English - Literary Studies

To provide students with the opportunity to develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of English Literary Studies, enabling students to pursue specialised fields of study (via guided pathways in specialist areas) or to choose a flexible arrangement of topics which bypass traditional period or national boundaries.

Course Structure
Students may enrol on a full-time or part-time basis. Full-time students take three modules per semester. Part-time students typically take one or two modules per semester.

The PgDip in English Literary Studies offers a flexible system in which students can choose either specific topics to create a focused programme of study or widely diverse areas of literary study, according to their own preferences.

The School's literary studies staff comprise the largest group within the School of Arts, English and Languages and are thus able to teach a broad range of material: modules span the earliest writings in English (studied in their own historical and cultural contexts but also in relation to new digital cultures), to contemporary American literature and culture in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries (incorporating literature and other aspects of culture, such as television and graphic arts). Other strengths of the School's expertise include Renaissance literature (particularly women's writing, the history of the child, and Shakespeare and World Cinema), eighteenth-century literature (women's writing, slavery and abolition, and Indian literatures in English) and nineteenth and twentieth-century literature (with specialisms including the fiction of Dickens, the fin de siècle and modernism).

All students on the programme take a subject-specific Literary Research Methods module that addresses the issues, challenges and research questions raised by advanced study in the subject. Students also select from a wide range of optional modules, permitting either specialism or diversity in the choice of study, from the earliest writings in English to the contemporary. Most modules are on offer annually, but there can be variation year to year subject to staff availability.

Subjects taught

Core Modules
• Literary Research Methods (20 credits)

Optional Modules
• Narratives of Atlantic Slavery (20 credits)
• Fictions of Female Community, 1660-2007 (20 credits)
• A Space for Radical Openness? Writing the Margins in Twentieth-Century British and Irish Literature (20 credits)
• African Fiction: Race, Rites and Religion (20 credits)
• Irish Women's Writing (20 credits)
• Romantic-era Magazine and Print Culture (20 credits)
• Migrating Identities (20 credits)
• Incorrigibly Plural (20 credits)
• Trauma & Memory in Contemporary Irish Literature (20 credits)
• Decadence and the Birth of Modernism (20 credits)
• Irish Poetry (20 credits)
• Shakespeare and Asia (20 credits)
• Discourses of Crime and Deviance (20 credits)
• Dickens in Context (20 credits)
• Love Poetry (20 credits)
• Popular Fiction at the Fin de Siècle (20 credits)
• Adaptation: texts, screens, cultures (20 credits)
• Special Topic Irish Writing (20 credits)
• Magic and Science in Medieval Writings (20 credits)
• Contemporary Literature in Crisis (20 credits)

Entry requirements

Normally a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in English, World/Comparative Literature, or joint or combined Honours with one of these disciplines as a major subject.

Applications may be considered from those who hold a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in a subject other than English or World/Comparative Literature (e.g. Classics, Law) if previous expertise in textual analysis or cultural history can be demonstrated.

All applicants are required to submit a piece of written work which may be assessed to determine if an offer of admission can be made. The piece of written work should demonstrate literary analysis, taking a specific literary text or a number of texts as its core focus. A personal statement expressing interest in the subject is not sufficient.

The University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy provides guidance on the assessment of experiential learning (RPEL). Please visit http://go.qub.ac.uk/RPLpolicy for more information.

Application dates

Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 16th August 2024 for courses which commence in late September. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.

How to Apply
Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.


1 year (Full Time)
2 years (Part Time)

Teaching Times
Mondays-Fridays. May also include study-skill days and field-trips to archives.

Enrolment dates

Entry Year: 2024/25

Post Course Info

Career Prospects
Graduates from these programmes have a good employment record. Professions including publishing, journalism, public relations, teaching, IT, library science, corporate advertising, the Civil Service, business, industry and the media all recruit from our range of graduates. Some students choose to continue their studies to PhD level on a chosen, specialised topic in one of the pathways in English Literary Studies.

Further Study Opportunities
Students and staff across the degree also take part in a number of discussion groups, workshops and conferences both within and outside the University. There is the opportunity to organise and/or participate in the School's annual PG conference ('Common Ground') and weekly research seminars.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider