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The UBC English Graduate Program, one of the most vibrant and wide-ranging in Canada, has been awarding the M.A. degree since 1919. Students may earn the degree in each of two areas: English Literature and English Language. Indeed, the UBC English Department is one of the few departments in North America to offer a language program in addition to its literary programs.

English language

The English Language program includes specializations in history and structure of language, discourse and genre analysis, and history and theory of rhetoric. Faculty members in the Language program teach and supervise research in descriptive linguistics, historical linguistics, cognitive linguistics, functional grammar, semantics, pragmatics, discourse analysis, stylistics, genre studies, and history and theory of rhetoric. Students in the English Literature program can take advantage of Language graduate courses; recent offerings include courses on reported speech and its rhetorical versatility across genres; the uses of classical rhetoric for contemporary critical practice; and cognitive approaches to the language of literature. By the same token, Language students can take advantage of the wide variety of Literature courses our department offers.

English literature

The English Literature program includes specializations across the periods, genres, and major figures of British, North American and World Literature in English. Current research initiatives on the part of faculty include such diverse topics as the ecocritical study of Renaissance drama; the triumph of transport in Romantic poetry; the impact of radio and television on modernist poetics; the politics of post-identity in Asian American literature, and the role of war and its traumatic shocks in twentieth-century Canadian, U.S. and British literature. Graduate students can also choose to work across disciplinary fields, taking advantage of UBC's outstanding interdisciplinary programs in Medieval Studies, Canadian and U.S. Studies, Studies in Sexuality, and Science and Technology Studies, among others.

The M.A can be completed with or without thesis, in one or two years, and in full- or part-time programs.

What makes the program unique?

The department is unique in Canada by offering two tiers of programs in English Literature and English Language and Linguistics at the graduate and undergraduate levels. We teach courses in all of the literary historical periods (Medieval, Early Modern, Eighteenth Century, Romantic, Victorian, Modernist, Postmodern, and Contemporary), national, transnational, postcolonial, transpacific, and Indigenous literatures in English, as well as language, linguistics, rhetoric, critical theory, media studies, and a range of interdisciplinary topics.

As reflected in their field-leading research and publications, our department members are among the most productive in Canada. Our diverse expertise is well reflected in books published in 2012 and 2013 alone. We also work on collaborative research projects across the world, many funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and other significant funding bodies, on topics such as ecology and literature, English linguistics, rhetoric and science, musical-textual improvisation, and narratives of migration. Many of our faculty are currently engaged in projects devoted to new and digital media and are pioneering their intersection with both established and emerging modes of humanities research.


Visit the English - MA page on the University of British Columbia website for more details!

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