Skip navigation

Enter your details to receive an email with a link to a downloadable PDF of this course and to receive the latest news and information from Northumbria University

By submitting your information you are consenting to your data being processed by Northumbria University (as Data Controller) and Hobsons PLC (acting as Data Processor). To see the University's privacy policy please click here.

English Literature MA 1 Year Full-Time|September Start

Enter your details to receive an email with a link to a downloadable PDF of this course and to receive the latest news and information from Northumbria University

By submitting your information you are consenting to your data being processed by Northumbria University (as Data Controller) and Hobsons PLC (acting as Data Processor). To see the University's privacy policy please click here.

Whether 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.

Course Information

Level of Study

Mode of Study
1 year full-time


Lipman Building, Newcastle City Campus


September 2017

Book an Open Day / Experience English Literature MA

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study English Literature at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

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. 

Book an Open Day / Experience English Literature MA

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study English Literature at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

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.

Videos / Staff Videos

Book an Open Day / Experience English Literature MA

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study English Literature at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

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.

Book an Open Day / Experience English Literature MA

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study English Literature at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

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.

Staff Research / Research Interests

Book an Open Day / Experience English Literature MA

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study English Literature at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

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.

Book an Open Day / Experience English Literature MA

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study English Literature at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

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.”

Book an Open Day / Experience English Literature MA

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study English Literature at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Course in brief

Your course in brief

Year 1

Year one In this year you will develop core skills required for literary research, be introduced to intellectual frameworks exploring a variety of literary and theoretical materials

Who would this Course suit?

If you love reading and want to develop your interpretations of literature to new levels of sophistication, this Masters will allow you to explore literature at an advanced level. You will move from literary student to literary critic. 

Entry Requirements 2017/18

Standard Entry

First class or upper second BA (Hons) degree in English or a relevant related discipline

Plus one of the following:

  • International/English Language Requirements:

    International applicants are required to have one of the following English language qualifications with grades as shown below.

    • A British Council International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.5 (or above) with a minimum score in each component of Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking of 5.5
    • Pearson Academic score of 62 (or above) with a minimum score in each component of Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking of 51

    The University also accepts many other English language qualifications and if you have any questions about our English Language requirements please contact the International Admissions Office and we will be glad to assist you.

By submitting your information you are consenting to your data being processed by Northumbria University (as Data Controller) and Hobsons PLC (acting as Data Processor). To see the University's privacy policy please click here.

Modules Overview


EF0126 -

E.S.A.P. in FADSS Level 7 (Optional, 0 Credits)

The purpose of this module is to develop the participant’s ability in study skills and English language skills for academic purposes.

The module is designed to develop the participants as independent learners. The module is supported by a teaching and learning plan which outlines the formal sessions, together with the tutor-directed study and independent reading. An interactive approach to seminars will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and participants’ own experience of study skills. Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities and use of the discussion board on the e-learning platform.
Independent learning will focus upon the participants identifying those skills which they need to develop and understand through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, and reflection. The sessions will attempt to follow the principles set out by the CEM model (Sloan and Porter, 2008)

More information

EL7013 -

Reading the American Man (Optional, 30 Credits)

You will learn about how male protagonists have been represented in a range of American fiction from the twentieth century to the present, for example how they have come to symbolise the ‘idea’ of America. You will learn about concepts such as the construction of masculinity, feminist critiques of the masculine as universal symbol of humanity and how these intertwine with the idea of America as a nation in the novels and short stories studied. You will study theoretical and critical articles alongside the texts to inform your critiques of the fiction.

More information

EL7014 -

Early Modern Echoes: Mulltimedia Appropriations of Early Modern Drama (Optional, 30 Credits)

How and why has English drama from the early modern been appropriated across media since the years of its inception? Why place such emphasis on reinventing literature from this period in new and complex media forms, in ways that engage with notions of race, sexuality, nationhood, gender, and society that can bear little to no relevance to the early modern literary contexts themselves? This module explores western fascination with early modern literary afterlives, in a range of media forms across four centuries of literary history. You will learn about early modern texts and their authors, and the ways in which they have been reincarnated in theatre, film and television, music, political propaganda, and in visual art forms (including graphic novels). The module inevitably focuses on William Shakespeare, but also extends interest to authors such as Christopher Marlowe, John Webster, Thomas Middleton, and Ben Jonson.

