MPhil/PhD Interdisciplinary Studies

Duration MPhil: Full time 2-3 years; Part time 4-5 years
PhD: Full time 3-4 years; Part time 6-7 years
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September, January or April


Why study for a Humanities PhD

Hear from staff and postgraduate research students as they explain what makes Exeter a unique place to study at a postgraduate level. View full size.

Our wide range of expertise offers postgraduates the possibility of preparing for research degrees in one or more areas. We attach particular importance to the quality of research supervision and training in research methodology and to the integration of our postgraduates into the Department’s academic and research community. Scholars of international repute are frequent visitors. Postgraduates enjoy their own regular research seminars: one focusing on film studies and the other on comparative and multidisciplinary studies.

Our research is often interdisciplinary, therefore we recommend you also visit the research degree pages of related subjects.

Research areas

A summary of our main areas of research focus is provided here. The Modern Languages research webpages provide more comprehensive details about current research projects. Details on individual staff research interests and publications can be found on the Modern Languages staff profiles pages.

Comparative literature, thought and culture

Research opportunities in this area are designed for those who wish to develop their skills in the analysis of texts and concepts as a basic tool for understanding epistemological problems in ancient and modern societies, to evaluate the evolution of texts and to investigate issues surrounding the construction of knowledge within specific cultural contexts.

You will be expected to have a foundation at MA level in analysing complex issues from a variety of points of view, although further training in philosophy and critical methodologies is provided. The focus of your field of study can be tailor-made to suit your interests and requirements. You will have access to the considerable resources of the University Library and the special collections in the Bill Douglas Centre for the History of Cinema and Popular Culture and the Exeter Cathedral Library.

Film studies

Staff from Modern Languages with expertise in European and world cinema are also involved in teaching and research in Film Studies. For detailed information, please see the Film Studies section.

Philosophy of culture

Opportunities are available for students wishing to research the relationship of culture and science as well as to gain a broader understanding of the issues involved in the construction of knowledge in scientific and non-scientific fields.

You will be expected to have a foundation in philosophical and scientific thought from which you can approach complex topics in cultural analysis and its relation to science. Specialist research training in historical and scientific methodologies is provided.

Exeter is already an established centre for the study of the history of medicine. Students can use not only the resources of the University Library but also the extensive collection of scientific writings in the Exeter Cathedral Library, as well as the network of historical archival resources in the South West.

Translation studies

Contact Richard Mansell, Lecturer in Translation, for information on research in Translation.


We provide access to excellent computing facilities and training is provided in a broad range of academic and general professional skills, such as compiling a CV, interview skills and time management.

Following the recent refurbishment of the Queen’s Building, you will benefit from a dedicated postgraduate IT suite and lounge, as well as a postgraduate and staff common room. There is also a study room containing a number of private study carrels for research students.


We are committed to ensuring you receive high quality research supervision to maximise your potential and prepare you for a rewarding career.

Postgraduate students have access to the wide range of support offered by our Career Zone. In addition, postgraduate research students can access our Postgraduate Researchers' Programme, which covers a range of topics to help you to succeed during your research degree and to act as a springboard for your research career.

Graduate destinations

Below are some examples of initial jobs undertaken by Modern Languages postgraduates who studied with us in 2011/12.

Please note that due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.

Job titleOrganisation
Analyst Aktuel Translations
Departmental Portfolio Manager  Co-operative Group
English and French Tutor DSTL
Modern Foreign Languages Supply Teacher MBE Training and Translation
Paralegal Assistant  Middlesex University
Project Manager and Translator Swansea University
Project Officer University of Exeter
Sustainability Projects Officer Walber International
Translation Internship
Translator/English Trainer  
Visiting Lecturer  

Entry requirements 2018

Students applying to enter directly into the MPhil/PhD programme would normally be expected to have a Masters degree with Merit or equivalent in Modern Languages (in particular French, German, Italian, Russian or Spanish) or Translation studies, or other relevant qualifications such as a doctorate in another subject.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 7.0 with a minimum score of 6.5 in the writing component and all other sections no less than 6.0.


Overall score 100 with minimum scores of 25 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

65 with no less than 58 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Finance: fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2018/19

  • UK/EU: £4,400 full-time; £2,200 part-time
  • International: £16,400 full-time

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

Scholarships and other funding

Find out about funding opportunities available to students on our research degrees in Modern Languages.

Current available funding

Contact us

College of Humanities
Postgraduate Administrator
Phone: +44 (0)1392 725306
Web: Enquire online