The MA English programme broadens and deepens learner knowledge of literatures in English, literary and cultural theory, and textual practices.

The programme affords students the opportunity and skills for independent research and self-directed learning, while enhancing analytical and critical thinking skills and instructing learners in the use of traditional and technological research resources. Importantly, the programme offers the opportunity for advanced studies in English literature and the chance to complete a substantial original research thesis. Ultimately, students of this programme graduate with enhanced career opportunities in a variety of fields, including the knowledge and skills required to advance to doctoral degree studies.

Entry requirements

Candidates will be required to meet a minimum entry requirement of 2.2 (Level 8 Honours Degree, National Qualifications Authority of Ireland) in an English-related degree or an approved equivalent qualification. For non-native speakers of English an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) composite score in the range of 7.0 is required.

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of either prior successful completion of a degree qualification taught through the medium of English or meet one of the criteria below (no longer than two years prior to application):

Acceptable English Language qualifications include the following:

•Matriculation examinations from European countries where English is presented as a subject and an acceptable level is achieved

•Irish Leaving Certificate English –Ordinary Level Grade D or above

TOEFL – 580 (paper based) or 90 (internet based)

•IELTS – Minimum score of 7.0 with no less than 6 in any one component.

•English Test for English and Academic Purposes (ETAPP) – Grade C1

•GCE 'O' level English Language/GCSE English Language – Grade C or above

•Cambridge Assessment English –Certificate of Proficiency in English - Grade C / Certificate in Advanced English Grade B

•GCE Examination Boards – Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations – Grade C / Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate – School Certificate Pass 1-6 / University of London Entrance and School Examinations Council – School Certificate Pass 1-6

Results in examinations other than those listed above may also be accepted as meeting our English language requirements. Contact the International Education Division for advice.


1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Careers or further progression

Graduate Profile

The MA Programme in English attracts individuals interested in gaining such a qualification in preparation for careers that build on strong skills in textual analysis and written and oral communication, such as journalism, broadcast media, publishing, culture and arts administration, politics, or social services.

Further enquiries

Course Director

Dr Tina O'Toole

Tel: +353 (0) 61 234269

Email: tina.o'toole@ul.ie

Subjects taught

Autumn Semester

• Literary and Cultural Theory

• Advanced Editing: Creating a Literary Journal

Electives (choose two)

• Literary Modernism

• Gender & Sexuality in Irish Writing

• Literature of Migration

• Cultural Constructions of the Past

• Literature, Film, and Human Rights

Spring Semester

• Research Methods in Literary and Cultural Studies

• Advanced Editing 2: Creating a Literary Journal

Electives (choose two)

• Politics and American Literature

• Post-colonial Theory and Literature

• Feminist Literary Theory: Perspectives on Women & Literature

• Utopian Theory and Texts

• Textual Constructions of Cultural Identity

• Issues in Modern and Contemporary Poetry

• Irish Americas in Literature and Culture

• Situating Irish Gothic

Summer Semester

• Dissertation

• Thesis research and writing


The MA in English provides opportunities and skills for the advanced study of literatures in English, literary and cultural theory, and textual practices. Students will develop expertise in self-directed learning and the pursuit of independent research as they also become familiar with current critical conversations in such areas as Irish studies, modernism, post-colonialism, utopianism, gender and sexuality, and migration studies.

Application date

What to Upload with your Application:

•Qualification transcripts and certificates

•English language qualification(s) if English is not your first language

•Certified English translation of your transcripts/certificates where the original transcripts are in a language other than English

•A personal satement

•Two (2) academic letters of reference

•A 500-700 word writing sample, providing a literary-critical response to a text that really engaged or provoked you during your undergraduate studies (this can be an extract from a longer essay submitted in fulfilment of your final year assessment).

•A copy of your Birth Certificate (long document)

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date: 09/Sep/2019

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