The MA has given me a chance to tackle real academic work. If I had just wanted to talk about books, I could have joined a book group – but the MA is much more rigorous and gives me the chance to write, too.

Clare Nursey

    How do you want to study?


    1 year




    The MA in English Literature offers an exciting array of modules to take your experience of literary study to the next level.

    Our MA is unique because its modules grow directly out of your tutors’ own research, writing and publications. One of the teaching team’s key concerns is to bring to the fore marginalised voices in the literatures we study. We explore the ways such writers negotiate the past, find a place in the present, and project multiple futures. We place their distinctive work alongside more familiar, canonical writers to create a broad understanding of literary context and a deeper sense of what imaginative writing can powerfully express.

    Why study English Literature?

    This course is for everyone who is keen to study English literature in depth. We offer an interesting range of modules covering the Early Modern, Victorian and Modern periods of literature.

    Our applicants usually include mature students returning to study after a break, as well as recent graduates wishing to take their knowledge to the next level.

    This MA in English Literature will give you the chance to reach a high level of critical engagement, making it a valuable experience in its own right. It is perfectly suited to accommodate those on a career-break or in retirement. It will also enhance applications for teacher training, provide essential postgraduate experience for those planning to go on to a PhD, and it will give you an edge in the professional job market.

      Entry requirements

      A 2:2 honours degree, in English or a relevant subject discipline. Holders of other qualifications will be considered individually.

      For more information on the IELTS (International English language Testing System) requirements for this course, please click here to visit our dedicated web page.

      Honours Degree

      Module information

      Core/optional modules

      *Modules subject to validation

      How you’ll learn

      All option modules are taught by a weekly 2-hour seminar. Research and Scholarship is delivered by a weekly lecture-seminar in the first Trimester. Dissertation supervision happens in one-to-one meetings with your supervisor – these can be in-person or online.

      Full-time students will have six formal contact hours each week. Part-time will have four hours each week in their first year, and two hours in week in their second year. In addition, there will be essay and dissertation tutorials by arrangement.

      Your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select.

      All programmes are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2022. 

      For the option modules, students are expected to prepare by reading the literary texts under discussion and arriving at seminars ready to discuss. The Dissertation (which is worth one third of the entire MA course) demands significant independent study, with appropriate guidance from a supervisor. This will involve defining a topic, devising a research question and developing a thesis. It will demand wide reading of the chosen texts and surrounding critical material.

      Full-time students are expected to be actively engaged by the course – combining taught sessions and independent study – for around 40 hours each week.

      The teaching team are all qualified and experienced university lecturers. They are all engaged in research and publish in their fields of specialism. Our team has an excellent reputation for teaching, supervision and diligent student support.

      You will be taught by a team of exceptional tutors, all researching and publishing in their fields. The team is friendly and welcoming, and has an excellent reputation for teaching, supervision and student support. You will be joining a close-knit community of scholars where friendships are made. Join us!

      Dr Andrew PalmerCourse Director.

      How you’ll be assessed

      The option modules are each assessed by a single research essay of 4,000 words.

      The Research and Scholarship module is assessed through a range of short assignments designed to develop your skills as a literary critic – these include an annotated bibliography, a scholarly writing exercise, an oral presentation and a research proposal.

      The dissertation module is assessed by a single 15,000-word dissertation.

      There are no exams.

      (Note: Only one assignment would be affected by any new Covid restrictions: the oral presentation. If we are unable to gather face-to-face, this will be delivered either live via video link or as a recording.)


      No exams

      Your future career

      This programme is a significant qualification in its own right, but if you wish to pursue further study it will also give you an opportunity to progress to an PhD or take a PGCE.

      The research and writing skills you'll gain, together with the specialist disciplinary knowledge developed during the course, will boost your employability and can provide an invaluable grounding for careers in teaching, media and journalism, publishing and marketing.

      I am now a PhD student and I co-organise the English Literature and Cultural Studies seminar series at the University of Westminster. The MA enables you to grow not only as a student, but also as a person. Studying for the MA was probably one of my best experiences!

      Baptise DanelEnglish Literature PhD student


      Government loans of up to £11,570 are available for some postgraduate Master’s courses for students starting their course from 1 August 2021. Loans are subject to both personal and course eligibility criteria.

      The rules around course eligibility mean that in some cases it may depend on how you are studying (full-time or part-time) as to whether you can apply for a postgraduate loan. To check whether your course is eligible, you can email the Student Fees Team or call 01227 923 948.

      2022/23 tuition fees for this course

        UK Overseas
      Full-time £8,250 £14,500
      Part-time £4,125 N/A

      20% Alumni Discount

      We offer alumni discounts on CCCU Postgraduate Taught, PGCE Primary and Secondary, and Masters by Research courses for eligible students.

      Find out if you're eligible for the discount.


      Important Information on Tuition Fees

      Tuition fees for all courses which last more than one academic year are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

      There will be an annual inflationary increase in tuition fees for this course where the course lasts more than one academic year. For further information read the 2022/23 Tuition fee statements and continuing fee information.

      Apply now


      1 year