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.
The MA in English Literary Studies offers a number of special features. Some of the American Literature and Culture topics will engage with contemporary examples of American art and culture through field work. The topics relating to medieval literature and culture use connections to the School of History and to the archives in Armagh, Belfast and Trinity College Dublin.
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.
The MA 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 English and are thus able to offer a wide range of kinds of study: from 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).
In addition to the substantive modules offered by the School of English, students will take part in a programme of research training offered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. This provides training in core research skills, as well as a range of options for developing additional skills in an interdisciplinary forum.
Students may select from a wide range of topics within generic modules, permitting either specialism or diversity in the choice of study, from the earliest writings in English to the contemporary. After two semesters of taught modules, all MA students on the programme then complete a 15,000 word dissertation, which they choose and design and then work on in conjunction with an academic supervisor.