Masters degrees in English Literature & Language give students the chance to explore and analyse literature written in English, as well as the history, grammar and pronunciation of the English language.
These Masters typically focus on aspects of English within a particular context, such as Mediaeval & Early Modern Literature. However, some programmes do take a broader, more holistic approach to the subject, allowing you to make connections between difference branches of the discipline.
Related subject areas include Film Studies, Linguistics and American Literature.
English Literature & Language programmes aren’t just an opportunity to write about your favourite author; they’re also some of the most diverse and versatile courses around, affording you a great deal of freedom to carve your own niche in a specific area of English literature or language.
Career prospects reflect this variety, and you can find English Literature & Language postgraduates in many different disciplines and sectors. Their research, analytical and written skills are particularly valued in jobs in journalism, publishing, academia and advertising.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study English Literature at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
The Department of English Language and Literature can offer supervision in most areas of literature from the middle ages to the present. We have particular strengths in gender, Welsh writing in English, American Literature, medieval, Renaissance, eighteenth and nineteenth-century writing and culture, modernism and postmodernism, Irish poetry, contemporary literature and critical and cultural theory.
An MA by Research in English Literature gives you the chance to pursue a project inspired entirely by your own particular enthusiasms in English language and literature. The qualification would be a good preparation for proceeding to doctoral work. Alternatively, the proven ability to conduct independent research in English Literature will boost employment prospects outside academia (for example, in the media, publishing, the Civil Service, or education).
As a student of the MA by Research in English Literature programme, you will be supervised closely by two experienced academics in your field. Typically, you will meet them fortnightly in the first term and at regular intervals thereafter. Meetings are logged and goals agreed each time.
All research students in English Literature are required to attend skills and training courses at College and Institutional level. English Literature students give presentations to other research students and staff at departmental seminars and the annual departmental postgraduate symposium in June and the College of Arts and Humanities conference in October. MA by Research in English Literature degree typically lasts from one year (full-time study) to two years (part-time study).
The MA by Research in English Literature would suit those wanting the freedom to explore a topic of their choosing in English language and literature under the close supervision of two experienced academics but without attending regular classes as required in taught programmes; an MA qualification in niche areas where taught programmes are not offered; the experience of a research degree without committing to a PhD at the outset. Research proposals are invited on any topic in English Literature for which staff can provide supervision.
About 70 of the postgraduates currently studying at Swansea University’s Department of English Language and Literature [ELL] are researchers working on an MA, MPhil or PhD thesis. Each is supervised by two members of staff, 60% of whose own research publications were rated ‘internationally excellent’ or ‘world-leading’ in the 2008 REF exercise. We supervise interdisciplinary projects as well as traditional areas of the discipline - in language studies, creative writing, literature (from medieval to the present) and critical and cultural theory. If you have an idea for a research project in English Literature, do get in touch and discuss it with us informally before applying.
Postgraduate students including those of MA by Research in English Literature, often join a research centre, e.g. the Centre for Research into Gender and Culture (GENCAS) or the Centre for Research into Welsh Writing in English (CREW) where they work alongside other students and staff in dedicated research rooms. Students present their work in the friendly environment of our Research Institute’s annual postgraduate conference, Swansea University’s Department of English Language and Literature (ELL)’s fortnightly research seminars, and the monthly workshop of the Creative Writing Programme. Our research environment was judged 100% ‘internationally excellent’ by the 2008 REF, and research students help staff organize a lively programme of conferences, readings and performances on campus and in the city’s arts centres. As well as being inducted into academic research and dissemination, doctoral students have the opportunity to undertake undergraduate teaching to prepare them for an academic career. We provide study stations with computers and postgraduate common-rooms, research training and the services of a research officer and subject librarian.
What the Research Excellence Framework 2014 had to say about Postgraduate research in the Swansea Department of English Language and Literature …
The environment in the Department of English Language and Literature is ‘conducive to producing research of mostly at least internationally excellent and at its best world-leading quality’
‘Arrangements for postgraduates were deemed of world-leading quality’
‘There is clear evidence of the development of a research culture into which research students are fully integrated’
‘Recruitment is strong’
‘There are excellent arrangements for support, training and employability’.
Summing up: ‘The unit makes an outstanding contribution to the health of the discipline’.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study English Literature at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
The MA in English Literature offers an exciting array of modules from the traditional core of English studies in the context of contemporary approaches to the subject.
The MA in English Literature allows you to range widely across English studies rather than confine yourself to a narrow field and draws on the individual research expertise of members of staff.
From the student’s point of view the MA in English Literature is openly structured. As a student enrolled in the English Literature programme, you define your own pathway through the Department’s MA provision. This means that as well as choosing modules from the MA in English, you can select modules in any combination from the other specialist MAs offered by the Department, such as the MA in Welsh Writing in English and the MA in Gender and Culture.
