Discover the richness and diversity of new writings in English with this distinctive degree, which focuses on literature from across the Commonwealth and the theoretical issues that emerge from colonial and postcolonial literatures.
You'll develop your understanding of research in literary studies through a core module, but then choose from optional modules which look at the histories, contexts, structures and language that give postcolonial and colonial texts their uniqueness.
We focus on literature, but the programme also introduces you to other forms of cultural production such as music and cinema - and you'll think about the relationships between literary studies and disciplines such as geography, anthropology and history. Supported by our Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, you'll gain a cross-disciplinary insight into how writers from around the world have engaged with issues such as identity, place, independence, development and race among many others.
The University of Leeds was the first UK university to establish ‘Commonwealth Literature' as an academic discipline at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. We're still leading the way in research and teaching, supported by the expertise of staff within and outside of the cross-disciplinary Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies.
You'll study in a supportive environment with access to extensive resources for your research and placing literature and culture in their historical and political context. Microfilm collections of American, Indian and South African newspapers, parliamentary papers relating to the British Empire, US government and presidential files, the Church Missionary Society Archives, the Black Power Movement archive and British documents on the end of empire, foreign affairs and policy overseas are just some of the resources at your fingertips. You'll have plenty of opportunities to explore your interests and gain key skills.This programme is also available to study part-time.
You'll take one core module in your first semester, introducing you to the challenges, methods and approaches used in researching literature and allowing you to develop your skills. You'll also choose one of our optional modules, before studying another two in your second semester.
You can choose all of your modules from within postcolonial literary and cultural studies, but you also have the option to expand your studies by choosing one from those available across the School of English, from the early medieval period to contemporary literature.
By the end of the programme, you'll demonstrate the skills and knowledge you've developed when you submit your dissertation or research project on a postcolonial literary or cultural topic of your choice.
If you choose to study part-time, you'll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
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
- Africas of the Mind 30 credits
- Global Indigeneity 30 credits
For more information on typical modules, read Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies MA Full Time in the course catalogue
For more information on typical modules, read Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies MA Part Time in the course catalogue
Learning and teaching
You'll have 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. 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 modules are assessed by a single essay of around 4,000 words, which you submit at the end of the semester in which you studied the module. You may also be expected to submit unassessed essays to gain feedback on your work, or give presentations in your seminars.
Applying, fees and funding
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (Hons) in English, postcolonial 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.
Application processYou'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)
Next stepsWe'll decide whether to offer you a place based on your sample of written work, references, transcripts, predicted or actual degree results and other qualifications.
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.
School of English Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy
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.
This programme will equip you with a wide range of high-level transferable skills which are valuable in a wide range of careers.
You'll be a confident researcher who can work independently as well as within a team. You'll be a strong communicator, both verbally and in writing, and be able to think critically and analytically. In addition, you'll have a strong level of cultural and critical awareness, and you'll be able to look at a situation from different points of view.
All of these qualities are attractive to employers across sectors, and you'll have the skills to pursue a career in fields including teaching, journalism, publishing, advertising, broadcasting and law. Many of our graduates also progress to PhD-level study and you'll be well equipped for 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.
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