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MA - The Contemporary Novel: Practice as Research


University of Kent School of English

Full time & Part time See Course MA, Research Only Full-time: 1 year; Part-time: 2 years

About the course

This is an innovative and exciting programme in which you focus on writing a full-length, literary novel of between 90,000 and 150,000 words.

While the aims and objectives remain the same as on any other PhD programme in the humanities, for example, you are expected to contribute new knowledge of some sort, and to explore original, contemporary research questions, you are expected to achieve almost all of this in the novel itself. There is no long critical piece attached to this PhD programme. Instead, you produce a 3-5,000-word essay that works like a preface to your project, linking your concerns with others’, demonstrating your awareness of theme and locating your work within/without one or more traditions etc. You also need to produce a full bibliography.

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Entry Requirements

A first or upper-second class honours degree in a relevant subject (or equivalent) and, normally, a taught MA qualification.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.

Please see course website for further details.


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Student Profile(s)

Denica Shute

I chose Kent primarily because its module structure is extremely flexible, allowing me to write only prose and continue writing my novels throughout most modules. The same goes for poetry writers and for those who wish to write in both areas. Now that I'm further into the course I realise I'm very lucky to have been taught by some award winning novelists, and those who aren't award winning come with years of experience of writing and the industry. My favourite part of the course so far is the The Magazine module: you work in a team to produce a literary and creative writing magazine. The module is invaluable in that it shows just how a creative course like this can be applied in the work place and how much dedication and hard work it requires.


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