department.


Students may be considered for the doctoral programme if they hold, or are currently studying for, an MA (or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline, with a final mark (or predicted final mark) of 65 or above. They should normally also have an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject. We recognise that students wishing to pursue a PhD in Translation Studies may have a background in any one of a number of academic disciplines including but not limited to English, Modern Languages, Classics and Translation Studies.

For those whose previous degrees were taken in a language other than English, the department requires a language test. We prefer IELTS (overall score of 7.5 and above), but also accept TOEFL (over 260 computer-based, or over 620 paper based). See our Graduate Admissions page for further details on language requirements. Essentially, students starting a PhD need a very high level of written language competence. If you are in any doubts about your language eligibility, please discuss this over email with the PhD in Translation Studies Admissions Tutor.

PhD students who have not studied Translation Studies at MA level may be required to take part in the ‘Translation Studies in Theory and Practice’ MA module. This will not be formally assessed but will ensure that you have acquired the necessary skills for further research.


You may apply for a place on the PhD programme from August 1, 2018.

To be considered for funding, you must apply by DATE TBC (11.59pm GMT). Supporting documentation (two references and all transcripts) must then be submitted to the online application system by DATE TBC. Results are generally communicated to applicants in mid-March.


The application consists of two parts: a formal application form and the supporting documents.

(1) The formal application

The application is completed and submitted via the University's postgraduate online application form. The form will ask you to include, amongst other things:

• Your personal and contact details

• Your academic qualifications

• Details of your referees; they will be contacted automatically once you submit your application

• Scholarships/prizes already awarded, and further academic details

• A research proposal of up to 4500 characters (not words), which will also count as your application for funding if you are nominated

You can also upload supporting documents (see below).

You will also be asked to upload your academic transcript(s) AFTER you have submitted your online form. The Graduate School will contact you by email and provide a link to a page where you should upload an electronic copy of your transcript.

If you require a printed copy of the postgraduate application form please e-mail, remembering to include your postal address, or telephone them on +44 (0) 24 7657 23648. Consult the University's Graduate Prospectus for guidelines on the application process and frequently asked questions. Please indicate on the application form if you have entered into any discussions with staff members of our department about possible research, or if there is someone who would particularly like to work with. This enables us to deal with your application more quickly.

(2) Supporting documents

You should be able to upload your supporting documents with your application, but if you encounter any technical difficulties please send them directly to the PhD in Translation Studies Admissions Tutor.

• A CV, listing all related academic achievements.

• A sample of your recent written work; this should be an essay or dissertation chapter, ideally from your MA work, but can be a strong piece from your BA.


Applications are evaluated by the PhD in Translation Studies Admissions Tutor and by at least one other staff member (usually the prospective supervisor). We occasionally try to interview students, including, for overseas applicants, interviews by telephone.

Admission is dependent upon: satisfactory academic qualifications, satisfactory English-language competence, the identification of a suitable and feasible research project, and an agreement to supervise the project by suitable staff member(s).

We normally expect to make a decision on applications within four weeks of receipt (although bear in mind that we often have to wait for reference letters to be uploaded before we can formally accept anyone). If we cannot offer you a place, the Graduate School will formally write to you, and we may also get in touch to explain why.


If we can offer you a place, we will notify you by email informally, and the Graduate School will write to you with a formal offer.

Conditions of offer may be attached, such as passing at 65 or above the MA which you are currently taking, or a satisfactory IELTS/TOEFL score. You’ll also be asked to indicate whether you intend to accept or decline the offer.

The Graduate School Office will provide you with information about accommodation and (if relevant) about the International Office. It is sensible to establish informal contact with your prospective supervisor via email or letter well ahead of arrival, and to arrange a date for a first meeting. Note that when you come to Warwick, you will be registered initially as an MPhil student. During the course of your studies, you will be formally upgraded to PhD registration after a monitoring procedure (see full details of this in the department’s MPhil/PhD Handbook, in the section Monitoring Progress).


There are a number of scholarships available for both Home/EU and international applicants, through a variety of University schemes:

CADRE Scholarships -- for home and EU candidates in the Arts (up to 17 available)

Chancellor's International Scholarships -- for non-EU candidates (up to 25 available)

Wolfson Scholarships -- for all candidates pursuing projects in History, Literature or Languages (3-4 available)

The Department will nominate outstanding applicants for these awards. Your application for admission also forms your application for these scholarships, so please take the time to hone your research proposal. You should indicate on your application which, if any, scholarships you wish to be considered for.

Please read the Application Guidance Notes to find out how to apply.

The deadline for receipt of your application if you wish to be put forward for these scholarships is DATE TBC (11.59pm GMT).

For other funding opportunities, please see the University's scholarship pages.


You do not have permission to access the remote content.