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MA Literature, Landscape and Environment

Course Description

How does literature debate and reflect humanity’s relationship with ‘Nature’? What makes ‘the country’, ‘the wilderness’ or ‘the city’ what it is? How does literature respond to environmental destruction? Is it influenced by modern environmental movements?

The MA in Literature, Landscape and Environment examines how literature reflects and shapes the way in which we see the landscape and the environment and it gives you the opportunity to study the kind of analyses that are becoming increasingly important to the direction of modern English literary studies. The MA is designed for students interested in further study or for those looking for careers in the rapidly expanding green industry.

The MA is taught by Bath Spa staff who are internationally recognised for their research in this field. In addition, we are located in a World Heritage site at the centre of a region rich with literary connections and with some of the finest landscapes in the country.


The programme aims to provide you with an excitingly wide range of issues and approaches in relation to the representations of various kinds of landscapes. It will present:

• a mix of thematic topics, types of landscape and regions
• a balance between literature pre- and post-1900
• a range of methodologies and approaches
• although its main focus is literary, you will also engage with real landscapes and environments (for example, an eighteenth-century country estate; London; the Eden Project; Quantock Hills; Hardy country).

To visit the course blog-site, visit http://literaturelandenvironment.org.uk/


You will be taught at our Corsham Court Campus, an eighteenth-century country house currently owned by the Methuen family and Bath Spa University’s postgraduate centre. Teaching and learning on the taught modules will primarily be via seminars, but opportunities for other types of engagement may be offered as an alternative to seminars, depending upon the nature of the thematic strand for research, for example: skills workshops, field-trips, directed research, and independent research associated with the Dissertation or Project. Assessment will be via essays, proposals, and a final Dissertation or Project.

Our Library offers access to high-quality electronic resources such as Eighteenth-century Collections Online (ECCO), Early English Books Online (EEBO). You will also be to able to gain access to research libraries such as the British Library and we also have established links with bodies such as the Science Museum collection at Swindon and Bath Central Library, as well as close connections with archives at the city of London, and the Thomas Hardy archives at Dorchester.

The MA is founded upon our staff’s expertise and substantial publications record in the areas of ecocriticism, contemporary environmental writing, early modern London, postmodern American cities, and literary journeys in modernist/postmodernist literature. Tracey Hill is the author of a prize-winning book on early-modern London; Richard Kerridge has won the BBC Wildlife Award for Nature Writing and launched the first ever course on ecocriticism in the UK; and Greg Garrard is the author of Ecocriticism (now in its second edition). Kerridge and Garrard have been chairs of the UK branch of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment. In addition, Bath Spa University is the home of the journal Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism. The MA draws upon and is supported by three research centres: Writing and the Environment; Book, Text and Place 1500-1750; Contemporary Writing. You will become members of the research centres and, therefore, part of the School’s research culture.

The MA draws upon Bath Spa University’s location. We are at the centre of a region whose writers have been intimately engaged with their environment: Coleridge (Nether Stowey and the Quantock Hills), Hardy (Dorchester), Austen (Bath), and the region is also associated with the writers Richard Jeffries, John Cooper Powys and Sylvia Townsend Warner. In addition, the area has some of the finest examples of the English country estate in the UK, for example, Stourhead, Prior Park, Dryham Park and Bowood House, in addition to our own campuses at Newton Park and Corsham Court. Stourhead, for instance, offers a learning space with talks and access to archival material, and has welcomed the prospect of students shadowing the estate guides. We are, then, uniquely positioned to build links with other regional organisations; for example, environmental organisations such as the RSPB or the Forestry Commission, as well as country estates, places of literary heritage run by the National Trust and Bath Preservation Trust.


The course is assesed by essays, an annotated bibliography, research proposals, and a dissertation or project.
Career opportunities
Typical career destinations include:
• Traditional English postgraduate destinations (e.g. Higher Research degree programmes, public and private sector research careers, book and publishing industries)
• Environmental sector and 'Green' careers (e.g. advocacy, communications, charities, education, internships, ecotourism, urban planning)
• Heritage and tourism sector (e.g. charities and trusts, visitor centres, private estates, local government, planning, management, communications)
• Creative industries (e.g. radio, TV, cable and satellite broadcasters, book publishing, web media, news and magazine media).

Visit the MA Literature, Landscape and Environment page on the Bath Spa University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

We expect all applicants to have a good honours degree (2:1 or above), in an area of literary studies or a related humanities subject.

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