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This pathway of the MA in Literary Studies is ideal if you’re keen to study Shakespeare at an advanced level. Centred on Shakespeare and early modern literature and culture, you’ll also explore the reception and performance of Shakespeare in later times.

The programme is challenging, flexible, and invigorated by current research. It will deepen your understanding of Elizabethan literature, its historical and cultural contexts, and how this fascinating literary tradition has evolved, and how it is received in the world in the present.

You’ll combine theory with a close reading of a wide range of texts, from different media (literary, filmic, visual), periods, and cultural, geographical and linguistic backgrounds. All texts will be studied in English, English translation, or with English subtitles.

The pathway also offers a unique opportunity to work directly with one of England’s most respected theatre directors, Bill Alexander (artistic director of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Honorary Associate of the Royal Shakespeare Company) to explore, through the module “Text in Performance: Shakespeare”, how a play is read and analysed in the rehearsal room and how its language and imagery shapes character and performance choices.

Modules & structure

Core module

In addition to the core module and dissertation, you also take three option modules. Please visit the website for more information.


You'll develop transferable skills, including:

  • enhanced communication and discussion skills in written and oral contexts
  • the ability to analyse and evaluate different textual materials
  • the ability to organise information; the ability to assimilate and evaluate competing arguments


Graduates of this programme have gone on to pursue careers in:

  • publishing
  • journalism
  • public relations
  • teaching
  • advertising
  • the civil service
  • business
  • industry
  • the media

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Visit the Literary Studies: Pathway in Shakespeare: Early & Modern - MA page on the Goldsmiths, University of London website for more details!