Are you a fan of fantasy fiction? Or are you simply curious as to why the fantastic can be found all around us in the twenty-first century, from videogames and films to poetry, songs, television, novel series, and so-called 'mainstream' fiction? This programme allows you to engage with one of the most vibrant literary genres of the last two centuries - and a major cultural phenomenon of our time.
The programme involves core and optional taught sessions, followed by a period of research and writing over the summer when you will undertake supervised independent work on a special topic of your choice, researching, planning and writing a 15,000 word dissertation.
Semester 1 - September to December
Semester 2 - January to March
Summer - April to September
All taught courses are 20 credits and are delivered in weekly 2-hour seminars or equivalent.
Seminars are taught to the extent that the student members meet regularly with a tutor and proceed through a planned sequence of reading and discussion. The working style, however, is exploratory rather than didactic; students are expected to engage fully with primary sources, to develop, express and take responsibility for their own opinions and to work towards independent argument and expression in their resulting coursework and dissertation.
The two compulsory Fantasy courses complement each other.
Fantasy 1: c. 1780-1950
The first introduces you to the history of fantasy literature in English and its attendant theories from c. 1780 to 1950. As well as charting the early history of modern fantasy, including major children’s fantasies where these had a significant impact on the development of adult fantasy literature, the course will introduce you to the most influential critical and theoretical approaches to fantasy and the fantastic.
Fantasy 2: 1950 to the present
The second investigates the history of fantasy literature in English from 1950 to the present. It will also touch on the unprecedented spread of fantasy in recent decades through comics, films and the new media, and delve into the critical and theoretical approaches to fantasy and the fantastic that have emerged since the 1950s.
You may choose from the available optional courses offered by any of the Masters programmes in the School of Critical Studies; see in particular the courses listed under the MLitt English Literature general pathway. You may also opt for courses from other Masters programmes in the College of Arts (subject to approval by the relevant convener). One course can be taken at Honours level. Examples of possible options include:
For further information please contact the convener.
The critical and analytic skills you develop and the ability to conduct rigorous independent study make this programme an ideal step towards an academic career.
Graduates from English Literature have also gone on to careers in writing, editing, publishing, teaching and the media.
This programme gives you the chance to pursue your own interests in English Literature at postgraduate level across a rich variety of courses led by internationally renowned experts. A core research training course will introduce you to key skills in postgraduate study, while a flexible degree structure allows you to select from the full range of optional courses on offer from the School of Critical Studies. You can also choose courses from elsewhere in the College of Arts or from other Schools and Colleges across the University. The programme ends with an opportunity to write a dissertation on an English Literature-related topic of your choice.
The programme is mostly comprised of optional courses, enabling you to tailor your own Masters programme to your area of interest. All students will study our 20-credit core English Literature Research Training Course. You then take five more 20 credit courses and one 60 credit dissertation. The structure for full-time students is as follows:
The two semesters of coursework are followed by one term of supervised work towards a dissertation of up to 15,000 words which you will submit at the beginning of September. The topic normally arises out of the work of the previous two semesters, but the choice is very much open to the student’s own initiative. Your supervisor helps you to develop the proposal and plan the most appropriate reading and methodology.
It is also possible to write a dissertation made up of creative writing with a critical component. Normally this possibility is only available to students who have taken the Creative Writing Fiction Workshop (cross-discipline) as one of their options.
Part-time students take the English Literature Research Training Course and three 20 credit courses in their first year of study, and two 20 credit courses and the dissertation in their second year.
If you have already identified your area of interest, there are five different pathways through the MLitt in English Literature at Glasgow:
Each pathway will give you a different mix of core and optional courses.
Find out more about core and optional courses.
Our MLitt programmes provide excellent preparation for PhD studies and an academic career. They also develop key skills sought by many employers, including: the ability to find, select and manage large quantities of information; confident and persuasive oral and written communication; and problem solving through creative and critical thinking.
Past Glasgow MLitt graduates have gone on to pursue successful careers in writing, editing, publishing, teaching, the media, heritage and creative industries, and numerous other related professions.
Our MA English Literature is an open and flexible programme designed to give you the possibility of exploring the full diversity of English literature.