As a MA in English Literature student, you develop your dissertation project on a topic of your own choosing in consultation with a supervisor.
The full-time English Literature course comprises three modules taken in each academic semester (a total of six modules) and then a dissertation over the summer. The dissertation component draws on issues and themes developed throughout the year, or emerges from a topic of the student's proposing in English Literature. Part-time study is available for the MA in English Literature.
Students of the MA in English Literature will benefit from the College of Arts and Humanities' Graduate Centre. The Graduate Centre fosters and supports individual and collaborative research activity of international excellence and offers a vibrant and supportive environment for students pursuing postgraduate research and taught masters study. The Centre provides postgraduate training to enhance academic and professional development and facilitates participation in seminar programmes, workshops and international conferences.
Modules on the MA in English Literature typically include:
• Practising Ideas: Advnaced Research Skills
• ‘The Unsex’d Females’: Women Writers and the French Revolution
• Women Writing India
• The Romantic Sublime
• Gender and Culture: An Introduction
• The Modernist Novel: James Joyce
• Angela Carter
• Dylan Thomas and the Idea of Welsh Writing in English
• Locating Wales: Comparative Perspectives
• ‘American Wales’: Writing the Transatlantic
• Welsh Identities: Literature and Nationhood
• Saints and Sinners in Christian Late Antiquity
• Fin’Amor and Marriage in the Medieval English Secular Lyric
• Gender and Humour in Medieval and Early Modern Europe
• Lost in Europe: History, Biography, Ideology through the Short twentieth Century (1914-89)
• Neo-Victorian Mutinies: Gender & Racial Trauma in Neo-Victorian Fiction (& Film)
• Writing Poetry
• Writing the Self
Career expectations are excellent for English Literature graduates. Our Graduates enter careers in education, professional and creative writing, publishing, global marketing and advertising, media, international and national recruitment, heritage and tourism, and relief/humanitarian organisations. Some Graduates go on to pursue further postgraduate study leading to a PhD and a career in Academia.
The Department of English Language and Literature is home to three research centres and groupings:
• the Centre for the Research in the English Literature and Language of Wales (CREW)
• the Centre for the Research into Gender in Culture and Society (GENCAS)
• the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Research (MEMO)
All staff in the Department are research active and publish books and articles in their areas of expertise. Books published by staff in recent years include studies of medieval women’s writing, William Blake, Dylan Thomas, American fiction, Walt Whitman, narratives of the European border, Angela Carter, contemporary English language studies and many other areas. Regular research seminars
and lectures are run through these groups and also through the Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH) which students are encouraged to attend.
"The MA in English Literature at Swansea offers students a unique opportunity to expand their intellectual horizons in an environment that brings people together from across the globe. I've had the chance to study with people from Ireland, England, America, and Germany and the differing views and experiences that each of us bring to our classroom discussions have been an invaluable part of my education here. One of the other enormous benefits of studying in Swansea is its location. In few other places can a student read a poem by Dylan Thomas or William Wordsworth and then walk through the same streets and countryside that inspired that poet. At Swansea University a student can find a learning experience that breaks free of the confines of the classroom and that may lead them out into all the beauty and history of the city and its surrounding areas. To top it off the small class sizes create an intimate and informal atmosphere where passionate professors challenge you to make the most of your love of literature. In all I'd describe my time here at Swansea as an experience that has both deepened my love of literature while allowing me to come to view it from a more global perspective."
Robert Tretin, English Literature, MA
The English Linguistics MA provides students with the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to describe modern English, together with appropriate training in academic writing, linguistic argumentation and research methods. Students have access to the Survey of English Usage, an unparalleled resource for research into grammatical repertoire.
The MA introduces students to the core areas of the study of English Linguistics, including morphology, syntax, phonetics, phonology and pragmatics. The programme trains students to use library OPACS, specialised websites, discussion lists, and databases, among them the ICE-GB corpus, based at the Survey of English Usage in UCL English.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of three core components (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
Students take two optional modules. Different options are offered each year and have included:
All MA Students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words. Students have access to the Survey of English Usage for this project.
Teaching and learning
The programme is taught through seminars and individual tutorials. Student assessment is through a portfolio of essays (two 2,000-word essays on English linguistics), two three-hour written papers and the dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: English Linguistics MA
The programme provides an ideal foundation for those wishing to continue to a research degree in English language or linguistics; students who obtain good results in their MA examinations may be considered for the MPhil/PhD programme at UCL (subject to places being available). Graduates may also become teachers or lecturers of English, or pursue a career in writing, publishing, or editing.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
The department has exceptional resources for the study of English linguistics. Use of the Survey of English Usage has resulted in many important studies of the grammar, semantics and vocabulary of present-day English.
