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English Literature
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English Literature

Brunel University London
London, Great Britain
On campus
 1253 Points
2 Years

Program Description

Storytelling is part of every culture and reveals much about a person’s lived experience, values and aspirations within a given time.

Studying the English Literature MA at Brunel gives you the opportunity to uncover the richness of the history of English Literature – through selected periods, genres and diverse storytellers – through a set of underlying themes that act as windows into deeper understanding.

Whether your purpose is to explore a long held interest, build on previous studies or to benefit your career, studying a literature degree at Brunel will keep you close the one of the key literary capitals of the world.

Your journey will commence with an introductory module on ‘Reading, Writing and Research’ to help equip you with the required skills and competencies relevant to literary studies, so you will have the confidence to pursue self-directed study on any given topic.

You will then study four additional modules including ‘Authors’, where you will study one author or a well-recognised group of authors from a list that includes: John Keats and P.B. Shelley; the Brontes; Charles Dickens, or selected modernist authors such as Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield or postmodernist and experimental writers, B.S. Johnson and J.G. Ballard.

‘A British Literary Decade’ will immerse you in the literary and cultural aspects of one nominated decade from a range including the 1850s, 1890s, 1920s, 1930s, 1960s, 1970s or 1980s, crossing into neighbouring disciplines like history and politics along the way.

You will also have the opportunity to cover more contemporary works in ‘Postmillennial Literature’ including texts from a selected field, which includes: Anglophile writing post 9/11; science fiction and fantasy; LGBT writing, or experimental fiction.

Finally, after a series of planning and skills workshops to prepare topic, under the guidance of a nominated supervisor, you will undertake critical reading towards a 15,000 word dissertation on an agreed area of English post-1789 literature.

Entry Requirements

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Course Content

The English Literature MA will provide you with a deeper understanding of English literature’s rich past, as you develop key investigative research skills relevant to literary studies. You will study five compulsory modules, four of which will cover a range of texts and the fifth will be in preparation your dissertation.


Teaching and Learning

The English Literature MA at Brunel is taught by world-leading specialists in post-1789 literature theory, each with an international reputation for publication, with their work informing the content of the course.

The curriculum is designed to enable you to revisit and reassess ideas and their relationships within and between the modules, running over two terms, offering an intellectual pathway to your dissertation of 15,000 words on a topic of your choice.

Lectures and presentations will give you an overview of a particular topic and provide material for evaluative discussion during the seminars where you will be encouraged to contribute, present your own interpretations and raise new questions for debate.



Reading, Research and Writing

This module aims to introduce or build upon research skills usually gained during undergraduate studies by honing your approach and technique to a standard required for postgraduate work. The module draws on research council frameworks in order to advance you to the standards of taught postgraduate research, particularly in preparation for the dissertation element. It will also provide practical preparation in English Literature research methods for those hoping to progress to PhD level work.

Postmillennial Literature

In this module you will develop a detailed knowledge of contemporary literatures in terms of their contemporaneity, interaction with key themes such as trauma, identity, diversity, and the development of their genres or forms or influence in the field. You will also develop a sophisticated understanding of the socio-historical, cultural, geographical and theoretical frameworks used in the analysis of such literature in particular ideas pertaining to their contemporaneity qualities.

A Literary Decade

The Literary Decades module offers a contextual and historical understanding of selected dynamics of a literary period. The module adopts a historical and cultural approach to the literature of a decade, by considering a nominated period in British literary history, considering major texts, themes and historical events of significance relevant to such key texts that are selected to illustrate the aesthetic dynamics of the nominated period.

Author(s) Study

This module will allow you to develop a wide familiarity with the writings of the nominated writer/s [such as the Brontë sisters; George Orwell; J.G. Ballard; Katharine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf; William Shakespeare etc.]. You will also develop a sophisticated understanding of the socio-historical, cultural, and theoretical frameworks used in the analysis of the period in which the nominated writer/s were active aesthetically.


This module will enable you to undertake a substantial independent investigation of a topic, issue or design project agreed with the module leader and produce written dissertations that are supported by evidence, are scholarly, that present a high level of independent learning and an original contribution to knowledge in your chosen area.


An English master’s will equip you with a set of enviable skills which are vital for careers in:

  • publishing
  • print and electronic media
  • the culture industries
  • education

Your skills will also be attractive to employers within sectors where accuracy in the written descriptive word is a central feature, including:

  • law
  • the civil service
  • advertising
  • marketing
  • financial services
  • business

Above all, an MA in English Literature will benefit your own writing, critique and self-expression.

If, at the end of the course, you decide to continue your studies to doctoral level, you will have the essential research skills, and the opportunity, to join a flourishing research culture at Brunel.


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