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Doctor of Philosophy in English Top Colleges, Admission, Syllabus, Books, Jobs and Scope 2023

A Ph.D. English qualification is conferred on research scholars after completing research, thesis and related coursework in the English language. Research scholars who proceed further for a Ph.D. English study various ways of analysing texts, and question literature to its depths. Students get training in a pedagogic manner.

Know More About English Courses

Colleges focus on emphasising in the dialogue nature of reading, learning and writing in the subject of English. A research scholar can expect an academic and intellectual adventure when wading through the course of PhD English.The PhD English courses are up to 5 years in duration. This depends on the university offering the course. During the duration of the course, the students would be learning different theories, and texts in the different forms, dialects and sects of English language.

The course confers a doctoral degree to the student after they complete the dissertation. Some universities offer credits for their work. Such credits need to be completed in each year, to be eligible to proceed further.

To be eligible for a Ph.D. English course, the student should have completed their Masters's degrees. M.A. in English or an M.Phil. is required to be completed before one can take admission to Ph.D. in English. They should gain at least 50% marks in their examinations. Some universities and colleges also open up job applications in research on English. Such positions are usually under the titles of Research Fellows. This could be yet another way to get started with a Ph.D. English course. Some universities have entrance examinations for Ph.D.

The following table provides information about the top universities that provide PhD English language. We also present information related to admission, fees and placements and entrance examination considered valid for the particular university. The fees for the PhD English course varies across the universities in India. University of Mumbai has a fee of INR 2,500 per year. Students have to pay INR 10,000 for submission of synopsis. Thus in total for a PhD English through University of Mumbai, the student incurs INR 20,000 to 30,000. While some other institutes and universities have fees up to 1,20,000 INR per course.

The scope of work towards Research and development in the English language immensely increments with a PhD English degree. Thus the future prospects of a PhD English is in the domain of improving the language and helping the society at large to reduce jargon and appreciate the complexities of the language. Majorly, the focus will be on careers in writing, communication skills and decoding the complexities of age old literature.

PHD English Career Options

Journalism and media is an ever growing sector and has a high demand of PhD English scholars. One can begin their career from the position of editorial assistant for big publishing houses. Advertising agencies, becoming an advertising agency copywriter or a Public relations officer are some of the best positions to start a career after completing PhD English course.

Another exciting career but which would take time to pick up in growing is to become an author of their own books. Publishing your own books on scholastic subjects is also a good career option.

The starting salaries for students completing PhD English average around INR 31,500 per month. The higher side of the salaries can go up to INR 55,000 per month, while the lowest could be around INR 25,000 per month.

The University Grants Commission has created an integrated program which leads to a PhD English. There is a common entrance test for M.Phil - PhD English integrated program. The student will have to secure 50% marks in the conducted examination. In this course, the M.Phil will be of a 6 month duration instead of 1 year. Eligible students will then continue into PhD, while the rest will continue with the M.Phil course and reappear for the entrance examination.

PhD English Course Highlights

The table below gives highlights about the PhD English course. Get to know eligibility, course fees, average salary and top recruiting companies for candidates completing PhD English courses.

Course Level Doctorate
Full-Form Doctor in Philosophy in English
Duration 3 to 5 years
Examination type Annual, Subjective
Eligibility M.A. in English or M.Phil. in English
Admission Process Based on direct interview of short-listed candidates.
Course Fee INR 2000 to 1.25 Lakh per year
Average Salary INR 4 to 8 lakhs
Top Recruiting Companies HCL, IBM, TATA Consultancy, Adobe, KPMG companies, HP, Lenovo, Indiatimes, Hindustan Times, Zee News, CNN, IBN7, Delhi University
Job Positions Editorial Assistant for big publishing houses, Advertising agency copywriter, Public relations Officer, Author

PhD English: What is it About?

