Why study this course

Current, wide-ranging and research-led modules that capture literature’s richness.

The ability to pursue your interests throughout your assignments not just your MA dissertation.

An innovative course with a dedicated Teaching Team that ensure individualised support and personalised feedback.

A vibrant academic community led by research specialists.

Course summary

Our MA English Literature offers opportunities to deepen your passion for literatures in English through research-led modules that engage and push the boundaries of new and emerging disciplinary frameworks and debates. Supported by an academic team of research specialists, it creates a space for you to advance your academic and communication talents and further your professional prospects. We offer a close and mutually supportive learning community that recognises and responds to your distinctive learning needs and interests through seven student-centred flexible and vibrant modules that engages you with the latest literary debates. You will explore a stimulating range of genres, approaches, authors, and themes. Our innovative modes of assessment are designed to develop your interests: you will choose texts, writers, genres, theories, themes, and literary periods on which to focus independently.


Key facts




1 or 2 years

Mode of study


Start date


Awarding institution

Bishop Grosseteste University

Institution code


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About this course

This course equips you with highly sought-after organisational, project-managing, research, 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. You will gain advanced knowledge of literary critical analysis and theory, independent scholarship, and knowledge transfer through excellent communication skills.

We have 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. The English team is committed to producing high quality academic outputs, and this is acknowledged in the recent outcome of REF 2021. The publications of the department are an expression of the thematic range of the team’s work, the richness of its research, and the character of its public impact projects. REF 2021 recognised the quality of the engagement of English staff in public impact, as represented in projects extending locally, nationally, and internationally. Some of the published outputs assessed through REF 2021 included those reflecting our research interests in women writers, life stories, and the Victorian and Edwardian period, nineteenth-century literature and culture, and research on the popular media relating to the Falklands War. To these subjects, we now add expertise in travel writing, identity, migration and postcolonial studies.

BGU alumni receive a 30% discount on our master's courses. For more information, visit: www.bgu.ac.uk/tuition-fees

What you will study

You will study the following modules:

This module investigates how integrating interdisciplinary research methods and digital Humanities have challenged, changed and stretched English Studies. It explores the critical and methodological approaches at the core of contemporary literary studies by engaging with developing, recent, and up-and-coming theories and research methods that shape current research and those that are emerging and will shape future trends and open new possibilities to further knowledge.

Critiquing and Theorising Literature aims to keep students’ scholarship and interaction with the discipline current debates through contemporary scholarly inquiries, theories, and proposals. It advances and consolidates their awareness of the models of research and theoretical frameworks and their role as researchers in terms of ethics and integrity. It will engage students with a range of theoretical approaches and critical frameworks to reflect on research methodology and scholarship

This module focuses on scholarly models based upon periodization, historical context and concepts of the literary ‘moment’. It is part of a suite of four fifteen-credit modules complementing the literary critical approaches and methodologies outlined in the core third-credit module, ELI70921.

Literature in Time investigates how period-based approaches reflect upon literature’s relationship to the past and explores how subjects and texts are produced in and respond to an historical ‘moment’ such as an event, year, decade, or period. Through an engagement with a selection of texts and historical materials, students will be required to consider the interactions of literary and other cultural discourses. The module will reflect on modes of understanding and conceptualising the past, and it will evaluate the validity of period-based approaches to literature.

This module focuses on the concept of literary genre and explores how literary texts and subjects have come to be understood in terms of shared literary forms and traditions. It is part of a suite of four fifteen-credits modules complementing the literary critical approaches and methodologies outlined in the core thirty-credit module, ELI70921.

Framing Genre will study a single genre across a variety of literary texts by different authors, published in different periods to examine the importance of characteristic genre features in relation to thematic content and literary technique. The module also promotes an awareness of patterns of stylistic experiment and revision in the development of genre studies. It further develops students’ ability to recognise and define characteristic literary
features, subjects and styles. Furthermore, it offers the opportunity to reflect on the development of literary genres, their theorisation, and their reception.

