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ABOUT THE PROGRAMME

1.0         Name of Programme: PhD ENGLISH

1.1        Programme Code: 2505

1.2    Description of Programme

The Department of Languages, National Open University of Nigeria, seeks the Senate approval to start a PhD in English programme. The programme will expose the student to the principles underlying the study of English language and literature in English. It will also prepare the student for research and specialisation in English linguistics and literary studies.

2.0 Justification

A PhD degree in English programme will train the student in the art and skill of research, academic and creative writing, and the ability to confidently make oral presentations of one’s research work. The student has an added advantage over other job seekers; s/he becomes more grounded in the discipline, and has ease of access to change careers. Furthermore, the PhD thesis will contribute to the University’s knowledge base and provide a platform for the development of new areas of research interests. Importantly also, successful degree holders of this programme will serve as a veritable source of manpower, a pool of academics, that the University can rely on, for both its short-term and long-term academic need. The programme will enhance the research, writing and communication skills of the student. It will also facilitate the student’s knowledge base and skills in project management, critical thinking and problem solving. With a PhD in English, personal and career development is achieved.

2.1 Programme Philosophy, Vision, Mission and Objectives

3.0 Philosophy

The PhD English programme seeks to enhance access to all who yearn to be skilled in linguistic and critical analysis, creative writing, literary research, textual analysis, public speaking, etc., irrespective of location, number, age and time, through the distance learning mode. These skills would help them adapt to the various economic, social and political challenges of the contemporary world.

3.1 Vision

To provide highly accessible and enhanced quality education leading to the award of a PhD English anchored by social justice, equity, equality and national cohesion through a comprehensive reach that transcends all barriers.

 

3.2 Mission

To provide opportunities for the development of language competences, analytical, creative minds from a humanistic perspective that would equip learners with lifelong values in a rapidly globalising world.

 

3.3 Aims and Objectives of Programme:

The PhD in English programme aims to expose and deepen students’ knowledge of the English language and of various literatures of the world. Students will also acquire abilities in critical thinking, textual analysis, and communication skills in reading, speaking and writing. At the completion of the PhD English programme, the student should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a proficiency in English language and literature in English, as well as versed in current linguistic and literary theories;
  2. Apply these theories to practical aspects of the discipline;
  3. Display the ability for  advanced writing and speaking skills in English for various academic and other purposes;
  4. Readily use the skills acquired in public and private service in Nigeria;
  5. Conduct further research through academic fellowships and institutional research.

  4.0     Admission Requirements

  4.1      General Requirements

Candidates shall fulfill the general requirements of the University to be admitted into the PhD English programme, including:

  1. At least five (5) credit passes in WASC, NECO and GCE Ordinary Level or their equivalents, including English Language and Literature in English
  2. Candidates with a pass degree or diploma are not qualified for admission into the PhD programme of the University.

 4.2      Transcripts

Candidates are required to request their former institutions to forward their academic records/transcripts to the Dean, Postgraduate School, to reach him/her on time to facilitate consideration of their application. Applications of candidates will not be considered unless their transcripts are available.  Candidates who are graduates of NOUN need not fulfill this condition.

5.0      Programme Requirements

4.1.1 Admission into the PhD English programme shall be based on the acquisition of a minimum of 60% aggregate score at the MA English level.

4.1.2 Candidates with a lower aggregate score shall be required to take some Masters courses to make up for the deficiency before such candidates can proceed fully into the PhD English Programme.

4.1.3 Non-English biased Master’s Degree holders shall also be required to take some core courses in the specified areas of interest as well as ENG811 (Advanced Research Methods).

4.1.4 Non-NOUN MA degree holders shall be required, in addition to 4.3.3 above, to take GST807 (The Good Study Guide)

 

6.0                 Programme Structure and Degree Rules

6.1                 Duration of Programme

The PhD English programme shall run for a minimum of 6 semesters or 36 months and a maximum of 12 semesters or 72 months. The seminar presentation could be in any area of the candidate’s choice within the field of specialisation. It is, however, advisable for the candidate to present seminars relevant to the area of research interest, to give room for useful academic contribution by the departmental staff and other specialists who may be part of the seminar presentation from time to time. The two seminars will be presented within the stipulated period of the study, especially as a preparation ground for the actual thesis writing. It is thus proposed that a minimum of one seminar be presented per semester.

6.2                  Degree Rules

  1. The PhD English programme shall essentially be by research and course work through reading lists, seminar presentations and oral defence.
  2. The course work shall be in the form of a reading list per each course given to the student and on the basis of which s/he is expected to write a seminar paper which will be examined by a departmental panel of specialists. The student is expected to pass the required courses, either in language or literature. At the end of the programme, s/he shall have twenty seven credit units, including the doctoral thesis.
  3. A candidate for the PhD English shall also necessarily present a minimum of two seminar papers at the Departmental level. The seminar papers shall be in the candidate’s expressed areas of specialisation.
  4. The examination of thesis shall be by oral defence before a panel of specialists constituted by the Postgraduate School.