  • The PhD English course is the top most qualification that can be gained in the domain of English language.
  • The PhD English course helps to get high level positions where English is used as a primary language. A candidate completing this course gets to work in editorial positions, authorship, copy editors and higher positions where creativity is involved.
  • Students who pursue other courses related to Movie Critics, Motion picture editing etc are able to get higher responsibility jobs in the industry.
  • Although the start of the career may be similar to students starting their career after Bachelors and Masters, the vertical growth in the career is faster.
  • Content editing, authorship, motion picture editing and working as senior editors and head of department in English are some of the roles that are prominent after a PhD English course.

Why Study PhD English?

  • PhD English is the top most qualification in English language. The course is designed in such a way that it creates a universal standard in English studies
  • The course covers historical usage of English, analysis of current English knowledge relevant in the current social and economic objectives of the country.
  • The course brings in pedagogical roles like Educator, Content manager, Technical writers, literary and motion picture critics.
  • At the same time PhD English courses create a remarkable approach towards scholastic learning.
  • Students who enrol in this course have to register for thesis work. There is a lot of research and development in the usage of English and references to old works in English prose and poetry.

PhD English Admission Process

The basic eligibility criteria for gaining admission for PhD English courses is completion of the Masters level course. It could be M.A. in Arts or M.Phil. Students appearing for the final examinations can also apply for the entrance examination. Such students should prepare for the entrance examinations like GATE, CSIR-NET or the State Level Eligibility tests (SLETs).

It is important to remember that examination scores from these examinations are a mandatory requirement for admissions.

Also to remember is SLET scores are relevant only for the state. But examination scores of GATE and CSIR-NET are valid throughout all Indian universities. GATE score is accepted only by some Indian universities, while CSIR-NET score is accepted by all Indian universities.

The admission process for the PhD English course in India is usually straightforward.

Steps to apply for the course:

  • Complete Masters in Arts in English language or M.Phil.
  • Appear for entrance examination for the PhD entrance examination if required by the university and college.
  • Qualify for the All India National Eligibility Test for Lectureship, if required by the concerned university and college.
  • Fill up the admission forms raised by the respective university.
  • Attach relevant documents, mark sheets and certificates.
  • Fill up reservation quota details if any.
  • Appear for admission rounds as per instructions given out by the university.

PhD English: Eligibility

  • The candidate should have completed 10+2+3+2 of continuous study.
  • For taking admission in the PhD English program, the minimum eligibility is to have a Masters qualification in English language.
  • A Masters qualification can either be Masters of Arts in English language (M.A. English) or a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.).
  • Students who have completed the courses or are in their final year examinations are eligible to apply for the PhD English admission process.
  • Some universities may want a practical or work experience of a few years before one can apply for admission to the PhD courses.

PhD English Entrance Examinations

A meritorious student can get admission to PhD English in a number of ways.Apart from the above entrance exams, university level examinations are also conducted by respective universities. Some universities conduct admissions on the basis of merit.

Important dates of Entrance Exams

Examinations Registration Peiod Date of Examination
CSIR UGC NET (June Session)    2nd week of March – 2nd week of April 2023 3rd week of June 2023
UGC NET (July Session)     December 29, 2022 – January 23, 2023 February 21, 2023 – March 10, 2023
ICAR AICE JRF/SRF  To be Announced To be Announced

How to Prepare for PhD English Entrance Exams?

  • The entrance tests for PhD English courses are generally in Multiple Choice Questions - MCQ - pattern. The CSIR – NET has 120 questions in 3 sections. The total marks that can be gained from the exam is 200. It has negative marking as well. The exam is conducted in English and Hindi languages.
  • The MCQ questions are based on various subjects relevant to the stream. The exams have negative marking in them and thus a good score can be gained only after correctly answering the questions.
  • Points to remember while attempting the examinations: The questions being asked in the examinations are not straight forward. They can be tricky. Thus it is very important to read the question twice or thrice before answering the question. It is very important to stay updated on the knowledge of the subject. There are a good number of questions which are based on the current updated knowledge and information.
  • Confirm the dates of the examinations and related concerns. Admit cards, admission rounds, entrance exam date and time of reporting are important to take note.
  • And most importantly, stay calm on the day of the exam. Stay grounded and do not get anxious about the exam.
Entrance Exams

How to get admission to a top Phd English college?

