M.A. English Literary Studies

University of Southampton

Application deadline: September 1
Tuition fee:
  • € 6,720 / Year (EEA)
  • € 15,560 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: October  2014
Credits (ECTS): 60 ECTS
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time

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The MA is a broad-based programme that allows you to explore the interrelations of text, theory, and culture across the field of English literary and cultural studies. This flexible programme is designed to give you an advanced understanding of the study and practice of academic English in terms of cultural analysis, textual interpretation, and theoretical method.

The MA in English Literary Studies will enable you to work independently in the field, to explore a range of periods and genres of English literature and culture as well as creative writing, and to evaluate unique archival resources; it will develop your knowledge and understanding of critical and research methods, the historical and critical reception of literature in designated areas, literature in a contested cultural framework, and the industry and cultural environment in which English research and publication is carried out. The broad modular structure of our programme allows for crossover between the different subject pathways.

The MA can be used as professional training, or as preparation for PhD study at Southampton and elsewhere. Students in our MA in English Literary Studies programme benefit from small-group teaching with world leading experts in modern and contemporary literature; creative writing; postcolonial studies; literature and science; poetics; book history; literature and law; Romanticism and 18th century studies; and medieval and Renaissance studies.

Our MA in English Literary Studies students come to us from all over the world, including the United States, most European countries, Jordan, Brazil and the Peoples Republic of China, as well as the United Kingdom.


Programme structure (full-time route)

The full-time route comprises 51 weeks, starting in October. The programme consists of 6 modules (2 core modules and 4 option modules, 20 credits each) plus a dissertation (60 credits).

In your first semester, you will take two compulsory core modules, Research Skills A and Text, Theory, Culture, and one option. In your second semester, you take Research Skills B and three further optional modules, either from the English MA programmes or from other related MA courses in Humanities.These modules are assessed by coursework involving essays, oral presentations and practical tests (for example, take-away examinations). You complete the programme with a dissertation of 15,000 to 20,000 words on a topic of your choice, written over the summer.

Programme structure (part-time route)

Students following the part-time route complete the same programme of study as full-timers and attend the same taught modules. However, your programme extends over 24 months, and you complete the 2 compulsory modules and 4 optional modules over four semesters rather than two. You will prepare the 15,000-20,000-word dissertation during the summer of your second year.


First- or upper second-class honours degree or equivalent; IELTS 7.5
Entry requirements may be flexible, contact the convenor to discuss.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 7.5

IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) 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.

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

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