MA in Poetry and Poetics

Convenor: Hugh Haughton (Autumn and Summer Terms), Matthew Campbell (Spring Term)



On our new MA in Poetry and Poetics you will have the opportunity to read widely and deeply in poetry and ideas about poetry from the classical period to the present day. The language of the course, and of many of the poets studied, will be English, but you will also study poetry from a variety of linguistic cultures, and in a wide range of historical contexts. Seminars on the MA will focus on the intensive - and highly-pleasurable - reading of poems and poets, in dialogue with academic staff who have published on many major authors and periods: classical poetics, medieval literature, renaissance poetry, the Romantics and Victorians, and British, Irish and American contemporary writing. There will also be modules on old English poetry, symbolism, medieval poetic inheritances, the matter of British poetry, and poetry and art.  You will develop excellent skills in reading poetry and enhance your knowledge of higher level poetics as well as the intricacies of poetic form.

What's special about the MA in Poetry and Poetics at York?

  • The curriculum is international, placing issues of translation and cultural exchange at the heart of the study of poetry from classical to post-colonial poetics
  • Our approach is cross-cultural as well as trans-historical, involving work between European languages, the UK and the USA
  • You will focus on the poem and the poet, with an emphasis on theory and form
  • You will be taught by research leaders in a wide variety of literary areas
  • The wide foundation in poetry and aesthetics which it offers will equip you well for future careers in the culture industry
  • It will also prepare you well for further research in this area


  • Four assessed essays of approximately 4,500 words each
  • A 14,000-16,000 word dissertation, written in consultation with a supervisor on an agreed topic



The programme is fully modularised and divided into 4 taught modules (one compulsory, three option), a research skills training programme, and a research dissertation.

Click here for all 2017/18 modules


This team-taught module draws on the expertise in poetry and poetics from classical to modern poetry offered by staff from all of the research schools of the Department of English and Related Literature. It will give students the opportunity to develop their aesthetic discrimination in, and enjoyment of, poetry. Students will acquire a research-led basis for the postgraduate study of poetry and poetics, and be able to write in sophisticated ways about concepts of genre, periodicity, form and poetic language. They will also be enabled to recognise issues of translation and cross-cultural poetic influence, while gaining an introduction to advanced theoretical issues in contemporary international poetics.

Poetry and Poetics (MS Word  , 89kb)


Available option modules may include:

Option modules will vary from year to year according to staff availability, and will run subject to minimum numbers. Option modules may also be taken in other arts and humanities departments.

The Bard (detail from Blake's illustrations to Gray's Poems)

Who to contact

For more information on this MA, please contact:

Hugh Haughton (MA Convenor)


How to apply

You can apply for this course using our online application system. If you've not already done so, please read the application guidance first so that you understand the various steps in the application process.