More information

EL7016 -

Dark Tourism: Urban Underworlds and Modern City Spaces (Core, 30 Credits)

‘Dark Tourism’ is defined as tourism involving travel to sites historically associated with death, tragedy and, in an off-shoot version identified as slum tourism, poverty. On this module you will consider the debates that consider the ethics and motivation of such a form of tourism, and the role that literature plays in both promoting dark tourism by pushing the reader towards such sites and also in creating a distinct form of dark tourism by taking the reader into the dark places of the psyche.
What lies at the heart of this module is relationship between the changed urban spaces of modernity and the perception of the individuals who inhabited them. You will address development of commodity cultures, the impact of industrialisation in the Victorian city, as well as the ways in which contemporary culture has co-opted various geographical sites and the narratives associated with them. You will pay particular attention to the alienating effects that modern urban living had on individuals and to the question of how the experience of social and personal estrangement affected formal and thematic innovations in both film and literary texts.

More information

EL7018 -

Final Frontiers: future worlds, cyberspace and alternative realities (Optional, 30 Credits)

This module looks at how non-mainstream genres such as Science Fiction, Fantasy, Cyberpunk, Slipstream and New Weird create future worlds, alien worlds and alternative worlds. Worlds that embrace the complex field of non-realist representation to explore themes such as evolution, devolution, eugenics, genetics, man and machine, alternative histories, apocalypse, race and gender, and ultimately our concept of reality itself. The texts you will analyse and discuss will primarily be from the 1960s to the present day. The material covered will allow you to explore and question your understanding of both your own, and humanities, place in the cosmos. The module will provide an interesting area for you to apply and further develop critical theories explored in the Critical Contexts module.
The module is structured in four parts. Initially you explore fiction’s portrayals of future landscapes, urban spaces and civilisations. Then you look at literature that subverts romanticised ideas about place, time and reality. You will then consider how authors complicate our understanding of place by questioning our sense of reality. Finally you will consider cyberpunk, cyberspace and the concept of singularity (i.e. the possibility that humanity can integrate with machine and vice versa and move beyond our current understanding of reality).

More information

EL7019 -

Research Methods: Traditional and Digital (Core, 30 Credits)

On this module you will learn key approaches to English literary research – how to plan and carry out rigorous research using a variety of traditional and more modern tools and approaches. The module’s content will help prepare you for the challenge of completing a successful dissertation by empowering your knowledge of and proficiency with literary research tools.

More information

EL7021 -

Critical Contexts (Core, 30 Credits)

In this module you will learn about some of the key ideas and theories that can help us understand theoretical and conceptual approaches to literary texts. From week to week, readings of primary texts past and present will be informed by selected critical and theoretical work focussed on specific aspects of the material, such as ideological and discursive constructions of gender, race, class, and national identity. This theoretical material will be provided in a Reading Pack of excerpted material, offering a representative sample of a range of thinkers’ work, and motivating further exploration of their ideas. Seminars will allow in-depth discussion of the texts and concepts appropriate to Masters level study.

The module aims to problematise our assumptions about how literary texts are constructed in relation to ideological and discursive practices, and about the relationships between texts, theory and contexts. It enables you to acquire skills necessary to analyse literature at the Masters level, using sophisticated, appropriate, and up-to-date critical and theoretical approaches

More information

EL7022 -

MA English Literature Dissertation (Core, 60 Credits)

This module consists of a 15,000 word dissertation leading to the award of MA in English Literature
The dissertation provides the students with the opportunity to produce an extended piece of research on a topic of their own choosing related to English literature. Students will operate at a higher level of independent learning and research than in the taught modules, albeit with the support of a supervisor who has specialist knowledge in the student’s chosen area of interest. The Dissertation is the final part of the MA, and is the culmination of the programme in terms of length, the degree of specialization in subject, complexity of argument and depth of research.
Work on the dissertation is supported and enhanced by assessments on the other MA modules, particularly the Research Methods module.