Excellent library facilities are provided by the UCL Library, Senate House Library and the British Library.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: English Language & Literature
85% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Do you wonder how a literary work becomes a classic or bestseller in the Digital Age? Would you like to learn about the steps taken between publishing a manuscript and the media reviews, talk shows, or blogs in which the work is discussed? Then this Master's programme might be for you.
Literature today continues to inspire as a laboratory of ideas, dreams, and narratives, even while facing new challenges. Novels, poems, and short stories now reach their audiences through printed books, e-books, and audiobooks, and through the Internet. Literary texts, including the classics, are being adapted to games and TV dramas, yet a growing numbers of visitors to book fairs shows that literature itself remains a powerful medium.
In the Master’s programme Literature Today, you will learn to identify and critically evaluate the most recent national and international developments in literature, and to situate these from a historical perspective. You will be equipped with the tools to identify and explain the quality of literary works in times of increasing commercialisation. You will learn how literature circulates within the market as part of a creative industry sustained by centuries-old tradition, and you will investigate from theoretical and practical angles how to help to spread literature, explain it to a broader public, and translate academic insights for the reading public.
Critical reflection, building up a repertoire, the consolidation of writing skills, and an understanding of how literary institutions operate in an era of globalisation are central to your studies during this programme. You can also complete an internship with publishing houses, media corporations, libraries, literary foundations, or cultural institutions – the job market and professional field for which this Master’s programme prepares you.
You can choose from among the following tracks to tailor the programme to your interests and desired career path:
1. English and Comparative Literature (entirely in English)
2. Dutch Literature (in Dutch and English)
3a. French Literature (Modern Literature in European Languages)
3b. German Literature (Modern Literature in European Languages)
3d. Hispanic Literature (Modern Literature in European Languages)
3d. Italian Literature (Modern Literature in European Languages)
As a graduate of the Master in Literature Today, you will be trained to critically engage with the challenges that confront literature in our globalised, digitalised, and commercialised world. The programme content approaches these challenges from both a theoretical and practical perspective so that you will be fully prepared for the job market.
During your studies, the programme will:
During your studies, you will become acquainted with different literary institutions that operate in the field of literature and culture. After finishing the programme, you can use the academic and practical skills acquired during your year of study and begin working at one of these institutions.
The highly regarded Keuzegids Master’s Selection Guide 2017 ranked Utrecht University’s Literature programme as the best in the field in the Netherlands.
The English Language MA gives you the opportunity to investigate language in its social and cultural contexts.
You will examine theoretical and analytical frameworks that explore issues of language variation, language contact, language and identity; analyse the role of language in social relationships and practices; and look at how linguistic theory can be applied to the analysis of literature and culture.
The programme equips you with high-level research skills that you can apply in your dissertation, which allows you to address an issue of particular interest with the knowledge you have gathered throughout the course.
The programme is designed for both full-time and part-time students, with a flexible framework that can fit in with your professional and personal commitments. Modules are taught across the two semesters, usually in nine sessions per semester.
In addition, you are expected to work independently and engage with reading and research in your subject area. You will be offered support through tutorial supervision and the university's online virtual learning environment.
The English Language MA covers semantics, pragmatics (minimalism and contextualism), the philosophy of language, grammar, language variation and attitudes, language and identity (class, age, gender, ethnicity, social networks), language in interaction (politeness, speech accommodation, cross-cultural communication), feminist theory and linguistic theory, and ethnocentrism/racial prejudices in colonial discourse.
You approach these topics by: examining theoretical and analytical frameworks that explore issues of language variation; analysing the role of language in social relationships and practices; and examining how linguistic theory can be applied to the analysis of literature and culture.
The English Language MA prepares you for careers in linguistics, linguistic anthropology, forensic linguistics, speech therapy, sign language, journalism, writing, English language teaching, politics and sociology.
This intensive programme will enable you to delve deeper into the structure of the English language’s phonology, syntax and semantics and modern and historical development.
The MSc can function either as a stand-alone masters qualification or as a basis for further postgraduate study, typically at PhD level.
Joining an internationally acclaimed centre for research and teaching in the linguistic study of English, you will explore in depth a global language with a rich history and great social and geographical variation.
You will be taught by world-leading experts who will give you a detailed awareness of the ways in which English is used in Britain and around the world.
This programme comprises two semesters of taught courses, followed by a dissertation.
The programme focuses initially on the structure of English, and also offers option courses on aspects of the history of English, on current varieties of the language and on a good number of approaches to the study of the language and English linguistics.