We want you to join in the debates over the nature of literature, the future of English literature, and the past and new cultural experiences of writing and communication which are shaping our lives, with our team of active researchers and committed teachers.
We see research as a public activity, and the course offers ways in which to explore the research process as engagement in the cultural conversation.
Our modules offer the opportunity to research a diverse range of literary periods and forms – from the Early Modern to Contemporary fiction, engaging with genres including historical fiction, fantasy literature, modernism, e-writing, and film.
The MA also explores a wide range of critical and theoretical approaches, including historical and textual analysis, ethical reading, cognitive poetics, and critical theory.
The Department of English and Creative Writing is a thriving and successful Department, with a staff of active researchers and committed teachers.
The Department hosts the Centre for Research in Folklore, Fairytales and Fantasy, the South Coast Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Research Group, which hold regular research events, alongside a full Departmental programme, including film showings, visiting speakers, and theatre talks.
Recent visiting speakers include Dame Gillian Beer, Professor Jacqueline Simpson, Dr Frances White, and Professor Jacqueline Labbe.
In collaboration with our colleagues in Creative Writing, we also have regular events with writers and poets Simon Brett, Matthew Sweeney, Mavis Cheek, Helen Dunmore, Michele Roberts, and Jo Shapcott.
The Department has close contact with local cultural institutions: the Chichester Festival Theatre, Pallant House Gallery, the Chichester Public Records Office, and other local institutions.
These offer you further research opportunities. Chichester and the local area has a strong literary history, attracting writers from the eighteenth-century radicals William Blake and Charlotte Smith, to H. G. Wells and Mervyn Peake.
Learning Resource Centre
The Learning Resource is the hub of the learning environment. It has two upper floors of library resources, one for silent study and one for quiet study, both of which have recently been refurbished.
On the ground floor, you’ll find the Support and Information Zone, Media Centre, Otter Gallery, Costa Coffee and a variety of IT resources.
The Bishop Otter LRC also offers:
Our MA is designed to transform you into an active and confident researcher in the broad field of English Literature.
The course is a gateway to PhD research, providing an opportunity to focus your research, develop your independence in a supportive environment, and refine your research skills.
The MA is also for anyone who wants to develop their skills, subject knowledge, and confidence in research and the presentation of research.
It is particularly relevant for careers in research-related fields, from librarianship to arts management, for teachers in English Literature and related subjects, and for careers requiring high-level abilities in writing, presentation, and critical analysis.
Literature in the Present Moment
What is literature and how do we think literature today? The concept of ‘literature’ is crucial and elusive, expanding under the impact of digitalisation and new forms of creative and critical writing. In this course students will explore new techniques in archival research, issues in intellectual history, theoretical developments, and the transformations of the very concept of ‘literature’, past and present.
Theatres of Pain and Pleasure, 1400-1700
Focusing on the Renaissance stage this course explores the theatre as a site of bodies engaged with forms of pain and pleasure: crime, sexuality, war and religion. Ranging across Shakespeare, Jacobean Tragedy, and Restoration Comedy, you will explore the space of the city and a rich diversity of sites, local and national, of theatrical representation.
Visions of the Real: Literature, Myth, and Science, 1800-Present
Fiction has always has a tense relationship with reality. Is fiction more real than reality, as literary characters come to ‘life’, or is fiction a betrayal of reality? In this course you will engage with the blurred lines between literature, science and myth. From the moment of the Enlightenment and Romanticism, in tension between the ‘clear’ vision of reality and the power of myth, the course traces out the crisis of realism, from fantasy literature to modernism to the avant-garde.
How do you become a researcher? Exploring the research process as one that involves integrating a range of ‘voices’, from primary texts, archives, peers, critical and theoretical work, and audience, this course gives you the capacity to engage with this diversity. While research is often presented as an intensely private and personal activity, this course will help you develop your research project as a public process, giving you the tools to find your own critical voice and the confidence to engage with peers, the academic community, and the public.
You will be assessed over four modules, three with an assessment of an essay of 5,000 words.
The module on ‘activating research’ will be assessed by a presentation (25%) and a written submission (3000 words).
The Dissertation will be a 15,000 assessment.
