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MA Global Literature and Culture

Engage with identity politics, human rights, and global culture through literature

Year of entry: 2020

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2020 (term dates)

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The MA in Global Literature and Culture is a wide-ranging exploration of the cultural manifestations of colonial conquest, national identities, anti-colonial resistance and post-colonial struggles.

You'll have the opportunity to study these interconnected experiences from the beginnings of European imperialism to the present day. You can construct a distinct, individually chosen programme of study from a wide range of options all of which involve questions of culture, history and politics.

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, and 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.

 

 

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

Our range of modules enables you to develop a comparative understanding of different forms of imperial rule, and encourages a comparative approach to African, Asian, Irish, Middle Eastern and Pacific responses to the experience of colonisation. You'll be able to explore the transnational elements of cultural production and reception.​

You'll study one core module (20 credits) and three option modules (20 credits each) from a wide range of choices offered by the Department of English and Related Literature and other arts and humanities departments. Some modules will take an interdisciplinary view, others will focus on a particular discipline. You'll study a research skills training module (10 credits), and complete a research dissertation (90 credits). The total number of credits for the course is 180.

Modules

The core modules introduces and explores theoretical debates in the field. Rather than take 'postcolonial' as an unproblematic term, Debating Global Literary Culture addresses the intellectual, aesthetic and material stakes involved in its deployment, and situates the term in relation to earlier anti-colonial and liberationist formulations. On the Postgraduate Life in Practice module, you'll learn valuable skills in research, writing, reflection, presentation, publishing and career development.

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'll 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 have included:

  • Literary Politics in the Struggle for Freedom in Pakistan
  • Nature in the Writing of Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo and Alexander von Humboldt
  • Utopia and Dystopia in Postcolonial Science Fiction
  • Absence, Unspeakability and Suffering in Toni Morrison's Beloved and J. M. Coetzee's Foe
  • Reformulating Japanese Aesthetics and Nationality in English and Japanese Writing in the Late Meiji Period, 1890-1912
  • Memory, Regret and Identity in the Novels of Kazuo Ishiguro

 

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 global literary and cultural texts from the eighteenth century to the present day closely and critically, interpreting them with reference to (neo-)colonialism and its legacies as well as the social, political, economic and/or aesthetic contexts in which they were produced
  • Evaluate and contribute to scholarly debates around empire, resistance and postcoloniality, and around the legacies of (neo-)colonialism in nineteenth-, and twentieth-century and contemporary literature and culture
  • Deploy knowledge of specialist fields within the broader remit of global literature and culture – for example South African literature, Muslim writing in Britain, African American literature, twenty-first-century global cinema, Charles Dickens and empire, world-systems theory – in order to ask and answer innovative questions regarding the origins, contexts, and underlying conditions of the modern world
  • 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 global/world/postcolonial literature and related fields
​I have been able to combine the in-depth study of contemporary postcolonial literature with a fascinating examination of eighteenth century attitudes towards Asia, Africa and the South Pacific.
Adam, MA Global Literature and Culture

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'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.

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

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

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.

Facilities

​​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.

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'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.

English seminar
English MA teaching

Careers and skills

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.

Career opportunities

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

Transferable skills

You'll 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
  • Intercultural awareness

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

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Dr Claire Chambers

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Department of English and Related Literature

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