Admissions in India for Top PhD English colleges is a straightforward process.

  • Maintain a good performance record while pursuing M.A English or M.Phil. courses.
  • Appear for examinations like GATE, NET and university specific examinations.
  • Keep knowledge related to general subjects, English prose and poetry.
  • Keep a watch on the previous year cut off marks in the entrance examinations.
  • Through the last year of your masters course, dedicate a whole year for the preparation of exams for PhD English.
  • Try to give mock tests, papers available online or in your college library.
  • Short list the colleges you would want to take admission into. Keep in mind, not all states have top colleges in PhD English. Thus, be prepared to relocate.
  • Keep in mind your future goal. A PhD English from different colleges will give varied scope after completion of PhD.
  • Since you would be spending up to 5 years in PhD English, keep a watch on side courses that can be done along, to help boost your career options.

PhD English Top Colleges

The table below gives a list of top colleges in India, where one can take admission for PhD English. Find details related to fees, admission process, accreditation and location for these colleges:

Institutes Location Accreditation Annual Fees
Loyola College Chennai NAAC INR 6,000
Christ University College Bangalore NAAC, UGC INR 35,000
Chandigarh University College Chandigarh AICTE, AIU, NAAC, UGC INR 85,000
Presidency College Chennai AICTE, NAAC INR 5,000
NIMS University College Jaipur AICTE, AIU, BCI, PCI, UGC INR 1,41,000
Banasthali Vidyapith Jaipur NAAC, UGC INR 1,44,500
Presidency University College Kolkata NAAC, UGC INR 14,500
Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) Bhubaneshwar AICTE, BCI,DCI, INC, MCI INR 75,000
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur UGC INR 64,050
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bhuvaneshwar AICTE INR 31,568

PhD English College Comparison

The table below gives a comparison between the Loyola College and Presidency College of Chennai. Both of them provide PhD English courses.

Find out the difference between them in key areas.

Parameters Loyola College Presidency College
Overview Loyola college was established in 1925 and has been granted autonomous status since 1978. This college provides UG, PG and Doctoral courses in Arts, Sciences and Commerce. Presidency college was established in 1840. It provides UG, PG and doctoral courses in Arts, Science and Commerce.
NIRF Ranking 06 05
Location Chennai Chennai
Average Fees INR 6,000 per year INR 5,000 per year
Average Salary Package INR 3,50,000 INR 4,00,000
Top Recruiting Companies Amazon, GenMedic, IBS, Stratagem Solutions TCS, Infosys, Adobe

PHD English College Comparison: Annual Fees & Salary

Source: College Websites

PhD English Syllabus

A PhD English course is about deep introspection and societal awareness. While the names of the subjects could change from university to university, PhD students learn through the following domains.

The table below gives a detailed syllabus of the PhD English course. The syllabus is a comprehensive presentation. Individual universities may add some more sections as may be applicable.