The Masters in Comparative Literature offers interdisciplinary study across linguistic cultures as well as academic fields. Benefitting from a strong and diverse School of Modern Languages and Cultures, you will be able to take courses in the comparative study of literatures, film, visual arts, or societies of two or more language areas OR across two or more disciplines. The high degree of flexibility means that you are able to design a unique programme of study suited to your interests.
The Programme is comprised of two core courses, a selection of optional courses, and an independent research project (dissertation), which provides an opportunity for you to identify an area of interest for an in-depth critical exploration.
The range of options on offer enables you to create your own Masters programme. It also allows you to work in an interdisciplinary capacity, selecting courses from across the College of Arts, according to personal interests. The Programme Convenor will work with you to construct a portfolio of courses according to your personal aims and objectives.
Teaching is almost entirely in small-group seminars, with student assessment based on presentations, essays and individual research diaries; any language classes you may take will have assessment as appropriate to that mode of learning. The Core 1 and Core 2 courses focus strongly on helping you develop your skills as a researcher and writer.
Core 1: Introduction to Comparative Literature [Comp Lit 5030] (20 credits)
Core 2: Comparative Literature in Practice (Comp Lit 5031] (20 credits)
The aim of this course is to provide:
Selection of options is subject to approval by Programme Convener. A sample list follows below, but not all these options will be available in a given year.
Employers welcome our graduates’ abilities to 'think outside the box' in relation to cultures other than their own, as well as their ability to communicate in oral and written form in a logical, coherent, articulate and creative way.
Our graduates go into the workplace well-prepared to work in a global, international environment, as well as in any field requiring sophisticated communication skills. Some common careers include: publishing, editing, creative industries, and teaching.
The programme also provides an excellent preparation for further study in the fields of Comparative Literature and Modern Languages and Cultures.
Combine the literary theory of science fiction and fantasy with the study of their language and rhetoric, their various forms and subgenres and their place in the publishing industry on the first interdisciplinary Masters course of its kind in the UK.
Course duration and delivery: This course starts in May and runs until the following May (1 year full-time, 2 years part-time). It is delivered by blended learning, meaning much of your study time will be spent online and in preparatory reading, with two intensive weeks of on-campus attendance for full-time students and one intensive week per year for part-time students.
NB The residential dates for 2018 entry are 3–14 September 2018.
The study of science fiction and fantasy is over 75 years old and for much of that time has been the domain of English literature specialists. Over the past twenty years, however, strong work has emerged from specialists in film, television, art, publishing and linguistics.
Our MA Science Fiction and Fantasy will introduce you to contemporary work in these genres across a range of media. You’ll benefit from networking and career-building opportunities with professionals in the industry who will give you insight into how materials in these genres are produced and disseminated to their fans.
You will consider science fiction and fantasy as products shaped by interactions between the entertainment industry, reviewers and critics as well as their own fans. By analysing how the boundaries of these genres have been established, policed, challenged and extended, you will learn to apply your own theories to a range of popular works - and produce your own original writing.
Your studies will be supported by our team of published writers and experts in the fields of science fiction and fantasy, including the Course Leader, World Fantasy Award-winning author Dr Helen Marshall (Gifts for the One Who Comes After), Dr Una McCormack (Star Trek – The Missing; Doctor Who: An Eye for Murder), Dr Martin Zeilinger (co-director of the Toronto-based Vector Game Art & New Media Festival), and Honorary Associate Fellow, John Clute (Appleseed; Pardon This Intrusion: Fantastika in the World Storm; The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction).
All your modules will be delivered through blended learning. Each will begin with a period of guided reading, with your personal studies supported by online forums, discussions, tutorials and other resources on our Learning Management System. You will also attend one week of on-site, intensive teaching for each module. This includes lectures, seminars, workshops, student presentations and student-led discussions. For the rest of your studies, you will receive tutorial support via email or Skype.
At the end of the course, you will undertake a Major Project. This can be a conventional academic project or a creative piece with critical commentary - the choice is yours.
