The MA in English Literature by research is taught through seminars, group sessions, and personalised one-to-one teaching with a first and second supervisor. A postgraduate reading group, and seminars led by staff and guest speakers, gradually develop the insights needed to complete your research project.
There are four parts to the qualification:
a research proposal a bibliography a short essay a longer Dissertation
There are no exams.
This is an opportunity to work closely on a writer or topic that fascinates you, within a supportive environment. You can undertake research in most literary topics within the period 1550 to the present day. You start by developing the Project Preliminaries with your supervisors: the research proposal, bibliography, and essay. Then you progress to the full Dissertation (25,000-30,000 words), written under the guidance of your supervisors.
The MA commences in September or January each year, on a full- or part-time basis. The MA takes one year full-time, two years part-time.
For the MA, full-time attendance on campus is not required, but overseas students in particular, or home students wishing to use libraries intensively, may apply for a room in University accommodation. Alternately, you can travel in for the teaching days, usually Wednesdays during term. The one-to-one sessions with your supervisors can be arranged for any day of the week.
At the heart of the MA is the close working relationship between candidate and supervisor. While the final thesis must be the candidate’s independent work, it is the supervisor who offers advice on refining the topic (if necessary), on primary sources, on secondary reading, on research techniques and on writing the final thesis. Supervisors and candidates meet frequently throughout the year, and not less than twice a term; and the supervisor is always the candidate’s primary contact for academic advice and support.
Those with limited time may prefer to spread the writing of their dissertation over two years, in which case an individual timetable of lectures and supervisions will be arranged.