This MA pathway explores the emergence of postcolonial and world literatures in English, and the histories of empire and decolonization underpinning these literatures. It considers how different postcolonial cultures have transformed genre and form; and how the global intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and diaspora have changed our ways of reading literature’s worldliness.
The MA pathway in postcolonial and world literatures will give you the opportunity to specialise in the literature, culture, and history of the postcolonial world. It is taught by world-leading experts who are as passionate about the subject as you are, and is linked to the Southampton Centre for Imperial and Postcolonial Studies. It will empower you to conduct advanced-level research and independent thinking in postcolonial theory, history, and criticism; to make effective use of archives, manuscripts, and research libraries; and examine how postcolonial literature, culture and history transforms our understanding of the pressing global issues such as climate change, human rights, sovereignty, security, conflict, and more. Not only will you emerge with an internationally-recognised masters degree from a top Russell Group university, you will also acquire the critical thinking and writing skills that will give you the competitive edge, either as a future scholar in the field or as a professional in areas such as broadcasting, international development, public administration, creative writing, secondary school teaching, librarianship, museums and galleries, publishing.
Our pathway in Postcolonial and World Literature allows you to specialise in the literary culture and history of the long twentieth century. It is taught by leading experts in the field and is linked to the Southampton Centre for Imperial and Postcolonial Studies .
The MA English Literary Studies (Postcolonial and World Literature) will enable you to work independently in the field; to explore how genres, authors, and texts participate in wider public discourses concerning the legacies of colonialism and imperialism, the aftermath of decolonization, the relationship between gender and nationalism, and the fault lines within postcolonial national narratives; and to evaluate unique publications and archival resources specific to the study of postcolonial literatures. It will develop your knowledge and understanding of critical and research methods appropriate to the period; raise your awareness of the historical and critical reception of literature and culture of postcolonial and world literatures; and empower you to explore the nuances of literary meaning in the contested cultural field of postcolonial writing and world literature.
An MA in English Literary Studies is excellent preparation for a career in teaching, publishing and arts administration. Graduates of our programme go onto professional careers in writing (from journalism to fiction), education, international PhD programmes, teaching, broadcasting, and varied work in the creative industries. Former graduates and alumni return to give talks throughout the year, and you will help you make the most of the opportunities here.
A number of our graduates have gone on to careers in teaching, journalism, media and found the year-long course invaluable in shaping and developing their voice.
This is a new MA programme building on the thriving undergraduate programme in Comparative Literature. This field, sometimes also understood as comparative cultural studies, has since its beginnings recognised the realities of cultural movement, of exchange and dialogue. At its centre is the notion of world literature along with attention to cultural, philosophical and theoretical questions. Research skills and training are an integral part of the MA. You will enjoy some flexibility in your choice of modules, while at the same time benefiting from the guidance of your tutor to ensure coherence in your studies. Whichever topics you study, you will have the opportunity to develop your academic writing skills.
This MA programme builds on our thriving undergraduate programme in Comparative Literature. This field, sometimes also understood as comparative cultural studies, has since its beginnings, recognised the realities of cultural movement and of exchange and dialogue. At its centre is the notion of 'world literature' along with attention to cultural, philosophical and theoretical questions. We also examine cosmopolitanism, transnationalism, exile, and other phenomena of our increasingly interconnected world.
Comparative Literature belongs to those areas of cultural study which prepare us to deal with a globalised or globalising world. It aims to recognise and articulate the specific identities of national literatures and cultural traditions on the one hand, while also exploring the boundaries between cultures and the meaning of cultural differences on the other. The transnational reception of literature and of other cultural production has been a central concern since the field’s inception. Processes of adaptation (for example, from novel to film) as well as the relations between word/image and word/music are also focal points.
You also produce a dissertation and choose three optional modules.
While at many universities, Comparative Literature often sits within the English department, at Queen Mary it is an invigorating, growing and dynamic department in its own right – a reflection of our commitment to the subject.
Comparative Literature is taught in the thriving School of Languages, Linguistics and Film. We have a vast amount of experience in the field, so you will always be taught by leading specialists of international standing whose cutting-edge research informs their high-quality teaching.