Paper I: Research Methodology (Theory)
Research: Nature and functions Types of literary research
Error, evidence and truth Textual study and the search for authoritative text
Problems of Authorship Search for Origins
Literature review: necessity, methods and utilization Research Design
Selecting and limiting the topic Making Notes
Development of goals and theory (Meaning – Importance – Types –Sources – Characteristics –Forms – Difficulties in Formulation-Testing). Data collection: process, sources, types and tools
Data: classification, tabulation, presentation and analysis Offering suggestions and recommendations
How to write a dissertation/ thesis? What is a research paper? How to write a research paper?
Documentation Skills Abbreviations from MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (sixth edition).
A scholar and a critic: Vocations
Practical Work
Preparing a Research Proposal in first term. Preparing at least two Research Papers one in each term.
Learn to use libraries and online sources for research. Students will visit British library, INFLIBNET and at least two university libraries and prepare a project.
Paper II: English Language and Literature (Theory)
Part A Language ELT: an introduction (History, Place, Position, Problems, Prospects and Future)
Language acquisition and language learning Listening
Speaking Reading
Writing Communicative Language Teaching
Computer aided language learning English for academic purposes
English for specific purposes Business English Communication: Business letter, Report Writing, E Communication
Basic concepts of Language Testing and assessment Teaching Literature
Paper III Translation: Theory
Part A Theory of Translation Translation: An Introduction.
Nature, meaning and its function. Principles of correspondence
Theories of Translation Art of translation
Sorts, process, issues and impediments of interpretation Time: tense, mood and aspect
Concepts and notions Idiom: from one culture to another
Transference, free rendering and transcreation Translation and transliteration
Machine Translation Translating literary, religious and scientific texts
Indian Literature in English Translation Translation Theory: An Indian Perspective
Part B: Books in Translation: Patel, Pannalal: Endurance: A Droll Saga (Manvi Ni Bhavai) trans. Prof. V. Y. Kantak, Sahitya Akademi Publications.
Tagore, Rabindranath: Gitanjali, trans. William Radich, Penguin. Beckett, Samuel: Waiting for Godot, Faber and Faber.
Gandhi, M.K.:My Experiments with Truth (Satya na Prayogo) trans. Mahadevbhai Desai, Navjivan Press.
Practical Work
Interpretation of least 30 pages from English to L1 or the other way around. Students will learn to use computers in translation.
Translation of at least two oral discourses from English into L1 and vice versa. Audio CD and recording will be used for the same.
Paper IV: Dissertation
The research scholar will be required to write a dissertation on a topic to be selected in consultation with the faculty. The research scholar can opt for translating a book containing not less than 100 pages from L1 into English or vice versa in consultation with the faculty. The researcher will describe, prepare and talk about issues, issues, arrangements, and so forth confronted amid deciphering the work in forward.
Ghosh, Amitav: The Shadow Lines, Mariner Books, 2005 Literature Without Borders
Bhagat, Chetan: One Night at the Call Center, Rupa, 2005. Shakespeare, William: Hamlet, Penguin.
Practical Work
Computer orientation Use of Language Learning Software to improve LSRW.
Computer aided language learning and teaching.

The first year starts with Research Methodology which is a theoretical approach to the subject. Further, the student gets to prepare their research proposal for their PhD. They would also focus on elective subjects at 500 level and participate in pedagogy based seminars.

In the further years, there is a focus on advanced theories. Students are expected to take up independent studies while logistically assisting their professors with UG courses.

PhD English Recommended Books

The following is the list of Indian Authors in English literature:

Name of the book Author
Malgudi Days R.K Narayan
Untouchable Mulk Raj Anand
Train to Pakistan Khushwant Singh
The Room on the Roof Ruskin Bond

The following is the list of international Authors in English literature:

Name of the book Author
The Tragical Historie of Hamlet William Shakespeare
Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
Songs of Innocence and of Experience William Blake
David Copperfield Charles Dickens

PhD English Course Comparison

  • PhD English vs PhD English Literature

PhD English literature is a niche course and is offered only by a few universities and colleges in India. PhD English is available at most of the universities.

Below table gives a comparison between both the courses.

Parameters PhD English PhD English Literature
Full form Doctor in Philosophy in English Doctor in Philosophy in English Literature
Domain English language all applications like literature, filmography, broadcast media English Literature only
Degree Type Doctorate Doctorate
Admission Process Based on entrance examinations and direct interviews Direct interview of shortlisted candidates
Course Fee INR 2,000 to 5 lakhs INR 12,000 to 1,25,000
Average starting salary INR 4 to 8 lakhs per annum INR 5 to 8 lakhs per annum
Top recruiting companies HCL, IBM, TATA Consultancy, Adobe, KPMG companies, HP, Lenovo, Indiatimes, Hindustan Times, Zee News, CNN, IBN7, Delhi University Adobe, Penguin Random House, Hachette India, Balaji Motion Pictures, Reliance Big Entertainment

PHD English Course Comparison: Average Fees & Salary Package

Source: College Websites

PhD English Job Prospects and Career Options

The jobs available after completion of PhD English are related to teaching institutions and creative sectors.

Being the first most places of learning English, schools, colleges are the first areas of importance where PhD English qualified scholars can apply for jobs. They can start with Teacher Assistants and progress to become Head of Departments.

