This programme encourages you to consider the relationship between literature from a variety of historical periods, regions, contexts and theoretical paradigms.
You will benefit from the expertise of a vibrant, multidisciplinary group of published authors and academics and will have access to a full calendar of thought provoking literary events.
The MA in English Literature will equip you with a critical understanding of English literary studies, and the ability to reflect on significant questions: How have ideas about literature and literary value changed over time? What effects do innovations in printing and publishing have on writing? How much do political and social factors condition and define authorial identities and practices?
It is ideal for students wishing to pursue doctoral research, those who seek a broad overview of Anglophone literary culture, and those looking to develop expertise in specific literary areas.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time over two academic years. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.
On successful completion of the programme, students may go on to do the PhD in English literature. The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
-Research and Writing Skills I
-Research and Writing Skills II
-Literary Scholarship and Creativity I
-Literary Scholarship and Creativity II
-Open Essay I
-Open Essay II
-Special Author I
-Special Author II
-Advanced Studies in 19th century Literature
-Advanced Studies in 20th and 21st century Literature
-Literature and Science
-Issues in Literary Translation
-Identity: Communication in Practice
-Organisations and Written Communications
ACADEMICS AND EVENTS
As a student on this Masters, you will benefit from the expertise of a vibrant, multidisciplinary group of published academics and authors.
You will also have access to a number of conferences, seminars and workshops hosted throughout the year. These events cover a range of topics to broaden your thinking in the fields of literature, language and linguistics, cultural studies and creative writing.
Academics to have recently spoken at the University of Surrey
They have been joined by novelists Iain Sinclair, Monica Ali, Jaspreet Singh and Nikita Lalwani, to name a few.
Each year’s cultural activities begin with the Morag Morris Poetry Lecture on campus by a visiting speaker and feature readings by students at the Guildford School of Acting.
EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME
The English Literature MA programme will prepare graduates to undertake a PhD programme in the relevant field.
It will also provide students with the transferable skills of critical thinking, analysis, communication, and textuality that are attractive to a wide range of employers, from the cultural industries to marketing and advertising to tourism and leisure to the civil service and public/private partnerships.
Devoted to the requirements and complexities of textual analysis and critical reading, the programme also provides advanced understanding of the contexts, theoretical paradigms, methodologies and modes of interpretation that are vital in contemporary literary studies.
The main aims are to:
-Acquire sound knowledge of the major principles of literary criticism
-Develop the critical language and terminology to carry out in-depth analyses of literary texts from across the diverse range of periods, areas, and approaches to the study of English literature
-Reflect on their own practice as literary critics
The programme will help students to apply scholarly approaches to critically evaluate the major schools of literary criticism and literary theory in light of current and the possibilities of future development.
As a Master’s level programme, it also aims to instil in students the capacity for carrying out independent research in an area of literary studies.
PROGRAMME LEARNING OUTCOMES
Knowledge and understanding
-Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the main principles and challenges of literary studies
-Relate developments in the field of literary studies to the social, political and historical contexts of the literary work (or works)
-Distinguish different approaches to literary studies and reflect upon these in their own
-Develop a critical engagement with various theoretical approaches and methods
-Recognize the critical language required in advanced literary studies
-Identify and explain relevant techniques and strategies for analyzing texts from a variety of perspectives
Intellectual / cognitive skills
-Able to critically appraise scholarly writing on a wide range of literary studies subjects
-Able to strategically develop research skills for retrieving information crucial for understanding the context of textual production
-Able to conduct conceptual and advanced research related to specific periods in the study of literature
-Able to formulate and address research questions relating to the field of study
Professional practical skills
-Able to produce high-quality analyses of a variety of literary genres which are appropriate to their context
-Able to verbally present abstract ideas and concepts in a clear and appropriate fashion
-Able to confidently deal with reading complex texts
-Able to acquire a sound knowledge of the key debates in literary studies
-Able to acquire review/evaluation skills for textual analyses at level 7
-Able to combine an understanding of text and context within and between periods
Key / transferable skills
-Display competence in a range of skills at postgraduate level, including advanced analysis and synthesis of arguments, presentation, the conducting of independent research, and the efficient processing of complex ideas and arguments
-Collaborate by working in small groups to exchange ideas and engage in debates
-Develop knowledge in a specialized subject, area or period and command of terminology
-Organize, research and deliver a sustained piece of work to a high standard
-Create and carry out a research project of significant complexity
-Reflect upon the knowledge gained and incorporate this into independent learning strategies
-Manage learning self-critically
-Exercise initiative and personal responsibility
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
Entry is open to applicants with a UK first or 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in English literature or a related subject. Where students do not have a 2.1 in English literature or a related field, the Department / School will make a decision on the basis of submitted written work and an interview.