We have an enviable national and international reputation for postgraduate teaching and research supervision in the areas of literature, language and creative writing. Our performance in the most recent Postgraduate Research Experience Survey was outstanding with 94 per cent of students stating their supervision expectations were either met or exceeded.
In the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008, 70 per cent of our research was classed as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. In recognition of our strong PhD completion rates, we have secured a significant number of studentships under the AHRC’s BGP scheme.
Our MA programmes and research degree supervision draws on established areas of staff expertise, including: American literature; creative writing; late-eighteenth century and Romantic period studies; film, television, and digital culture; modern and contemporary British writing; nineteenth-century literature; postcolonial studies; Renaissance and early modern literature and culture; linguistic theory; language acquisition; historical English linguistics and sociolinguistics.
Housed within a single building, we have a recently refurbished postgraduate computing suite, with attached common room. We also have specialist facilities including a digital media lab, audio-visual collections, and unique archives of dialectal English and children’s literature. We invest heavily in the research and career development of our postgraduates, providing funding to enable students to attend conferences and research archives. The Postgraduate Speaker Series provides regular opportunities to present working papers, while the Postgraduate Forum addresses key areas of professional development such as how to write a CV. We also host an annual postgraduate conference in Applied and Theoretical Linguistics as well as a Sociolinguistics Summer School.
There is a strong sense of community, and a vibrant, international social culture among our postgraduate students which is fostered by the PG Social Events Committee. Recent events have included pot luck dinners, pub quizzes, and a murder mystery evening.
As a subject area we have rich regional connections. Staff and students are involved in various local collaborations with agencies and institutions such as the Northumbrian Language Society, Seven Stories, Dove Cottage (The Wordsworth Trust), NCLA, Tyneside Cinema, and the Great North Museum. We also regularly attract internationally renowned writers and thinkers as guest speakers such as Seamus Heaney and Ian McEwan; David Crystal and Steven Pinker; actor Ralph Fiennes; and broadcaster Joan Bakewell.