English - Modernities - American & British Literature & Film

This MA introduces students to the advanced study of American and British literature and film, from the eighteenth century to the present day. 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 literary and filmic texts from such movements as Romanticism, Modernism, and Postmodernism. Writers and directors who are studied range from canonical Romantics and modernists, including P.B. and Mary Shelley, Virginia Woolf, and Samuel Beckett, to recent and contemporary novelists and filmmakers such as Thomas Pynchon and Stanley Kubrick. Among theorists of modernity, students can expect to examine Freud, Nietzsche, de Beauvoir, Habermas, and Jameson, and to explore the relevance of their ideas to a deeper understating and greater appreciation of the literature and film in this period.

Why Choose This Course
This course is the only MA in English offered by an Irish university that provides an advanced and coherent introduction to a selection of literary, theoretical, and filmic works from the 1780s to the present day.

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 1 (2H1) level 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: Romanticism, Modernism and Post-Modernism): CKE29AdditionalQuestions(109kB)

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests.

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. To verify if you meet the minimum academic requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website.


1 year, full time (12 months)

Number of credits

90 Credits

Careers or further progression

This course will provide you with an advanced understanding of three important periods in literary history and knowledge of the theoretical tools required fully to understand those periods. 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.

Further enquiries

Contact details for this course
Professor Alex Davis
+ 353 21 4902185 / 4902241

Subjects taught

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

Programme Requirements

Students take 90 credits as follows:

Part I (50 credits)
EN6009 Contemporary Literary Research: Skills, Methods and Strategies (10 credits)
EN6028 Theories of Modernity (10 credits)


30 credits from:

EN6025 Literary and Cultural Modernisms (10 credits)
EN6026 Postmodernism in Literature and Film (10 credits)
EN6027 Romanticism and Modernity (10 credits)
EN6029 American Modernities (10 credits)
FX6007 American Cinema (10 credits)

Part II (40 credits)
EN6017 Dissertation in English (40 credits)

Note: Subject to the approval of the MA programme co-ordinators, students may substitute one 10-credit module with one of the following 10-credit modules: EN6047, EN6048, EN6049, EN6050, EN6051, EN6052, EN6053, EN6054, EN6055


Course Practicalities.
The course involves a combination of seminars, consultation, presentations and directed study as well as associated reading. You will carry out independent research for your dissertation in close consultation with your supervisor.

Assessment method

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.

Application date

Applications for 2019 start dates will open on November 1st 2018.

EU Applicants: UCC operates a rounds closing date system for the majority of postgraduate taught courses, which means we offer places four times a year on a rolling basis. Some courses have one specific closing date, please check your course prospectus page for this information.

The UCC rounds EU application system closing dates for postgraduate taught courses are below. We advise applicants to apply as soon as possible.

Deadline for receipt of Applications:

For all completed applications received by January 11th 2019
Offers will be made:Offers will be made by January 25th 2019

For all completed applications received by March 1st 2019
Offers will be made: Offers will be made by March 15th 2019

For all completed applications received by May 1st 2019
Offers will be made: Offers will be made by May 15th 2019

For all completed applications received by July 1st 2019
Offers will be made: Offer will be made by July 15th 2019

Late applications may be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for any courses that have remaining capacity for places.

While there is no official closing date for Research courses applicants are advised to submit their application at least two months ahead of their proposed start date. There are four official Research start dates – September/October, January, April and July.

Non-EU Applicants:

Please visit the following page for further information for Non EU applicants

The closing date for non-EU applications is 15th June

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date 9 September 2019

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