COURSES TO BE OFFERED IN THE PhD ENGLISH PROGRAMME

6.3 Outline of Courses

 

  1. Language Specialisation

1st Semester

S/N

Code

Course Title

Unit

Status

1.

ENG911

Advanced Linguistic Theory and Present Day English

3

C

2.

ENG913

Doctoral Seminar 1

3

C

3.

ENG955

English-Based Pidgins /Creoles and Decreolisation

3

C

 

 

Total

9

 

 

 

2nd Semester

S/N

Code

Course Title

Unit

Status

1.

ENG912

Doctoral Seminar II

3

C

 

ENG936

Semiotics

3

E

2.

ENG952

Applied Linguistics in English

3

C

3.

ENG956

Language Therapy and National Development

3

C

 

 

Total

9

 

 

 

3rd Semester

 

ENG911

Doctoral Thesis

9

C

 

 

Total Required Credit Units                                                                        27 Units

 

  1. Literature Specialisation

1st Semester

S/N

Code

Course Title

Unit

Status

1.

ENG913

Doctoral Seminar 1

3

C

2.

ENG915

Methods and Techniques of Critical Discourse

3

C

3.

ENG919

World Literatures in English

3

C

 

 

Total

9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2nd Semester

S/N

Code

Course Title

Unit

Status

1.

ENG912

Doctoral Seminar II

3

C

2.

ENG914

Literature and Ideas

3

C

3.

ENG918

Main Currents in African Literature

3

C

 

ENG936

Semiotics

3

E

 

 

Total

9

 

 

 

3rd Semester

 

ENG910

Doctoral Thesis

9

C

 

 

Total Required Credit Units                                                                        27 Units

 

 

 

 

6.4 Summary of the Earnable Credit Units in the PhD English Programme

 

Semester

General University  Courses

General Departmental Courses

Specialisation Courses

Elective

Total

 

 

 

Language

Literature

Language

Literature

Language

Literature

First semester

-

3

6

6

3

3

9

9

Second semester

 

3

6

6

 

 

9

9

Third semester

 

9

 

 

 

 

9

9

Total

-

15

12

12

3

3

27

27

 

 

6.5 Detailed Course Description

 

ENG911 Advanced Linguistic Theory and Present Day English                     (3 Credit units)

This course intends to bring into focus the theories of language that exist in linguistic studies. It will generally introduce students to a greater depth of theoretical delineation in linguistics, with special focus on broad areas of current research activities in the different levels of linguistic inquiry. It will essentially give guidance to students on the current issues in linguistic research. It will also help guide them on how to conduct research in language studies, engaging different theoretical strategies that are currently available or that could be available through conceptual delineation. Such theories like Chomsky’s broad generative theory, Halliday’s Systemic theory, van Dijk’s CDA focus, etc. will be considered. Moreover, such research interest areas like qualitative, variability studies, quantitative sociolinguistic focus, etc., will receive consideration.

 

ENG952 Applied Linguistics in English                                                             (3 Credit units)

An advanced study of the English language and the relationship between language and the brain/mind thought. This should include language performance, behaviour, comprehension and some aspects of neurolinguistics manifesting in speech impairment in English usage. Literacy problems and developments in multi-media in contemporary language teaching should also be studied.

 

ENG955 English-Based Pidgins/Creoles and Decreolization                             (3 Credit units)

A study of history, role and nature of the English language in Nigeria; especially the complex multilingualism are studied along with the influence of the English based Pidgin and Nigerian languages.

ENG956 Language Therapy and National Development                                 (3 Credit units)

 Combines aspects of semiotics and sociolinguistics affecting national development, especially as language is the most effective means of human communication and also imperative for human participation in national development.

ENG936 Semiotics                                                                                                (3 Credit units)

A study of the science of signs and sign systems, spanning the logical and functional aspects of onomastics, kinesics, proxemics, and their interactions with language in culture and society. It is also concerned with the signs of power and the powers of signs in social practice, and the role of the New Media, especially the Internet, in the reinventions and re-uses of signs. Socio-cultural meaning making beyond the linguistic thus becomes point of focus in this course.

 

ENG915 Methods and Techniques of Critical Discourse                                  (3 Credit units)

Since majority of PhD students would normally work on thesis that involve online analysis of literary texts, this course should focus on a higher level of the approaches treated under the course in literary theory and criticism in the MA programme. Advance discussion on topics such as Structuralism, Poetics, Semiology, Semiotics, Reader-response Theory, Deconstruction, etc., should be handled in the course.

 

ENG919 World Literatures in English                                                               (3 Credit units)

A number of literatures have developed in locations where the history of the English language has imposed it on writers as a tool for creative writing. PhD students need to be kept abreast of the diasporic character of English and its fall outs on the world of literary creativity. For comprehensive coverage, major samples should be selected from European, American, Black-American, Caribbean, Indian, Russian, Australian, and African literature. Care should, however, be taken to avoid the repetition of works covered in the MA programme, except where the need for re-emphasis arises.

