English Literature MA

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About this course

VC-Scholarship -Button2Whether undertaken for the continued love of literature, or for personal or professional development, studying our MA English Literature will help you gain a more confident critical voice and advanced analytical and research skills.

This course is taught by internationally recognised scholars who are at the cutting-edge of their areas of research. You will work with us on the latest developments in literary criticism.

The Humanities department runs a number of exciting research groups, many of which are interdisciplinary in method and scope.  The English division has particular strengths in the Early Modern period, the Long Eighteenth Century, Modernism, Gender, and Popular Culture.

Learn from the best

This MA reflects – and is informed by – staff interests across periods, locations, and theoretical approaches: from the Early Modern period to contemporary writing; British, American and transnational literature; sexuality; and cultural heritage.

Each MA module is reflective of areas of staff expertise, ranging from the gory delights of the Gothic to how associations between authors and locations lead to the development of literary heritage sites, such as Dove Cottage.

Northumbria’s Humanities department works with a range of cultural partners including New Writing North, the co-operative movement, Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums and Shandy Hall, providing students with direct industry exposure and live project opportunities.

caption: Meet the team

Teaching and Assessment

During the English Literature MA you will be encouraged to become more aware of the production and determination of meaning by historical, social, political, stylistic, ethnic, gender, geographical and other contexts.

This heightened awareness is facilitated through examining literature produced within a wide range of contexts: different periods; geographical locations; as well as a variety of social backgrounds (institutional, gendered, private, public, domestic). This wide-ranging critical examination opens up new perspectives on literary texts and provides you with the strategies needed to discuss literature in expert and critically informed ways.

You will choose your non-core modules from a pool while the core modules Critical Contexts and Research Methods: Traditional and Digital will run in all years. You conceive your dissertation topic individually in conjunction with a supervisor of similar research interests. 

Learning Environment

The delivery of the MA offers a degree of flexibility by allowing you to choose your learning environment.  The MA in English Literature is offered in a traditional classroom setting with regular face-to-face supervision, or alternatively you can complete the course via distance learning through a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). 

The Humanities department is made up of a community of learners all the way through from first year undergraduate to final year PhD level. All Humanities staff are engaged in research and actively create the knowledge that is taught in the department.

English Literature MA students, as part of Northumbria’s Humanities department, will have access to the new Institute for Humanities which houses a range of specialist research resources.

caption: University Library

Research-rich Learning

The subject area of English and Creative Writing produces high quality research and has been successful in securing external funding for research projects from the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the Leverhulme Trust.

Northumbria is rated in the UK top 15 for the quality of its English Literature, Language and Creative Writing publications. You can explore some of the key themes here.

Furthermore, as an MA student in English Literature you will engage with the activities of the Institute for Humanities, which is home to five international journals in English studies and which regularly hosts an exciting range of seminars, symposia and conferences on topics as varied as Memory, Heritage and Identity; Transnationalism and Societal Change; Digital Humanities; Medical Humanities; and American Studies.

caption: Department Research

Give your career an edge

On completion of the MA, you will have improved your employability through enhancing your critical skills and attitudes, presentation skills, and reflective and evaluative abilities. You will be self-motivating, be capable of making decisions in complex situations, and possess a thirst for independent learning. 

In addition to these personal skills, you will have demonstrated a critical awareness of the current research and scholarship within your discipline, facilitating your ability to interpret knowledge in a variety of professional fields.

The MA builds on undergraduate skills, distinguished by the level of intensity, complexity, and density of study.  Advanced communication skills and media literacy must be demonstrated along with exceptional ability for time management, ethical and professional understanding, and highly developed research and inquiry skills.

From the start of the course you are encouraged to access the central university Careers and Employment Service, and to use this service regularly to seek advice on areas such as career guidance.

caption: Student Placements

Your Future

There are considerable opportunities for you to advance your studies further, and advice in writing PhD and funding applications is available.  The course offers a qualification that may enhance promotion prospects in some professions – most notably teaching, professional research, museums/archives, public policy, and project management.

Julie Orme came to Northumbria as a mature student and achieved a distinction in the English Literature MA. She says, “Studying at Northumbria allowed me to develop good analytical and research skills and to attain the grades and display the work ethos necessary for becoming a good prospect for employers.  It has also opened the door to further, vocational study.

The best thing about my MA was the way that one's critical skills were developed to the point of autonomous study whereby, one graduated from being a student to being a literary critic.”

Course info

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time

Department Humanities

Location Lipman Building, Newcastle City Campus

City Newcastle

Start September 2017

English Literature MA

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

Terms and Conditions - northumbria.ac.uk/terms
Fees and Funding - northumbria.ac.uk/fees
Admissions Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy