Our MA in English Studies invites you to choose from a number of distinctive pathways through the programme.
Our Eighteenth-Century Literature and Romanticism pathway takes a truly interdisciplinary approach, and explores the history of genres, philosophy, politics, history, and visual culture, amongst other topics.
In your first semester you might explore the popular culture of coffee house and tavern, the political world on the street and in parliament, the vocations of women poets and polemicists, polite society and its interest in the management of emotions and arts, and the metropolitan life of London.
In the second semester, you can examine Romantic poetics and manifestos, the theoretical and political growth of philosophical and cultural enlightenment, Orientalism, travel, and the French Revolution and its aftershocks.
This pathway aims to prepare students to formulate a research topic, identify research materials, and present an argument in written and oral form that is formed by alternative interpretations. Students who complete the pathway will be aware of the interdisciplinary debates concerning the literature and history of this period, and will have engaged with a variety of materials: theoretical, visual, historical, and literary. You will also be able to deploy a range of appropriate skills in research, bibliography, and IT.
You will be taught in small seminar groups, and will be introduced to a number of key research resources in London through a module in research skills.
Studied: MA in English Studies: Writing in the Modern Age, graduated 2009
Currently: PhD candidate at Sussex University
Why did you choose Queen Mary?
Having previously completed my undergraduate studies at Queen Mary, I was already assured of the administrative and academic structures of the department; they are excellent! I was also fortunate enough to know, before I began, that I wanted to continue in academia to write a PhD on Thomas Pynchon but that, if I took the same academic path as most studying this author, I would likely end up with the same conclusions; hardly innovative scholarship. Therefore, I opted for a background in Modernism at Queen Mary, an unusual path in my field, but one which has allowed me to work with a different perspective to others. The staff at Queen Mary were supportive of this idea and supremely capable at every stage of the course. Queen Mary is also a great place to work. You have a beautiful campus environment with all the benefits of Senate House and the British Library right on your doorstep.
What did you gain from your time at Queen Mary?
Postgraduate study greatly enhanced my research methodology. The training in techniques for the systematic study of literature in context has contributed immensely to both my critical thinking and research practice. The staff were knowledgeable and dedicated. Without their support throughout, I would not have succeeded in my application for AHRC funding at doctoral level, with which they were more than willing to help. The MA environment is also highly stimulating in social terms. The people on the course are all there because they love the subject and the common ground prepared by this shared passion makes for an unparalleled learning, and social, experience. In the end, I look back on my time at Queen Mary as the ideal preparation for my ambitions to enter an academic career. Perhaps, if I'm lucky, I'll end up back there one day – on the teaching side!
What are your career plans in the next five years?
I hope to complete my PhD in approximately three years time and, at that stage, apply for research and teaching posts in higher education. In the meantime, I have just had my first invitation to speak at an international conference and am involved in the establishment of an interdisciplinary online journal.
Most applicants will have an undergraduate degree with a first or good upper second class honours (or the equivalent) in English or such related fields as History, Cultural Studies and Media Studies.Where a North American marking scheme is used, applicants should have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.2. Promising applicants who do not meet the formal academic criteria but who possess relevant credentials and who can demonstrate their ability to produce written work at Master's level will also be considered. Applicants may be invited to interview or asked to submit examples of written and/or creative work.
Recipient: Queen Mary University of London
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