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Course content

The MA in Modern and Contemporary Literature prepares students to undertake research the post-1900 literature and its contexts, and is also popular with those wish to broaden and deepen their critical engagement with the period. It draws on a critical mass of members of academic staff and institutional resources at The University of Manchester in twentieth and twenty-first century literature, culture and theory. The modules have been designed to introduce you to cutting-edge approaches to modern and contemporary writing. You will study four units, including at least one of a small group of possible core courses. (You can also take two or all three of these courses if you wish.)

There are also further optional courses to choose from including the modules Contemporary Fiction, and Postcolonial Literatures, Genres, and Theories. After your modules are complete you will undertake a dissertation, supervised by a member of academic staff.

Please note that the department also offers the MA English and American Studies .

Teaching and learning

Modern and Contemporary Literature students take 4 modules, including at least 1 of the 3 possible core courses:

  • Key Issues in Twentieth-Century Cultural Theory and Literary Criticism
  • Modernism and its Margins
  • Reading the Contemporary

Finally, students will write a 15,000-word dissertation, worth 60 credits, supervised by an academic member of staff.

Coursework and assessment

Students are required to take 180 credits of units as listed below.

The list of units on offer will be updated annually. Students may also choose up to 30 credits worth of units from another MA programme in place of one of their optional units, subject to the approval of the Programme Director.

Students will also attend seminars on such topics as how to study at MA level, how to research and write a Master's thesis, and career options.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 


Visit the Modern and Contemporary Literature (MA) page on the University of Manchester website for more details!

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