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Course content

Discover the richness and diversity of new writings in English with this distinctive degree, which focuses on literature from across the Commonwealth and the theoretical issues that emerge from colonial and postcolonial literatures.

You’ll develop your understanding of research in literary studies through a core module, but then choose from optional modules which look at the histories, contexts, structures and language that give postcolonial and colonial texts their uniqueness.

We focus on literature, but the programme also introduces you to other forms of cultural production such as music and cinema – and you’ll think about the relationships between literary studies and disciplines such as geography, anthropology and history. Supported by our Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, you’ll gain a cross-disciplinary insight into how writers from around the world have engaged with issues such as identity, place, independence, development and race among many others.

The University of Leeds was the first UK university to establish ‘Commonwealth Literature’ as an academic discipline at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. We’re still leading the way in research and teaching, supported by the expertise of staff within and outside of the cross-disciplinary Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies.

You’ll study in a supportive environment with access to extensive resources for your research and placing literature and culture in their historical and political context. Microfilm collections of American, Indian and South African newspapers, parliamentary papers relating to the British Empire, US government and presidential files, the Church Missionary Society Archives, the Black Power Movement archive and British documents on the end of empire, foreign affairs and policy overseas are just some of the resources at your fingertips. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore your interests and gain key skills.

This programme is also available to study part-time.

Course content

You’ll take one core module in your first semester, introducing you to the challenges, methods and approaches used in researching literature and allowing you to develop your skills. You’ll also choose one of our optional modules, before studying another two in your second semester.

You can choose all of your modules from within postcolonial literary and cultural studies, but you also have the option to expand your studies by choosing one from those available across the School of English, from the early medieval period to contemporary literature.

By the end of the programme, you’ll demonstrate the skills and knowledge you’ve developed when you submit your dissertation or research project on a postcolonial literary or cultural topic of your choice.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Studying English: Research Methods 30 credits
  • Research Project 60 credits

Optional modules

  • Caribbean and Black British Writing 30 credits
  • Africas of the Mind 30 credits
  • Global Indigeneity 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You’ll have weekly seminars in each module where you discuss the themes and issues arising from your reading, and you’ll be able to enhance your learning by attending the wide range of research seminars and talks by visiting speakers that we arrange throughout the year. However, independent study is a vital part of the degree, as it allows you to build your skills and explore your own ideas.

Assessment

Most of our modules are assessed by a single essay of around 4,000 words, which you submit at the end of the semester in which you studied the module. You may also be expected to submit unassessed essays to gain feedback on your work, or give presentations in your seminars.

Career opportunities

This programme will equip you with a wide range of high-level transferable skills which are valuable in a wide range of careers.

You’ll be a confident researcher who can work independently as well as within a team. You’ll be a strong communicator, both verbally and in writing, and be able to think critically and analytically. In addition, you’ll have a strong level of cultural and critical awareness, and you’ll be able to look at a situation from different points of view.

All of these qualities are attractive to employers across sectors, and you’ll have the skills to pursue a career in fields including teaching, journalism, publishing, advertising, broadcasting and law. Many of our graduates also progress to PhD-level study and you’ll be well equipped for a career in academia.

Careers support

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website


Visit the Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies MA page on the University of Leeds website for more details!

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