This module investigates the complexities of the poetics and politics of representing identity in English Studies through current and up-and-coming theories and critical perspectives that expand literary studies. It explores relationships between identity formation and the aesthetic and semantic qualities of narrative, poetry, and dramaturgy. Identity studies offers an interdisciplinary framework to re-examine sex, gender, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, culture and nation with an emphasis upon issues of equality, diversity and inclusion.

Poetics and Politics of Identity furthers and deepens students’ knowledge of models of research strategies and literary scholarship, which are introduced during the core module ELI70921 Critiquing and Theorising Literature, and their interactions with and applications of evolving theories, inquiries, and proposals and methods relevant to rethinking being human and reshaping the poetics and politics of identity in English. It promotes an active critical engagement with recent challenges and evolving areas of exploration in this field of studies and consolidate students’ ability to synthesise and interrogate a range of sources.

This module reflects upon the theoretical and methodological issues arising from an author-centred approach to literature. It is part of a suite of four fifteen-credits modules complementing the literary critical approaches and methodologies outlined in the core thirty-credit module, ELI70921.

The Author in Focus 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 multiple approaches. It widens and deepens students’ understanding of a writer’s career development, reception, and literary legacy. their
connections to their contemporary communities and networks whilst also considering their impact upon present-day scholarship. It engages with the scholarly pursuit of new findings and possibilities, exploring patterns of revision and reformulation through, for example, archival and/or exploratory research.

The production of an academic poster is designed to broaden students’ research skills and foster a creative and adaptable approach to academic presentation and communication that shows awareness of knowledge exchange and the importance of communicating effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

This module focuses on literary models based upon a thematic critical approach by exploring how diverse literary texts, authors, genres, and periods might be connected through thematic threads. It is part of a suite of four fifteen-credits modules complementing the literary critical approaches and methodologies outlined in the core thirty-credit module, ELI70921.

Thematic Threads investigates literary models based upon a thematic approach to literature. It explores how literary texts, authors, genres, and periods can be connected and critically evaluated in relation to a
specific theme. By delineating a single thread, the module examines how thematic concerns are treated in different ways across a range of literary genres and periods, and consider connections and intersections between literature and other cultural and artistic disciplines.

This module represents the culmination of the MA degree programme. Drawing on the scholarly frameworks, theories and practices established in previous modules, the MA Dissertation gives students the opportunity to undertake an extensive piece of independent research based upon a topic of their own choosing. It builds on the
knowledge and skills acquired throughout the programme and challenges students to demonstrate their capacities for sustained research, scholarly evaluation, critical positioning, high level academic production and research ethics and integrity.

After initial group sessions covering the scholarly, research, and communication skills that are necessary to the realisation of an independent, extended written project, the students’ dissertations will be supervised by an individual supervisor, chosen according to the topic of their individual projects. The group sessions will highlight the importance of transferable skills such as an advanced level of competence in formulating, planning and executing an extended written project.

Students will reflect on potential challenges and provide guidance on motivation, adaptability, problem-solving, autonomy and resilience. They will also gain a refreshed understanding of the support, resources, and institutional facilities available to support them. After the submission of a research proposal outline, students will work independently on their approved topic, under the guidance of a supervisor, to produce a dissertation.

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 courseenquiries@bishopg.ac.uk.

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 and key policies.

In accordance with University conditions, students are entitled to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning, RP(C)L, based on relevant credit at another HE institution or credit Awarded for Experiential Learning, (RP(E)L).

How you will be taught

Students will be taught by a variety of experienced researchers and practitioners who are active in the field to enhance your learning experience. The course 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.

This course has an established part-time route that facilitates your learning and engagement through evening classes. Our modules run in the evening and you can attend them after your working schedule.


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 Master's 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 Master's 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.

What Our Students Say

Discover what life is like at Bishop Grosseteste University from our students.


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.

At BGU we have so much support available for our students, the type of support that has won us awards recently in the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2023, such as the Chaplaincy team, the Student Advice team, CELT, BGFutures and representatives at the Students’ Union.

Fees & Funding

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 here to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate.