M.A. Literature, Culture and Identity

University of Portsmouth | Portsmouth, United Kingdom
This course is designed for those who have developed interests in questions of gender, sexuality and ethnicity and who wish to express this through literary analysis of a range of writing from the English-speaking world, and from mainland Europe in translation. Key topics include the consideration of ideas of the ‘self/other’, travel and migration, war, postcolonial and national identities, geography and the relationship to physical space, and gender and sexuality

Description of Literature, Culture and Identity


On this course you can:

  • Study a degree enhanced by the research expertise of our Centre for Studies in Literature members
  • Explore theories of psychoanalysis, feminism, postcolonialism and postmodernism in relation to contemporary literature

The programme will prepare you for postgraduate work in the fields of queer theory, gender studies, and postcolonial literature and theory. The course is directly tailored to meet national benchmarks for research training, with a strong emphasis on the development of research skills and analytical abilities. It is therefore designed for those thinking about future doctoral-level study, as well as offering a valuable boost to your personal profile if you are an education professional or simply looking to expand your portfolio with a challenging and rewarding advanced qualification.
More generally, it will improve your employability in an increasingly competitive job market as you will acquire skills which show an ability to research independently and study a contemporary topic at an advanced level.

Detailed Course Facts

Tuition fee

Fee information can be found at www.port.ac.uk/tuitionfees

Not specified
Start date September  2016
Duration full-time 12 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Part-time, Full-time
Intensity Flexible
Duration part-time 24 months

Course Content

At the heart of the course is the production of a dissertation – a substantial piece of individual research work. Supporting your achievement in this are a series of taught units, introducing advanced research skills, analytical techniques and methodological perspectives that you will need for work at the cutting edge of contemporary humanities.

In addition, you will study a core unit, Cultural Identities: Self and Other, which will introduce key theoretical issues. You will then choose to study either Body Maps or European Others, plus one further option drawn from:

  • Performing Genders
  • Postmodern Detectives
  • Independent Project

You will also take a research management unit to support the research for your dissertation. For the dissertation you will pursue in depth an approved topic of your choice.

Teaching and Assessment

You will experience a blend of seminar-based teaching and tutorial project support. Seminars will take place one day a week, generally in two two-hour sessions. Tutorials are arranged by mutual convenience and support can also be given by email.

You will be given comprehensive materials for the seminars, including prepared readings necessary for participation in discussions. As with any course of study, the MA Literature, Culture and Identity will require a significant commitment of time outside formal teaching hours – especially if taken full-time – for reading, preparation and assessment, but you will have plenty of support and guidance to help you meet your goals.

How are you assessed?

For the unit Humanities Research Skills, you will be expected to produce two or three short pieces of work. For each of the remaining taught units, you will give a short presentation and produce a 5,000-word essay.

English Language Requirements

CAE score
193(Grade B)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Per 6 April 2015 only the English language tests from IELTS and Trinity College London are accepted for Tier 4 Visa applications to the United Kingdom. Other tests (including TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson, City & Guilds) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. Since the Trinity College London language tests must be taken in one of their exam centres in the UK, IELTS is now the only language test accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK that can be taken worldwide.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

Requirements for Literature, Culture and Identity

A good second class honours degree, or above, in the field of literature or a related combination of subjects.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 or equivalent with no component less than 6.5

Work Experience for Literature, Culture and Identity

No work experience is required.

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