English Literature MA

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Special Features
  • Teaching & Assessment
  • Employability
  • Fees
  • Entry Criteria

Postgraduate Open Evening

Wednesday 25 May 2016, 4-7pm

Come along to our Postgraduate Open Evening to find out more about the programme and research areas that interest you, meet our staff and enjoy some refreshments, and even see if we can offer you a place.

Find out more and book now.

About the Course

How might the study of literature and culture enable us to understand and explain the everyday world we inhabit and the ways in which different social worlds have been invented and sustained across time and cultures?

How might a Master’s in English Literature help us both to explore ourselves and the ways in which we see and understand others?

How does such an enquiry affect, and quite possibly change, the way we read texts and read the world?

These are the kinds of questions at the core of the MA in English Literature, which is an exciting development in English studies at Brunel University London.

The course offers the opportunity to study a wide range of topics and periods, from the Early Modern/Renaissance through to the modern and contemporary, and a unique, concept-led module called 'Reading Cultures'.

The programme is designed for those preparing to undertake further research, those wishing to take their general studies in English literature to a further level, and those hoping to enhance their career prospects.


  • You will explore the diversity of literary and cultural production through innovative modules designed to cross disciplinary, historical, and geographical boundaries, thereby offering a wide scope within which students of the master’s can develop their own interests.
  • The MA in English Literature will equip you with a detailed and sophisticated understanding of English and related literatures. It will support your critical and creative engagement with issues central to and at the cutting edge of English literary studies.
  • If, following the completion of the postgraduate English MA course, you wish to continue your studies at doctoral level, you will have essential research skills, and the opportunity to join a flourishing research culture at Brunel.
  • Our staff have expertise in a wide range of literatures, and you will benefit from events and activities organised by the Brunel Centre for Contemporary Writing.
  • There are financial benefits offered to alumni of the Brunel MA programmes to help you on your way.


College of Business, Arts, and Social Sciences
Department of Arts and Humanities
Brunel University London
Middlesex UB8 3PH
Email pg-arts-admissions@brunel.ac.uk
Tel +44 (0)1895 265265

Related Courses

Course Content

The MA consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.

Compulsory modules

Reading Cultures 1

Reading Cultures 2

This unique, concept-led module will introduce you to four key dimensions of the critical study of literature and culture. It will allow you to explore these – and their connections to each other – through literary and theoretical texts.

Research and Study Methods (attendance only)

This module will enable you to develop and refine advanced research skills that are fundamental to the study of literature and culture at master's level and beyond.

Sessions will include help with using online resources and maximising access to research libraries; writing ‘research questions’ and project management; advanced written and oral presentation skills; using archives; and preparing for your masters’ dissertation. This module has been designed to meet the requirements of the Arts and Humanities Research Council in terms of preparation of graduate students for advanced level study and doctoral research.

Writing Now

This module considers British fiction published after 9/11 in 2001 and uses various conceptual and theoretical materials to elucidate major themes in the texts and considers issues such as trauma, terror, the purported end of postmodernism, post-millennial negativities, challenges to traditional mores, the return of realism, and the so-called serious 'literary' novel's inflection with genres such as fantasy, experimentalism and other popular forms.

The Brontes

Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë are perhaps the most mythologized and analyzed family of writers in Britain. Their childhood in Haworth, the intensity of their novels, the relationship with their father and brother—all have been fodder for literary and biographical analysis.

This module will read closely five Brontë novels (Jane Eyre,Wuthering HeightsVilletteThe Tenant of Wildfell Hall), their juvenilia, some biographical selections, and a number of critical articles. In this English Literature module, they will be read within the historical, cultural and theoretical context of the Victorian novel, publication history, and biography.

Dissertation in English Literature

The English MA programme culminates in the production of a 15,000 word dissertation, which will enable you to construct a programme of in-depth research into any topic of your choice. You will be personally supervised by a member of the English subject team who will assist you in planning and executing the research project.

Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel and what you will learn on the course.

Special Features

  • This masters is taught by world-leading specialists.
  • The course offers innovative module topics which cross historical periods, disciplinary boundaries and geographical frameworks.
  • The course content is theoretically informed by the latest work in the field of English studies.
  • Unique concept-led compulsory module provides a sophisticated framework for study of cultural and intellectual contexts.
  • The location of Brunel University in West London places it in the heart of contemporary literary and cultural life.
  • Important writers and creative practitioners in the Department of Arts and Humanities contribute to teaching the English Literature master's programme and to the research culture at Brunel.
  • You can draw on the Department’s archives such as the Burnett Archive of Working Class Autobiographies and SADAA (South Asian Diaspora Arts Archive).

Teaching and Learning

The English Literature MA is taught through workshops and seminars, led by distinguished research-active staff working in the field. English students will be expected to contribute to discussions, present your own interpretations and raise new questions for debate.


This English Literature Master's course is taught through workshops and seminars, moderated by distinguished research-active staff working in the field. You will be expected to contribute to discussions, present your own interpretations and raise new questions for debate.

You will be assessed using a variety of methods including written work (essays and dissertation), oral presentations, seminar attendance and performance, and organisation and planning of the dissertation. Some assessments will be formative, i.e you will be given feedback but not graded; this will enable you to improve and work towards graded assessments.


On completing the English Literature MA, you will have skills which are vital for careers in publishing, print and electronic media, the culture industries and education, as well as other professions such as law, the civil service, advertising, market research and marketing, and financial services and business.

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2016/7 entry

UK/EU students: £7,300 full-time; £3,650 part-time

International students: £15,400 full-time; £7,700 part-time

Read about funding opportunities available to postgraduate students

UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.

Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).

Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Entry Requirements

  • A UK first or second class (2:1) Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification in a related discipline.
  • Candidates of the Master's in English Literature may be considered with a 2:2 Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification in a related discipline and will be assessed on an individual basis.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

International and EU Entry Requirements

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 7 (min 6 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 64 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 70% (min 60% in all areas)

Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.

However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.

Page last updated: Tuesday 26 April 2016