English Literary Studies
Our taught MA course offers choice, flexibility and the opportunity to specialise.
1 year full time or 2 years part time
1 year full time or 2 years part time
Please note: Courses may be affected by Covid-19 and are therefore subject to change due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Applicants will be informed of any changes which we are required to make to course entries as a result of Covid-19.
Our taught MA course offers choice, flexibility and the opportunity to specialise. You can learn from the rich variety of research expertise in the Department and you also have the chance to concentrate on a particular area of literary study. Our commitment to research-led teaching means that students are able to explore the cutting edge of the discipline - from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present day, from medieval manuscripts to contemporary crime narrative. We provide an intimate, dynamic and supportive environment for students of all backgrounds and nationalities.
Our courses offer up-to-date training in research methods and skills and a wide selection of literature modules from which you choose three; you will also write a dissertation. You will have the opportunity to follow up particular interests by studying a named pathway, or to designate your own area of study within the broad MA in English Literary Studies, tailoring an individual course based on period, theme or genre.
An MA in English is often the platform for further research at PhD level, as well as providing an excellent grounding for jobs in education, the arts and the media.
If you choose to take one of the named pathways, you will be expected to select at least two modules from those available within a pathway and to write your dissertation in an area related to your named pathway. You need not confine your choices to a named pathway, as on the broad MA in English Literary Studies you may choose any three from the full list of modules on offer if you prefer. Students may, with permission, take one module from other modules on offer elsewhere in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. All students must take a triple-weighted dissertation alongside their three optional modules.
Dissertation - Your dissertation will enable you to make an in-depth study of a particular topic, author, or genre at a complex level and at substantial length. This module also aims to provide you with the range of knowledge, understanding and high-quality skills that will enable you to study effectively at Master’s level and to offer a fitting training in research methods.
Previous modules have included:
Modules are subject to staff availability and normally no more than twenty of the above will run in any one year.
Please use the 'additional comments' section of the application form to indicate your choice of modules as well as to provide a personal statement.
One of the distinctive features of the Durham MA in Literary Studies is that it permits both a broad-based, eclectic study of literary topics from the earliest periods of literature to the present and the possibility of specialisation through designated pathways in such areas as Medieval and Renaissance Studies or Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Studies. All students take 3 optional modules, taught in small seminar groups of up to 10, with each module generating 18 hours of contact time (9 seminars x 2 hours) over the academic year. A strong emphasis is placed on independent research, and seminars usually involve a considerable amount of preparation, including short presentations and workshop activities. Assessment for these modules is usually by coursework essay.
All students also register for a triple-weighted dissertation, which generates an additional 20 hours of contact time over the first two terms in the form of fortnightly seminars, together with an additional 3.5 hours of dedicated individual supervision time in the third term. Strong emphasis is placed on independent research. In preparation for the MA dissertation, all students submit a 1,000 word research proposal at the beginning of the second term, and are given constructive feedback on it. A draft chapter (approximately 3,500) words will be read and commented upon by their supervisor.
Each MA student is assigned an Academic Advisor who can guide and support her or his progress during the programme of study.
Throughout the taught MA degree course, all students are strongly encouraged to participate in a lively series of staff-postgraduate research seminars, usually involving invited guest speakers from the UK and beyond.
You will normally require an English or English-related Honours degree (at least a 2:1 or equivalent) from a recognised university.
Please use the 'additional comments' section of the application form to provide a personal statement.
In addition to your three module choices, you will also need to include a piece of written work of approximately 2,000 words in length on a literary subject. This can be any piece of literary-critical work you have completed recently and should be emailed to the applicant portal.
We welcome applications from holders of international qualifications. For advice on the equivalency of international qualifications, please contact our International Office.
|Home students||£10,100 per year|
|EU students||£20,750 per year|
|Island students||£10,100 per year|
|International students||£20,750 per year|
|Home students||£5,600 per year|
|EU students||£11,500 per year|
|Island students||£5,600 per year|
|International students||£11,500 per year|
The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities.Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries
For further information on career options and employability, including the results of the Destination of Leavers survey, student and employer testimonials and details of work experience and study abroad opportunities, please visit our web pages.
The English Studies Department provides a studious, dynamic and supportive environment in which to undertake a postgraduate degree and offers the most up-to-date training in methods and skills. Students in English Studies can choose specialised topics across the whole range of the subject area – from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present day. Our academic staff produce research of the highest international calibre. The Department’s work ethos is that teaching and research should complement one another at all levels of academic enquiry. We strive to connect with both the local community anda global network of students, scholars, artists and professionals. Our postgraduates are an important and integral part of our research community and we place an extremely high value on the contribution that they make to the Department.
Ranked 3rd in the UK for Internationally Excellent and World-Leading research and joint 1st for research environment in REF 2014.
The best way to find out what Durham is really like is to come and see for yourself!