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MA Literature

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  • Objectives
    1. To enhance (to deepen and extend) students' acquaintance with literary texts. 2. To provide courses opening paths to areas of current scholarly and critical specialisation 3. To deepen the knowledge and to refine the skills which students bring with them from their first degrees 4. To give students a structured introduction to advanced material and advanced perspectives in their fields of specialisation 5. To encourage students to work independently as scholars in specific fields of investigation and to formulate and present a coherent and reflective view of their findings 6. To provide a choice of courses to suit individual interests and needs. 7. To enhance students' career prospects 8. To prepare qualified students for progression to doctoral research with a view to entering the academic profession
  • Entry requirements
    Entry Qualifications BA Hons 2.1 TOEFL 570/230/88 IELTS 6.5
  • Academic Title
    MA Literature
  • Course description

    Course Description
    The MA in Literature allows students to following specific pathways in: American Poetry and Prose; Creative Writing; Drama and Theatre; Early Modern Texts, Theatre and Cultures; Modernism and Postmodernism; Shakespeare; and Translation and Comparative Literature. On the American poetry and prose pathway, students undertake detailed discussions of major writers from the United States, and major literary groups and movements, with attention paid to both nineteenth-century and twentieth-century writers. On the Creative Writing pathway, students undertake modules in creative writing and write a dissertation on creative writing. The Drama and Theatre pathway allows students to undertake modules in drama and theatre, alongside courses in literature. Students will write a dissertation (or write a play or put on a production) on drama and theatre. The Early Modern Texts, Theatre and Cultures pathway allows students to undertake modules that look at early modern literature. Students also write their dissertation on this topic. The Modernism and Postmodernism pathway considers critical and theoretical debates on modernity and postmodernity. Students have the opportunity of studying works from the nineteenth century, early as well as late twentieth century writings (including modernist poetry and postmodern fiction) and contemporary writing. The Shakespeare pathway allows students to undertake further study on Shakespeare, and write a dissertation on this topic. The Translation and Comparative Literature pathway allows students to follow a pathway in literature that looks at translation and comparative literature. Students write a dissertation on a topic related to this.

    Modules and Options

    The lists of modules below represent the range of options available for each year of study. This may not be a complete list of the options you will study, and may be subject to change, so please contact the department for further details.

    Stage 1

        ADAPTATION
        AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE
        Compulsory: THE STUDY OF LITERATURE TODAY
        Core: DISSERTATION
        Core: RESEARCH METHODS IN LITERARY AND CULTURAL ANALYSIS
        CREATIVE PERSPECTIVES ON TRANSLATION
        CREATIVE PLAYWRITING 1
        CREATIVE PLAYWRITING 2
        CREATIVE WRITING AND GENRE
        CREATIVE WRITING AND REFLECTION
        CREATIVE WRITING MEMORY MAPS MA
        EXPERIMENTAL CINEMA IN THE DIGITAL AGE
        FILM AND VIDEO PRODUCTION WORKSHOP
        FOUNDATION OF POSTCOLONIAL STUDIES
        INTERPRETATION OF MYTH
        ISSUES IN TRAVEL WRITING
        LITERARY TRANSLATION AND COMPARATIVE LITERATURE
        MODERN PROSTHESES: WRITING, TECHNOLOGY AND TRANSGENDER
        MODERNISM/POSTMODERNISM
        POSTCOLONIAL WRITERS AND CANONICAL TEXTS
        REAL CINEMA: ETHNOGRAPHIC AND DOCUMENTARY FILM
        SEA OF LENTILS: MODERNITY, LITERATURE, AND FILM IN THE CARIBBEAN
        SHAKESPEARE IN THEORY
        SHAKESPEARE: READING AND TEXT I
        SHAKESPEAREAN PERFORMANCE HISTORY
        THE PHANTASM
        THE TALE: TELLINGS AND RE-TELLINGS
        THE USES OF AMERICAN ISOLATION
        US MODERNISM AND AFTER
        WAR, VIOLENCE & CONFLICT IN THE AMERICAN TROPICS
        WRITING ART

