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Course content

This diverse and flexible programme offers you a wide array of choice to explore the wealth of literature in English across periods and geographies.

Whether you want to pursue the interests developed during your degree, fill gaps in your knowledge or prepare for a future in research, you’ll have opportunities to sharpen your research skills and specialise in aspects of literary studies that suit your interests.

You can bring together English, American and postcolonial literatures to create an eclectic mix of research-led modules, from Arthurian legend to Shakespeare and psychoanalysis. It’s also a good starting point for exploring wide-ranging research interests that cut across periods and cultures.

You’ll be taught by tutors who are expert researchers in their fields and benefit from access to our world-class Library and Special Collections. It’s an exciting and dynamic environment in which to study some of the world’s greatest literature.

Course content

From the beginning of the programme you’ll start to develop your research skills, as a core module introduces you to the methods and approaches involved in researching literature and helps you to prepare for writing an independent research project / dissertation and for your future career.

You’ll also choose from our broad range of optional modules, which could mean you focus on topics such as American fiction in the 19th century, the memoir, the Brontës, Shakespeare or many others. Alternatively you may choose two of your optional modules from the School of English and a third from elsewhere in the University (subject to availability and agreement from the module tutor).

You’ll choose further optional modules in Semester Two. However, throughout the year you’ll also work on your research project or dissertation: a chance to showcase all the skills you’ve acquired by independently researching a literary topic of your choice. You’ll submit this by the end of the programme in September.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll take fewer modules in each year and study over a longer period.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Studying English: Research Methods 30 credits
  • Research Project 60 credits

Optional modules

  • Caribbean and Black British Writing 30 credits
  • Romantic Identities: Literary Constructions of the Self, 1789-1821 30 credits
  • Arthurian Legend: Medieval to Modern 30 credits
  • Africas of the Mind 30 credits
  • Reading (with) Psychoanalysis 30 credits
  • So Where do you come from? Selves, Families, Stories 30 credits
  • The Brontes 30 credits
  • Fictions of Citizenship in Contemporary American Literature 30 credits
  • The Enigmatic Body of Modernism 30 credits
  • Shakespeare's Tyrants 30 credits
  • Poetry of Catastrophe: Reading Paul Celan 30 credits
  • Global Indigeneity 30 credits
  • Feeling Time 30 credits
  • The Magic of Mimesis 30 credits
  • Romantic Ecologies 30 credits
  • The Literature of Crisis: Politics and Gender in 1790s Britain 30 credits
  • Turks, Moors, and Jews: Staging the Exotic in the Renaissance 30 credits
  • Victorian New Media 30 credits
  • Imperial Masculinities: Late-Victorian Romance Fiction 30 credits
  • The African American Tradition: Eight Major Works 30 credits
  • Literature and the Politics of Language 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read English Literature MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read English Literature MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You’ll generally have two-hour weekly seminars in each module where you discuss the themes and issues arising from your reading, and you’ll be able to enhance your learning by attending the wide range of research seminars and talks by visiting speakers that we arrange throughout the year. You’ll also benefit from supervisions throughout semester 2 with your dissertation supervisor.

However, independent study is a vital part of the degree as it allows you to build your skills and explore your own ideas.

Assessment

Most of our MA modules are assessed with a single essay of around 4,000 words, which you’ll submit at the end of the semester. You’ll usually also be required to submit unassessed essays to gain feedback on your work and give presentations on your reading in seminars. The research project/dissertation is 12,000-15,000 words in length.

Career opportunities

This degree will allow you to develop subject knowledge in a challenging and dynamic subject while building skills that are highly prized by employers.

You’ll be a confident researcher who works well independently, but you’ll also be an excellent communicator and comfortable in a team. You’ll have good analytical and critical skills, as well as having the ability to use different approaches to think about a situation from several different viewpoints.

All of these qualities are attractive to employers across sectors, and you’ll be well equipped to pursue a career in a wide range of fields depending on your interests. These could include teaching, journalism, publishing, advertising, broadcasting and law. Many of our graduates also progress to PhD-level study and you’ll be in a good position to develop a career in academia.

Careers support

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.


Visit the English Literature MA page on the University of Leeds website for more details!

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