Those PhD holders who have certification in Cinematography or broadcast media can work in the creativity sector as Critics. Critics are like moderators of content.

Critics can also be in publisher houses who would check and moderate books before getting finally published.

PhD English Job Profiles

Following table gives the types of Job profiles that can be gained by research scholars completing PhD English. It is important to remember at this juncture, that a PhD pass out would start at a nominal level or even at entry levels. It is only after a few years of work experience that the candidate becomes eligible for higher positions. But this is usually at a faster rate as compared to Graduates and Post graduates with Masters qualifications.

Given below is a table which shows few of the job profiles after completion of PhD English.

Job Profile Job Description Average Annual Salary
Head of Department English The Head of Department for English department takes care of the teachers in the department. They look after the teachers in the department and improve the teaching standards for the students. INR 12,94,509
Movie Critic A critic assesses the quality of a motion picture. These could be in films, print and broadcast media. INR 4,65,378
Content Writer This job role is popular among content based websites. The need for experts in this domain is rising and growing popular. INR 5,00,849
Copy Editor This job role is popular in publishing houses. The appointee has to proofread and make write ups error free. INR 6,19,322
Technical Writer Technical writer creates and drafts correspondences for programming, scientific and literary domains. INR 8,12,993

The following graph gives an idea about the salaries of various job profiles and the average annual salaries offered for the same.

PHD English Salary Trends

Source: Salary Expert

A PhD doctor possesses exceptional analytical and observation skills. Such skills are absolutely required towards the growth of the language, improving the usage by the locales. It also helps to create people who would focus on improving the social produce of a community.

Some of the private companies that engage PhD English scholars are:

  • HCL
  • TATA Consultancy
  • Indiatimes
  • Zee News
  • Eros Entertainment

Even the government sector looks for scholars of high qualifications.

They are required by government companies like:

  • Doordarshan
  • Press Information Bureau
  • Bureau of Outreach & Communication
  • Publications Division
  • Office of the Registrar of Newspapers for India
  • Central Board of Film Certification
  • Films Division
  • Directorate of Film Festivals
  • Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC)

PhD English Future Scope

The future of PhD English is very bright. Although being a Hindi dominant country, English is used in almost every possible sector and domain. Working as critics, writing books, critic for novels and motion pictures are the current career aspects in India.

Technical writers and certified translators are the need of today in every sector of industry.


Ques. What is the scope of PhD English?

Ans. There is a wide scope of opportunities after completing PhD English. Career options in the field of literature writing, teaching, authorship and public relations officers open up to connect with people.

Ques. Would it be worth doing a PhD English?

Ans. If the meaning of worth is the qualification, then definitely a PhD has the highest worth of study in the language of English. If the worth being searched for is in the career options, then the meaning could differ. A research scholar starts as an assistant for an editor or may start as an information officer. Now even graduate students would get these positions and the salaries may not be hugely different than that of a graduate student.

But if a PhD scholar grows in their career, accepts various challenges, then further growth and benefit of PhD is visible.

Ques. Are there international opportunities for candidates with PhD English?

Ans. Candidates with PhD English would have a lot of scope. Although everyone learns English language, there are only a few works which are done in English language. But English speaking countries would present a lot of opportunities for PhD English language scholars. When we say international opportunities, these mean going abroad to work for a foreign company, or may also mean to work from within India for the international company.

Ques. Can I get admission to Ph.D. after completing B.A.?

Ans. In India, PhD can be pursued only after completing Masters in a relevant subject. Thus a Masters degree is necessary with a focus on English literature.

Ques. Is there a Dual degree option available?

Ans. The University Grants commission has created an integrated course with M.Phil-PhD In this course the M.Phil. is shortened for 6 months duration. The student needs to give an entrance examination after 6 months in the course. Those who gain 55% in the examination will be able to move forward into PhD while the rest will continue with M.Phil.

Ques. What is better for a career; B.A., M.A., M.Phil or PhD English?

