This diverse and flexible programme offers you a wide array of choice to explore the wealth of literature in English across periods and geographies.
Whether you want to pursue the interests developed during your degree, fill gaps in your knowledge or prepare for a future in research, you’ll have opportunities to sharpen your research skills and specialise in aspects of literary studies that suit your interests.
You can bring together English, American and postcolonial literatures to create an eclectic mix of research-led modules, from Arthurian legend to Shakespeare and psychoanalysis. It’s also a good starting point for exploring wide-ranging research interests that cut across periods and cultures.
You’ll be taught by tutors who are expert researchers in their fields and benefit from access to our world-class Library and Special Collections. It’s an exciting and dynamic environment in which to study some of the world’s greatest literature.
From the beginning of the programme you’ll start to develop your research skills, as a core module introduces you to the methods and approaches involved in researching literature and helps you to prepare for writing an independent research project / dissertation and for your future career.
You’ll also choose from our broad range of optional modules, which could mean you focus on topics such as American fiction in the 19th century, the memoir, the Brontës, Shakespeare or many others. Alternatively you may choose two of your optional modules from the School of English and a third from elsewhere in the University (subject to availability and agreement from the module tutor).
You’ll choose further optional modules in Semester Two. However, throughout the year you’ll also work on your research project or dissertation: a chance to showcase all the skills you’ve acquired by independently researching a literary topic of your choice. You’ll submit this by the end of the programme in September.
If you choose to study part-time, you’ll take fewer modules in each year and study over a longer period.
You’ll generally have two-hour weekly seminars in each module where you discuss the themes and issues arising from your reading, and you’ll be able to enhance your learning by attending the wide range of research seminars and talks by visiting speakers that we arrange throughout the year. You’ll also benefit from supervisions throughout semester 2 with your dissertation supervisor.
However, independent study is a vital part of the degree as it allows you to build your skills and explore your own ideas.
Most of our MA modules are assessed with a single essay of around 4,000 words, which you’ll submit at the end of the semester. You’ll usually also be required to submit unassessed essays to gain feedback on your work and give presentations on your reading in seminars. The research project/dissertation is 12,000-15,000 words in length.