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Our MA in English Literature offers an exciting and challenging course of graduate study covering a range of periods and genres from the Renaissance to the Contemporary.

During the course you will:

  • take core compulsory modules that provide a secure grounding in the key methods of postgraduate study
  • choose elective modules from a wide range of periods and genres
  • take Independent study modules and complete a dissertation to pursue a personalised project matching your interests.

You will study with internationally-renowned scholars who regularly publish in their field. And you will have access to inspiring, on-campus literary resources such as:

As well as full reader access to the Bodleian Library, one of the most important research collections in the world.

Oxford is one of the most literary cities in the world. Home to J. R. R Tolkien and C.S Lewis, and inspiration to countless authors, poets and dreamers - what better city in which to study literature?

Learning and teaching

We teach using:

  • small-group seminars
  • Workshops
  • individual tutorials.

Classes are held in the evenings, with sessions running from 6.30pm to 9.00pm.

Part-time students attend the University one evening per week and should be able to devote an additional 12-15 hours per week to private study.

Full-time students attend classes on two evenings per week and spend 30 hours per week in private study.

Shorter postgraduate courses in English Literature are also available (the Postgraduate Diploma and the Postgraduate Certificate) and it is possible to transfer between these courses.


Assessment is entirely by written work and occasional oral presentations. There are no examinations.

Our virtual learning portals provide core materials relating to learning and assessment online. These include

  • lecture schedules
  • module guides
  • supporting materials
  • guidelines and
  • criteria for coursework, along with notes on essay writing and report presentation.


The Department of English and Modern Languages has several collaborative research communities, including:

We support our doctoral students and encourage wide participation both through our partnerships and our busy programme of conferences, public events and lectures.

Research students are supervised by a team of tutors, including a director of studies and at least one other supervisor.

Research supervision is offered in the following areas:

  • Romantic writing
  • Contemporary literature
  • The pre-raphaelites
  • American literature avant-garde writing
  • Witchcraft in the 19th century
  • John Clare and eco-criticism
  • Ben Jonson
  • Shakespeare
  • Theatre and science
  • Utopias
  • Thomas More
  • Modernist Poetry
  • Stylistics
  • Victorian religion
  • Literature and technology
  • Literature as therapy
  • Literature and war.

Career prospects

Our alumni go on to a wide range of careers in different sectors, including:

  • teaching
  • publishing
  • NGO/charity work
  • media production
  • the creative industries. 

Employers value our postgraduate students’ advanced problem-solving, research, and communication skills. 

Recently, Jenny Mayhew, English PhD student, had her first novel published, A Wolf in Hindelheim. A significant number of successful MA students continue into further research and academic careers, at Brookes and other institutions. 

The MA course offers an excellent grounding in further study in English no matter what you decide to do afterwards, and provides the research experience and training you need to pursue a successful PhD project.

Visit the English Literature - PgDip/PgCert/MA page on the Oxford Brookes University website for more details!





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