This pathway of the MA in Literary Studies aims to enhance your knowledge and understanding of the literature that has sought to define or has emerged from ‘America’.

The core module at the centre of this pathway, American Literature and Culture: Criticial and Theoretical Concepts, will engage you in a rigorous study of particular phases and applications of American literary criticism and theory, as well as consolidate your knowledge of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature.

In particular, you will study some of the ways in which nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature sought to understand the nation in the face of the fragmenting effects of modernity and postmodernity; competing readings of canonical American texts will enable you to assess how American critical and theoretical conceptions shape American literature, producing different “Americas”.

While the core module gives you a strong grounding in this field, the flexible structure of the MA will offer you the opportunity to pursue your wider interests by studying three options from the large provision of the department, choosing at least one of these in an area that is relevant to the literature and culture of the Americas.

Core module and options will draw on a variety of medias (verbal, visual, filmic). Both the core module and the options are taught by leading specialists of the subject.

You will be able to further develop your interest in American literature and culture through a 15,000-word dissertation to be submitted at the end of your programme of study.

All texts will be studied in English, in English translation, or, in the case of films, with English subtitles.

Study Details:

MA 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Module Details:

Core module

American Literature & Culture: Critical and Theoretical Concepts 30 credits 
In addition to the core module, you also take three option modules from the selection below.

Option modules
  • Studies in Comparative Literature & Criticism 30 credits 
  • Theories of Literature & Culture 30 credits 
  • Modern Literary Movements 30 credits 
  • Literature of the Caribbean & its Diasporas 30 credits 
  • Nineteenth-Century Literature: Romanticisms 30 credits 
  • Shakespeare and the Early Modern 30 credits 
  • Rewriting Sexualities 30 credits
  • Literature and Philosophy 30 credits
  • Twentieth-Century American Poetry: Theory in Practice 30 credits
  • Documenting America: The Photo Text 1910 to 1960 30 credits
  • Reading Freud: Love & its Vicissitudes 30 credits
  • Twenty-first Century American Fiction 30 credits
  • Palestine & Postcolonialism 30 credits
  • European Decadence and the Visual Arts 30 credits 
  • Writing the Mediterranean [Erasmus Intensive Programme, Malta, held during the Easter vacation; subject to EU funding] 30 credits 
  • Postcolonial Fiction: Theory and Practice 30 credits 
  • Romantic Shakespeare 30 credits
  • The Contemporary American Novel in the Era of Climate Change 30 credits 
  • Interculturality, Text, Poetics 30 credits 
  • Elizabethan Style: Visual and Verbal 30 credits
  • The Post-Imperial City in Literature and Film 30 credits 
You can also choose linguistics modules as option modules.
Linguistics modules
  • Analysing Discourse & Identity in Spoken Interaction 30 credits 
  • English in a Multilingual World 30 credits 
  • Intercultural Discourse & Communication 30 credits 
  • Language & Ideology in Written Discourse 30 credits 
  • English as a Lingua Franca and Language Teaching 30 credits 
  • Between Languages: Multilingualism and Translation in Contemporary Literature 30 credits 

Student Destinations

Graduates of this programme have gone on to pursue careers in:

•public relations
•the civil service
•the media


For fees please see">here

Entry Requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject. 

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. 

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.

For this programme we require:

IELTS 7.0 (including 7.0 in the written test)

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