During the supervisory sessions students will be encouraged to:

• Tackle problems
• Outline plans
• Submit timely drafts
• Balance research and writing
• Think critically about the specific problems raised by research
• Apply appropriate methodological and theoretical approaches to underpin students’ their research
• Demonstrate acuity in selecting approaches, methods, concepts and theories.

More information

EL7027 -

Writers in their Place: Literature and Heritage (Optional, 30 Credits)

This module, drawing on literary works between roughly 1700 and 1820, explores a range of ways in which our engagement with literature is mediated by a ‘sense of place’: places in which poems and fictions are set; places which provided venues for literary, cultural and polite activities; places which seem synonymous with and, in a way, even ‘invented’ by particular authors; and places in which authorial lives are memorialized. Each year the syllabus will contain visits and opportunities for project work at venues such as Shandy Hall (to study the literary house as a specific heritage attraction); at the Lit & Phil (to study how the cultural life of an associational city can be interpreted for new audiences); and Dove Cottage (to explore Wordsworth’s relation to the aesthetic appreciation, the ecology, and the tourist industry of the Lake District).

More information

How to apply

How to Apply

Application for most courses is direct to the University via our online application form. Simply click on the 'Apply Online' button you will see on each of our course entries.

However, there are some courses where the application method is not directly to the University. These are:


Postgraduate Research
If you wish to apply for postgraduate research then please submit a research enquiry.

Application Deadlines 

Whilst most of our courses do not set an exact deadline for applications, you are advised to apply early to secure your place and organise any sponsorship or funding. Overseas students should submit applications to us by no later than 31 July for courses starting in early September or 1 December for courses that commence in January. This allows sufficient time to process our decision, for you to obtain visas and to organise your accommodation and travel arrangements.

Graduate Teacher Training Courses
Equal consideration is given to all applications received by UCAS Teacher Training by the main application deadline, details of all deadlines can be found on the UTT website.

Law professional courses
For details about the selection and allocation process for the full-time Law Professional courses please see the relevant website. For the Legal Practice Course (LPC)/Common Professional Examination and the Graduate Diploma in Law (CPE/GDL) courses, and for the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC and BPTC LLM)

 Master of Fine Art (MFA)

Master of Fine Art (MFA) We encourage all applications to the MFA programme for entry in September 2017 to apply prior to our guaranteed application review date of 1st June 2017. After this date, we will review applications subject to there being remaining spaces on the programme.


Decision Making Process

Most courses require at least one reference, but some may need two. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure Northumbria receives a satisfactory academic reference. If you have not been in education for a number of years, then a reference from your employer may be acceptable.

We try to reply to applicants as soon as possible but you should receive a response within 10 working days, and this will be one of the following.

  • Conditional offer which will normally be upon the completion of your undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification and achieving a particular classification or grade. You will be required to send us a confirmation that you have passed your current degree course as soon as you receive notification to enable us to confirm your offer. 
  • Unconditional offer is made if you have already met the entry requirements of your chosen course 
  • Reject your application 

You will be asked to confirm your acceptance in writing of any offer made.

Fairness and Transparency
The University is committed to a system of admissions that ensures fairness, transparency and equal opportunities within the legal framework of the UK and best practice. All reasonable effort will be made to ensure that no prospective or existing student is unreasonably treated less favourably on the grounds of age, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, creed, disability, sexual orientation, gender, marital or parental/carer status, political belief or social or economic class, or any other type of discrimination.

Tuition Fee Assessment
Tuition fees are set at different levels for Home/EU and International Students. Before you begin your course the University must establish your tuition fee status. In many cases, the University will be able to make this assessment without requiring any additional information.

Guidance can be found on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website to help you understand how Higher Education Institutions (HEI's) make an assessment on your fee status.

Selection Process 

Applicants who may not have the standard entry qualifications are welcome to apply and may be interviewed. Some courses will interview as part of the selection process. This applies particularly to courses in art and design, teaching and health.

Health Screening
Applicants for Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Primary (Early Years) and Social Work will be required to complete a health questionnaire. They may be required to attend for doctor or nurse assessment at the University Health Centre.

