English - Modernities - Literature Theory & Culture from The Romantics to the Present

University College Cork

English - Modernities - Literature Theory & Culture from The Romantics to the Present

Course Outline
This MA introduces students to the advanced study of American and British literature and other cultural forms, from the eighteenth century to the present day, as well as to a selection of European and American theoretical works pertaining to the concept of ‘modernity’. Under the guidance of leading scholars in their fields, students will encounter some of the most influential contemporary critical and theoretical models currently being applied to the notions of modernity and modernisation, and apply the ideas raised by these theories to a rich variety of works from the Romantic, Victorian, and modernist periods, and the later twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

On this prgramme you will also have the opportunity to be introduced to literary and theoretical texts that track Ireland’s historical and cultural experience of modernism, from the eighteenth century to the current day. Texts studied range historically from the writings of the great Irish satirist Jonathan Swift, those of such canonical Romantics as P.B. and Mary Shelley, influential modernist works by James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Virginia Woolf, and Samuel Beckett, to innovative recent and contemporary poets, novelists, dramatists, and filmmakers. Among theorists of modernity, you can expect to explore the thought of significant nineteenth-century thinkers, including Marx and Nietzsche, and to examine twentieth/twenty-first-century cultural theory in such fields as feminism, postructuralism, and postcolonialism. The encounter with these thinkers and movements will aid our students in debating and developing a deeper understanding and appreciation of the broader culture in this era.

Subjects taught

The MA in English (Modernities) consists of two parts: a taught course and a dissertation totalling 90 credits.

Part I (50 credits)

EN6009 Contemporary Literary Research: Skills, Methods and Strategies (10 credits)
EN6028 Theories of Modernity (10 credits)

Choose 30 credits from:

EN6025 Literary and Cultural Modernisms (10 credits)
EN6026 Postmodernism (10 credits)
EN6027 Romanticism and Modernity (10 credits)
EN6020 Victorian Modernities (10 credits)

Part II (40 credits)

EN6017 Dissertation in English (40 credits)

Note: Subject to the approval of the MA programme coordinators, students may substitute one 10-credit module with one of the following 10-credit modules: Middle English Literature (EN6051), New Histories of the Book (EN6052), Old English Literature (EN6053), Renaissance Literature (EN6054), Earlier Literature and its Modern Reception (EN6063). Irish Cinema: History, Context, Aesthetics (FX6010).

Entry requirements

To be considered for admission to an MA programme within the School of English, an applicant will normally possess a primary degree result of Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or higher or equivalent qualification in English or a cognate subject. All candidates must satisfy a Selection Committee who may request applicants to provide letters of reference.

For North American students a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 is expected.

The selection committee for the MA in the Department of English, University College Cork also attaches strong importance to the additional supplementary online questions and the online 500-word personal statement for the MA in English (Modernities: Literature, Theory and Culture from the Romantics to the Present).

Application dates

Closing Date
Rolling deadline. Open until all places have been filled. Early application is advised.

Assessment Info

Continuous assessment including written assignments, in-class assignments, seminar participation and presentation, research journal, literature and IT review and research presentation. You will have four written assessments (2000 words each) in the Modernities module and seminar participation.


90 Credits


1 year full time.

Enrolment dates

Start Date 9 September 2024

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
This course will provide you with an advanced understanding of an important period in literary and cultural history and knowledge of the theoretical tools required fully to understand this period. It will also equip you with a range of research skills designed to prepare you to present academic research in a variety of forms to a professional standard.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Daytime,Full time

  • Apply to

    Course provider