This diverse and flexible programme offers you a wide array of choice to explore the wealth of literature in English across periods and geographies.
Whether you want to pursue the interests developed during your degree, fill gaps in your knowledge or prepare for a future in research, you'll have opportunities to sharpen your research skills and specialise in aspects of literary studies that suit your interests.
You can bring together English, American and postcolonial literatures to create an eclectic mix of research-led modules, from Arthurian legend to Shakespeare and psychoanalysis. It's also a good starting point for exploring wide-ranging research interests that cut across periods and cultures.
You'll be taught by tutors who are expert researchers in their fields and benefit from access to our world-class Library and Special Collections. It's an exciting and dynamic environment in which to study some of the world's greatest literature.
From the beginning of the programme you'll start to develop your research skills, as a core module introduces you to the methods and approaches involved in researching literature and helps you to prepare for writing an independent research project / dissertation and for your future career.
You'll also choose from our broad range of optional modules, which could mean you focus on topics such as American fiction in the 19th century, the memoir, the Brontës, Shakespeare or many others. Alternatively you may choose two of your optional modules from the School of English and a third from elsewhere in the University (subject to availability and agreement from the module tutor).
You'll choose further optional modules in Semester Two. However, throughout the year you'll also work on your research project or dissertation: a chance to showcase all the skills you've acquired by independently researching a literary topic of your choice. You'll submit this by the end of the programme in September.
If you choose to study part-time, you'll take fewer modules in each year and study over a longer period.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
- Studying English: Research Methods 30 credits
- Research Project 60 credits
- Caribbean and Black British Writing 30 credits
- Arthurian Legend: Medieval to Modern 30 credits
- Africas of the Mind 30 credits
- Reading (with) Psychoanalysis 30 credits
- So Where do you come from? Selves, Families, Stories 30 credits
- The Brontes 30 credits
- Fictions of Citizenship in Contemporary American Literature 30 credits
- The Enigmatic Body of Modernism 30 credits
- Shakespeare's Tyrants 30 credits
- Global Indigeneity 30 credits
- Feeling Time 30 credits
- The Magic of Mimesis 30 credits
- Romantic Ecologies 30 credits
- The Literature of Crisis: Politics and Gender in 1790s Britain 30 credits
- Turks, Moors, and Jews: Staging the Exotic in the Renaissance 30 credits
- Victorian New Media 30 credits
- Literature and the Politics of Language 30 credits
- War, Mourning, Memory: 1914-1939 30 credits
- Writing Identities: Criticism, Creativity, Practice 30 credits
- Show more
For more information on typical modules, read English Literature MA Full Time in the course catalogue
For more information on typical modules, read English Literature MA Part Time in the course catalogue
Learning and teaching
You'll generally have two-hour weekly seminars in each module where you discuss the themes and issues arising from your reading, and you'll be able to enhance your learning by attending the wide range of research seminars and talks by visiting speakers that we arrange throughout the year. You'll also benefit from supervisions throughout semester 2 with your dissertation supervisor.
However, independent study is a vital part of the degree as it allows you to build your skills and explore your own ideas.
Most of our MA modules are assessed with a single essay of around 4,000 words, which you'll submit at the end of the semester. You'll usually also be required to submit unassessed essays to gain feedback on your work and give presentations on your reading in seminars. The research project/dissertation is 12,000-15,000 words in length.
Applying, fees and funding
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in English literature or a related subject.
We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of English admissions team.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:
- don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
- want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.
Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).
How to apply
We don't have a final deadline for MA Applications, and we'll consider your application right up until the start date of the programme. However, we encourage you to apply before the end of July if possible, to make arrangements such as securing funding, accommodation or visas. Modules will be allocated to offer holders in early August, so if you apply after that point you may have a more limited choice of modules.You'll also need to apply for a place before applying for any scholarships, so check the deadlines for available scholarships on the postgraduate scholarships database.
- Apply (Full time)
- Apply (Part time)
This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Documents and information you need
You'll need to upload the following documents when completing the online application form:
- A transcript of your completed BA degree or grades to date
- A personal statement of around 500 words outlining your reasons for applying to the programme and your suitability to the programme
- A recent sample of your academic work of around 2,000 words on a topic relevant to the programme
- We do not generally request references, unless further information is required to support the assessment of your application
- If English is not your first language, you'll need to submit proof of your English language results (e.g. IELTS)
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
UK/EU: £7,250 (total)
International: £17,500 (total)
Read more about paying fees and charges.
For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.
Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.
Additional cost information
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more at Masters funding overview.
The School of English also offers a range of scholarships for taught postgraduate study. Find out more on our Scholarships page.
This degree will allow you to develop subject knowledge in a challenging and dynamic subject while building skills that are highly prized by employers.
You'll be a confident researcher who works well independently, but you'll also be an excellent communicator and comfortable in a team. You'll have good analytical and critical skills, as well as having the ability to use different approaches to think about a situation from several different viewpoints.
All of these qualities are attractive to employers across sectors, and you'll be well equipped to pursue a career in a wide range of fields depending on your interests. These could include teaching, journalism, publishing, advertising, broadcasting and law. Many of our graduates also progress to PhD-level study and you'll be in a good position to develop a career in academia.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That's one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
Related coursesEnglish Literature (Modern and Contemporary pathway) MA
English Literature (Renaissance pathway) MA
English Literature (Romantic pathway) MA
English Literature (Victorian pathway) MA