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The MA is a broad-based programme that allows you to explore the interrelations of text, theory, and culture across the field of English literary and cultural studies. This flexible programme is designed to give you an advanced understanding of the study and practice of academic English in terms of cultural analysis, textual interpretation, and theoretical method.
The MA in English Literary Studies will enable you to work independently in the field, to explore a range of periods and genres of English literature and culture as well as creative writing, and to evaluate unique archival resources. it will develop your knowledge and understanding of critical and research methods, the historical and critical reception of literature in designated areas and literature in a contested cultural framework.
We are committed to providing a relevant, modern and above all enjoyable experience that will ensure that you graduate with the additional skills and understanding you need to start a career in a wide range of areas or to go on to further research.
How will you learn?
The MA offers a wide and fascinating range of modules related to our specialisms led by academics who are experts in their chosen fields of research and who wish to engage you with their experience.
Typically, Masters modules have small seminar groups, facilitating your engagement with the ideas and themes that you feel passionate about. Other methods of learning will include student-led debates, group work and oral presentations, individual consultation and the dissertation. Our teaching methods will challenge you intellectually and expose you to new ideas, approaches and perspectives. Our courses have many exciting additional opportunities such as visiting Chawton House Library, a unique collection of early womens writing, a 19th Century Handpress Printing Workshop, and the chance to hear from visiting speakers from international universities who are frequent part of our Research Centre-led lecture and seminar series. These include the Southampton Centre for Nineteenth Century Research, Southampton Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies and the Centre for Modern and Contemporary Writing.
A large part of postgraduate study is independent learning. The MA will develop your critical awareness, encouraging you to reflect on the methodologies employed in further study and to apply these to the reading and research you undertake as part of your degree. Subject to availability, you may choose to take an Individually Negotiated Topic in an area of the departments expertise. You will also research and write a scholarly dissertation on a subject of your own devising.
You will be assessed by traditional means, such as essays, but, depending on the modules you choose you will also be asked to work in groups and teams to make presentations. You will also manage a large independent research project: the Masters dissertation. The 20,000 word dissertation is a core element in establishing the acquisition of appropriate skills and the application of research techniques. Your supervisor will be available to provide regular and supportive advice, guidance and feedback on your progress.
A Masters degree will enable you to further develop the key skills employers seek such as: time management; problem solving; team work; deadline and project management; cultural awareness; working independently; using your initiative; relationship-building; critical thinking and research analysis. Above all, you will learn to communicate your ideas and enthusiasm to a wide range of audiences.
This programme is divided into 180 credits. 105 credits are obtained from taught modules with the remaining 75 credits relating to the dissertation.
Typical course content
This Programme aims to make cutting-edge interventions into many areas of English Literary Studies, and we will want you to be a part of that. Although you will be able to explore very widely in English texts, theory, and culture, from the medieval to the contemporary, you will also be able to follow "pathways" in the MA, so as to shape your degree towards those areas in which your interests match our particular specialities.
The programme comprises seven taught modules (three core modules and four options) plus a dissertation. Full time students will take all taught modules during two semesters and complete their dissertation by the following September.
Students will therefore take three core modules, ENGL6103 Research Skills A, ENGL6104 Research Skills B and the choice of either ENGL6106 or ENGL6110 (whichever is not taken as Core will then be available as an option)
Students can choose any other option offered by Humanities MA programmes. Students wishing to take a non-English module must contact their MA Convenor in the first instance.