You can also choose optional courses from a wide range of other areas of linguistic study. You may be able to take a course from other degree programmes in the School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences, and in some cases, from elsewhere in the University.
The programme has been designed to help you progress your career as an English language specialist in academia. The analytical skills you develop and the research training you receive will be valuable in a wide range of careers.
The Master’s programme in English Studies helps you develop your expertise in areas that are often separated in other programmes: English language and linguistics, literature in English, and the teaching of English. Upon graduation, you will have excellent command of the English language. By working in a stimulating environment with accomplished researchers and teachers, you will also develop other skills needed in your future career, such as skills in presentation, independent and group work, and project management.
An MA in English Studies prepares you for a variety of jobs, and our graduates have been successful in finding employment. If combined with mandatory pedagogical studies, the Master’s degree in English Studies qualifies you to be a language teacher. Alternatively, you can find employment in media or publishing, business, or international organisations where language skills are required. English is used globally as the language of science, culture, business and tourism, and experts in English are required in all of these fields.
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.
Courses in English Studies focus on several topics relating to the English language, literatures in English, and teaching English. You can choose to combine courses from one or more lines according to your interests. In Linguistics courses you will focus on the structure and uses of English as well as on language variation and change, sociolinguistics and corpus linguistics. In the Literature courses you will study several areas of the various literatures in English from narrative, cognitive, postcolonial and ecocritical perspectives. Courses in Applied Linguistics are tailored especially for future language teachers.
As a student in English Studies, you will attend lectures but also work in collaboration with other students, partly in digital learning environments. To assess your learning progress, several methods are used, such as examinations, essays and learning diaries. In English Studies you will also practice your spoken and presentation skills.
During your Master’s studies, you can
This course will train you to teach secondary English in the UK, including the National Curriculum, GCSE and A level. It also includes drama, media and information and communication technology. Completion of the 10 month course leads to both a postgraduate qualification and qualified teacher status (QTS).
Your University tutors and school/college mentors will help you to transform your subject knowledge into teaching skills and educational theory into practice. University tutors have substantial experience of teaching and of examining at a senior level for GCSE and AS/A level.
We also use the expertise of experienced teachers from our partnership schools to complement the teaching of University-based sessions. This includes sessions led by subject mentors, who will help you develop your subject knowledge and provide advice about teaching methods. The University-based sessions will give you creative and innovative ideas to take into the classroom.
What our students say:
The PGCE in Secondary English at The University of Manchester is nothing short of life changing. Professionally, you will develop your existing qualities and learn invaluable skills from peers, colleagues and tutors. However, this course offers something more; you are encouraged to embrace and express your own teaching ethos throughout the course. Prepare to be challenged, nurtured and inspired to do something more with your love of English.
For more details on interviews, please visit our PGCE website .
Topics covered in the University-based training sessions include:
Working with our partnership schools and colleges, you will learn how to:
The structure of our PGCEs includes both school-based and University-based learning. On our secondary PGCEs, around two thirds of your time will be spent in secondary schools, academies or colleges on placements. You will also need to undertake self-directed study in the evenings and weekends, such as background reading, creating lesson plans and completing written assignments.
The University-based elements of the course are taught by tutors with expertise in teaching in schools and colleges and examining KS4/GCSE and AS/A level English. Your tutors have been outstanding teachers in a wide range of schools and colleges and their expertise is complemented by the experience of current outstanding teachers who contribute to teaching on the course.
School-based mentors actively contribute to the course, focusing on aspects of pedagogy and practice in the English classroom. These practical sessions include: teaching language and literature at A level; catering for Special Educational Needs; catering for students for whom English is an additional language; using technology in the classroom; and using drama as an effective teaching tool.
On placement in schools and colleges, you will observe and teach classes under the guidance of an experienced English teacher, who will also act as your mentor. We will endeavour to allocate you to placements which will secure the optimum educational benefit for your professional development needs. Teaching hours are established to reflect the time that is required to spend on planning and assessment, particularly in the early stages of your placements. Your mentors will help you to plan lessons, deal with marking and assessment and improve your teaching skills.
What schools say:
We are very happy to take PGCE students from The University of Manchester because they are invariably strong academics with a genuine love of their subject, who are prepared to innovate and challenge in the classroom.
Generous, tax-free funding is available to the best graduates training in a range of subjects. You could get a bursary of up to £15,000.
Information about additional funding options for September 2018 can be found on the Department for Education website
Home/EU students may be eligible for a repayable tuition fee loan. Home students in England may also be eligible for a repayable student maintenance loan. The loans support available to PGCE students is similar to what is available for undergraduate students and information about government financial support for undergraduate students is available here .
If you have graduated in the last three years from The University of Manchester with a 1st class honours degree, you may also be eligible for our Alumni Scholarship .