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MA English Literature

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  • Objectives
    There are at least three good reasons for studying a Masters in English Literature: -you may be considering going on to future doctoral level research, for which a preparatory Masters course is becoming essential - especially if you wish to seek funding from official bodies -to help yourself 'stand out from the crowd' in an increasingly competitive job market, by taking a qualification that emphasises your ability to work independently and handle complex and high-level questions -to develop your career in an educational or other context by expanding your portfolio of professional qualifications and showing commitment to academic research Unlike many Masters courses, which tie you to a narrow specialism, the MA English Literature at Portsmouth focuses on your own interests in exploring the subject beyond the level of an undergraduate degree. We also place strong emphasis on the development of research skills and analytical abilities, while encouraging you to develop and pursue your own projects across a wide range of available supervision areas. The staff are all experts in their own fields, with many years’ experience of teaching and supervision. The course is directly tailored to meet national benchmarks for research training and is therefore ideal if you are thinking about future doctoral-level study, as well as offering a valuable boost to your personal profile if you are an education professional or simply looking to expand your portfolio with a challenging and rewarding advanced qualification.
  • Academic Title
    MA English Literature
  • Course description
    At the heart of the course is the production of a Masters dissertation, a substantial piece of individual research work. Supporting your achievement in this are a series of taught units, introducing advanced research skills, analytical techniques and methodological perspectives that you will need for work at the cutting edge of contemporary humanities.

    Key features of this teaching include

    -specialised sessions from recognised University experts in research techniques
    -direct engagement with contemporary debates, through targeted readings and by exploring and critiquing tutors' own ongoing research
    -friendly and challenging small group sessions, putting your own reflections at the heart of discussion

    Underpinning the techniques learnt in these courses are project units, which give you hands-on experience of the research process and the opportunity to pursue your own interests from the outset.

    This feeds back into assessment for the taught units and contributes to your development towards your dissertation.

    The course is carefully structured so that you can take it either full time in one year or part time across two, without losing any of its coherence and progression. A wide range of staff expertise is available for you to draw on when selecting areas of interest for your projects and dissertation. These include:

    -British and European literary history from the seventeenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries
    -histories of race and ethnicity in contemporary literature and culture
    -women's writing in the seventeenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries
    -literary writing and cultural histories of gender, including sexualities and masculinities, from the seventeenth century onwards
    -culture, imperialism, postcolonialism
    -literary theory and contemporary critical debates, including psychoanalysis, post-structuralism,
    -deconstruction and postmodernism
    -areas of interdisciplinary interest also offer opportunities to work with staff and students on the MA Histor

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