English Literature (MA)

Newcastle University the United Kingdom

For more information about English Literature at Newcastle University, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award

How long you will study
12 - 24 months

Domestic course fees
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How you will study
full-time, part-time

Course starts
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International course fees
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All study options

About English Literature at Newcastle University

Our course invites you to join a team of leading scholars. You will think critically about texts as radical interventions in a changing world.

The English Literature MA offers an intellectually challenging, innovative programme of study. It is directly informed by the outstanding research of staff in the School of English. The course emphasis is on key critical developments in literary studies, such as:

  • the relation of shifting aesthetic forms to political radicalism
  • the biographies of books
  • how authors and texts articulate their relationship to shifting geographies of cultural power
  • textual editing from manuscript to print to digital platforms
  • the sexual politics of public and private life in literature
  • the mind, the body and affect as sites of and for representation
  • the aesthetics and politics of American and world literatures

The MA moves away from period-based literary studies. Instead, it considers texts in the context of established and emerging scholarship and theory.

The School has an international reputation for high-quality research. It also has a friendly research environment. This makes it the ideal place for postgraduate engagement with major issues in English literary studies from 1500 to the present.

esearch and supervision

At Newcastle University we have a range of research interests within English Literature. We produce outstanding research on subjects as chronologically distinct as Chaucer and cyberpunk.

Our work has a geographical range across:

  • the British Isles
  • the Americas
  • India
  • Anglophone Africa

We research and offer supervision in all major genres, including:

  • fiction
  • poetry
  • drama
  • film

We also have world-leading expertise in many emerging forms, including:

  • life writing
  • children's literature
  • digital media

Our aim is to combine excellence in established areas of research across a full range of periods and genres, with innovation in critical and textual scholarship. We are particularly keen to:

  • investigate the contexts of literary production
  • use and develop archival sources
  • integrate the critical with the creative work that goes on in the School

We contribute to many research groups in the University, including the:

  • Postcolonial Research Group
  • Gender Research Group
  • Americas Research Group
  • Centre for Film and Digital Media
  • Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Along with colleagues from the Universities of Durham, Northumbria and Sunderland we are also key members of the:

  • Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies
  • North East Forum in Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Studies


The course provides an excellent foundation for doctoral research. It also develops skills that are valuable for a career in:

  • the creative and cultural industries
  • media and journalism
  • education
  • heritage management
  • publishing


The course structure allows you to tailor your own programme of study. It includes:

  • optional modules
  • compulsory research methods modules
  • a dissertation of your choice, supervised by an expert in the field

Teaching typically takes place on Tuesdays (11 am-1pm and 4 pm-6 pm) and Thursdays (11 am-1pm and 4 pm-6 pm) during the teaching semesters.

You will choose four 20 credit modules from a range of options (80 credits). Our optional modules are thematically structured and cover literature from the 16th to the 21st centuries.

You will also take two 20 credit compulsory modules. These modules cover major critical issues in the subject of English Literature. They also include training in disciplinary and interdisciplinary research methodologies. This training is essential preparation for your individual research in the MA dissertation.


Our vibrant postgraduate research community enjoy:

  • a dedicated workspace
  • common room 
  • excellent computing facilities

You will also benefit from a range of partnerships, which offer archival materials. These include:

  • Seven Stories: National Centre for Children's Books
  • The Wordsworth Trust (Dove Cottage)
  • Bloodaxe Books
  • Northern Stage
  • Live Theatre
  • Tyneside Cinema

Newcastle University Library has a strong range of archival materials in Special Collections. 

The library also houses the Bloodaxe archive. This is a unique collection of materials relating to one of Britain's leading poetry publishers.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMAHow you will studyFull-time, Part-timeHow long you will study12 - 24 months
    Course starts find outDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

See our course fees and funding webpage - http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/english-literature-ma/#fees&funding

Entry requirements

A 2:1 honours degree, or equivalent, in English literature or English Literature with:

  • classics
  • history
  • philosophy
  • a modern language
  • English language
  • politics

We will also consider your application if you have an undergraduate degree from another discipline, or have a lower or non-standard qualification. In this case you will need to provide a sample of your work

International Students

International Students

To study this course you need to meet our Band 10 English Language requirements:

Direct Entry: IELTS 7.0 overall (with 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 6.0 in all other sub-skills)

Pre-sessional English Language courses are not accepted as an alternative entry to this course.

Our typical English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we also accept a wide range of English Language tests.

The equivalent academic qualifications that we accept are listed on our country pages.

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