About the course
The MA in Literary Studies at Aberystwyth offers you a stimulating engagement with English literature in all its depth and diversity, with the opportunity to develop particular expertise in one of a number of specialist areas. By studying the latest developments in critical theory and research methodology you will cultivate the necessary skills to undertake your 15,000 word MA Dissertation, an extensive piece of critical research in your chosen field. You will also develop a host of transferable skills which you may deploy in a range of other academic or employment contexts.
As a student on the MA in Literary Studies at Aberystwyth, you will benefit from the University’s superb library and information technology resources and have access to the unrivaled collections of the National Library of Wales, one of the five elite research libraries in the UK.
This degree will suit you:
- If you are fascinated by particular developments in English Literature and want to deepen your knowledge
- If you want to enhance your understanding of particular topics or periods in literary history
- If you wish to cultivate your existing skills as a reader and writer
- If you want to develop your research and analytical skills for future work in academia
Course content and structure
The MA in Literary Studies provides a number of modules on fascinating topics and periods of literary history, including Medieval Lives, Romanticism's Radical Cultures, Victorian Popular Fiction, Postmodern Genres and many more. An important part of the course is the writing of a 15,000-word Dissertation on a specialist topic chosen by you in consultation with a specialist supervisor. We will take great care in assigning you a supervisor whose interests match your own as closely as possible.
A significant part of the course is devoted to research skills, including: exploiting library resources; using electronic journals and databases; building a critical bibliography; researching and writing a proposal; and honing your oral presentation skills. You will also be taught to interrogate the different kinds of 'textuality', or aspects of the literary text, which need to be taken into account in the study of literature at postgraduate level and beyond.
Postwar American Fiction
Women, Fiction and Female Community, 1660-1792
Romantic Radical Cultures
Sensational Sales: Victorian Popular Literature 1848-1894
Writing Ireland, Writing Wales
Assessment takes the form of: a research proposal, including a critical bibliography; examined oral presentations; and essays of 3,000- 5,000 words. In the third semester, each student will complete a MA Dissertation of 15,000 words on a specialist topic chosen by the student.
Every MA course at Aberystwyth University
is specifically designed to enhance your employability. In addition to developing your writing and research skills, this course will help you to master key skills that are required in a wide variety of workplaces. You will be pushed to improve your approaches to planning, analysis and presentation so that you can tackle complex projects thoroughly and with professional independence. Your MA in Literary Studies will place you in the jobs marketplace as a professional writer with highly desirable skills suitable for a career in the arts, literature, journalism and many others.
Key Skills and Competencies Study Skills
You will learn how to identify and interrogate the most relevant materials and literature in your field. You will be taught to master a range of research methodologies and, importantly, you will learn to justify your preferred methodological approach to your subject. You will learn how to deploy your research and analysis in critical discussion and build sophisticated academic arguments. You will learn to quickly assemble, assimilate, interpret and present a broad range of information regarding your specialism, a set of skills keenly sought by many employers from the civil service and journalism to media and commerce.
Self-Motivation and Discipline
Studying at MA level requires high levels of discipline and self-motivation from every candidate. Though you will have access to the expertise and helpful guidance of Departmental staff, you are ultimately responsible for devising and completing a sustained programme of scholarly research in pursuit of your MA degree. This process will strengthen your skills in planning, executing and analysing work projects in ways that reflect standard practice in the world of employed work.
The MA is designed to give you a range of transferable skills that you can apply in a variety of research interests and employment contexts. Upon graduation, you will have proven your abilities in structuring and communicating ideas efficiently, writing for and speaking to a range of audiences, evaluating and organizing information, working effectively with others and working to specific deadlines.