You will have access to various postgraduate facilities, includingg the Graduate Centre and the Lock-keeper's Cottage. Our Learning Resource Centre has 200 networked PCs with dedicated workstations for postgraduate students.
You will also have access to Queen Mary’s comprehensive libraries, including the Postgraduate Reading Room, and The British Library can also be accessed as a research resource.
Our postgraduate students benefit from a wide range of services, from help with accommodation to excellent IT support and foreign language teaching as well as an individually designed research-training programme.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study English Literature at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
The Department of English Language and Literature can offer supervision in most areas of literature from the middle ages to the present. We have particular strengths in gender, Welsh writing in English, American Literature, medieval, Renaissance, eighteenth and nineteenth-century writing and culture, modernism and postmodernism, Irish poetry, contemporary literature and critical and cultural theory.
An MA by Research in English Literature gives you the chance to pursue a project inspired entirely by your own particular enthusiasms in English language and literature. The qualification would be a good preparation for proceeding to doctoral work. Alternatively, the proven ability to conduct independent research in English Literature will boost employment prospects outside academia (for example, in the media, publishing, the Civil Service, or education).
As a student of the MA by Research in English Literature programme, you will be supervised closely by two experienced academics in your field. Typically, you will meet them fortnightly in the first term and at regular intervals thereafter. Meetings are logged and goals agreed each time.
All research students in English Literature are required to attend skills and training courses at College and Institutional level. English Literature students give presentations to other research students and staff at departmental seminars and the annual departmental postgraduate symposium in June and the College of Arts and Humanities conference in October. MA by Research in English Literature degree typically lasts from one year (full-time study) to two years (part-time study).
The MA by Research in English Literature would suit those wanting the freedom to explore a topic of their choosing in English language and literature under the close supervision of two experienced academics but without attending regular classes as required in taught programmes; an MA qualification in niche areas where taught programmes are not offered; the experience of a research degree without committing to a PhD at the outset. Research proposals are invited on any topic in English Literature for which staff can provide supervision.
About 70 of the postgraduates currently studying at Swansea University’s Department of English Language and Literature [ELL] are researchers working on an MA, MPhil or PhD thesis. Each is supervised by two members of staff, 60% of whose own research publications were rated ‘internationally excellent’ or ‘world-leading’ in the 2008 REF exercise. We supervise interdisciplinary projects as well as traditional areas of the discipline - in language studies, creative writing, literature (from medieval to the present) and critical and cultural theory. If you have an idea for a research project in English Literature, do get in touch and discuss it with us informally before applying.
Postgraduate students including those of MA by Research in English Literature, often join a research centre, e.g. the Centre for Research into Gender and Culture (GENCAS) or the Centre for Research into Welsh Writing in English (CREW) where they work alongside other students and staff in dedicated research rooms. Students present their work in the friendly environment of our Research Institute’s annual postgraduate conference, Swansea University’s Department of English Language and Literature (ELL)’s fortnightly research seminars, and the monthly workshop of the Creative Writing Programme. Our research environment was judged 100% ‘internationally excellent’ by the 2008 REF, and research students help staff organize a lively programme of conferences, readings and performances on campus and in the city’s arts centres. As well as being inducted into academic research and dissemination, doctoral students have the opportunity to undertake undergraduate teaching to prepare them for an academic career. We provide study stations with computers and postgraduate common-rooms, research training and the services of a research officer and subject librarian.
What the Research Excellence Framework 2014 had to say about Postgraduate research in the Swansea Department of English Language and Literature …
The environment in the Department of English Language and Literature is ‘conducive to producing research of mostly at least internationally excellent and at its best world-leading quality’
‘Arrangements for postgraduates were deemed of world-leading quality’
‘There is clear evidence of the development of a research culture into which research students are fully integrated’
‘Recruitment is strong’
‘There are excellent arrangements for support, training and employability’.
Summing up: ‘The unit makes an outstanding contribution to the health of the discipline’.
Judged best in the field
The highly regarded Keuzegids Master’s Selection Guide 2017 ranked Utrecht University’s Literature programme as the best in the field in the Netherlands.
