Guided by a team of internationally recognised experts, you will investigate the key texts and concepts which shape our understanding of literature and culture across a period of radical change from 1880 to the present. You will relate the literary texts you study to developments in other cultural practices, such as film, theatre and the visual arts.
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 similar.
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 Modernities courses are complementary.
Modernities 1: 1880-1945
In the first you will examine some of the foundational modernist movements and manifestos, and investigate some of the ways in which Modernism and modernity were theorised in the period 1880-1945.
Modernities 2: 1945 to the present
In the second core course you will examine the 'fallout' of these movements over the last half century or so. Primary reading consists of seminal texts from the modernist and post-modernist periods, as well as of theoretical formulations of early twentieth-century modernity and its continuities. Secondary reading serves as an introduction to recent critical approaches drawing on fields such as narratology, psychoanalysis, feminism, post-colonialism, and cultural theory.
Option courses will usually be taken from among the 20 credit courses listed under the general pathway. Not all options will be available in any given year, depending on staff availability. A number of option courses have been devised with the needs of the Modernities programme particularly in mind; these are:
With the convenor’s permission, you may also take option courses from elsewhere in the College of Arts and beyond, e.g. Comparative Literature, History of Art, Music, History, and many more.
Modernities has been producing successful graduates for over ten years and provides excellent preparation for PhD studies and an academic career, as well as developing key skills valued by employers in journalism, the heritage and creative industries, and other related educational and vocational careers.
You’ll study the sociocultural, historical and structural complexities of the English language with the possibility to study other modern languages as well, if you choose.
There are four pathways to choose from: Literary Linguistics, Social and Historical Approaches, Structural and Theoretical Linguistics, and Modern Languages (co-run with the School of Modern Languages and Cultures). You can follow one exclusively or combine the four.
As your understanding of theory develops, you’ll learn how to analyse language and how to carry out research projects. If you choose a work placement, you might also develop skills in marketing, archiving, teaching or publishing.
Our graduates are working in teaching (primary, secondary, FE, HE and TESOL), publishing, marketing, libraries, fundraising, charities and the public sector. A masters from Sheffield is a sound basis for a PhD at any leading university.
Our expertise covers all aspects of the subject, so whatever you’re interested in you’ll get the best possible advice and support. We provide training in research methods and you can choose to go on a work placement as part of your course.
You’ll be taught by academics whose work is published internationally. Their specialisms include language acquisition, historical language studies, applied linguistics, literary linguistics, discourse analysis and sociolinguistics.
We have a lively research culture. Through lectures and weekly seminars we’ll introduce you to the latest ideas. You’ll have the opportunity to explore these ideas in your own research.
With the School of Languages and Cultures, we established the new University Centre for Linguistic Research to gather and support postgraduate linguistics research across the University.
We have specialist recording equipment for fieldwork and experimental work. Interactive computer-based workshops will introduce you to corpus-linguistic technology.
The University library subscribes to several electronic databases including JStor, Early English Texts online and Eighteenth-century Collections online. For more advanced reading, there’s a regular free minibus service to the British Library at Boston Spa.
The MA offers world-leading expertise in all areas of English language and linguistics, and is therefore capable of offering the best possible support for students’ interests on any topic. You’ll benefit from our expertise in many fields, from language variation and change, psycholinguistics and syntax to conversation analysis, dialectology and the language–literature interface. Our enthusiastic staff publish internationally. Within the School of English, we hold weekly research seminars which give you the chance to hear about the latest developments.
You’ll be taught through seminars and workshops. There are also work placement opportunities in schools, museums, libraries or local businesses. Assessment varies by module, but includes essays and presentations.