Maseno University

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The Department of Literary Studies offers a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degree Programme in Literature with any one or a combination of the following five broad areas of literary study: History of Genres; Theory and Literary Study; Literature and Theatre; Literature and Film; and Comparative Literature. The PhD Programme in Literature achieves its objectives in a multidisciplinary context in which relevant aspects of disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences are called into play. A comparative approach to the study, inevitably, assumes that Literature is a representation of a fluid area of knowledge that encompasses history, sociology, philosophy, psychology, and culture, among others.


The Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Literature is intended to enable the student:

a) Acquire in-depth knowledge in an area (or areas) of specialization in Literature;

b) Acquire knowledge of areas of Literature outside areas of specialization in order to develop a multidisciplinary perspective, and holistic interdisciplinary approach to issues and ideas;

c) Undertake independent research and present results in a coherent and comprehensive manner and thus enrich area(s) of scholarship;

d) Undertake teaching, research and offer administrative and consultancy services to organizations;

e) Apply research and expertise in solving or suggesting solutions to social problems.


To qualify for admission into the doctoral programme an applicant shall be:

a) A Holder of a Masters degree in Literature of Maseno University, or of any other recognised university; or

b) A Holder of other qualifications considered by Senate as equivalent to a Masters degree in the relevant field.


The duration of the PhD programme shall normally be a minimum of three (3) years and a maximum of five (5) years for a full time student. A part-time student may be registered for a minimum of four (4) years and a maximum of seven (7) years.

Continuance of registration will depend on evidence of satisfactory progress reports.


Research and Supervision

a) A candidate registered for the PhD programme shall be required to pursue research under the guidance of a supervisor.

b) Senate shall normally appoint two supervisors for a candidate according to the University Examination Rules and Regulations for Post-Graduate Studies.


The University Examination Rules and Regulations shall apply.


The doctoral programme shall normally consist of thesis research only. However, level 8 (Masters level) course auditing shall normally be undertaken in areas of student deficiency. All audited course work shall normally be done within the first three semesters for both full time and part-time students.