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MA Film and Literature

Explore text, history and theory in film and literature

Year of entry: 2020

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2020 (term dates)

Postgraduate opportunities

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Engage in a challenging, imaginative study of contemporary debates in film and literature; create and explore your own balance between these two fascinating fields of study.   

The interdisciplinary MA in Film and Literature combines critical inquiry and independent research with passionately committed teaching from world-leading scholars. You can study high culture and pop culture, silent cinema and contemporary release; you can compare theoretical questions with creative practice, blockbuster with poetry, mainstream with avant-garde. The course explores critical, theoretical, and contextual approaches to film and literature, offering specialisations in global political film, documentary, Shakespeare on film, adaptation and transmediality, post-war and Cold War European and American film, as well as access to a full range of literary modules drawn from our MA programme as a whole. 

The course will provide you with a foundation for doctoral research, and transferable skills for related careers in arts and festival management, teaching, publishing and journalism. ​There will be a diverse schedule of seminars, conferences and reading groups for you to attend as a member of the Department of English, one of the UK's largest research centres in modern English, as well as 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.

The course is creative and engaging, and the tutors are always friendly and interested in what you have to say.
Alex, MA Film and Literature

World-leading research

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, we had the highest proportion of world-leading (4*) research of all UK English departments.

Global top 25

English at York is ranked top 25 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019.

Course content

The course examines the lively, symbiotic traffic between written word and cinematic image.  You will examine films in their cultural, historical, industrial, technological and aesthetic contexts, and investigate key issues such as:

  • How do different media tell stories?
  • How do narratives change across media and history?
  • How do different audiences and readers interpret film and literature according to the  medium and moment of their production and reception?
  • How do scholars and critics of film and literature understand and theorize these issues?

You'll study one core module (20 credits) and choose three modules (20 credits each) from a range of options offered by the Department of English and Related Literature and other arts and humanities departments. You'll study two short research skills training modules (10 credits each), and complete a research dissertation (80 credits). The total number of credits for the course is 180.

Modules

These modules present case studies of literature and film in the full diversity of their textual, contextual, historical and theoretical relationships. Film/Literature Encounters introduces an illustrative range of interdisciplinary ‘encounters’, addressing film and literature as media with their own aesthetics and narrative codes; the social and institutional systems that facilitate (or impede) the transfer between them; the questions of style and creativity that sustain and inspire critical inquiry. Postgraduate Life in Practice will teach you valuable research, writing and presentation skills.

Core modules

Option modules

There are also a wide range of further 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.

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Dissertation

Your dissertation (80 credits) offers you the chance to examine a topic in depth and to develop your research skills.

In Summer Term and over the vacation you will work on a 14,000-16,000-word dissertation with regular supervision from a member of staff.

You'll submit your dissertation in September. Recent dissertation topics include:

  • Moving Images for a Mobilized Age: Independent Film as Political Activism
  • More Human than Human: Reading the Animal in Film though the Qur’an
  • The Slacker in Film and Literature
  • Speaking into Being in Contemporary Film
  • Widescreen Shakespeare

The York approach

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.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • analyse significant film and literary texts from across genres, periods and national contexts, interpreting them with reference to their formal strategies and to the social, political, economic and/or aesthetic contexts in which they were produced, reproduced, and received
  • evaluate and contribute to scholarly debates around film/literature studies
  • deploy knowledge of specialist fields within the broader remit of film/literature – for example national film cultures in Britain and American, documentary film in the 20th century, Cold War literature, theory and film, political cinema and literature in the 21st century
  • initiate, conduct, and take responsibility for independent research, drawing on skills honed by graduate-level research training, research-led teaching, and the completion of a substantial dissertation project
  • communicate sophisticated written arguments in a clear, accurate and persuasive fashion, synthesising evidence from multiple sources so as to convey information creatively and convincingly
  • engage in verbal discussion of complex textual material, demonstrating versatility, rigour, and confidence in the reception, appreciation, and articulation of high-level ideas and perspectives
  • direct their own development, bringing new knowledge and skills to bear upon a range of contexts including (but not limited to) doctoral study in modern English literature and related fields

World-leading research

Ranked first in the UK for world-leading research and second overall (REF 2014).

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2020/21

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year) £8,040£18,240
Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
£4,020£9,120

Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Additional costs

You will need copies of the texts set for each module. Where possible, the Department works to arrange digital copies via the University Library. Where this is not practical, you will be instructed in advance of the start of each term about the texts and editions you will need to purchase (whether new or second-hand).

Fees information

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.

Funding information

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.

Home/EU students

International students

Department scholarship information

Further information about funding for English.

Living costs

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.

Teaching and assessment

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.

Teaching format

  • Two 2-hour seminars each week during the Autumn and Spring Terms; if you are a part-time student you will attend one 2-hour seminar a week during the Autumn and Spring Terms of Year 1 and Year 2.
  • Taught in seminars of up to 15 students for most modules; some core modules may involve a larger number of students.
  • Essential reading is set for each seminar, you are encouraged to read more widely around the topic.
  • A series of training lectures and workshops, designed to address writing at MA level, presenting your work, transferable skills, and career development.

In the course of the year, we will expect you to give regular seminar presentations and to 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.

Facilities

​​Writers at York is a lively programme of readings and workshops, and aims to celebrate and explore the work of both emerging and established contemporary writers.

Writers at York is supported by the University of York's External Engagement Awards and the Festival of Ideas.

Teaching location

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.

About our campus

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.

Assessment and feedback

You will 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.

English MA teaching
Humanities Research Centre
The depth and breadth offered by the Film and Literature MA was very appealing; I'm really enjoying it so far. I think the interdisciplinary approach that York takes to its research is very exciting, and at the moment I am considering staying for a PhD!
Tom, MA Film and Literature

Careers and skills

Our postgraduates go into practical and creative work in the cultural industries, academia and teaching, arts and festival 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.

Career opportunities

  • Advertising, marketing, and public relations
  • Arts and festival administration
  • Civil and diplomatic services
  • Film, radio, social media, television, and theatre
  • Journalism and broadcasting
  • Law
  • Government
  • Academia
  • Publishing
  • Teaching

Transferable skills

The course will help you to develop a range of transferable skills including:

  • developing your creativity
  • improving your ability to filter and analyse complex information
  • intellectual independence and independent working
  • time management and people skills
  • communicating your research
  • methodological skills

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent. We will consider applications from students with lower qualifications, particularly if you have high marks in relevant modules or appropriate professional experience.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Qualification Minimum requirement
IELTS 7.0, minimum 6.5 in each component
PTE Academic 67, minimum 61 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 185, minimum 176 in each component
TOEFL 96, minimum 23 in each component
Trinity ISE III Distinction in all components

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our 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.

Applying

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.

Apply for this course

Next steps

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Get in touch if you have any questions

Dr Erica Sheen

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Department of English and Related Literature

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