English - PGDip, PGCert, M.A.

  • N/A
    Application Deadline
  • 12 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)
University rank #401 ,
The MA / PGDip / PGCert English at Oxford Brookes University offers an exciting and challenging course of graduate study covering a range of periods and genres from the Renaissance to the Contemporary.


The MA / PGDip / PGCert English at Oxford Brookes University enables you to develop subject expertise at an advanced level, and carry out independent research projects in your own areas of interest.

Why choose this course?

  • A curriculum that allows you to study either a broad range of literary texts, or specialise in pathways in 19th century culture, or modern and contemporary writing.
  • You have the opportunity to study with internationally-renowned scholars who regularly publish in their field.
  • You have access to a state-of-the-art learning environment, and use of Oxford's world-famous Bodleian Library.
  • You have access to the Man Booker Prize archive, based here at Oxford Brookes.
  • Oxford is a vibrant student city that has much on offer, including the Ashmolean, Pitt Rivers Museum, and Modern Art Oxford.
  • Our Centre for Modern and Contemporary Poetry is home to a thriving poetry community.

Programme Structure

There are currently three MA pathways to choose from:

  • Pathway in Early Modern Literature This pathway allows you to focus your study on literary and cultural production from the 1500s to 1800s. It gives you the opportunity to take modules that examine in depth the historical, political and aesthetic contexts that influenced the making of the Renaissance period, but also the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries more generally. The modules will consider specific thematic, generic and stylistic questions, allowing you to engage in depth with the plays and poems of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Topics will include the development of Renaissance print culture and theatre, the history of the body and the emotions in early modern literature, social class and popular literature, contemporary legacies of Renaissance culture, and a range of independent study options.
  • Pathway in 19th Century Literature and Culture This pathway allows you to focus your study on the literary and cultural production of the 19th century. It gives you the opportunity to take modules that examine in depth the historical, political and aesthetic contexts that influenced the making of the Romantic and Victorian periods. This broad pathway enables analysis of a variety of forms of writing, and modules will be dedicated to specific thematic, generic and stylistic aspects of the century. Topics covered will include the development of the romantic sensibility, the place of religion in the 19th century, the role of women in literature and culture, travel and empire, the limits and possibilities encompassed by the definitions of ‘Romantic’ and ‘Victorian’, and a range of independent study options.
  • Pathway in Modern and Contemporary Writing and Culture This pathway allows you to focus your study on literary and cultural production since the 1900s. It gives you the opportunity to take modules that examine in depth the historical, political and aesthetic contexts that influenced the making of the 20th and 21st centuries. This broad pathway enables analysis of prose, poetic and dramatic forms of writing from the Anglophone world, and in translation. Modules will be dedicated to specific thematic, generic and stylistic aspects of the period and topics covered will include the modernist avant-garde; postmodern experimentation; landscape and the search for place; literature and madness; New York stories; the Irish novel; and a range of independent study options.Shorter postgraduate courses in English are also available (the Postgraduate Diploma and the Postgraduate Certificate) and it is possible to transfer between these courses. All pathways within the MA in English share the same structure, consisting of four modules: a compulsory core module, two elective modules and a dissertation. Postgraduate Diploma students take Modules 1, 2 and 3. Postgraduate Certificate students take Module 1 and one elective module.Modules may change from time to time; an indicative list is shown below.
Module 1
  • Key Concepts and Methods in Humanities Research (English) Every student takes this compulsory core module in advanced literary studies which is designed to help you make the transition from undergraduate to graduate-level work. You will be introduced to a variety of perspectives on theory and method in English studies, and you will acquire the advanced study skills needed to engage in independent research. You will also receive training in the use of electronic research resources. This module is taken in Semester 1 and is assessed by two written assignments.
Modules 2 and 3
  • Class and Emotion in Shakespeare This elective explores whether emotion is coloured in Shakespeare’s plays and poems by social difference. Do Shakespeare’s kings and commoners feel love, sadness, joy and shame in the same ways? Why does Ophelia suffer from love melancholy whereas the Jailer’s daughter suffers from mopishness? Does class affect the ways in which Shakespeare’s men and women arrange their inner lives, and dispose themselves in front of others? In what ways might a ‘noble’ or ‘fine’ emotional landscape differ from a ‘coarse’ one; and how can we define their differing claims to sympathy – from other characters, or within the playhouse? What was the class composition of Shakespeare’s audiences, and how might people of varying social origins have experienced his drama and poetry? This elective contributes to the recent surge of interest in effect by considering from a class perspective the history of senses, passions, affections, moods and dispositions.
  • Shakespeare and his Afterlife Introduces Shakespeare's work, and his literary and cultural legacy. In the process it will examine key conceptual issues within the field of Shakespeare studies including historicism, the status of the Shakespearean text, the 'truth claims' made by Shakespeare in his work and the process of reading Shakespeare's legacy. The module will also examine the literary appropriation of Shakespeare by a range of readers and critics from the 17th century to the 21st century. You will be asked to place Shakespeare's work within competing historical contexts as a way of questioning current approaches to Shakespeare.
  • Romanticisms Questions understanding of the literary period known as 'Romantic', through a range of contrasting and contesting texts, contexts, and positions which emerged in Britain in the period 1780-1832. Through detailed and historically-informed case studies, this module traces the shifting shapes and interests of Romantic-period literary study. Contrasting theoretical approaches to texts will question issues of history, gender, class, creativity, ecology, ethnicity, empire, social change and modernity. The course will also question period definitions and canon formation, requiring you to consider how textual and cultural value have developed and been transformed.
  • Victorian Texts: Visions and Revisions Covers a range of genres, writers and forms of the Victorian period and provides the opportunity to consider some of the ideas central to 19th-century writing and culture. It demands critical encounters from a range of perspectives with a mixture of canonical and less familiar material. You will be expected to compare and contrast various elements of this material in order to reconsider traditionally received views of the Victorian period. Each year the module will focus on a particular aspect of Victorian writing, drawing on the research expertise of staff.
  • Modern and Contemporary Fiction Offers the opportunity to engage with a number of texts written in the 20th and 21st centuries. Textual and contextual analyses will form a significant part of the study, and theoretical approaches to the reading of texts will also be addressed. Each year the module will focus on a particular aspect of modern and/or contemporary fiction drawing on the research and expertise of staff.
  • 20th-Century Texts Explores the dynamic variations of 20th century writing and culture through examination of a range of genres, writers, and forms. Creative engagements with texts may be encouraged along with theoretical perspectives that seek to articulate the nature and concerns of modernity and postmodernity, particularly those relating to aesthetics, sexuality, history, race and space. Each year the module will focus on a particular aspect of 20th century writing, drawing on the research expertise of staff.
  • Independent Study This module offers the opportunity to design a course of study to suit your own research interests and concerns. You organise and carry out your own work schedule, and determine a set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria in collaboration with the module leader and a supervisor. Full-time MA students take one elective module in each semester. Part-time MA students take their first elective in Semester 2 of the first year and their second elective in Semester 1 of the second year.
Module 4
  • Dissertation This is the capstone of the Master's programme. You will have the opportunity to conduct a major, in-depth investigation into a literary topic of your choice, leading to the production of a 15,000 word thesis. The topic may be related to one of your elective modules, or may be chosen from another area of interest. You will be supported in your research with individual supervision from a specialist tutor, and by group workshops on advanced research techniques that take place during Semester 2 (for part-time students this is taken in Year 2). The dissertation is completed over the summer and submitted in September.The postgraduate certificate provides an introduction to advanced work in your discipline. Students are required to complete Key Concepts and Methods in Research (40 credits) and one elective module (40 credits).Duration: 1 semester full-time, 2 semesters part-time.The postgraduate diploma enables a greater degree of specialisation in your chosen field. Students are required to complete Key Concepts and Methods in Research (40 credits) and two electives (each 40 credits), but are not required to produce a research dissertation.Duration: 2 semesters full-time, 3 semesters part-time.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date Application deadline and start date were not specified by the programme.
  • Programme intensity

