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MA English Literature


The MA in English Literature provides a flexible and wide-ranging master’s programme. By incorporating four of the MA programmes offered by the Department of English, including Medieval Studies, Shakespeare, and Victorian Literature, Art and Culture, students can draw from a wealth of interests. The course is especially suitable for those students who wish to study across more than one period of English literature, or who want to combine or juxtapose the literatures and genres of different periods. 

Students on the MA in English Literature choose the equivalent of two whole courses from across the four MA programmes and write a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation, submitted early in the September of the year following their enrolment on the MA. 

The courses chosen may be made up of combination of full and half-units (one 'course' equals one full-unit, or two half-units). Some of the available MA programmes are comprised entirely of full-units, as is the case with the MA in Shakespeare, and some of half -units, as is the case with the MA in Victorian Literature, Art and Culture. In addition, all students are registered for the compulsory unassessed course 'Methods and Materials of Research'. 

The MA may be taken on a full-time, as a one year basis, or part-time, over two years; in the latter case, the dissertation would be written in the second year of study.

The work each course entails is set out on the MA's  dedicated websites. These specify the primary and secondary reading required for each week and suggest key topics for discussion as well as further reading.

The dissertation is designed to test the student’s ability to handle a complex topic and to display research skills at greater length than the course essays allow. It may develop work completed for any part of either course, or be on any topic approved by the student’s dissertation supervisor. Students receive individual feedback on the problems, strengths and scope for improvement of the essays they write for their courses and detailed advice on the devising and drafting of their dissertation.

For a more in depth look at the MA courses offered in conjunction with MA English Literature, please click the relevant link below:

Normally a second-class BA in Single or Joint Honours English, or a suitable related discipline, is required of UK applicants. Overseas applicants should have a degree of equivalent standard and must possess a high level of competence in spoken and written English.

To apply, do so via Embark.

Course Director

Dr Ruth Livesey

Tel: +44 (0)1784 443212

Contact for more Information

Postgraduate Programmes Administrator

Lisa Dacunha
Tel: +44 (0)1784 44321



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