MA English Literature

Year of entry

The English team at Canterbury Christ Church University is based in the School of Humanities and has a proven track record of excellent supervision by active and internationally acclaimed academic researchers. It has an established and vibrant postgraduate community.

20% Alumni discount

UK and EU Christ Church alumni are eligible for a 20% discount on self-funded Postgraduate Taught Masters and Masters by Research.

An MA in English is increasingly regarded as a valuable extension of undergraduate study in that it:

  • offers you an anticipated edge in the professional job market;
  • enhances applications for teacher training where advanced specialist knowledge can be an asset. The PGCE English team in the Education department at Canterbury Christ Church University strongly encourages students to gain an MA before applying for the PGCE;
  • provides essential postgraduate experience for you if you intend to continue your study of literature at MPhil/PhD level;
  • provides a period of literary study if you wish to take a career break.

Intended to meet the needs of students who wish to engage in fast-track further study leading to a Master's qualification, our MA is offered full-time (one calendar year). If you'd prefer to study part-time it can also be taken over two years.

The timetable has been designed with concentration of seminars within two days (Mondays and Tuesdays) to offer flexibility with your other commitments.

The MA in English Literature is aimed at anyone interested in studying literature in depth. Our students usually include recent graduates wishing to continue their studies and mature students returning to literary studies after a longer or shorter time of pursuing other interests.

The course offers opportunities to those who wish to pursue an eclectic generalist programme of modules and to those who seek specialisation in particular areas of literary study. You'll therefore enrol on one of four pathways:

  • MA in English Literature
  • MA in English (Literatures Victorian and Modern)
  • MA in English (Literatures Medieval and Early Modern)

For more details on pathways please contact the School of Humanities.

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 MPhil/ PhD or take a PGCE.

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

Option Modules

Full-time students choose 5 option modules from the list below: 2 in Term One and 3 in Term Two.

Part-time students choose 1 option module in Term One and 2 in Term Two of their first year and 1 in Term One and 1 in Term Two of their second year.

(Please note: modules may sometimes run in a different term depending on staff availability).

Term one

  • Imagining England: Landscape and Identity in Medieval and Early Modern Literature (20 credits) ^
  • Modern and Contemporary Literature of Childhood (20 credits) * #
  • Victorian Crime Fiction (20 credits) #

Term two

  • Case Studies in Early Modern Literature (20 credits) ^
  • Classic Children’s Literature (20 credits) * #
  • Literature of the Fin de Siècle (20 credits) #
  • Literature and War from 1914 to the Present (20 credits) #

Pathway Requirements

Students taking the MA in English Literature pathway may choose any five options and may write their dissertation on an approved topic in any area of English literature for which a supervisor is available.

Students taking the MA in English (Literatures of Childhood) pathway must include the two option modules marked * and write their dissertation on an approved topic in children’s literature.

Students taking the MA in English (Literatures Victorian and Modern) pathway must include at least two of the modules marked # and write their dissertation on an approved topic in Victorian and/or Modern literature.

Students taking the MA in English (Literatures Medieval and Early Modern) pathway must include the two modules marked ^ and write their dissertation on an approved topic in Medieval and/or Early Modern literature.


2019/20 tuition fees for this course

Full-time £7,700 £12,420
Part-time £3,850 N/A

Alumni of Canterbury Christ Church University are eligible for a 20% discount on this course, subject to terms and conditions.

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 2019/20 Tuition fee statements and continuing fee information.

Government loans of up to £10,906 are available for some postgraduate Master’s courses for students starting their course from 1 August 2018. 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.

Read more about  postgraduate masters student loans.

Students may self-fund their course or a sponsor may fund or part-fund. Bursaries, scholarships and fee discounts may also be available.

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any library fees and fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Residential Weekends Students will need to arrange and cover the cost of their accommodation in Canterbury for the three residential weekends per year; a range of options are available. While we endeavour to provide all core texts in the university’s excellent library (offering online texts wherever possible), most students choose to purchase their own copies of course books.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Learning and teaching is predominantly by two-hour seminars designed to facilitate scholarly debate on specific topics and texts. Individual tutorials are also offered to students in all modules, and individual supervision forms an essential part of work on the dissertation.

Assessment is mainly by a range of written coursework including research essays and a 15,000-word dissertation. There are no exams.

Applications for this course can be completed online .

For further information, please read our guidance on how to apply online .

Applicants must complete an application form and the Supplementary Form for MA in English Applicants, and arrange for an academic reference to be submitted. Decisions on applications are normally based on these submitted documents, but you may also be called for interview and/or asked to submit a writing sample.

Criteria used in selection include:

  • strength of undergraduate degree/predicted degree results in English Literature or a cognate subject
  • aptitude for advanced study of English literature
  • potential to engage in a concentrated programme of MA level work
  • aptitude for scholarly and critical thinking
  • skills in written English

Fact file

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 1 year full-time
    2 years part-time


  • Late September/Early October

Typical contact hours per week

  • 6 contact hours per week (3x2-hour seminars per week) in 2 teaching terms, plus tutorial support & self directed study. 3rd term no taught classes but offered dissertation supervision tutorials.

Entry requirements

  • A 2:2 honours degree, in English or a relevant subject discipline. Holders of other qualifications will be considered individually.
  • Entry requirements for international students whose first language is not English include an IELTS overall score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in reading and writing.



Last edited 31/07/2019 13:47:00

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Last edited: 31/07/2019 13:47:00