Study widely and deeply in poetry and ideas from the classical period to the present day. Engage with a cross-cultural approach, and place issues of translation and cultural exchange at the heart of the study of poetry from classical to post-colonial poetics.
You'll be able to focus on the poem and the poet with an emphasis on theory and form, and be able to construct a distinct, individually chosen programme of study from a wide range of options. This will include the opportunity to take a workshop in poetry writing with our creative writing faculty.
Taught and supervised by world-leading scholars, the course will develop your research skills and you'll be able to apply these 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.
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.
I was tempted by York's Poetry and Poetics MA because no other university in the UK offers such a genre-specific, trans-historical approach to this area of study. The MA has given me the opportunity to be taught by members of staff across multiple centres, and engage with my research in a more interdisciplinary way.Lucy, MA Poetry and Poetics
Read more from Lucy.
The language of the course, and of many of the poets studied, will be English, but you'll also study poetry from a variety of linguistic cultures, and in a wide range of historical contexts. The wide module range includes staff research strengths such as classical and Renaissance poetry, the Romantics and Victorians, and British, Irish and American contemporary writing, as well as old English poetry, symbolism, medieval poetic inheritances, and poetry and art.
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 (20 credits), and complete a research dissertation (80 credits). The total number of credits for the course is 180.
The core part of the course 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 you the opportunity to develop your aesthetic discrimination in, and enjoyment of, poetry. You'll 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. You'll be able to recognise issues of translation and cross-cultural poetic influence, while gaining an introduction to advanced theoretical issues in contemporary international poetics. You'll also 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 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.
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:
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.
Join us for regional trips – destinations have included Whitby, Castle Howard, Shandy Hall at Coxwold and Fountains Abbey.
You’ll benefit from the exciting collections of Romantic period texts and images at the King’s Manor Library, Minster Library and Borthwick Institute for Archives.
|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.
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, the Department works to arrange digital copies via the University Library. Where this is not practical, you'll be instructed in advance of the start of each term about the texts and editions you'll need to purchase (whether new or second-hand).
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.
Further information about funding for English.
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 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.
You will be based in the Department of English and Related Literature on Campus West and at King’s Manor in York city centre. Most of your contact hours will be at King’s Manor, and at Derwent College and additional locations nearby on Campus West.
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. You'll also complete a dissertation.
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:
|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.|
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|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.
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
Find out more about all of our English MA courses.
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