PhD Programme in English

The graduate programme in English is a four-year full-time programme. It comprises one component of course modules (90 academic credits) and one component made up of the dissertation (academic credits), totaling a number of 240 academic credits. It is also possible to study towards a licentiate, in all 120 academic credits, with one course and one dissertation component of 60 academic credits each. The programme is divided into three sections, one specializing in English Linguistics, one specializing in English Literature, and one specializing in American Literature.


Announcements concerning admission to the graduate programme will be published on the university main employment pages. Please note that applications are not accepted outside the advertised application period. See below for how to apply when a position is available. You can read more about graduate education at Uppsala University online.

Applicants are admitted to the graduate programme in English by the Head of the Department under delegation from the Faculty Board and upon the recommendation of the Graduate Program Board at the department. The Faculty Board can only admit applicants to the graduate programme for whom financing has been arranged for the whole period of study, normally either in the form of employment as a graduate student or by means of a graduate grant.

How to apply

The application should be in English. The documents submitted should include the following:

  1. a completed application form for doctoral studies
  2. A short personal letter of introduction (1-2 pages) indicating your research interests, career plans, why you are interested in studying in our department and other relevant personal information.
  3. a curriculum vitae (CV)
  4. Official transcripts of diplomas and academic records (scanned, electronic versions) which verify that the applicant has met both the general and special eligibility requirements to be admitted as a doctoral student at the Faculty of Languages.
  5. examples of previous written academic work in a relevant subject. These should be degree papers from D levels (if from a Swedish university), one-year master's theses or theses from a relevant two-year master’s degree.
  6. a three-to-five page research proposal identifying a likely topic for the doctoral research. This plan is an important part of the application. It should be a description of the project the applicant intends to carry out as a doctoral student and should indicate whether you propose to specialise in English Literature, American Literature or English Linguistics. Research plans typically include the following:
    • the purpose of study and a preliminary title
    • problems and research questions to be addressed
    • methodology and theory
    • materials and/ or data to be studied
    • references (i.e., primary and secondary sources referred to in the proposal).

Structure of the programme

The course modules (see Curriculum for the Graduate Programme), sometimes given in the form of seminars but sometimes also in the form of reading courses where students work individually, though supported by the supervisor, aim not only to provide deepened insights and a wide orientation in the subject area but also to train students in applying research methodologies.


To be eligible for admission to the graduate programme, you must fulfill both requirements for general eligibility and the special requirements that may have been stipulated by the Faculty Board. You must also be considered of such general ability as to profit from the programme.

General eligibility

To be generally eligible for the programme you should have completed a degree at advanced level, completed courses of at least 240 academic credits, at least 60 of which at master's level either in English linguistics, English literature or American literature, or have acquired the equivalent competence in some other form in Sweden or abroad. The specialization at the master's level must accord with the specialization of the degree programme.

Special eligibility

Applicants must fulfill the requirement for a one-year master's degree (magisterexamen) in English.


When a graduate student has been accepted into the programme, a main supervisor is appointed, and together they set up an individual study plan that the student should adhere to for the duration of his or her studies. An assistant supervisor is appointed by the Head of the Department.

Dissertation and defense

The subject of the dissertation is decided in consultation with the supervisors. The dissertation manuscript must be presented at one or more work-in-progress seminars or undergo a similar process of examination as arranged by the department.

The doctoral dissertation is to be either in the form of a uniform, coherent scholarly work (monograph thesis) or in the form of scholarly articles (cumulative thesis).

The dissertation must be defended in English at a public disputation ceremony.