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Course content

The MLitt in English Studies is a literature degree offering specialist options in each of the major literary periods, from Old English to the present day. Our expert tutors will introduce you to the very latest academic debates, along with longstanding critical issues such as race, class and sexuality.

Why study English Studies at Dundee?

The MLitt English Studies is a taught one year full-time, or two years part-time, postgraduate degree, which can be tailored to your needs, allowing you to pursue any literary interest you can imagine, whether it’s Arthurian literature or American crime fiction, animal rights or post colonialism.

This degree will:
Provide training in literary and cultural research as a firm basis for proceeding to doctoral work
Provide a taught postgraduate programme to suit individual student research interests and research needs
Enable completion of a dissertation of 18,000 words: an independent piece of work based on primary texts and sources, on your own topic, under the direction of an expert in the field.

Unique to Dundee is the “Special Author” option module, which allows you to explore in depth the full range of your chosen author’s works, whether it might be the Harry Potter series, Walter Scott’s Waverley novels, or the poems of Geoffrey Hill. Other examples include: Shakespeare, Jonathan Swift, Robert Burns, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, George Orwell, Joseph Conrad, or Angela Carter.

What's so good about English Studies at Dundee?

Research Excellence:
English Studies is part of the School of Humanities at Dundee, is a centre of research excellence, we have recognized strengths in book history, authorship studies and visual culture, and we lead the way in interdisciplinary scholarship. Our research culture thrives on probing the creative relationships between literature and film, poetry and theatre, word and image.

In the most recent RAE, a full 90% of English's research publications were rated as of international excellence in terms of their 'originality, significance and rigour' and 45% of our research output was rated in the two very highest categories of 'international excellence'.

Postgraduate Culture

The English at Dundee offers a lively postgraduate culture, including a regular postgraduate forum, visiting speakers and an annual postgraduate conference.

We are also home to an annual Literary Festival which regularly attracts high profile writers to Dundee.

"The English department at the University of Dundee is worth recommending for a number of reasons ... I greatly enjoyed the fact that I was allowed a free hand with my own research; supervision being present and supportive, but not controlling or stifling in the least."
Samira Nadkarni, MLitt English Studies

Who should study this course?

As well as being a research preparation degree for students who intend to proceed to a PhD, this course also caters directly for students who wish to take their first degree to a higher level of advanced study, for either career development or merely general interest.

The start date is September each year, and lasts for 12 months on a full-time basis, or 24 months part-time

How you will be taught

All the core teaching is conducted 5.30-7.30pm to allow attendance by part-time and full-time students alike. Other classes are scheduled for the mutual convenience of staff and students.

What you will study

There is one core module: Approaches to Literary and Visual Culture which runs over two semesters, and you choose two optional modules, from the list available each year, plus the English Studies Dissertation.

Below is a typical list of modules, which varies from year to year, and is subject to demand and availability. You can also choose your optional modules from any grouping.

Medieval and Renaissance Literature

History of the Book, 1500-1800
Arthurian Literature from Chaucer to Malory and Beyond
The History of Drama: from the Greeks to the Victorians
Exploring Old English Texts
Special Author: directed reading
Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Literature

History of the Book, 1500-1800
The Scottish Novel
Arthurian Literature from Chaucer to Malory and Beyond
Approaches to Film Adaptation
The History of Drama: from the Greeks to the Victorians
British and Irish Poetry, 1680-1830
Intermedial Poetic-Visual Art Works
The Pictured Page: Literature to Comics
Literature & Society, 1750-1900
The Irish Novel
Special Author: directed reading
Modern and Contemporary Literature

The Scottish Novel
Constructing Identities: Self, Subject and Persona in Contemporary Poetry
Virginia Woolf
The History of Drama: from the Greeks to the Victorians
The Pictured Page: Literature to Comics
The Irish Novel
The Literature of Hollywood
Writing, Texts and Books
Joyce and the Cinema
Postwar American Fiction and Transatlantic Exchange
Intermedial Poetic-Visual Art Works
Gender, Ethnicity, Text: Contemporary Readings
Special Author: directed reading
For the current list, visit the Humanities website.

How you will be assessed

Assessment is normally by extended essays for each module. All students allowed to progress to the MLitt phrase must attempt the dissertation. Students whose dissertation fails to satisfy the examiners will be awarded the PG Diploma, provided that the taught elements of the course have been successfully completed.


Students who take this course will gain a solid foundation from which they can proceed to doctoral research.

However, due to the non-vocational nature of a Humanities degree many students also enter jobs unrelated to their course of study. For these students this course provides them with an opportunity to further develop their written presentation skills, as well as the ability to work independently and plan independent research and study.

"I am so glad I did the Creative Writing module offered by the English department at Dundee as part of my MLitt degree pathway in Humanities. I am currently finishing a second novel, halfway through writing the script of a play, and working on a paper for the Conference of Clinical Anatomists. I am also involved in two or three different writing-in-the-community projects. The contacts I've made, and my confidence in trying different genres, is in large part attributable to that module."
Eddie Small, recent graduate

Visit the MLitt English Studies page on the University of Dundee website for more details!





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