Ans. India is a multilingual country with Hindi being the national language. An education in languages is considered to be the utmost important. A graduate student with a B.A. qualification can get jobs in various functional levels. They can take up positions in public relations or even teaching in primary schools. Doing M.A. or M.Phil. opens up opportunities in the secondary and professional course levels in career. When a student goes for PhD there are various opportunities which open up in research, development and growth of the language. Thus a PhD would not necessarily help in government jobs. The salary levels of Masters and PhD holders are almost comparable. But if the PhD scholar aims for a career in English speaking countries, then it would definitely be meritorious.

Ques. What research topics are relevant for PhD English?

Ans. Some of the research topics that can be sought for are:

  1. Origins of English language
  2. Early Modern English - Influence of Industrial Revolution
  3. Challenges of learning English as a second language
  4. The prominent contributors and writers in English Literature
  5. The political, economical and sociological effects of English literature in our day to day life.

Ques. How is life after completing PhD English?

Ans. A PhD scholar gets a qualification of Doctor in Philosophy. A PhD scholar is considered as the top most expert in the English language. Jobs in India are available with publisher houses, colleges. Jobs outside India have a brighter scope. A PhD is the top most education qualification being conferred on to successful students.

Ques. What is the registration process for PhD courses at various universities?

Ans. While each university has their own rules for giving admissions, they are governed by the UGC. UGC has laid out requirements for Masters qualification and an entrance test to be conducted. Some universities also consider the score of NET to take admissions in PhD in English. The course has a specified layout of curriculum for 3 to 5 years duration. This includes the academic part, research and development of the Thesis part and teaching part.

Ques. What is a Critics job in the production domain?

Ans. A Critic is a person responsible to assess and rate motion pictures. Critics are required for print and broadcast media. PhD English when covering film studies, news coverage and cinematography with a 4 year certification are able to work in specific roles with a high salary pay scale.

Ph.D. (English) Fee Structure in India

1.58 K (Minimum Fee)PUBLIC COLLEGES3.46 L  (Maximum Fee)
60.90 K (Average Fee)
7.20 K (Minimum Fee)Private COLLEGES10 L (Maximum Fee)
2.30 L (Average Fee)

Ph.D. (English) Fee Structure By state

Tamil Nadu

38.91 K
7.20 KPrivate COLLEGES2.31 L
84.11 K

Uttar Pradesh

56.21 K
20 KPrivate COLLEGES4.90 L
2.33 L

Delhi NCR

86.46 K
20 KPrivate COLLEGES4.90 L
3.05 L


58.39 K
1.36 LPrivate COLLEGES7.20 L
2.70 L


56.72 K
31.62 KPrivate COLLEGES4.50 L
1.46 L


31.19 K
1 LPrivate COLLEGES4.53 L
3.20 L


1.26 L
54 KPrivate COLLEGES3.21 L
2 L

Madhya Pradesh

1.37 L
57 KPrivate COLLEGES8.40 L
2.19 L


75.11 K
95 KPrivate COLLEGES3.27 L
2.01 L

West Bengal

57.02 K
1.32 LPrivate COLLEGES4.90 L
2.90 L


31.06 K
90 KPrivate COLLEGES90 K
90 K


33.80 K
65.50 KPrivate COLLEGES3.60 L
2.18 L


24.05 K
1.20 LPrivate COLLEGES2.10 L
1.88 L


77.16 K
1.92 LPrivate COLLEGES7.50 L
4.31 L
56.39 K
2.85 LPrivate COLLEGES3.29 L
3.03 L


62.81 K
55.50 KPrivate COLLEGES3.61 L
2.47 L


75.03 K
2 LPrivate COLLEGES2 L
2 L
42.85 K
10.50 KPrivate COLLEGES10.50 K
10.50 K

Himachal Pradesh

18.75 K
1.99 LPrivate COLLEGES1.99 L
1.99 L


4.60 K
3.60 LPrivate COLLEGES3.60 L
3.60 L


27.24 K
3 LPrivate COLLEGES10 L
4.80 L


81.60 K
1.05 LPrivate COLLEGES1.05 L
1.05 L


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