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The MA in Global Literature and Culture is a wide-ranging exploration of the cultural manifestations of colonial conquest, national identities, anti-colonial resistance and post-colonial struggles.

You'll have the opportunity to study these interconnected experiences from the beginnings of European imperialism to the present day. You can construct a distinct, individually chosen programme of study from a wide range of options all of which involve questions of culture, history and politics.

Taught and supervised by world-leading scholars, the course will develop your research skills which you'll apply to a substantial piece of independent research. This will provide you with a foundation for doctoral research, as well as transferable skills for related careers in teaching, publishing, arts management and journalism. ​

You’ll engage with the wider research culture of the Department of English, one of the UK's largest research centres in modern English, and there will be a diverse schedule of seminars, conferences and reading groups for you to attend. You’ll also be part of the Humanities Research Centre, a vibrant interdisciplinary hub which will enable you to form close social and intellectual bonds over the course of your study.

Course content

Our range of modules enables you to develop a comparative understanding of different forms of imperial rule, and encourages a comparative approach to African, Asian, Irish, Middle Eastern and Pacific responses to the experience of colonisation. You'll be able to explore the transnational elements of cultural production and reception.​

You'll study one core module (20 credits) and three option modules (20 credits each) from a wide range of choices offered by the Department of English and Related Literature and other arts and humanities departments. Some modules will take an interdisciplinary view, others will focus on a particular discipline. You'll study a research skills training module (10 credits), and complete a research dissertation (90 credits). The total number of credits for the course is 180.

Modules

The core modules introduces and explores theoretical debates in the field. Rather than take 'postcolonial' as an unproblematic term, Debating Global Literary Culture addresses the intellectual, aesthetic and material stakes involved in its deployment, and situates the term in relation to earlier anti-colonial and liberationist formulations. On the Postgraduate Life in Practice module, you'll learn valuable skills in research, writing, reflection, presentation, publishing and career development.

Core modules

  • Debating Global Literary Culture (20 credits)
  • Postgraduate Life in Practice I (10 credits)
  • Postgraduate Life in Practice II  (10 credits)

Option modules

  • South African Literatures: Writing Decoloniality (20 credits)
  • Imagining Muslims: Representation of Muslims in Britain (20 credits)
  • Reading for the World: System, Resource, Text (20 credits)

There are also a wide range of further option modules offered across all the Department's MA programmes which are available to you.

You may also choose available modules from other arts and humanities departments.

Dissertation

Your dissertation (80 credits) offers you the chance to examine a topic in depth and to develop your research skills.

In Summer Term and over the vacation you'll work on a 14,000-16,000-word dissertation with regular supervision from a member of staff.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

You'll normally attend two 2-hour seminars each week during the Autumn and Spring Terms. If you are a part-time student you'll attend one 2-hour seminar a week during the Autumn and Spring Terms of Year 1 and Year 2.

Seminar groups consist of fewer than 15 students in most modules, though some core modules may involve a larger number of students. You'll complete essential reading for each seminar, and we encourage you to read more widely around the topic.

You'll attend a series of training lectures and workshops, designed to address presenting your work, writing at MA level, transferable skills, and career development.

Over the course of the year, you'll give regular seminar presentations and attend research seminars and day conferences hosted by the Department. Many of these events will be organised through the Humanities Research Centre, a state-of-the-art facility unique to York.

Facilities

​​Writers at York is a lively programme of readings and workshops, and aims to celebrate and explore the work of emerging and established contemporary writers. Writers at York is supported by the University of York's External Engagement Awards and the Festival of Ideas.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of English and Related Literature on Campus West. Most of your contact hours will be in locations nearby on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You'll submit an essay for each module of approximately 4,500 words. The Postgraduate Life in Practice module will be assessed on the completion of a series of tasks connected to your core work for the MA. Your final assessment is a dissertation of 14,000-16,000 words.

Careers and skills

Our postgraduates go into academia and teaching, arts administration, journalism, broadcasting, public relations, social work, politics, the civil service, and management consultancy. Many 

alumni have also gone on to become successful novelists, poets and playwrights.

Career opportunities

  • Advertising, marketing, and public relations
  • Arts administration
  • Civil and diplomatic services
  • Film, radio, social media, television, and theatre
  • Journalism and broadcasting
  • Law
  • Government
  • Academia
  • Publishing
  • Teaching

Transferable skills

You'll develop a range of transferable skills including:

  • Developing your creativity
  • Improving your ability to filter and analyse complex information
  • Intellectual independence and independent working
  • Time management and people skills
  • Communicating your research
  • Methodological skills
  • Intercultural awareness

Visit the Global Literature and Culture - MA page on the University of York website for more details!

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