The MA in English Literature by research is taught through seminars, group sessions, and personalised one-to-one teaching with a first and second supervisor. A postgraduate reading group, and seminars led by staff and guest speakers, gradually develop the insights needed to complete your research project.
There are four parts to the qualification:
- a research proposal
- a bibliography
- a short essay
- a longer Dissertation
There are no exams.
This is an opportunity to work closely on a writer or topic that fascinates you, within a supportive environment. You can undertake research in most literary topics within the period 1550 to the present day. You start by developing the Project Preliminaries with your supervisors: the research proposal, bibliography, and essay. Then you progress to the full Dissertation (25,000-30,000 words), written under the guidance of your supervisors.
The MA commences in September or January each year, on a full- or part-time basis. The MA takes one year full-time, two years part-time.
For the MA, full-time attendance on campus is not required, but overseas students in particular, or home students wishing to use libraries intensively, may apply for a room in University accommodation. Alternately, you can travel in for the teaching days, usually Wednesdays during term. The one-to-one sessions with your supervisors can be arranged for any day of the week.
Please fill in the application form above (“Apply Now”), giving as much detail as possible. In the “Personal Statement” section, give an outline of your ideas so far for your research project (300-500 words). This could include:
- the general area (e.g. “I am interested in the general area of Modernist writing and in particular the work of T. S. Eliot. I propose to consider in depth … ̕”
- your method or approach to study (e.g. “I intend to work with the new edition of T. S. Eliot’s work by Christopher Ricks, to consider how it changes our understanding of …”; “I want to consider the way gender-based approaches to Eliot’s work…” )
- a short bibliography of relevant works. See below, for some recent projects in the Department.
At this stage we do not expect a fully-formed view of the project, rather an indication of the area you are interested in. If you would like to discuss your research ideas before applying, please e-mail:
Professor John Drew (firstname.lastname@example.org) or
Professor Stefan Hawlin (email@example.com).
For other queries about the MA, contact the Admissions Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01280 820156.
- The treatment of the family in the novels of Elizabeth Bowen
- C. S. Lewis, scholar and writer
- form and vision in the works of Jeanette Winterson
- the staging of evil in Macbeth
- Enlightenment feminism in the novels of the Brontës
- the supernatural in the novels of Joseph Conrad
- form and experiment in Modernist narratives.