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MA Narrative Research

Course Description

Human beings are great storytellers, making sense of their experiences by constructing narratives to help them analyse the things which have happened to them or to the world around them.

Narrative research offers new areas of inquiry and creative solutions to problems and is increasingly used in a variety of areas. UEL has been a pioneering university in the subject, setting up the prestigious Centre for Narrative Research in 2000.

Throughout the course you’ll have access to the Centre, which supports research on spoken, written and visual narratives and fosters inter-disciplinary work. It brings together researchers from psychological, sociological, anthropological, cultural and media studies, humanities, arts and performance research traditions into a productive dialogue.

This MA is a unique, inter-disciplinary course, drawing on social sciences and the humanities to help you learn narrative theories and methods. It will give you experience in the application of narrative concept and analysis and guide you through the planning and performance of a piece of advanced and original narrative research.


You will undertake four modules and a dissertation and you can study full-time for one year or part-time for two years. Through a range of theoretical and methodological perspectives, the MA addresses a number of key questions:

How do people constitute themselves as subjects within narratives? What role do memory, ideology and audience play in people's accounts of their lives? How do class, ethnicity, gender and other social characteristics shape the stories people tell? What are the ethics of narrative research? How does narrative research relate to discourse analysis, ethnography and other kinds of qualitative work? When we are embarking on narrative research, how do we decide on a programme of research, a procedure and means of analysis?

You’ll undertake a supervised research project in an area of your own interest. You can develop the dissertation from a proposal undertaken in the Narrative Practice module or you can develop something separately.


UEL has enjoyed strong links with the National Health Service in the UK in the last 15 years, especially with staff involved in mental health care.

NHS professionals from the leading mental care centre at the Tavistock Clinic in London as well as general practitioners have studied on the MA course to understand how they can use narrative research in their daily work. The course has also attracted people working in such varied industries as the media, public-sector bodies and local authorities.

The course enables professionals to return to work with a completely new set of skills which allow them to apply for more challenging roles within their organisation or to adopt a more creative approach to their current role or research.

PhD students or other researchers use the course to expand their techniques and research capabilities. Using and applying narratives is an expanding area for careers, especially in fields such as academic social science and cultural studies, applied social policy areas, health services and in the computer industry, particularly in the development of narrative-based games. By studying this MA, you’ll be putting yourself at the heart of cutting-edge research which is globally recognized.


Narrative Research (core)
Narrative Practice (core)
Political Narratives (optional)
Genealogical Research Strategies (optional)
Life-course narratives (optional)
Subjects in Culture (optional)
Feminist Postcolonialism: Orientalism, Gender, Sexuality (optional)
Psychosocial Analysis of Forced Migration (optional)
Dissertation (core)

Visit the MA Narrative Research page on the University of East London website for more details!

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally hold a first class or second class honours degree. This degree should be in a relevant field of study. Applicants holding an honours degree in a field of study which is not of obvious relevance may also be considered. Applicants who are not graduates but who have relevant research or professional experience may also be considered. All applicants with appropriate qualifications will be invited for an interview. In the case of applicants whose first language is not English an IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent) is required.

Course Fees

2015/16: Home: Full-time : £8,000, Part-time: £1,333 per 30 credit module; International: Full-time: £11,700

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Recipient: University of East London

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