(Please Respond!) Ph.D (and funding) in English Literature with a pass/merit Master's

05-Sep-18, 14:37
edited about 12 seconds later
Avatar for AAAAA
posted about 9 months ago
Greetings! I'm interested to know if it's possible to get funding for a Ph.D in English Literature in universities around the UK (and some Scandinavian countries). I have a first-class honours degree. I've also been on the Dean's List and was awarded a medal. I then went for an MLitt from one of the best UK universities in English Literature, however, due to certain reasons, I didn't perform AS well as I had hoped. I'm afraid I might graduate with a Merit or a Passing grade.

I'm very much interested in a Ph.D and I've drafted a proposal as well which circles around the New Wave Science Fiction and Masculinity and while most Ph.Ds and some academics have said it's a very interesting topic, I'm worried that I won't be able to find funding. I'm an international student and tuition fees are ridiculous! Universities demand all your money, your first born and probably your soul as well.

I have very good recommendations as well, so I'm wondering if there's any chance of gaining funding. Any help, advice or suggestion would be wonderful.
05-Sep-18, 15:47
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 9 months ago
I don't have experience in humanities funding , so take what I say with a pinch of salt.

Funding is going to very very hard to find. I honestly would say you need to make yourself and your proposal stand out among the crowd of other applicants. You have great undergrad results but your masters results doesn't look good. So you need to make your CV and proposal sound absolutely amazing.

I take it you know were to look for funding. But there are loans you can get as well teaching contracts if you want to self fund. You have talked with supervisors about your proposal but are any of them willing to be your supervisor? Or do they have any advice on funding?

Also, how many buzzwords are in your proposal? There are so called "sexy" topics that people like to fund and if you can morph your work to cover those buzzwords it can help. It might be really interesting but the research councils have their own goals

Just my honest thoughts, hopefully someone more informed than me can also help.
05-Sep-18, 16:49
Avatar for AAAAA
posted about 9 months ago
Thank you so much for the reply. I really appreciate it. You see, I just finished my Master's last month, so I don't have my final grade yet, but judging by my essays in the past semester, I'm pretty sure it's either a passing grade, or barely a merit. I just feel extremely depressed and disheartened. I wrote my proposal during Christmas break and I was in contact with one of the professors at Lancaster University, who is an expert in Science Fiction and Masculinities. He quite liked my idea and was even willing to help me polish my proposal. This was only after my first semester of MLitt. I decided to take a few months off before I could properly start a Ph.D and in the meantime, I'm working on my application.

I understand what you mean by buzzwords and I'm trying to use those as much as I can. My proposal is on Masculinity and 'narcissism' within the New Wave Science Fiction. Ph.Ds and academics who have discussed this idea with me have been quite positive about it and they've given me positive feedback, however, I have yet to officially send it to potential supervisors. I'm just worried that they won't even bother with my proposal or my past achievements after my bad MLitt result.

Again, thank you so much for replying. I guess it's a bitter pill I must learn to swallow.


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