Course summary

The MA in English Literature is designed around your development as a reader and researcher of literature; as a critical and reflective scholar; and as a communicator and presenter of knowledge. It combines current scholarly investigation with the promotion of transferrable academic and professional skills. It invites you to contribute to the discussions, debates, and projects that are transforming the discipline now with research-led modules informed by our staff’s current interests, publications, and collaborative projects. Based upon a modular structure and an accommodating timetable, this course is suitable for both part-time and full-time study.

Key facts




1 or 2 years

Mode of study


Start date


Awarding institution

Bishop Grosseteste University

Institution code


Course details

About this course

Our MA in English Literature is ideal if you wish to broaden and extend your engagement with English Literature. You will explore a range of literary genres, approaches, and themes within a post-Enlightenment context, from 1780 to the present day through two team-taught modules uncover new and darker sides to literature, as well as innovative ways to interpret the past and the present through different perspectives, and four modules led by a tutor’s pursuits of selected authors, literary periods, genres and themes.

You will gain advanced knowledge of literatures in English, powers of literary critical analysis, research, independent scholarship, and knowledge transfer through excellent communication skills. This course equips you with highly sought-after organisational, project-managing, delivery, liaison, problem-solving, and interaction skills. Flexible and vibrant, it gives you the opportunity to pursue your own interests in a variety of written and verbal assignments.

BGU English has an established research culture and you will be invited to join our staff at regular literary events, workshops, and presentations. You will be encouraged to participate in the research seminar series, conferences, and other public events. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), 83% of the work submitted by English staff was judged to be of ‘international’ quality, including research that was deemed ‘world leading’ in its originality, significance and rigour.

What will you study

Students on this course currently study some or all of the following modules

This module explores the critical frameworks at the core of literary studies by engaging with developing, recent critical frameworks, theories and forms that shape current and future trends in English Literature. It develops and consolidates an your awareness of the models of literary critical approaches reinforced by a suite of four 15-credit modules on author, genre, theme, and period-based studies.

This module focuses on scholarly models based upon periodization, historical context and concepts of the literary ‘moment’. It explores how texts and subjects are embedded in the historical ‘moment’, and investigates how period-based approaches reflect upon literature’s relationship to the past. It has an oral form of assessment that is designed to develop confident presentation and enhanced communication skills.

You will focus on scholarly models based upon the concept of the literary genre. It explores how literary texts and subjects are understood through frameworks of shared literary forms and traditions. Through its compact form, the written assignment is designed to develop the effective and concise articulation of a logical and coherent argument.

This research-led module explores contemporary debates across a breadth of transgressive literary genres and subjects, potentially including the Gothic, criminality, monstrosity, dystopian and science fiction. Rather than focusing on a single period of literature, genre or subject, it engages with a range of challenging and controversial debates at the forefront of current scholarship.

This module focuses upon scholarly models defined through authorship. It studies the oeuvre of a single author, reflecting upon the ideas and literary techniques that inform their work. Through a variety of approaches, it will widen and deepen your understanding of an author’s career development and literary reputation.

In this module you will focus on literary models based upon a thematic critical approach. It explores how disparate literary texts, authors, genres, and periods are connected through thematic threads. Through its compact form, the written assignment is designed to develop the effective and concise articulation of a logical and coherent argument.

The dissertation represents the culmination of the MA degree programme. Developing from the scholarly frameworks established by prior modules, this module gives you the opportunity to undertake an extensive piece of independent research based upon a topic of your choosing. It builds on the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the programme and challenges you to demonstrate your capacity for sustained research, scholarly evaluation and critical positioning, and high level academic production.

Entry requirements

You would normally be expected to have, or predicted to have, at least a 2.2 Honours degree in English Literature or a related discipline.

If you hold another degree at a 2.2 or above, depending upon the content, you will be asked to demonstrate sufficient subject knowledge relating to the programme content. This would be assessed at interview and application.

If you have any questions about the entry requirements for this course, please contact our Enquiries team for advice on +44 (0) 1522 583658 or email

BGU is committed to widening access and participation and we adhere to a strict policy of non-discrimination.

Further information

Click here for important information about this course including additional costs, resources & key policies.

If you’ve recently completed or studied a particular module as part of a previous qualification, this may mean that you’re not required to undertake a particular module of your BGU course. However, this must be agreed in writing and you must apply for Accredited Prior Learning.

How you will be taught

Please note that due to COVID-19 our delivery methods may be subject to change in 2021. You will be informed of any changes at the earliest opportunity.

Throughout this course, you will be offered individual, independent modules delivered through a flexible timetable (which can also accommodate a part-time study route). It provides diversity in both content and structure, with longer modules offering breadth and scope, complemented by specialist modules providing depth and focus. You will be able to tailor the assessment according to your own interests and produce your individual dissertation.


Teaching will be based on independent research tasks feeding into regular small group seminar sessions. Through a combination of expert commentary and critical discussion, students will acquire the skills and frameworks required for a range of oral, written and research-oriented assessments. These literary assessments will develop advanced communication and presentation skills for a multiplicity of professional future.

Careers & Further study

This Masters course will prepare you for a variety of professions that depend on advanced critical, literary and analytical skills, and also depend on the sophisticated communication and research abilities you will gain. This may include careers such as teaching, publishing, librarianship, journalism, professional writing or within academia (through obtaining a PhD). However, a Masters in English need not result in a career specifically tied to the subject. Our graduates will also be in a strong position to move into occupations relating to marketing, management or public relations.


Studying at BGU is a student-centred experience. Staff and students work together in a friendly and supportive atmosphere as part of an intimate campus community. You will know every member of staff personally and feel confident approaching them for help and advice, and staff members will recognise you, not just by sight, but as an individual with unique talents and interests.

We will be there to support you, personally and academically, from induction to graduation.

Fees & Finance

A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process. Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sort out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step.

Click here to find information about fees, loans and support which will help to make the whole process a little easier to understand.

For all applicants, there are full instructions at UCAS to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate.