The PhD programme in English Studies offers advanced training in research related to English language, literature and culture. Through a PhD thesis supervised by a specialist on the programme, the PhD candidate acquires a theoretical and methodological training for analysing a topic that will contribute to development and knowledge in the area. This program must be attended in person.

The programme prioritises different areas of research. In the area of linguistics, the acquisition and use of first and second languages, phonology and experimental phonetics, contrastive corpus linguistics, multilingualism and intercultural communication, and teaching and learning of English. In the areas of English literature and culture, analysis and representation of war in British and American literature, gender studies, culture studies, postcolonial studies and literatures of modernity in English (Renaissance, Romanticism, Modernism).

This PhD programme has international agreements for international co-supervision and working with the following institutions:

  • Fulbright Commission
  • University of Paris-Nanterre
  • Universityof Amsterdam
  • Universityof  ParisIV-Sorbonne
  • Universityof Toronto

It also received a Quality Award for the courses in 2004-2007 and 2008-2012.

Candidate profile

The PhD programme in English Studies is suitable for students with the following personal characteristics and intellectual aptitudes.

Intellectual interests

  • Intellectual curiosity about how language works and its literary uses, and the historical evolution of the English language and literature and their interaction in social and cultural contexts and in the modern world.
  • Willingness to acquire written and oral techniques to present research findings to an academic audience.

Skills and knowledge

  • Good command of spoken and written English.
  • Ability to analyse and synthesise information, data and scientific arguments.
  • Critical thinking skills to formulate new interpretative proposals based on existing ones.
  • Intellectual creativity ability to identify new research topics and innovative approaches to their development.

Professional opportunities

This PhD programme provides the following principal career options:

  • University teaching and research.
  • Text editing and processing, including translation and dictionary writing.
  • Language teaching: designing courses in English for Specific Purposes (ESP).
  • Using computer tools in language analysis and cultural studies.
  • Cultural management and intercultural relations (language mediation and translation programmes for immigrant communities, use of English as an international language, Anglo-American culture and Media).
  • Work in multinational companies with links to the Anglo-American world.

Objectives and justification

The objective of the PhD in English Studies in to prepare researcher for academic production who can contribute to the development of the most innovative perspectives in the current panorama of English Studies. More specifically, through the writing of a doctoral thesis supervised by a specialist in the department the programme prepares doctoral candidates with the professional capacity to:

  1. identify a topic of study and propose a method of analysis that will produce innovative results about it,
  2. disseminate the results obtained in the national and international academic fields, and
  3. critically evaluate the reception of the results by the academic community.

Training objectives in the area of language and linguistics:

  • Demonstrate a broad theoretical and applied preparation in the acquisition and use of English in a European multilinguistic and multicultural context.
  • Analyse bilingual and multilingual development from an interdisciplinary focus.
  • Design experiments and research projects related to language acquisition.
  • Understand and become involved in the processes of acquisition of English as a first and second language.
  • Learn CLIL (Content & Language Integrated Learning) methodology.
  • Manage interaction between language, identity, culture, education and trade.
  • Express and share knowledge with professionals from different areas: sociologists, teachers, language policy specialists, social agents for language mediation.

Training objectives in the area of literature and culture:

  • Provide advanced preparation for research related to the areas of literature and culture in English, which may be accessed on achievement of the Proficiency level of English or its TOEFL equivalent.
  • The Master’s degree also covers specialist training for any student or professional who is interested in finding out about the cultural areas of the English language in more depth than simple knowledge of the language can offer.


Melissa Greer Moyer


Department of English and German
Faculty of Philosophy and Arts
Phone 93 581 1567

Marta Cantero



This PhD programme has been awarded the Favorable Accreditation seal by the Catalan Quality Agency (AQU). To obtain this accreditation, the following items have been assessed: quality of the training programme, relevance of public information, teaching staff, learning support systems, quality of the results of the training programme and the SGIQ. You can consult more information in the 'Quality' section of this page.

Number of places available: 13
Fees: aprox. €540 per year View detail of the PhD's fees

Languages in which the thesis may be written:
Organising universities and institutions:
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Associated departments or institutes:
Department of English and German
Arts and Humanities

Need more information? Contact the programme manager filling in this form: *Required fields

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