    You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

    • Duration 12 months
    • Average duration 24 months
    • Intensity Flexible
  • Credits
    90 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
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English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

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    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

Academic Requirements

You should normally hold an upper second-class honours degree, or its equivalent, in English Literature or a related subject.

If it is some time since you completed your undergraduate education, or you do not meet the standard requirement, it may be possible to consider your application based on evidence of other relevant personal and professional experience, the support of your referees, and examples of written work.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you will need to provide certification of your English language proficiency. For this course you will need an IELTS score of at least 7, with at least 6.0 in each element.

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • GBP 12850 International
  • GBP 5320 EU/EEA
  • Home / EU full-time on-campus fee: £5,320
  • Home / EU part-time on-campus fee: £2,720
  • International full-time on-campus fee: £12,850

Where part time fees are quoted it is for the first year only. Fees will increase by approximately 2% each year


Sources of Funding for Postgraduate UK and EU students

  • Postgraduate support scheme 2015
  • John Henry Brookes Scholarships
  • Santander Scholarships
  • Faculty or Department Taught Masters Scholarships
  • de Rohan Scholarship 2015
  • Alumnus, Friends and Family Discount Schemes
  • Bursaries from External Organisations 2014-15
  • University Research Studentships
  • Public funding

Funding options for postgraduate international students

Oxford Brookes offers a range of scholarships to international postgraduate students who pay international fees.

  • John Henry Brookes Scholarships 2016
  • Santander Scholarships 2016
  • Alumnus Discount Scheme
  • Faculty or Department Taught Masters Scholarships
  • Pre-master's Academic Excellence Scholarships (for master's students beginning Sep 2016)
  • de Rohan Scholarship 2016
  • British Council GREAT Britain Scholarship India 2015 - 16
  • Family Discount
  • Visa Discount
  • Funding for Research Degrees
  • Gaza Scholarship Scheme 2016

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.