MA English Literature by Research

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.

The Masters by Research in English Literature provides the opportunity to undertake a personalised programme of study in a structured and supportive environment. As a research­led programme it is inherently flexible, tutorials can be scheduled around other commitments and meaningful distance learning can be facilitated.

The course is for students who want to engage with a substantial, independent research project based on a strong interest in their chosen topic.

Preferably working with your potential supervisor during the application process, you will devise an in­ depth study of a writer, topic or archival resource that is driven by your interests. The project may develop from a recent undergraduate encounter with a particular text or topic or you may be returning to education looking for a structured environment in which to formally study an established passion.

With the recent acquisition of the Mary Braddon Archive now held by the International Centre for Victorian Women Writers (ICVWW) here at Canterbury Christ Church University and with strong connections to local repositories such as Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library and the Kent History Centre at Maidstone, we can offer unique opportunities for original and innovative literary research projects.

This programme is a significant qualification in its own right but could also fast­track you, if you're successful, to MPhil and ultimately to PhD qualifications.

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.

The MA by Research is designed to be delivered flexibly, according to your individual needs. You will meet regularly with your first supervisor, and also with your second supervisor, throughout the year to develop your ideas and receive feedback on your progress.


2019/20 tuition fees for this course

Full-time  £5,380 £12,420
Part-time  £2,690  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

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.

The English Literature team covers a wide range of specialist interests, from medieval to contemporary literature, and our REF submission 2014 included 3* and 4* research. We also offer co-supervision across the School of Humanities for interdisciplinary projects. Students are encouraged to participate in the postgraduate life of the School through the PG critical reading group and ongoing seminar series.

Supervised by a panel of experienced researchers you will meet regularly with your first supervisor and present your work-in-progress to the full panel halfway through your registration period. Following advice from this Review meeting you will complete the writing up of your 25-­30,000 ­word dissertation. There are no exams.

Claire Bartram is interested in supervising new doctoral projects on early modern book history and provincial culture in particular.

Stefania Ciocia’s supervision interests include minority and migrant literatures (especially in the American context), and the representation of childhood and adolescence in contemporary culture.

Susan Civale would be happy to supervise MA and MPhil/PhD projects in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century women writers, life writing, genre fiction, literary afterlives (including neo-Victorian and neo-Gothic narratives), and Romantic celebrity and print cultures.

Peter Merchant's past work includes definitive treatments of several otherwise relatively unsung eighteenth- and nineteenth-century authors (ranging from Sarah Fyge Egerton to Anna Kingsford) and he is interested in supervising in related areas.

Carolyn Oulton is interested in supervising research in nineteenth-century literature, including: Dickens, Mary Cholmondeley, New Woman fiction, Jerome K. Jerome and the New Humour.

Sonia Overall's interests include the relationship between walking and creativity, labyrinths, intertextual writing, crossover forms and formal experimentation, and the use of constraints, game-playing, randomness and chance to generate text.

Andrew Palmer’s research and teaching are focused on modernism, working class literature and music, and the literature of war from 1914 onwards. He welcomes enquiries from prospective students in these areas.

Astrid Stilma’s specialism is in early modern literature in a European context. Her teaching and research interests include: Elizabethan and Jacobean drama; the literature of the courts of King James VI and I; drama in performance (stage and screen); early modern translation and the book trade.

The International Centre for Victorian Women Writers, based in the School of Humanities, is the only research centre in the UK devoted to the study and promotion of nineteenth century women’s writing. The ICVWW hosts regular conferences and events.

Students are supported with regular tutorials from a specialist supervisor and advice from a supervisory panel of three staff. They will also benefit from peer support from our thriving community of postgraduate students. Further support, training and facilities are provided by The Graduate School.

Fact file

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 1 year full-time
    2 years part-time

Entry requirements

  • A 2:2 honours degree in English or a relevant discipline is required. Holders of other qualifications will be considered individually.
  • International students whose first language is not English require an IELTS overall score of 7 with a 7 in reading and writing. International students can also be accepted if they have completed an English-medium degree with a significant research element.



Last edited 11/03/2019 15:01:00

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Last edited: 11/03/2019 15:01:00