MA English Literature

Explore a diverse range of literary periods and forms

Explore a diverse range of literary periods and forms

1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Bishop Otter Campus
  • Consider the place and future of literature as you study contemporary texts and critical theory
  • Learn from expert staff at the forefront of their fields, with specialists in contemporary women's writing, beyond realist literature and ecocriticism
  • Explore concepts of reality and affect within literature from the Renaissance through to the Present Day
  • Develop your independent research skills as you engage with a diverse range of genres
social work student sat in a lecture smiling


Immerse yourself in debates around the nature and future of literature 

Our MA English Literature course allows you to explore your passion to understand the power of literature in shaping our understanding of the world.

This course will appeal to anyone who is thoughtful, intellectually curious, and inquisitive about literature.

You will have the opportunity to engage with a diverse range of genres including fantasy literature, modernism, the historical novel and science fiction as you study texts from the Renaissance through to the Present Day.

You will gain the confidence to develop into an independent researcher in a supportive environment as you meet and learn from experts in the field who are enthusiastic about the study of English literature.

On this course you will:

  • Analyse and interrogate literary, critical and theoretical texts.
  • Gain the confidence to present your ideas in a convincing and structured way to a range of audiences.
  • Discuss and argue in an informed, thoughtful and sensitive way.
  • Develop your ability to compare critical approaches and different methodologies.
  • Learn from our expert team of published writers and leading academics.
  • Develop your independent research skills, including compiling bibliographies, understanding the range of academic tools, and use of the internet or research.

The Course

Engage with various genres and a wide range of critical and theoretical approaches

Our MA English Literature is an open and flexible programme designed to give you the possibility of exploring the full diversity of English literature.

Our modules offer the opportunity to research a diverse range of literary periods and forms – from the Early Modern to Contemporary fiction, engaging with genres including historical fiction, fantasy literature, modernism, e-writing, and film.

The MA also explores a wide range of critical and theoretical approaches, including historical and textual analysis, ethical reading, cognitive poetics, and critical theory.

This list is indicative and subject to change.

The MA comprises of four taught modules and a dissertation.

Activating Research

This module gives you the capacity to engage with the research process.

You will develop your research project as a public process, giving you the tools to find your own critical voice and the confidence to engage with peers, the academic community, and the public.


The dissertation acts as the culmination of all your learning during your course. You will choose an area of interest and produce an in-depth final research project. You will receive help and guidance from an assigned supervisor, based on the relation of their research to the chosen subject of the dissertation.

Literature in the Present Moment

On this module you will consider what literature is and how do we think about literature today.

You will explore new techniques in archival research, issues in intellectual history, theoretical developments, and the transformations of the very concept of ‘literature’, past and present.

Theatres of Pain and Pleasure

Theatre has always explored intense human experience, from Greek tragedy to Roman comedy, from Augustine’s rejection of theatre to Artaud’s ‘theatre of cruelty’. This module uses dramatic and historical texts to explore complex issues of tragedy, authorship, political control and censorship, collaboration, comedy and the challenging nature of drama in the period 1585-1685. You will gain a detailed knowledge of plays such as Thomas Kyd’s the Spanish Tragedy, Sir Thomas More by Munday, Chettle, Heywood, Dekker, Ben Jonson’s Volpone, and Wycherley’s the Country Wife. You will explore the importance of the London playhouses, their demise, and the emergence of the city and country as fields of contest for politics and gender. You will have the opportunity to have first-hand experience of reading early modern primary texts and enable you to acquire palaeographical skills and an understanding of the growing book trade at the time.

Visions of the Real: Literature, Science & Myth

Fiction has always has a tense relationship with reality. Is fiction more real than reality, as literary characters come to ‘life’, or is fiction a betrayal of reality?

You will engage with the blurred lines between literature, science and myth. From the moment of the Enlightenment and Romanticism, in tension between the ‘clear’ vision of reality and the power of myth, the course traces out the crisis of realism, from fantasy literature to modernism to the avant-garde.


Find facilities and research centres that support your learning

Teaching and Assessment

Feel the support of expert staff and researchers


Our team of experienced tutors and experts use the latest research to underlie their teaching. This ensures that you have access the latest debates within the study of English Literature.

You will learn through interactive lectures and seminars, over the course of one year full-time or two years part-time. The final year of the part-time option will allow you to focus on your dissertation. Full-time students will have their dissertation built into their year of study.

The dissertation offers guided and supported research into the literature that you find urgent and engaging.

In addition to the core courses, staff offer dedicated tutorial time after each taught session and are also available for discussion and consultation online or via individual tutorials.


You will take four core modules (three with an assessment of a 5,000 word essay) and receive support in writing your own research dissertation (15,000 words).

The core modules cover the diversity and range in English literature study, from the Renaissance to the present moment.

They explore how literature is animating our contemporary concerns, the intense experiences of emotion that literature can offer, the various ways in which literature imagines reality, and how to activate your abilities as a researcher.


Open up your future career options

Why take an MA?

Our MA English Literature acts as a gateway to PhD research as it provides an opportunity to focus your research, develop your independence in a supportive environment, and refine your research skills.

This course would be ideal for:

  • Anyone interested in intellectual development.
  • Those wanting to develop their skills, subject knowledge, and confidence in research and the presentation of research.
  • Current or prospective teachers in English Literature and related subjects.
  • Those looking for careers in research-related fields, from librarianship to arts management.
  • For any employment role requiring skills in self-directed analysis, communication and writing, such as editing and publishing.
  • Those working or looking to work in any business role requiring abilities in self-managed development and the presentation of ideas.
  • Any current student who is keen to enhance their studies further.

Our MA English Literature course aims to transform you into an active and confident researcher in the broad field of English Literature.

Our graduates are highly-valued by employers for their strong problem solving and communication skills and often continue into a wide range of careers.

Career paths include:

  • Publishing
  • Teaching
  • Marketing
  • Journalism
  • Communications and PR
  • Local and national government
  • Copywriting

Course Costs

Course fees 2023/24

UK fee
International fee

University of Chichester alumni who have completed a full undergraduate degree at the University will receive a 15% discount on their postgraduate fees.

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fees page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

Entry Requirements

  • An honours degree at 2:1 or higher in a related discipline.
  • Students with a 2:2 honours degree will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • You will be required to attend an interview.
  • If English is not your first language then English language proficiency required is IELTS 6.5 (with no element less than 5.5) – or equivalent qualification.


Full time

To apply for the full-time option of this course, please click the button below.

Part time

To apply for the part-time option of this course, please click the button below.

Our address

I’m looking for