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Masters Degrees (Ecocriticism)

We have 4 Masters Degrees (Ecocriticism)

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Essex is one of the oldest inhabited areas of the British Isles, a landscape shaped by human history. Our MA Wild Writing allows you to explore this landscape and the wilder landscapes of Britain, as well as those across the world, through a combination of science and literature modules. Read more
Essex is one of the oldest inhabited areas of the British Isles, a landscape shaped by human history. Our MA Wild Writing allows you to explore this landscape and the wilder landscapes of Britain, as well as those across the world, through a combination of science and literature modules. Our field trips take you outside the classroom, often in sun, sometimes in snow or rain. You gain an understanding of key environmental challenges while building your own ways of approaching writing about the wild: creative, critical, and scientific.

One of only five universities in the UK to offer a taught postgraduate course on literature and the environment, we are unique in our combination of modules on contemporary nature writing, ecocriticism, and psychogeographic literature.

Our full-year focus on writing about landscape, place, and the environment allows you the choice of focusing on developing your scholarly abilities through exploring ecocriticism, or on developing your creative writing practice about the natural world – or you can aim to advance both.

Your core modules cover topics including:
-The emergent creative non-fiction genre exemplified by figures such as Robert Macfarlane, Kathleen Jamie, and Helen Macdonald
19th – 21st century environmental poetry and prose
-Contemporary ecocriticism and environmental literature
-Psychogeography

An unusual collaboration between the departments of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies and Biological Sciences, we also offer you the opportunity to gain a greater scientific depth of knowledge about the natural world as you develop as a writer. You might want to explore the impacts and management of pollution or the ecology of fisheries.

You will explore the literature of landscape and the environment both within the seminar room and beyond, exploring the wild spaces of Essex and East Anglia through field trips that take you to wonderfully wild worlds in the company of leading experts. We visit inspiring areas including Mersea Island, Orford Ness, Tilbury, and the Norfolk Fens.

Our expert staff

Our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies is ranked Top 200 in the QS World University Rankings (2016), with three-quarters of our research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014).

Teachers on the course include the internationally renowned ecocriticism scholar Dr Susan Oliver, who is a specialist in Romantic and 19th-century studies; the poet and nature writer Dr Chris McCully; and, environmental scholar and writer Professor Jules Pretty.

The MA Wild Writing is led by the writer Dr James Canton, who recently spoke on Radio 4’s ‘Open Country’ about the landscapes of Essex, and specialises in nature and travel writing.

Specialist facilities

-Start to get some publications to your name by writing for our student nature writing blog Wildeasters
-Access our archives – the University of Essex is home to the notebooks, diaries, maps, letters, and binoculars of J. A. Baker, author of the critically acclaimed The Peregrine (1967)
-Learn from leading writers and literature specialists at weekly research seminars
-Hear writers talk about their craft and learn from leading literature specialists at the Essex Book Festival – the festival director is based in our department, and loads of events take place on campus
-Get involved onstage or behind the scenes at our on-campus Lakeside Theatre
-Learn a language for free alongside your course

Your future

A number of our graduates from the MA Wild Writing have gone on to undertake successful careers as writers; others are practicing artists, scholars or environmentalists. One now works on climate change in Washington, another is a “wild practitioner” who work on the relation between nature and mental health and another now works for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police around Chesapeake Bay!

We work with our Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

We also offer supervision for PhD, MPhil and MA by Dissertation in different literatures and various approaches to literature, covering most aspects of early modern and modern writing in English, plus a number of other languages. Our University is one of only 11 AHRC-accredited Doctoral Training Centres in the UK, which means that we offer funded PhD studentships which also provide a range of research and training opportunities.

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We’ve designed this MA in Literature, Landscape and Environment for students interested in further study or careers in the rapidly expanding green industry. Read more
We’ve designed this MA in Literature, Landscape and Environment for students interested in further study or careers in the rapidly expanding green industry. Located in a World Heritage site, you’ll study in the centre of a region rich with literary connections and with some of the finest landscapes in the country.

The MA is founded upon our staff’s expertise and substantial publications record in the areas of ecocriticism; contemporary environmental writing; early modern London; postmodern American cities; and literary journeys in modernist/ postmodernist literature.

COURSE STRUCTURE

You’ll address questions that are increasingly important to modern English literary studies: How does literature reflect humanity’s relationship with ‘Nature’? What makes ‘the country’, ‘the wilderness’ or ‘the city’ what it is? How does literature respond to environmental destruction? Is it influenced by modern environmental movements?

You’ll study issues and approaches regarding representations of various kinds of landscapes. We present you with:

• A wide variety of topics
• A balance between literature pre- and post -1900
• A range of methodologies and approaches

To visit the course blog-site, visit http://literaturelandenvironment.org.uk/

MODULES

Research: Methods, Resources, Dissemination enables you to make the transition from undergraduate work to researching and writing English studies at postgraduate level. This module will be an introduction to postgraduate- level research strategies alongside the focused study of literary texts.

The Country and the City in History: Examples of strands that we have run before include: ‘The Politics of Place in Early Modern Literature’, ‘The City and the Country Estate’, ‘Contested Sites in City and Country, 1780–1830’. Future offerings might include strands such as ‘Industry and Poetry in the 18th century’ or ‘Pastoral and Urban in Early Modern London.’

An example of strands in the Environment Writing and Ecocriticism might include 'Literature Ecology', ‘Culture and Climate Change’, ‘Pollution’, ‘Deep Time and Modernity’, ‘Ecologies of Place’, or 'Place and Planet'.'

An example of strands in the Chorographies: Case Studies in Region or Place module might include 'Pastoral and Urban in Early Modern London', ‘Modernism and London', ‘Culture and Climate Change’, or ‘Pollution.'

