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MA in English

Course Description

MA in English

Our MA in English offers you a rich and exciting experience of higher level literary study broadening your knowledge and appreciation of different genres, periods, techniques and writers, and of the ways in which they have been transmitted and read. This MA enables you to develop your independent skills in literary research, culminating in a dissertation on a topic and texts of your choice. It can also help you pursue or develop a career in the media, culture and knowledge industries, and other professions that directly call upon knowledge of English literature and culture and requires skills in the creative use of analysis of various forms of text.

Compulsory modules

MA English part 1

In this masters-level module you will explore a rich and varied range of literary texts from ancient times to the present. Building on your previous study of literature, you will be equipped with key research methods in literary study and introduced to the use of extensive electronic resources available via the OU library. The module is designed to give plenty of scope for the development of individual research projects. This will prepare you for the dissertation module MA English part 2 (A816) where you will have the opportunity to plan, research and write up an extended piece of work based on your own interests. Students are therefore expected to study this module before A816.

MA English part 2

This module enables you to complete your MA in English by producing a dissertation on a topic that you choose yourself, guided by your tutor and building on the study areas and approaches you explored in MA English part 1 (A815). This provides a satisfying culmination to your studies enabling you to demonstrate your command of scholarly techniques and your skill in devising, planning and writing an extended research project in literature. Highly rewarding in its own right, the MA dissertation is also an ideal preparation for doctoral level research and for a wide range of careers.

Career relevance

If you wish to pursue an academic career in higher education or research this degree will provide a pathway toward a higher level research qualification (e.g. Ph.D.), which is essential for such a career. A masters degree can be useful in pursuing a teaching career in schools. If you expect to pursue a career in media, culture or knowledge industries – or are employed already in such industries and seek further qualifications to enhance career progression – a masters degree, alongside relevant skills and experience, can be useful. This degree is relevant to those careers that directly call upon knowledge of English literature and culture. It may also be relevant for careers that demand skills in the creative use and analysis of texts of various sorts, critical thinking and organisation, and understanding of culture in a broad sense.

Visit the MA in English page on the Open University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You must hold an honours degree to study for our MA in English course. Your degree need not be in English but you must have the basic skills expected of a graduate in that area. Before you enter the degree you must be able to: - write clear, concise, grammatically correct and accurately spelt prose; - read large quantities of text quickly, accurately and critically; - classify evidence precisely and assess its value and reliability; - argue logically, consistently and sceptically; - marshal various sorts of evidence to support a logical argument.

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