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Course content

About the course

The MA in English Literature at Brunel University London offers a combination of various approaches to the study of literary texts, including the historical, author-oriented readings, periodization and a postmillennial focus. It is underpinned by certain core issues: identity, culture and literary engagement; historical contexts; the ideological and social function of literature; exploring self and others through literary forms and genres; how we might more effectively read texts and the world.

The course offers the opportunity to study a range of topics and periods including the contemporary, and it is designed to appeal to you if: you are preparing to undertake further research in literary studies; wishing to take your general studies in English literature to the next level; or, hoping to enhance your career prospects.

The introductory module, Reading, Research & Writing, reinforces and further develops all the required skills and competencies relevant to literary studies, ensuring that from the third term you will be able to pursue self-directed research on an agreed topic of your choice and submit a 15,000 word dissertation.


You will explore the diversity of literary and cultural production through innovative modules designed to cross disciplinary, historical, and geographical boundaries, thereby offering a wide scope within which students of the master’s can develop their own interests.

The MA in English Literature will equip you with a detailed and sophisticated understanding of English and related literatures. It will support your critical and creative engagement with issues central to and at the cutting edge of English literary studies.

If, following the completion of the postgraduate English MA course, you wish to continue your studies at doctoral level, you will have essential research skills, and the opportunity to join a flourishing research culture at Brunel.

Course Content

You will take five core modules, four of which study a range of texts and a fifth which involves preparing a 15,000 word dissertation on an agreed topic of your choice.

All five compulsory modules have been designed to meet the requirements of the Arts and Humanities Research Council in terms of preparation of graduate students for advanced level study and doctoral research.

Reading, Writing and Research
Postmillennial Literature
A British Literary Decade: A Historical Approach
Author(s) Study
Advanced Project: 15,000 word dissertation

Special Features

This master’s degree is taught by world-leading specialists in post-1789 literature and theory, each with an international reputation for publication, their work informing the content of our programme.

The course offers innovative approaches and module topics which combine different periods, author-studies, and both a contemporary and a historical focus.

The location of Brunel University in West London places it in the heart of contemporary literary and cultural life in the UK.

Access to various Brunel archives, including the Fiction and Cultural Mediation of Ageing (FCMAP) archive, the Burnett Archive of Working Class Autobiographies and South Asian Diaspora Arts Archive (SADAA).

Our staff have expertise in a wide range of literatures, and you will benefit from events and activities organised by the Brunel Centre for Contemporary Writing.

There are financial benefits offered to alumni of the Brunel MA programmes to help you on your way.


The English Literature MA is taught through workshops and seminars, led by distinguished research-active staff working in the field. English students will be expected to contribute to discussions, present your own interpretations and raise new questions for debate.


This English Literature Master's course is taught through workshops and seminars, moderated by distinguished research-active staff working in the field. You will be expected to contribute to discussions, present your own interpretations and raise new questions for debate.

You will be assessed using a variety of methods including written work (essays and dissertation), oral presentations, seminar attendance and performance, and organisation and planning of the dissertation. Some assessments will be formative, i.e you will be given feedback but not graded; this will enable you to improve and work towards graded assessments.

Visit the English Literature - MA page on the Brunel University London website for more details!




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Recipient: Brunel University London

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