Prior to beginning their programme, all applicants to Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy are advised to start a course of Hepatitis B vaccinations, available from their own GP. In addition, Midwifery applicants must provide evidence before they commence training that they are immune to Hepatitis B or have Hepatitis B non-carried status.

Applicants to these courses who have had contact with MRSA in the previous 6 months may be asked to provide evidence that they are not colonised by submitting negative swabs results prior to commencement of training. Alternatively, they may be screened on commencement of the programme.

All applicants will receive vaccination screening at the University Health Centre on commencement of their programme.

Disclosure of Criminal Background
To help the University reduce the risk of harm or injury to any member of its community caused by the criminal behaviour of other students, it must know about any relevant criminal convictions an applicant has.

Relevant criminal convictions are only those convictions for offences against the person, whether of a violent or sexual nature, and convictions for offences involving unlawfully supplying controlled drugs or substances where the conviction concerns commercial drug dealing or trafficking. Convictions that are spent (as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) are not considered to be relevant and you should not reveal them.

If you are applying for courses in teaching, health, social work and courses involving work with children or vulnerable adults, you must complete the section of your UCAS application form entitled 'Criminal Convictions'. You must disclose any criminal convictions, including spent sentences and cautions (including verbal cautions) and bindover orders. Further information on how to complete this section is available from the UCAS booklet 'How to Apply'. For these courses, applicants are required to undergo police clearance for entry and will need to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) enhanced disclosure form. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). Access to the DBS checking service is only available to registered employers who are entitled by law to ask an individual to reveal their full criminal history, including spent convictions - also known as asking 'an exempted question'. The University is such a 'registered employer' and will send you the appropriate documents to fill in if you are offered a place in the course.

If you are convicted of a relevant criminal offence after you have applied, you must inform the university immediately. Do not send details of the offence; simply tell the University that you have a relevant criminal conviction. You may then be asked to supply more details.

Anti-fraud Checks
Please note that the University follows anti-fraud procedures to detect and prevent fraudulent applications. If it is found that an applicant supplies a fraudulent application then it will be withdrawn.

The University reserves the right to cancel an application or withdraw any offer made if it is found that an application contains false, plagiarised or misleading information.


Disabled Students

Northumbria welcomes enquiries and applications from disabled students whether disability is due to mobility or sensory impairment, specific learning difficulties, mental health issues or a medical condition. Applications from disabled students are processed in the usual way, but applicants should declare their disability at the application stage so that the University can contact them to assess how to meet any support needs they may have. Disabled applicants may be invited to visit the University so that this can be done in person.

To find out more contact:
Disability Support Team
Tel +44 (0)191 227 3849 or
Minicom +44 (0)191 222 1051


International Students

The University has a thriving overseas community and applications from International students are welcome. Advice on the suitability of overseas qualifications is available from:

International Office
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne

Tel +44 (0)191 227 4274
Fax +44 (0)191 261 1264

(However, if you have already applied to Northumbria and have a query, please contact or telephone 00 44 191 243 7906)

Provision of Information
The University reserves the right at any stage to request applicants and enrolling students to provide additional information about any aspect of their application or enrolment. In the event of any student providing false or inaccurate information at any stage, and/or failing to provide additional information when requested to do so, the University further reserves the right to refuse to consider an application, to withdraw registration, rescind home fees status where applicable, and/or demand payment of any fees or monies due to the University.

Any Questions?

Our admissions team will be happy to help. They can be contacted using the details below:

UK/EU Applicants Contact Details:

TEL: 0191 227 4444

International Applicants Contact Details:

TEL: 00 44 191 227 4274

FAX: 00 44 191 261 1264

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

Terms and Conditions -
Fees and Funding -
Admissions Policy -

You might also be interested in...

Order your prospectus

If you're a UK/EU student and would like to know more about our courses, you can order a copy of our prospectus here.

Pg _flexiblepayments

Alumni Discounts

Graduates of the University are entitled to a 20% alumni discount on Masters study at Northumbria (T&C’s apply).

Masters _programmes

Masters Programmes

If you want to give your career an extra edge, change direction or simply want to love what you do, have a look at our full range of Masters Programmes

Back to top