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IN BRIEF. Study in a dynamic interdisciplinary research and teaching environment. Draw upon the resources and expertise of cultural and literary institutions in the region. Read more


  • Study in a dynamic interdisciplinary research and teaching environment
  • Draw upon the resources and expertise of cultural and literary institutions in the region
  • Share your work with peers and academic staff at our Annual MA Conference
  • Part-time study option
  • International students can apply


This course is your chance to refine your critical skills through analysis of the literature and language of the modern period. During your time with us, you’ll learn in a lively research environment and benefit from the University’s links with local cultural organisations, including the International Anthony Burgess Foundation.

Your studies will focus on key aspects of literary modernity and explore the interaction between literature and theory. The interdisciplinary nature of the course encourages and stimulates debate on cultural, political and historical issues, as well as analysing the relationships between literature and other cultural forms.


MA Literature, Culture and Modernity helps you to acquire specific skills in a number of areas including critical thinking, research methods, cultural and literary theory, analysing literary and cultural texts in the context of debates on modernity.

You will develop your analytical and conceptual thinking skills and gain the expertise to focus on a specific research topic that interests you. During this course you will carry out advanced research and produce original and innovative studies.


The syllabus consists of four taught modules, followed by a dissertation. You will select three option modules from a range which varies from year to year. Modules focus on nineteenth, twentieth and twenty first century literature and culture, exploring literature in relation to popular and working-class culture, analysing the interaction between literature, cinema and theory, and examining issues of identity, gender and power. You will also follow the core module Literary Research Practice which helps prepare for the dissertation and for further study.


Teaching for most modules takes place in weekly, two-hour seminars. Personal supervision is provided throughout the course and in support of the writing of the dissertation.  The module Literary Research Practice is taught in three longer block sessions, with additional one-to-one supervisory sessions with a member of staff.


You will be assessed through:

  • Written and oral assignments (66%)
  • Written dissertation(34%)


Many graduates of this course have used it as part of their career development in areas as diverse as teaching, librarianship, media, publishing and the arts. Others use it as a means of access to PhD study or further research. You will develop a wide range of skills on this course (writing, communication, presentation and analytical skills) that are transferable to a variety of careers.


This course will suit you if you want to either progress in a career you already have experience in, re-skill for a different career path or continue the studies you took as an undergraduate.

Graduates from this course have progressed onto a number of careers within the arts, museums, libraries, education and others have progressed to PhD study. Graduates have gone on to work for companies including Hello Magazine, the University of Salford, local museums, secondary schools and further education, and to obtain competitive scholarships for PhD study.


The English Subject Directorate has links with the BBC at MediaCityUK. We also have links with local publishers and cultural organisations, including:

  • Working Class Movement Library
  • Imperial War Museum North
  • Manchester Jewish Museum
  • John Rylands Library
  • Chetham's Library
  • International Anthony Burgess Foundation.

Guest speakers from publishers and from other universities across the UK and from abroad regularly visit the Centre for English Literature and Language, as well as making contributions to the module Literary Research Practice. As an MA student on our course you would be encouraged to attend as many of these guest lecturers as possible. Colleagues in English frequently organise international conferences and specialist workshops to which MA students are also warmly invited.


Research in the English Subject Directorate is coordinated by Dr Scott Thurston, Director of the Research Centre for English Literature and Language. There are over 15 research-active academic staff in English and a number of early career researchers engaged in a range of research projects. We welcome PhD applications from MA students. You can find more information and contact details here: http://www.salford.ac.uk/arts-media/research/centre-for-english-literature-and-language.

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