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Literature - MA


Course Description

Our department offers a distinctively comparative approach to the study of literature; at Essex you don’t just study English literature, you study world literature in English. You explore literature across time, geography, and genre, combining scholarly research with innovative, practical ways of engaging with texts.

You grapple with the challenges of conducting research into Shakespeare and other early modern literature, acquiring specialist skills in archival research, palaeography, and the study of rare and antiquated books. You study materials on 18th century drama and literature, visiting the UK’s only surviving Regency Theatre to investigate how architecture affected the content of drama, and how drama reflected Georgian society. You have the opportunity to explore the history of genres such as the novel and lyric poetry, and study a truly extensive range of work; your reading takes you from African American literature, through Caribbean literatures, to the literature and performance of New York, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Moscow and London.

Our department is ranked Top 20 in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2015), and three-quarters of our research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014).

This course is also available on a part-time basis.

Our expert staff

At Essex, we have an impressive literary legacy. Our history comprises staff (and students) who have been Nobel Prize winners, Booker Prize winners, and Pulitzer Prize winners.

Our Department is a vibrant conservatoire of scholars and practitioners who are committed to unlocking creative personal responses to literature. This distinctive environment is possible because we are a community of award-winning novelists, poets and playwrights, as well as leading literature specialists.

Our academic staff specialise in a range of areas including modernism, comparative and world literature, Shakespeare, the Renaissance, modernism, travel writing, nature writing, translated literature, cultural geography, Irish and Scottish writing, U.S. and Caribbean literatures, and the history of reading.

Specialist facilities

-Meet fellow readers at the student-run Literature Society or at our department’s Myth Reading Group
-Write for our student magazine Albert or host a Red Radio show
-View classic films at weekly film screenings in our dedicated 120-seat film theatre
-Learn from leading writers and literature specialists at weekly research seminars
-Our on-campus Lakeside Theatre has been established as a major venue for good drama, staging both productions by professional touring companies and a wealth of new work written, produced and directed by our own staff and students
-Improve your playwriting and performance skills at our Lakeside Theatre Workshops
-Our Research Laboratory allows you to collaborate with professionals, improvising and experimenting with new work which is being tried and tested

Your future

A good literature degree opens many doors.

We offer supervision for PhD, MPhil and MA by Dissertation in different literatures and various approaches to literature, covering most aspects of early modern and modern writing in English, plus a number of other languages.

Our University is one of only 11 AHRC-accredited Doctoral Training Centres in the UK. This means that we offer funded PhD studentships which also provide a range of research and training opportunities.

A number of our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies graduates have gone on to undertake successful careers as writers, and others are now established as scholars, university lecturers, teachers, publishers, publishers’ editors, journalists, arts administrators, theatre artistic directors, drama advisers, and translators.

We work with our Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Dissertation
-Research Methods in Literary and Cultural Analysis
-Georgian and Romantic Literature and Drama
-Early Modern to Eighteenth Century Literature
-The New Nature Writing (optional)
-Writing the Novel (optional)
-Memory Maps: Practices in Psychogeography (optional)
-Dramatic Structure (optional)
-Literature and Performance in the Modern City (optional)
-Adaptation
-Documentary and the Avant-garde: Film, Video, Digital
-Film and Video Production Workshop
-Advanced Film and Industry: Production and Industry
-US Nationalism and Regionalism (optional)
-African American Literature (optional)
-Sea of Lentils: Modernity, Literature, and Film in the Caribbean (optional)
-Writing Magic (optional)
-"There is a Continent Outside My Window" : United States and Caribbean Literatures in Dialogue (optional)
-Literature and the Environmental Imagination: 19th to 21st Century Poetry and Prose (optional)

Visit the Literature - MA page on the University of Essex website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Wendy McMahon

“I have always had a passion for literature which led me to doing my Phd in LIterature. was I really enjoyed my time at Essex when I was completing my undergraduate degree and I chose to return to complete my PhD study because of the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies’ comparative and interdisciplinary nature.

What I enjoyed most was the independence I had whilst completing my research. The Department houses a wide range of expertise and provides a lively intellectual space within which to engender your own research.

The University of Essex has such a strong sense of community. Whilst at Essex I took every opportunity that the Department offered, whether it be training, the opportunity to present work, or social engagements. I would always advise others to do the same as I gained so much from these experiences.

My best memory of my time at Essex has to be when I presented my first research paper at a departmental seminar, it gave me a real sense of achievement.

Since completing my PhD I have been appointed as a Lecturer in American Studies within the School of American Studies at the University of East Anglia. My PhD study provided me with the fundamental training required for me to forge and pursue my desired academic career.


Scholarships

Entry Requirements

We will consider applications with an overall grade of 2:2 and above. We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Email for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.

Email Enquiry

Recipient: University of Essex

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