Study the cultural meanings and associations of the various styles, genres and mediums in which English literature is produced. Explore a range of different critical and theoretical perspectives on advanced literary study on this flexible Masters programme.
Choose the modules that interest you the most, and develop an understanding of how English literature engages with a range of political, social and aesthetic issues.
Taught and supervised by world-leading scholars, the course will develop your research skills, which you'll apply to a substantial piece of independent research. This will provide you with a foundation for doctoral research, as well as transferable skills for related careers in teaching, publishing, arts management and journalism.
You’ll engage with the wider research culture of the Department of English, one of the UK's largest research centres in modern English. There will be a diverse schedule of seminars, conferences and reading groups for you to attend. You’ll also be part of the Humanities Research Centre, a vibrant interdisciplinary hub which will enable you to form close social and intellectual bonds over the course of your study.
In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, we had the highest proportion of world-leading (4*) research of all UK English departments.
English at York is ranked top 25 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019.
You'll choose four 20-credit option modules from a range offering opportunities to work across different literary periods and genres. You can choose from modules on poetry, fiction and drama from the medieval to the modern. You can study literature in relation to issues of gender, politics, film or postcolonialism, and enrich your learning with a module from another arts and humanities department. Some modules will take an interdisciplinary view, others will focus on a particular discipline.
You'll also study a research skills training module (20 credits), and complete a research dissertation (80 credits). The total number of credits for the course is 180.
You'll learn valuable research, writing and presentation skills. Topics may include using library and online research resources, use of archives, academic writing and how to get work published.
There are a wide range of option modules offered across all the Department's MA programmes which are available to you.
You may also choose available modules from other arts and humanities departments, as well as the Department of Education and Centre for Women's Studies.
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Your dissertation offers you the chance to examine a topic in depth and to develop your research skills.
In Summer Term and over the vacation you'll work on a 14,000-16,000-word dissertation worth 80 credits with regular supervision from a member of staff.
You'll submit your dissertation in September. Recent dissertation topics include:
Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.
I would say that the thing I enjoy most about my English MA is the opportunity to work with people who are driven, who are invested in their research, who are really interested in the things you are looking at and bringing their passion to it.Douglas, MA student (USA)
|Full-time (1 year)||£7,810||£17,370|
|Part-time (2 years)
Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
year 1 fee
year 1 fee
Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.
For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase (no more than 2% each year).
You'll need copies of the texts set for each module. Where possible, we will provide digital access. We'll let you know which texts and editions you'll need to buy (whether new or second-hand) before the start of each term.
UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.
Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.
If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.
You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.
You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.
You'll normally attend two 2-hour seminars each week during the Autumn and Spring Terms. If you are a part-time student you'll attend one 2-hour seminar a week during the Autumn and Spring Terms of Year 1 and Year 2.
Seminar groups consist of fewer than 15 students in most modules, though some core modules may involve a larger number of students. You'll complete essential reading for each seminar, and we encourage you to read more widely around the topic.
You'll attend a series of training lectures and workshops, designed to address presenting your work, writing at MA level, transferable skills, and career development.
Over the course of the year, you'll give regular seminar presentations and attend research seminars and day conferences hosted by the Department. Many of these events will be organised through the Humanities Research Centre, a state-of-the-art facility unique to York.
Writers at York is a lively programme of readings and workshops, and aims to celebrate and explore the work of emerging and established contemporary writers. Writers at York is supported by the University of York's External Engagement Awards and the Festival of Ideas.
You will be based in the Department of English and Related Literature on Campus West. Most of your contact hours will be in locations nearby on Campus West. Some of your teaching will take place in King's Manor in the city centre.
Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.
You'll submit an essay for each module of approximately 4,500 words. The Postgraduate Life in Practice module will be assessed on the completion of a series of tasks connected to your core work for the MA. Your final assessment is a dissertation of 14,000-16,000 words.
I have learnt a great deal in the Department, where leading experts care passionately about their teaching. It has been a joy working through the various modules I was able to choose (from a huge range of options).Richard, MA in English Literary Studies
Read more from Richard.
Our postgraduates go into academia and teaching, arts administration, journalism, broadcasting, public relations, social work, politics, the civil service, and management consultancy. Many alumni have also gone on to become successful novelists, poets and playwrights.
You'll develop a range of transferable skills including:
You should have, or be about to complete, a 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification.
We will consider applications from students with lower qualifications, particularly if you have high marks in relevant modules or appropriate professional experience.
If you are unsure about your eligibility, or want an informal chat about whether this course would be suitable for you, please contact us.
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.
You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.
The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.
After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.
You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.
Get in touch if you have any questions
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