Do you wonder how a literary work becomes a classic or bestseller in the Digital Age? Would you like to learn about the steps taken between publishing a manuscript and the media reviews, talk shows, or blogs in which the work is discussed? Then this Master's programme might be for you.
Literature today continues to inspire as a laboratory of ideas, dreams, and narratives, even while facing new challenges. Novels, poems, and short stories now reach their audiences through printed books, e-books, and audiobooks, and through the Internet. Literary texts, including the classics, are being adapted to games and TV dramas, yet a growing numbers of visitors to book fairs shows that literature itself remains a powerful medium.
In the Master’s programme Literature Today, you will learn to identify and critically evaluate the most recent national and international developments in literature, and to situate these from a historical perspective. You will be equipped with the tools to identify and explain the quality of literary works in times of increasing commercialisation. You will learn how literature circulates within the market as part of a creative industry sustained by centuries-old tradition, and you will investigate from theoretical and practical angles how to help to spread literature, explain it to a broader public, and translate academic insights for the reading public.
Critical reflection, building up a repertoire, the consolidation of writing skills, and an understanding of how literary institutions operate in an era of globalisation are central to your studies during this programme. You can also complete an internship with publishing houses, media corporations, libraries, literary foundations, or cultural institutions – the job market and professional field for which this Master’s programme prepares you.
You can choose from among the following tracks to tailor the programme to your interests and desired career path:
1. English and Comparative Literature (entirely in English)
2. Dutch Literature (in Dutch and English)
3a. French Literature (Modern Literature in European Languages)
3b. German Literature (Modern Literature in European Languages)
3d. Hispanic Literature (Modern Literature in European Languages)
3d. Italian Literature (Modern Literature in European Languages)
Read more about these tracks.
As a graduate of the Master in Literature Today, you will be trained to critically engage with the challenges that confront literature in our globalised, digitalised, and commercialised world. The programme content approaches these challenges from both a theoretical and practical perspective so that you will be fully prepared for the job market.
During your studies, the programme will:
During your studies, you will become acquainted with different literary institutions that operate in the field of literature and culture. After finishing the programme, you can use the academic and practical skills acquired during your year of study and begin working at one of these institutions. Read more about possible career prospects.
The English Literature MA pathway is ideal if you don’t wish to be confined to a specific period or disciplinary area. It asks fundamental questions about our ideas of literature and how these might have changed over time.
The pathway’s compulsory module, ‘The Production of Texts in Contexts’, opens up these questions by looking at a broad array of literature from a variety of historic periods. It considers how innovations in printing and publishing have affected writing, and asks to what extent political and social change conditions and defines authorial identities and practices.
Apart from the compulsory core module briefly described below, students taking the generic English Literature pathway can freely choose their remaining three modules from all the other existing pathways and thus sample different topics from different periods. Below are additional links to those pathways that allow you to see the rich variety of staff research interests and specialisms.
The Production of Texts in Context
The Production of Texts in Context is a trans-historical module that ranges across many different literary periods from the early middle ages to the present day. The module is team-taught so students experience teaching by ten to eleven different staff members, each of whom presents a topic related to their own particular interests and period specialisms. The teaching team and the topics represented vary from year to year according to staff availability, with recent topics including Ballad and Carol (Alfred Hiatt), The Making of Paradise Lost (Joad Raymond), The Eighteenth-Century Newspaper (Chris Reid), Victorian Serialised Fiction (Matt Ingleby), Experimental Writing and Early Twentieth-Century Publishing (Scott McCracken), The Coming of Age Novel in Global Literature (Charlotta Salmi), Book Prizes and Literary Production (Huw Marsh), and Contemporary Graphic Narrative (Sam McBean). For the essay assignment students pick a subject relating to one of the topics and can seek advice from the relevant staff member. There is also a designated member of staff who acts as module convenor, sits in with students on the weekly seminars, and is able to offer general help and guidance.
You also choose one of the following
Researching Modern Culture; London Panoramas: Research, Culture and the Long Eighteenth Century, or The Material Text, 1300-1700
You choose three modules from a wide-ranging list of options that changes from year to year.
