This innovative course focuses on dissident writing and transgressive texts, from the early modern period to the present. Engaging with recent developments in theoretical and critical practice, the course will develop your knowledge and understanding of English literature and will sharpen your skills of literary research, writing and analysis.
This course enables you to become part of a vibrant postgraduate community and attend lectures and events organised by the London Graduate School and the Kingston Writing School.
Capitalising on our location, several modules are complemented by field trips (for example, to the British Library, museums and theatres) to enhance and support your learning experience.
The English department is home to two archives relating to the work of Iris Murdoch, as well as the Sheridan Morley archive of theatrical life writing and ephemera. It also contributes to the Cultural Histories and Suburban Studies at Kingston, the Life Narrative Research Group, the Iris Murdoch Centre and the Victorian Popular Fiction Association.
What will you study?
The core module, Transgression and Dissidence, introduces the course's central themes by focusing on texts that explore the limits of human experience and contravene cultural boundaries. You will explore how literature, through such transgression, has provided opportunities for dissent and resistance, and will consider the extent to which writing has acted as a catalyst for social and political change. You will then study various conceptual approaches to literature through your choice of option modules, which provide the opportunity to analyse and discuss a range of contentious issues across a number of historical periods and with respect to different genres.
The option modules involve the study of traumatic experience, human rights work and life narrative (Trauma and Justice); the complex relationships between desire, embodiment and writing (Sex and Text); gender, culture and international exchange in early modern Europe (Markets and Materiality); the construction of place and identity in 19th-century travel writing and adventure fiction (Mappings and Crossings); and the 'post-human' and interspecies interaction in recent global literature (Humans and Animals).
The MA programme has been devised to allow you to study diverse topics and periods or, if you prefer, to focus on areas in which the Department of English Literature has particular research strengths: Renaissance literature and culture; Victorian literature, 20th-century and contemporary writing; literature, sex and gender; and writing, space and the environment.
Your 15,000-word dissertation will allow you to research a subject of your choice, produced under the supervision of a specialist academic member of staff.
Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.
English Literature Dissertation
Special Study: American Dreaming: Suburbia, Literature and Culture Special Study: Images of Love and Sex in Medieval and Renaissance Special Study: Iris Murdoch and the Novel of Ideas Special Study: Monsters: Theory, Fiction, Culture Special Study: Other Victorians: Sex, Crime and Empire Special Study: Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama Special Study: Writing Women in the 20th and 21st Century Trauma and Justice
English language requirements
All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with 7.0 in Writing. Please make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we'll consider.
Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements may be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.
Applicants from one of the recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.
"A valuable breadth of literature is studied on the MA in English at Kingston. This offers students an opportunity to discover their strengths, should they wish to pursue an academic career, whilst providing, in addition, an important broad-based qualification.
"There is a lively postgraduate community within the Arts and Social Science Faculty, with a dedicated study and leisure complex within the Learning Resources Centre. The tutors are friendly and accessible, and are dedicated to the academic and pastoral welfare of their students."
We normally expect applicants to have a good second-class degree in English literature or a related subject. We will consider non-standard entrants on an individual basis. You must also submit a 3,000-word piece of critical writing on a literary topic or work, a personal statement (1,000 words), plus two academic references.
Recipient: Kingston University
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