 

ENG914 Literature and Ideas                                                                            (3 Credit units)

Beyond the preoccupation with themes in literary units, it is recognized that ideas make a primary input into creative literature. Beginning with the intellectual tradition of the West, which starts with the Classical period, the main ideas that have shaped literature in every epoch should be highlighted with specific examples drawn from major writings in major epochs and regions. The contributions of thinkers in the Classical periods of Greece and Rome, the Medieval, Elizabethan, Neo-classical, Romantic, Victorian, and Modern periods should feature. Topics such as Absurdism, Existentialism, Psychoanalysis, Surrealism, Realism, etc., should be discussed.

 

ENG918 Main Currents in African Literature                                                  (3 Credit units)

This course recognises similarities and disparities arising from literatures from the various regions of Africa: West, East, Central, South and North (the Maghreb) Africa. All the predominant genres in each region/sub-region should be examined, alongside the peculiarities arising from the colonial experiences that have showed alteration in Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone regions especially. The literature of Northern Africa will be considered, especially for the Arab and Islamic influences that have shaped it. The main thematic and stylistic trends that have emerged will also be highlighted.

 

Doctoral Seminars I & II                                                                              (3 Credit units each)

In each of the two semesters in the first year of Doctoral work, a student will be assigned a seminar topic which should be well-researched and presented before the Departmental Board with other PhD students in attendance.

 

This must not be confused with a proposal defence, which is not a course with credit load. The final score for these would be based on the content of the seminar and the presentation itself.

 

7. Quality Control

A number of quality control measures have been put in place to make the programme academically rewarding for candidates that would be admitted eventually. Some of these measures include interactive sessions with prospective PhD applicants; assessment of their qualifications; minimum grade\score of 60% at the MA; submission of a brief on their intended thesis topic, etc. Candidates will only be supervised by highly qualified staff members who are specialists in their own fields of study. In addition, supervising consultants from various subject areas will be appointed to oversee the candidates’ work.   Students will also be supervised by a minimum of two supervisors, comprising a main and co-supervisor. This suggests that candidates will be offered admission on the basis of the admission requirements of the Department as well as availability of supervisors.

 

  1. Learner Support Services

The University has a robust Virtual Library and subscribes to many learned journals that are very helpful to research students. Some of these journals can be assessed at http://search.ebscohost.com; http://www.aginternetwork.org/en/journals; http://www.jstor.org/; http://www.nigerianvirtuallibrary.com/, to mention a few. There are also a good number of links to Open Educational Resources (OER) like free e-textbooks, open journals, and general links like http://www.khanacademy.org/;http://lorn.flexiblelearning.net.au/repositories/; http://www.archive.org/details/education, to mention a few. The student can have access to these and many others through the provision of usernames and passwords by staff of the library. A physical library already exists at the University’s Lagos office while a new one is being developed at the headquarters in Abuja. It is also worth noting that the student would gain from many of the Department’s already developed course materials at the lower levels. 

 

  1. Statement of Resources Available to Programme

The PhD in English programme will offer the student the ability to work with little or no supervision. The Reading Lists that will be given to the student at the commencement of the programme and the rich materials in the University’s virtual library will offer the student guidance and relevant materials to facilitate the student’s writing and research. As the programme is based on research and course work, the student will engage in regular monthly interactions with his/her supervisors, the Head of Department, as well as other academic members of the Department, to ascertain the level and quality of progress being made in the research and writing of the student. The student will also be given certain academic tasks that will include managing the departmental library for three hours in a week; participation in workshops and conferences organised by the department and directorates of the institution; and other activities that will test the student’s ability to manage, make decisions, read, edit, and lead.

 

  1. Staff List

Presently, there are eight experienced academic staff who can conveniently supervise at the PhD level:

  1. Alachi, James A., B.A. Drama (ZARIA), M.A. Theatre Arts (IBADAN), PhD Theatre Arts (IBADAN) – Professor.

 

  1. Eyisi, Joy C., NCE English/Rel. Studies (AWKA), B.A. Education/English (NIG.), M.Ed. Educ. Admin & Supervision (AWKA), M.A. English, PhD English (NIG.) - Professor 

 

  1. Ofulue, Christine I., B.A. Linguistics (ILORIN), M.A. Linguistics (IBADAN),                                                                                                         PhD Linguistics (INDIANA) -  Professor

 

  1. Nwabueze, Iyabode O., B.Ed. English/Lang. Arts, M.A. English, PhD English (IBADAN) –  Professor

 

  1. Iwuchukwu, Onyeka F., B.A. English (NIG.), M.A. English, PhD English (LAGOS) – Professor

 

  1. Yakubu, Anthonia M., B.A. English, M.A. English, PhD English (LAGOS) – Senior Lecturer/HOD

 

  1. Yahaya, Muhammed, B.A. English, M.A. African Literature, PhD African Literature (MAIDUGIRI) – Senior Lecturer

 

  1. Gbenoba, Felix E., B.A. English, M.A. English, PhD Literature in English (IBADAN) – Lecturer I

 

In addition, the Department intends to contact external consultants in relevant fields of specialisations who can work as external supervisors in collaboration with the academic staff listed above.