    Teaching and Assessment Methods

    A: Knowledge and Understanding
        Learning Outcomes
        A1 : A range of literature in special subject areas
        A2 : Contexts for the study of the writers and writing taught
        A3 : Critical opinion and significant critical debates
        A4 : The interrelation of the writing studied with literary critical thinking about it
        A5 : Advanced methods of critical analysis and argument
        A6 : Appropriate research techniques and methodologies
        A7 : Major cultural domains, literary contexts, & theoretical parameters within the following routes: Modernism and Postmodernism, Postcolonial Studies, American Poetry and Prose, Translation and Comparative Literature, Shakespeare, Creative Writing, Drama and Theatre, and Myth Studies.
        A8 : Advanced perspectives for the analysis and theorisation of relevant cultural domains, literary contexts & theoretical parameters

        Teaching Methods
        1-8 are addressed in seminars and oral and written comments on essays and draft dissertations. 6 is additionally addressed in special seminars. Students are expected to pursue their understanding of course content and special topics through independent study and wide reading. Tutors are available to offer advice in the adaptation of generic research techniques (6) to individual needs

        Assessment Methods
        Formal assessment is by coursework (four essays) and dissertation, the latter constituting the most significant form of assessment of the knowledge and understanding acquired. Essays are 4000-5000 words apiece. The dissertation is 20,000 words.

    B: Intellectual/Cognitive Skills
        Learning Outcomes
        B1 : Question received thinking
        B2 : Think independently
        B3 : Analyse and evaluate data at advanced levels
        B4 : Reason critically in an environment of complex ideas
        B5 : Argue coherently and persuasively
        B6 : Adopt critical positions in reading complex texts and in writing on them
        B7 : Analyse and evaluate theoretical concepts at advanced levels
        B8 : Develop and sustain a critical argument over a sustained period of research

        Teaching Methods
        These skills are developed in:- 1. seminars 2. class presentations (which may form the basis of esays) 3. oral and written comments on essays 4. guided reading of secondary sources Individual guidance is provided in close supervision of essays, of dissertation proposals, and of dissertations.

        Assessment Methods
        Essays and dissertation. The former are regarded essentially as a form of progressive assessment leading to the writing of the dissertation.

    C: Practical Skills
        Learning Outcomes
        C1 : Organise, structure and present an argument in writing, putting forward clear critical positions
        C2 : Deploy an advanced vocabulary of special literary and critical terms
        C3 : Use basic theoretical terms
        C4 : Compile and present extended bibliographies
        C5 : Provide complex references according to accepted conventions
        C6 : Use libraries and IT to gain access to a variety of scholarly sources
        C7 : Write in a scholarly manner

        Teaching Methods
        This range of practical skills (1-7) is taught in seminars and developed through tutors' comments on essays, and in supervision of written work. Guidance on skills 4-7 is provided in special seminars on techniques and methodology. Advice on writing essays and dissertations is given in the MA guide

        Assessment Methods
        Essays and dissertations are assessed for all these skills

    D: Key Skills
        Learning Outcomes
        D1 : Clear, focused, relevant and effective written expression and oral communication
        D2 : Typing and wordprocessing skills; use of electronic library catalogues and email
        D4 : Management of projects and timetables. Finding, understanding and organising information.
        D5 : Ability to grasp other points of view
        D6 : Finding, understanding and organising information

        Teaching Methods
        The five relevant key skills are implicit throughout the degree. 1, 2 & 4 are employed in essays. 1, 5 & 6 are employed in seminars. 6 is expected over the term of any course. Skill in oral communication is developed through seminar discussion. This involves both the ability to build an argument, ability to "read" an argument put during discussion, and the ability to respond effectively

        Assessment Methods
        Essays and dissertations are assessed for qualities that incorporate all these skills.

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