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Course content

The MA in English Literary Studies will give you the opportunity to pursue literary topics and genres from a wide selection of authors and periods: from Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and Eighteenth-Century fiction to Victorian print culture, Modernisms and Modernities, Literature and Law, Holocaust Literature, and postcolonial world literatures.

The programme can be taken over one year full time or two years part time.

Introducing your degree

The programme will empower you to conduct advanced-level research and independent critical thinking; to make effective use of archives, manuscripts, and research libraries; and to examine how literature shapes the public understanding of diverse fields such as climate change, economics, medicine, religion, 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 or as a professional in careers such as writing, broadcasting, teaching, and public administration.


The MA is a broad-based programme that allows you to explore the interrelations of text, theory, and culture across the field of English literary and cultural studies. The flexible structure is designed to give you an advanced understanding of the study and practice of academic English literary studies in terms of cultural analysis, textual interpretation, and theoretical method.

The MA in English Literary Studies will enable you to work independently in the field, to explore a range of periods and genres of English literature and culture as well as creative writing, and to evaluate unique archival resources. It will develop your knowledge and understanding of critical and research methods, raise your awareness of the historical and critical reception of literature in various periods, and help you explore the role of literature in a contested cultural framework.

View the programme specification document for this course.

Career Opportunities

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.

Visit the English Literary Studies - MA page on the University of Southampton website for more details!





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