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MA English and American Literature (Canterbury and Paris)

Course Description

This is an innovative and interdisciplinary MA programme, combining taught modules and a dissertation, which allows you to share your year between Canterbury and Paris.

The programme allows you to choose from the full range of our MA literature modules. The list of what’s on offer is regularly added to by academics keen to explore new areas of thinking with students and to draw you in to our established areas of research strength.

Following a similar path to our English and American Literature MA, the Paris option allows you to spend your first term at our Canterbury campus with full access to its excellent academic and recreational facilities. For the spring term you relocate to our Paris centre, studying in a historic corner of Montparnasse - close to the famous Latin Quarter, the Sorbonne University and the glorious Jardin du Luxembourg.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/223/english-and-american-literature-canterbury-and-paris

About the School of English

The School of English has a strong international reputation and global perspective, apparent both in the background of its staff and in the diversity of our teaching and research interests.

Our expertise ranges from the medieval to the postmodern, including British, American and Irish literature, postcolonial writing, 18th-century studies, Shakespeare, early modern literature and culture, Victorian studies, modern poetry, critical theory and cultural history. The international standing of the School ensures that we have a lively, confident research culture, sustained by a vibrant, ambitious intellectual community. We also count a number of distinguished creative writers among our staff, and we actively explore crossovers between critical and creative writing in all our areas of teaching and research.

The Research Excellence Framework 2014 has produced very strong results for the School of English at Kent. With 74% of our work graded as world-leading or internationally excellent, the School is ranked 10th out of 89 English departments in terms of Research Intensity (Times Higher Education). The School also received an outstanding assessment of the quality of its research environment and public impact work.


The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

EN818 - American Modernism 1900-1930 (Teaching Period I) (30 credits)
EN832 - Hacks, Dunces and Scribblers: Authorship and the Marketplace in the Eig (30 credits)
EN835 - Dickens, The Victorians and the Body (30 credits)
EN852 - Colonial and Postcolonial Discourses (30 credits)
FR866 - Literature and Theory (30 credits)
EN871 - Origins of Modern Poetry (30 credits)
FR820 - Paris: Reality and Representation (30 credits)


Assessment is by a 5-6,000-word essay for each module and a 12,000 word dissertation.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- extend and deepen through coursework and research your understanding of a body of literatures in English, with special emphasis on modern and postcolonial literatures, and on literary and critical theory

- enable you to develop an historical awareness of literary traditions

- develop your independent critical thinking and judgement

- introduce you to bibliographic method and scholarship and to foster in you the research methods that facilitate advanced literary study

- provide a basis in knowledge and skills if you intend to teach English and American literature, especially in higher education

- develop your understanding and critical appreciation of the expressive resources of language

- offer opportunities for you to develop your potential for creative writing (where such a module is taken)

- offer scope for the study of literature within an interdisciplinary context, notably that provided by history

- develop your ability to argue a point of view with clarity and cogency, both orally and in written form

- develop your knowledge and understanding of relevant aspects of contemporary Paris and the cultural history of the city as reflected in modern European, English and American literatures and other artistic media.

Research areas

Research in the School of English comes roughly under the following areas. However, there is often a degree of overlap between groups, and individual staff have interests that range more widely.

Eighteenth Century
The particular interests of the Centre for Studies in the Long Eighteenth Century converge around gender, class, nation, travel and empire, and the relationship between print and material culture. Staff in the Centre pursue cutting-edge approaches to the field and share a commitment to interdisciplinary methodologies.

The Centre regularly hosts visiting speakers as part of the School of English research seminar programme, and hosts day symposia, workshops and international conferences.

Nineteenth Century
The 19th-century research group is organised around the successful MA in Dickens and Victorian Culture and the editorship of The Dickensian, the official publication outlet for new Dickens letters. Other staff research interests include literature and gender, journalism, representations of time and history, sublimity and Victorian Poetry.

American Literature
Research in north American literature is conducted partly through the Faculty-based Centre for American Studies, which also facilitates co-operation with modern US historians. Staff research interests include 20th-century American literature, especially poetry, Native American writing, modernism, and cultural history.

Creative Writing
The Centre for Creative Writing is the focus for most practice-based research in the School. Staff organise a thriving events series and run a research seminar for postgraduate students and staff to share ideas about fiction-writing. Established writers regularly come to read and discuss their work.

Medieval and Early Modern
The Faculty-based Canterbury Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies has a distinctive brand of interdisciplinarity, strong links with local archives and archaeological trusts, and provides a vibrant forum for investigating the relationships between literary and non-literary modes of writing in its weekly research seminar.

Modern Poetry
The Centre for Modern Poetry is a leading centre for research and publication in its field, and participates in both critical and creative research. Staff regularly host visiting speakers and writers, participate in national and international research networks, and organise graduate research seminars and public poetry readings.

Established in 1994, the Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Research has acquired an international reputation for excellence in research. It has an outstanding track record in publication, organises frequent international conferences, and regularly hosts leading postcolonial writers and critics. It also hosts a visiting writer from India every year in association with the Charles Wallace Trust.


Many career paths can benefit from the writing and analytical skills that you develop as a postgraduate student in the School of English. Our students have gone on to work in academia, journalism, broadcasting and media, publishing, writing and teaching; as well as more general areas such as banking, marketing analysis and project management.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

Visit the MA English and American Literature (Canterbury and Paris) page on the University of Kent website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Lina Samawi

What attracted you to this course?
I always wanted to do a Master’s outside Jordan where I come from. What I like about this programme is that it's very broad, and covers both English and American literature – meaning that I will be able to do most things when I return home. Kent offered everything I was most comfortable with and where I could work at my best – the campus, its green setting and the University's reputation and ranking.

What do you think of the teaching?
I am happy with the teaching which is of a very high quality. My classes are not too big – usually ten to 15 of us – which means that our teachers are able to devote more time to individual students.

What are the facilities like on campus?
The library has plenty of material for my course. Just about everything I've searched for during the year, I have found there.

What's the level of support like?
It's very good. When I first arrived, I was a little confused about everything – the classes, the programme, the theory, but I spoke to my Head of Department and he was very supportive. I wasn't used to writing essays so that was a little hard for me. But academic staff including, surprisingly, professors who didn't teach me, were happy to help.

What's your advice for other potential postgraduates?
Go for it! It's a very interesting programme and I'm enjoying it.


Entry Requirements

A first or upper-second class honours degree in a relevant subject (or equivalent). For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages (View Website).

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