Kent offers an excellent environment for postgraduate study in French literature, thought, culture, society and the visual arts from the 18th century to the present.
A PhD in French enables you to undertake a substantial piece of supervised research in the subject that makes an original contribution to knowledge and is worthy of publication.
Over the duration of the PhD, you produce an original piece of research of up to 100,000 words, in English or in French. Previous doctoral theses have included ‘Deleuze and Anti-Humanism: The Sense of Deleuze's Spinozism’, ‘Haptic Experience in the Writings of Georges Bataille, Maurice Blanchot and Michel Serres’, ‘Le Livre Fermé: The Fortune of Rousseau's Educational ideas in the Primary Schools of England and France during the 1960s’, ‘Photobiographies: pour une écriture de notation de la vie (Roland Barthes, Denis Roche, Annie Ernaux)’, and ‘De l'abject et du sublime: Georges Bataille, Jean Genet, Samuel Beckett’.
The Department of Modern Languages offers supervision from world-class academics with expertise in a wide range of disciplines, able to support and guide you through your research. Your progress is carefully monitored to ensure that you are on track to produce a thesis valued by the academic community. Throughout your programme, you are able to attend and contribute to research seminars, workshops, and research and transferable skills training courses.
The University of Kent is an ideal location to study French. Canterbury is the closest British university city to mainland Europe, and our proximity to the Channel ports and Ashford International station means you can be in Paris in just a couple of hours. PhD students may also benefit from an optional year in Paris at the École Normale Supérieure.
You may be eligible for a fully-funded PhD scholarship to support your studies with us. The PhD in French at Kent can be funded through the Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) scheme, or through the Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE) collaborative doctoral partnerships. Please indicate in your application if you want to be considered for any of these programmes, and explain your eligibility for the chosen scheme. For the full list of scholarships available within the School, please see our postgraduate scholarship page.
For the full list of ongoing and completed projects in the department, see our postgraduate research page.
Knowledge and understanding