In 2017-2018 we hope to offer the following. If members of our specialist research staff win research funding it will mean that their module won’t run, so for that reason this list is indicative only.
Students may also opt to take a cognate elective module offered by the Schools in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and by other Colleges of the University of London.
In addition to taught modules, we run a range of research seminars to which all MA students are invited. Some of these are linked to our interdisciplinary Research Centres, such as the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies, the Centre for Religion and Literature in English and the Centre for the History of the Emotions. Others are collaborations with other institutions, such as the London-Paris Romanticism Seminar. With visiting speakers from across the world, these seminars are an opportunity to meet other postgraduate students and members of staff and to learn about the latest developments in research.
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.
Modern English Literature begins in the extraordinary developments of the 16th and early 17th centuries. Under the influence of social, religious and political transformations, and through engagement with classical and continental European culture, new theories and practices of literature appeared that have influenced generations of writers since.
Studying the literature of this period allows us both to enter a world that is not our own, and to see the origins of modern western perspectives and predicaments. This programme offer you the opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of supervised independent research in this field.
We are the oldest department of English Literature in the world, and at the last Research Assessment Exercise were awarded the highest research rating possible, of 5*A. We have one of the largest graduate programmes in this area in the country and a rich research culture covering all aspects of literatures in English.
We offer supervision in all areas of Renaissance literature, and have particular strengths in Renaissance drama and performance, Renaissance poetry, the politics of literature in the Renaissance, religious writing in the Renaissance, Renaissance biographical and autobiographical writing, and the relevance to the study of Renaissance literature of modern and contemporary theory.
The research of staff has made valuable contributions to the areas of literature and philosophy, modernism/postmodernism, medieval and early modern literature, history of the book, romanticism, transatlantic studies and performance studies.
English Literature houses the Centre for the History of the Book and is one of the UK's leading forces in this area. It works closely with the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and with the National Library of Scotland. The latter's recently acquired Murray Archive is crucial for studies in Romanticism, Book History, Bibliography and Archive Studies.
Extensive collections of Renaissance manuscripts and printed books are held in Edinburgh by the University’s own library, the National Library of Scotland, and the National Archives of Scotland. These collections offer excellent research resources and opportunities for graduate study, and are particularly rich in materials relating to Shakespeare and Renaissance drama.
The course includes a 15,000 word dissertation, completed under the supervision of one or more of the course tutors. Students will undertake a seminar based programme of research methods training in core research skills and subject specific methodologies. They will also take two option courses covering areas of Renaissance literature and culture related to their chosen fields and will write two extended essays in relation to these courses.
The academic staff you will be working with are all active researchers or authors, many of them prize winners and leading scholars in their fields. As well as benefiting from their expert supervision, you will undertake a seminar-based programme of training in core research skills and subject-specific methodologies. You will also have the opportunity to develop other transferable skills through the University’s Institute for Academic Development
We encourage you to share your research and learn from the work of others through a vibrant programme of Work-in-Progress seminars, reading groups, visiting speakers and conferences.
Our postgraduate journal, Forum, is a valuable conduit for research findings, and provides an opportunity for editorial experience.
On hand are all the amenities you would expect, such as computing facilities, study areas and a common room and kitchen. Our location gives you easy access to the University’s general facilities, such as the Main Library and our collections, as well as to the National Museum, National Library and National Galleries of Scotland at the heart of the city.
In addition to the impressive range of resources available at the University’s Main Library (more than two million printed volumes and generous online resources) and the nearby National Library of Scotland, we host a number of collections of rare and valuable archival materials, all of which will be readily available to you as a postgraduate student.
Among the literary treasures are the libraries of William Drummond, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Hugh MacDiarmid, Adam Smith, Dugald Stewart and Norman MacCaig, plus the WH Auden collection, the Corson Collection of works by and about Sir Walter Scott and the Ramage collection of poetry pamphlets.
Our cultural collections are highly regarded and include a truly exceptional collection of early Shakespeare quartos and other early modern printed plays, and world-class manuscript and archival collections.
