The English and American Literature MA allows you to choose from the full range of our MA literature modules.
Our postgraduate degree allows you to explore the richness of English Literature from a wide range of historical periods, cultures and genres, and empowers you to strengthen and expand your own interests.
By choosing from a variety of modules, you will have the freedom to specialise in a particular area or discover links between topics as diverse as queerness in the 18thcentury and the politics of Cold War America; colonialism in India and the figure of the North American “Indian”; or the contemporary climate crisis and disability activism.
This wealth of topics will give you access to staff with interests and expertise in issues relating to various critical perspectives, such as postcolonialism and psychoanalysis, Marxism and modernism, disability studies and translation.
Within this programme you may also choose to take pathways, so as to concentrate on studies in certain specific areas (especially if you intend to continue to a research degree in a particular field).
Knowledge and understanding
You will gain knowledge and understanding of:
- authors and texts from British, American and postcolonial literatures
- the principal literary genres, fiction, poetry drama and of other kinds of writing and communication
- literatures in English from countries outside Britain and America
- traditions in literary criticism
- the challenges of creative writing (where such a module is taken)
- terminology used in literary criticism
- the cultural and historical contexts in which literature is written, published and read
- critical theory and its applications
- literary criticism as a practice subject to considerable variation of approach
- inter- and multidisciplinary approaches to the advanced study of literature
- research methods.
You develop intellectual skills in:
- the application of the skills needed for advanced academic study and enquiry
- the evaluation of research findings
- the ability to synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of theory and practice
- the ability to make discriminations and selections of relevant information from a wide source and large body of knowledge
- the exercise of problem-solving skills.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- enhanced skills in the close critical analysis of literary texts
- informed critical understanding of the variety of critical and theoretical approaches to the study of literature
- the ability to articulate knowledge and understanding of texts, concepts and theories relating to advanced English studies
- sensitivity to generic conventions in the study of literature
- well-developed linguistic resourcefulness, including a grasp of standard critical terminology
- articulate responsiveness to literary language
- appropriate scholarly practice in the presentation of formal written work, in particular in bibliographic and annotational practices
- an understanding of how cultural norms and assumptions influence questions of judgement.
You will gain the following transferable skills:
- developed powers of communication and the capacity to argue a point of view orally and written form, with clarity, organisation and cogency
- enhanced confidence in the efficient presentation of ideas designed to stimulate critical debate
- developed critical acumen
- the ability to assimilate and organise substantial quantities of complex information
- competence in the planning and execution of essays and project-work
- enhanced skills in creative writing (where the relevant module has been taken)
- the capacity for independent thought, reasoned judgement, and self-criticism
- enhanced skills in collaborative intellectual work
- the ability to understand, interrogate and apply a variety of theoretical positions and weigh the importance of alternative perspectives
- research skills, including scholarly information retrieval skills
- IT skills: word-processing, the ability to access electronic data.
This programme aims to:
- extend and deepen through coursework and research your understanding of a body of literatures in English, with special emphasis on modern and postcolonial literatures, and on literary and critical theory
- enable you to develop an historical awareness of literary traditions
- develop your independent critical thinking and judgement
- introduce you to bibliographic method and scholarship and to foster in you the research methods that facilitate advanced literary study
- provide a basis in knowledge and skills if you intend to teach English and American literature, especially in higher education
- develop your understanding and critical appreciation of the expressive resources of language
- offer opportunities for you to develop your potential for creative writing (where such a module is taken)
- offer scope for the study of literature within an interdisciplinary context, notably that provided by history
- develop your ability to argue a point of view with clarity and cogency, both orally and in written form.