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MA in Literature and Philosophy

Course Description

This course builds on a strong tradition of crossdisciplinary research at Sussex, with strong links between the Department of Philosophy and the School of English. We examine central topics that arise at the intersection of philosophy and literature such as the autonomy of the work of art, literature as philosophy, ethics and literature, the experience of reading, style and narrative, modernism and modernity. Our aim is to enable you to trace your own path through the complex issues that arise in engaging seriously with both disciplines.

Research in literature and philosophy benefits from activities organised by the Literature and Philosophy Research Network. Sussex offers a stimulating environment for creative thinking, open discussion and critical engagement with ideas from a wide range of sources including literature, philosophy (analytic and continental), psychology and intellectual history.


Taught modules are assessed by 5,000-word term papers. At the end of the year, you also submit a dissertation of up to 15,000 words.

Course structure

We continue to develop and update our modules for 2016 entry to ensure you have the best student experience. In addition to the course structure below, you may find it helpful to refer to the Modules tab.

Autumn term: you take Explorations in Philosophy and Literature, and one option from a list that may include Analytic Aesthetics • Derrida • Kant • Modernist/Postmodernist Fiction in Britain • Phenomenology • Theory in Practice.

Spring term: you take two options from a list that may include Continental Aesthetics • Creativity and Utopia • Deconstruction and Creative Writing • Frankfurt School and Critical Theory • Marxism and Creative Writing • Philosophy special subject • The Politics of the Unconscious.

Summer term: supervised work on the MA dissertation.


Please note that these are the core modules and options (subject to availability) for students starting in the academic year 2014.
Core modules

•Explorations in Philosophy and Literature
•Literature and Philosophy Dissertation


•Analytic Aesthetics
•Bearing Witness: Terror and Trauma in Global Literature
•Continental Aesthetics
•Critical Issues in Queer Theory
•Explorations in Philosophy and Literature
•ImagiNation: The Great American Novel
•Language and Truth
•Literature and Society, 1750-1890
•Literature in the Institution: the university and the study of culture
•Marxism and Creative Writing
•Modernist and Contemporary Fictions
•New Configurations in Critical Theory
•Philosophy Special Subject
•Psychoanalysis and the Image
•Religion and Enlightenment
•Religion and Enlightenment
•The Frankfurt School and Critical Theory
•Theory in Practice: Readings in Contemporary Theory and Literature
•Versions of Realism: Art, Film, Literature, Theory


The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study and offers one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university. For full details of our scholarships please visit: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/money/scholarships/pgt2016/

Visit the MA in Literature and Philosophy page on the University of Sussex website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.Overseas Entry requirements: View Website

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