The Master of Western Literature is a unique initial master's programme aimed at an in-depth, intercultural and comparative study of literature in different Western traditions and epochs. As one of the world's oldest universities, located in a multi-lingual society and at the heart of Europe, KU Leuven is a unique location for a programme that focuses on the dynamic interactions between various literatures, languages, and cultures, as well as on intercultural and international aspects of literature.
This master's programme stands out both nationally and internationally for its advanced degree of specialisation in literary studies and its unique intercultural and multilingual perspective.
Specialists in various national literatures and in literary theory collaborate to ensure the high level and quality of the courses. The programme's broad spectrum of national literatures allows you to combine these according to your own interests and thus to deepen your knowledge, à la carte. At the same time, this advanced level of specialisation is combined with a critical, theoretical and broadly comparative perspective. Finally, the concept of 'Western' literatures is thoroughly examined and questioned against the background of more general social, political, and cultural perspectives, both from historical and contemporary points of view.
This is an initial master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.
The programme does not take for granted the key terms in its title: 'Western' and 'literature.' Rather, it aims to investigate the development of literature, literary systems, and traditions in the West and to address the challenges that these phenomena meet with in our contemporary globalised society.
Notions like the canon, tradition, literary genre, and poetics are critically examined and placed within relevant historical contexts. They are studied in relation to the general concepts that determine them, such as civilization, culture, identity, and alterity. The idea of 'Western' literature is also scrutinized from an ideological perspective: what is the relation between literature, nation, language and territory and how has this relation changed in a context of decolonization, globalization, and changing relations between East and West? Within this general theoretical and comparative perspective, the 'building blocks' of Western literature - the different linguistic or national literary traditions - are not neglected and a wide range of elective courses offer ample opportunities for studying these literatures in more detail.
As a graduate of the Master of Western Literature programme, you will have acquired a wide range of skills that you will be able to use in a large number of professional contexts. Your strengths will mainly be your ability to reflect on complex cultural phenomena, your insight into and facility with plurilingualism and interculturality, and your ability to bring those insights across in the media and/or in educational contexts.
Through your advanced insight in intercultural relations, you will be exceptionally well placed to work in an international context (e.g., embassies, European institutions, translating services, and international companies). In addition, you will have acquired an extensive knowledge of literature and the skills for reporting on it. The publishing world, the media, and journalism will therefore offer more possibilities.
After taking a teacher training programme, you will also be able to start teaching.
We offer MPhil and PhD research programmes in English (including American Studies), Comparative Literature or Linguistics for full or part-time study.
The Department of English and Comparative Literature consists of some 40 scholars and creative writers whose work is acknowledged and cited internationally.
We offer a stimulating environment for undertaking postgraduate research in English Literature (including American Literature and literary theory), World Literature, Comparative Literature, Linguistics, and Creative Writing.
We particularly encourage cross- and interdisciplinary research in emerging fields of study and creative practice.
As well as working with scholars and writers of international standing, you will have the opportunity to play an active role in a vibrant research environment which includes the Richard Hoggart Lectures in Literature and Culture, the annual Goldsmiths Prize for bold and innovative fiction, and specialist seminars and colloqia offered by the Goldsmiths Writers' Centre, the Goldsmiths Literature Seminars (GLITS), the Goldsmiths Linguistics Seminars (GoldLingS), and the e-journal, GLITS-e.
Assessment is by thesis and viva voce.
Find out more about research degrees at Goldsmiths.
North American applicants especially should note that the British system does not include preparatory taught classes or examinations as part of the MPhil programme, except for an initial course in research methods.
Carrying out a research degree will help you develop:
Our graduates have gone on to pursue careers in:
Training in research methods and skills is provided both by the department and Goldsmiths' Graduate School. This begins with an intensive week-long induction in the first week of enrolment and continues later in the first term with a series of seminars focussing on the specific challenges of literary and linguistic research projects. The department will also inform you about any research training seminars or study-days offered elsewhere in the University of London (for example, by the Institute of English Studies or the Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Study) or beyond, such as at the British Library. The specific training requirements of your project will be assessed, and guidance provided on specialist seminars and conferences to attend, which can be supported where possible by assistance from departmental funds.