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English Literature (MA)

1 year (full-time) / 2 years (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

Course Aims

The course provides excellent preparation for students who plan to move on to research at PhD level. It is also ideal for those who wish to deepen their understanding of the discipline and enhance their employability before taking up a career, as well as those who are seeking professional development in their current employment.

Special Features

Course Description

The MA in English Literature offers exciting opportunities for students to expand their intellectual horizons while gaining specialist subject knowledge and developing sophisticated research, writing and analytical skills. A stimulating programme of research-led modules – ranging from the medieval to the modern, and traversing various genres and approaches – enables students to engage actively with some of the key cultural, theoretical, historical and political contexts informing literary research at postgraduate level. While gaining expertise in a number of discrete research areas, students will also develop advanced skills in critical analysis and conceptual thinking. Students also receive an excellent grounding in research methods, bibliographic technique and scholarly presentation.

Course Structure

The degree is structured in two parts. In Part One (the taught component of the degree), full-time students choose four modules (two per semester) from a range of specialist options. Part-time students take one module per semester. All teaching is by seminars and workshops structured around student participation, with opportunities for students to present their work. Each module consists of a two-hour seminar per week and is assessed by a 4,000-word essay (or equivalent assessment). In addition to the taught modules, students attend weekly workshops on research methods and scholarly presentation and a critical theory reading group.

In Part Two of the degree (the dissertation), students undertake a substantial and sustained research project of 16,000-20,000 words on a subject of their choice, developed in consultation with an assigned supervisor. Students will have a series of one-to-one meetings with their supervisor. Full-time students begin to plan and research their dissertations in the second semester for submission in September. Part-time students commence their dissertation in May of their second year for submission the following January.

The flexible structure of the MA enables students to assemble programmes of study tailored to their personal and professional interests. Students can follow one of the specialist pathways or the open pathway. Specialist pathways in the current (2016/17) session include:

The following is an indicative list of modules:

Skills Acquired

Many of the skills acquired on the MA in English Literature are transferable to numerous areas of employment. On successful completion of the programme, students will be able to: show originality and independence in the application of knowledge; communicate effectively in written and oral forms; plan and execute a sustained research project; synthesise and evaluate a range of information efficiently; think analytically and creatively about problems; use electronic and other sources of information appropriate to a range of tasks; manage time effectively.

Career Prospects

Postgraduate study in the School is a gateway to many careers within and beyond academia. Many overseas postgraduates return to lectureships with much enhanced career prospects. Example employers in the UK include Cardiff University, HMRC, Mencap, Poetry Wales Magazine, Teach First, Welsh Government, with jobs that include Crime Intelligence Analyst, Creative Writing Lecturer, Librarian, Poet, Recruitment Consultant, Teacher and Writer.

Student Testimonials

'The MA is the most rewarding, challenging and intellectually stimulating course I have undertaken – and I have enjoyed every moment of it. .'

Michael John Goodman

Read Michael's full testimonial

'The MA is the most rewarding, challenging and intellectually stimulating course I have undertaken – and I have enjoyed every moment of it. The course is structured in such a way that, over the four modules, I was constantly developing advanced analytical skills in critical reading and writing which allowed me to write my dissertation with confidence and enjoyment. This, combined with the friendliness and approachability of staff, creates a learning environment that is highly conducive for students to fulfil their academic potential. Personally, the most important and unexpected outcome of the course is that it has instilled in me a genuine sense of pride in my own writing and at the end of the year I felt extremely proud of all that I had achieved.'

Entry Requirements

A first or Upper Second class Honours degree or equivalent. Suitable for graduates in English Literature and Humanities.

In addition, applicants whose first language is not English must obtain a British Council IELTS score of at least 7.0 (with a minimum subscore of 6.5 in each component), or an equivalent English language qualification. However, applicants with an IELTS score of 6.5 (with a minimum subscore of 6.0 in each component) will be considered provided they undertake and successfully complete the University’s eight-week pre-sessional English course. This requirement may be waived if the applicant can furnish sufficient evidence that they are suitably proficient in the use of English.

In addition to the application form we require the following supporting documents:

Tuition Fees 2016/17

Fees quoted are for the academic session 2016/17. For programmes lasting more than one year, tuition fees for subsequent years of study are subject to an increase of no more than 4.5% per year.

  UK & EU International
Full-time £6,250 £14,750
Part-time £3,125 £7,375
Deposit n/a Includes a £1,000 deposit. More information about our deposit policy.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: ENCAP Postgraduate Office, Timothy Collins  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 4722 



School Website:

More information

School of English, Communication and Philosophy


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