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MA Poetry and Poetics

Engage with poetry across cultures and eras

Year of entry: 2020

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2020 (term dates)

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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.

 

 

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.

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.

Course content

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.

Modules

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.

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:

  • Impulses From a Vernal Wood – Imagining 'Nature' in the Eighteenth Century
  • Incarnation of the Word Theology in Dante's Commedia
  • Non-binary notions of gender in North American poetry
  • Humour in World War I
  • Transatlantic Narratives of Progress and Decline in the poetry of the 1920s 
  • Combining Genres - An Exploration of Poetry and Photography
  • The Editorial Construction and Textual Reception of Emily Dickinson
  • Logics of Poetic Discovery: How Dante and Eliot Changed Reality

 

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 poetic and cultural texts from different historical periods closely and critically, interpreting them with reference to the social, political, economic and/or aesthetic contexts in which they were produced, and in terms of what they reveal about the nature of poetry as a self-consciously trans-historical genre
  • Evaluate and contribute to scholarly debates around poetics as well as show a grasp of influential debates about poetic form, rhythm, and the transformation of classical metres and genres across history as well as in contemporary practice
  • Deploy knowledge of specialist fields within the broader remit of poetry and poetics – for example Viking Poetry, the poetry of Dante, Romantic poetry, modernist poetry, poetry and the visual arts – in order to ask and answer innovative questions regarding poetry and poetic form. The opportunity also exists to take a creative writing module in poetic practice
  • 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 texts and contexts including (but not limited to) doctoral study in modern English literature or comparative literature and related fields, or further creative work in poetry or poetry publishing

Field trips

Join us for regional trips – destinations have included Whitby, Castle Howard, Shandy Hall at Coxwold and Fountains Abbey.

Rich local resources

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.

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, 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).

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

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 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 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.

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. You'll also complete a dissertation.

Reading by Berrick Saul Building
English seminar

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

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Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Dr Hugh Haughton

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Department of English and Related Literature

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