The Romantic Worlds Masters focuses on the art and culture of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries: a period of radical change and rancorous turmoil during which writers and artists forged works and ideals that continue to exert profound influences over the ways in which we think about our environments, selves and societies. While the pathway provides ample opportunities to engage with the works of canonical Romantic poets and with the great novels written during the period, its approach is interdisciplinary. As well as providing groundings in advanced literary studies and in the traditional cornerstones of British Romanticism, the programme’s courses range across fields including art history, ecocriticism, sociology and urban studies, studying caricature, travel writing, drama, topography, periodicals, portraiture and music alongside novels and poetry. The pathway includes numerous opportunities to work with collections in and around Glasgow.
You will also complete a 15,000-word research dissertation.
Part-time students take all three core courses plus one second-semester optional course in their first year of study, and two optional courses and the dissertation in their second year.
Courses are generally taught through seminars and workshops. Both Romantic Worlds courses incorporate a significant amount of work with collections. Courses are usually assessed through a combination of presentations, mid-term assignments and final essays.
The collections-related elements of the Romantic Worlds Masters provide experiences of working with heritage materials that are directly applicable to careers in museums, galleries and libraries.
The programme also helps students to develop important transferable skills, including:
The Romantic Worlds Masters also provides an excellent grounding for doctoral-level study.
You can specialise in either Film Practice or Film Studies. Our Film Practice PhD provides you with a unique opportunity to develop your film as a practice-led research project. Alternatively you can undertake a Film Studies, MPhil or PhD studying British, Algerian, Chinese, French or Latin American cinema.
As a Film Studies MPhil or PhD student you will form a crucial part of our research culture. Our thriving community of postgraduate students work across schools and disciplines. Research ranges from modern languages to English literature, English language, linguistics and arts and cultures.
We are keen to work with postgraduates in the major research projects listed below, or in the more general areas related to them. We supervise projects that span academic schools and sub-disciplines, ensuring the best fit between your interests and the expertise of our staff.
We organise an annual postgraduate conference for the Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences and you can get involved in a number of film-related research seminars on campus, including:
You will benefit from the North Eastern Regional Film Seminar, which brings together film scholars from the Universities of Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland, Teesside, Durham and York for a one day symposium.
There is also the Film Factory, an exciting new film forum for students and staff, initiated by two PhD students from the School of Modern Languages, Gary Jenkins and Mani Sharpe. It consists of a series of film screenings followed by discussion and debate at the Culture Lab.
You will normally be taught on the Newcastle University campus. Attendance is flexible and agreed between you and your supervisors depending on the requirements of your research project.
You will have the opportunity to use Culture Lab, a centre for creative practice which includes a stock of film cameras and editing suites, as well as motioncapture, animation and soundmixing technology.
The Language Resource Centre and Peter Robinson Library hold large collections of international films and film magazines. You will also have access to a dedicated postgraduate suite including computers, workspaces, a kitchen and showers.
You will also have guided access to Tyne and Wear Archives.
Our researchers are internationally recognised experts in their fields, with three quarters of their research rated world leading, internationally excellent or internationally recognised in the latest Research Assessment Exercise.
The Hispanic Studies division was rated 5A in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise.
Supervision is provided in the major areas of Spanish, Spanish American and Portuguese literary and cultural studies. Members of staff have research interests in the following fields: Medieval: modern literary theory as applied to medieval texts; mythology and fantasy; oral literature; questions of transmission and textual criticism; Golden Age: Cervantes and the development of fiction; political and social thought; theatre; European Baroque culture; Modern Peninsular: Generation of 98; modern and contemporary fiction; narrative forms; Spanish American and Brazilian: Argentinian culture; women writers; gender, sexuality and representation; and theory.
We offer supervision in the major areas of Spanish, Spanish-American and Portuguese literary and cultural studies, with particular research strengths in the 19th century, theatre of all periods, and the visual arts.
Thanks to the breadth of language research undertaken within the graduate school here at Edinburgh, we can also accommodate an interest in cross-cultural research with a programme of joint supervision.
Our staff pursue a diversity of research interests, offering you a wide choice of areas for study. Research staff have interests in the following fields:
You will have access to the impressive collections of the University’s Main Library, in addition to the nearby National Library of Scotland and its outstanding collection of early modern Spanish material.