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English Literature (Taught)

Cardiff University
1-2 Years
Full time/part time
Master's degree
Scholarships available

Program description

English Literature (Taught)

English Literature at Cardiff is taught by staff with an international reputation for innovative and influential research. Our passion for the subject and the strength and range of our scholarship enable us to offer a degree which is:

  • Inclusive. We teach across the whole chronological span of English Literature, from Middle English to literature of the twenty-first century.  We offer modules in a range of critical approaches, from bibliography and textual studies to contemporary women’s writing, and from Barthesian semiotics and postcolonial ways of reading, to theories of gender and queer studies. We are intrigued by the connections between literature and popular culture and literature and theory, and our teaching reflects these interests.
  • Challenging. Staff offer modules on their research areas of expertise. This means that students engage with new, up-to-date ideas that are helping to shape and define the future of the discipline.
  • Diverse. There are no compulsory modules. You have the freedom to use any critical, theoretical perspective to analyse any type of (aesthetic, cultural, historical) material.
  • Engaged. The MA in English Literature is a successful programme of study that has a strong reputation for offering a comprehensive range of modules from all periods and genres that bring the latest developments in literary and critical theory to bear upon the reading of literary and cultural texts.

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Admission requirements

A 1st or upper 2nd class UK honours degree, or equivalent, in a related discipline is usually required. 

Early application is strongly advised, normally well before the end of June. Later applications will be considered, but international students must bear in mind the time needed to obtain a visa.

Typical IELTS offer:

A score of band 7 on IELTS with a minimum of 6.5 in each category is required for non-native English speakers or those who have not had a substantial part of their education taught in the English language.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Program content

  • English Literature MA Dissertation
  • The Myth of King Arthur in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
  • Constructing Shakespeare
  • Heroes and Villains from Chaucer to Shakespeare
  • Spectral Femininities
  • Before Homosexuality? Representing Same Sex Desire from Smollett to Sexology
  • Postcolonial Brontë
  • Poetic Justice? Law & Literature in Shakespeare's England 
  • Writing Women
  • Foundations in Theory
  • Narrative and Nation: Politics, Gender and History, 1780-1830
  • Wandering, Retreat and Exile: the Romantic Imagination and Place
  • The Open Road
  • Against the Law: Writing and Reading Male Homosexuality in Post-War England
  • Material Culture and Modern American Women Poets
  • Modern European Philosophy
  • Ecotheories

Scholarships & funding

For more information about scholarships, please visit the university website.

Tuition fees

Please visit the website for information about tuition fees


What skills will I practise and develop?

Knowledge and understanding

  • Fundamental grounding in a number of discrete research areas and the critical debate surrounding them
  • Fundamental grounding in research and bibliographic methods
  • Awareness of the historical and cultural contexts of literary texts

Intellectual skills

  • Ability to identify, gather and evaluate a wide range of materials appropriate to the topic
  • Analyse and interpret material drawn from a diversity of sources
  • Demonstrate and exercise independence of thought and ideas
  • Ability to reason in a critically sustained manner
  • Ability to plan and execute an individual research topic

Subject-specific (writing) skills

  • Ability to apply techniques of close analysis to both historical and literary texts
  • Ability to challenge, review or question received ideas about the meanings of historical and/or literary texts
  • Ability to demonstrate a good knowledge of academic systems of the presentation of arguments
  • Ability to sustain a critical argument that engages with the nuances of a literary text
  • Ability to write at a level appropriate to research work
  • Preparation for advanced academic study

Career opportunities

Postgraduate study is a gateway to many careers within and beyond academia.

Many of our alumni enter (or return to) various professions including academia, primary and secondary education, journalism, publishing, archival and library work, the Civil Service, arts administration and the creative industries.

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About this institute

Cardiff University

Founded in 1883, Cardiff University combines a prestigious heritage with impressive modern facilities, on one of the most beautiful campuses in the UK. As part of the Russell Group, our students benefit from our outstanding research quality and reputation, while...

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Contact info

Cardiff University

CF10 3AT Cardiff

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