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MA English Studies (online)

Course Description

About the course

Develop your knowledge of literature and literary linguistics. You’ll be supported by our expertise in areas including Renaissance and contemporary literatures in English.

This course is taught completely online, so you can study while working, wherever you live. Most class texts can be accessed electronically through the University libraries. You’ll complete one 30-credit core module, optional modules worth 90 credits and a dissertation worth 60 credits.

Your career

You’ll examine early modern texts, language and culture. Staff expertise includes palaeography, rhetoric, news writing, the sermon, drama, and issues of political, sectarian and national identity between 1400 and 1700. Modules (including modules from History) can be tailored to suit your interests. You’ll complete one core module, optional modules and a dissertation.

Cultural life

Study eighteenth-century literature to develop a broad range of advanced skills. The focus is on the interface between historical and literary approaches, and you’ll be introduced to current academic debates and research methods in the field. Spanning eighteenth century prose and poetry, Romantic poetry, prose, and drama, and Gothic literature, there’s an incredible range to choose between.

First-rate facilities

We’re based in a brand new building at the heart of the campus. There are computer workstations especially for postgraduates and a DVD library with viewing facilities. Our theatre workshop is a fully equipped teaching/performance area with excellent film-viewing facilities and audio suites.

Specialist resources

The University Library subscribes to the major periodicals and full-text electronic archives, including Early English Books Online and Eighteenth-Century Collections Online. Special collections include an outstanding collection of Restoration drama, the Hope Collection of eighteenth-century periodicals, the Jack Rosenthal scripts collection, and papers of contemporary writers such as Anita Brookner, Marina Warner, Fay Weldon and Peter Redgrove.


There are a number of studentships and fee bursaries available, funded by the University. Deadlines for funding applications are usually in winter/early spring. For details, see our website.

Research training for PhD

If you intend to progress to a PhD, your course can be tailored to include essential research training. The same applies to students on the online course.

Part-time study

Part-time students usually take one taught module in each semester. In the second year, you’ll also take a dissertation module. For most courses, you’ll need to come in for one half-day per week. The MA Creative Writing is taught in the evening. Some modules, such as Theatre and Performance, may require greater time commitment. We try to be as flexible as possible to accommodate the different needs of our students.

Core module

Research Methods in English Studies.

Examples of optional modules

May include: Literature and the Mind; Shakespeare and Early Women Dramatists; Introduction to Literary Linguistics.

NB: All MA students can take optional modules from the online course, with the agreement of their course tutor.

Visit the MA English Studies (online) page on the University of Sheffield website for more details!

Entry Requirements

At least a 2:1 or the international equivalent in English, or a combined degree including a substantial element of English Literature. English language requirements: overall IELTS grade of 7.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component, or equivalent.

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