In the Dissertation module, you can opt for either a traditional written Dissertation or the Project, an applied research project. The Project offers you the opportunity to create a different output, and it can take the form of an applied research project.

For more information on modules, please go to our website: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-literature-landscape-and-environment/

TEACHING METHODS

Teaching on taught modules will primarily be through seminars. Alternatives to seminars may be offered depending upon the nature of the thematic strand. These could include: skills workshops, field trips, directed research, and independent research associated with the Dissertation or Project.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

Assessment will be via essays, proposals, and a final Dissertation or Project.

For more information on assessment please view our course handbook: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/media/bathspaacuk/course-handbooks/course-handbooks/PG-Literature-Landscape-and-Environment-Handbook-2016-17.pdf

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

This MA in Literature, Landscape and Environment was designed with a number of career pathways in mind. Including English postgraduate, environmental sector, heritage and tourism sector and creative industries. Potential careers include: Higher Research degree programmes; advocacy; local government; communications; and book publishing.

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This programme explores the relationships we hold with our ‘wild’ environments, and how these evolved. You will develop a knowledge of environmental debates from both cultural and scientific perspectives, and learn to communicate environmental issues using a variety of tools and strategies. Read more
This programme explores the relationships we hold with our ‘wild’ environments, and how these evolved. You will develop a knowledge of environmental debates from both cultural and scientific perspectives, and learn to communicate environmental issues using a variety of tools and strategies. It is suitable for students with or without a specialism in literary or environmental studies.

Why this programme

◾This programme focuses on the emerging subject area related to ecocriticism and green studies in order to better understand environmental issues from multiple perspectives.
◾Teaching is closely linked with the Solway Centre for Environment & Culture, a research centre providing opportunity for further research and collaboration.
◾The School of Interdisciplinary Studies is one of the UK’s foremost pockets of expertise in interdisciplinary environmental teaching and research.
◾The programme connects its activities to the wider environment in applied ways through fieldtrips, including the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Reserve, the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park, the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, and the Lake District National Park. Dumfries & Galloway is also home to the world-class Crawick Multiverse, designed by the internationally renowned land artist Charles Jencks.
◾Dumfries & Galloway, in south west Scotland, is an ideal location for environmental study and research. The unspoilt beaches, hills and forests provide a stunning and diverse outdoor classroom, while the region’s thriving artistic community, which specialises in environmental art, is a great source of inspiration.
◾The degree features a programme of guest speakers from relevant fields and publications.

Programme structure

You will take three core and three optional courses. There is a choice of project work: you can choose to engage with a particular contemporary environmental issue or case study, or to undertake a personal interaction with the features of a particular location, examining notions of place creatively. You will also undertake a dissertation, through which you can develop and demonstrate independent research skills or a work placement where you will undertake research in a relevant organisation or company.

Core courses
◾Environmental communication*
◾Environmental politics and society*
◾Reading the environment: old and new world romanticisms
◾Writing the environment: modern and contemporary nature writing.

*You must take at least one of these courses.

Optional courses
◾Climate change: impacts on ecology
◾Environment, technology and society
◾Environmental ethics and behavioural change
◾Tourism, sustainability and climate change.

Career prospects

Graduates are prepared to enter fields from environmental journalism and education, to public relations, advertising and consultancy roles. The interdisciplinary nature of the programme means your skills are also tailored towards emerging fields such as negotiating between scientific fact and cultural understanding of climate change, and the ‘anticipatory history’ that must inform landscape management in the future. Graduates have gone on to work for environmental NGOs, ecological arts organisations, and undertaken further study at PhD level.

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The School of English and Journalism offers advanced research opportunities within the subjects of English and Creative Writing. Read more
The School of English and Journalism offers advanced research opportunities within the subjects of English and Creative Writing.

As a research student, you can benefit from a dedicated doctoral training programme designed for English students, which gives you the opportunity to develop the practical and critical skills necessary for investigation and study at doctoral level. Expert and experienced direction will be available from your supervisory team and you can benefit from the School’s research expertise in areas including contemporary literature, 18-19th century literature, early modern literature, women’s writing, Gothic literature, utopianism and American fiction.

Regular research seminars, symposia and conferences provide a lively research environment, in which students are encouraged to participate. An interdisciplinary research culture facilitates collaboration with colleagues across topics and strong links exist with the Schools of Film and Media, History and Heritage, and Fine and Performing Arts.

Research Areas, Projects & Topics

Research areas covered within the School include:
-21st Century literature and drama
-19th Century literature
-Life writing/testimony/memory studies
-Women’s writing 18-21st Centuries
-American literature 19-21st Centuries
-Renaissance literature
-Utopian studies
-Ecocriticism
-Gothic literature
-Postcolonial literature
-Trauma studies

How You Study

Study at MPhil/PhD level takes the form of supervised individual research. You work on one topic of your choice for the duration of the study period. On a regular basis, you are expected to produce appropriate written work, submit it to your supervisors, then meet with your supervisors to receive feedback on your submission and agree the next stage of work.

Due to the nature of postgraduate research programmes, the vast majority of your time will be spent in independent study and research. You will have meetings with your academic supervisor, however the regularity of these will vary depending on your own individual requirements, subject area, staff availability and the stage of your programme.

How You Are Assessed

The assessment at this level of study takes the form of an 80,000 word thesis.

A PhD is awarded based on the quality of your thesis and your ability in an oral examination (viva voce) to present and successfully defend your chosen research topic to a group of academics. You are also expected to demonstrate how your research findings have contributed to knowledge or developed existing theory or understanding.

Career and Personal Development

A doctoral qualification may be regarded as the capstone of academic achievement and may mark the beginning of a career in academia or research.

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