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Master English

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  • Objectives
    To develop critical understanding. To enable you to concentrate upon specific areas of literary and cultural studies and acquire advanced skills in research methods. To prepare you for doctoral study.
  • Entry requirements
    people with a minimum good 2:1 first degree in English, or a subject in which English plays a significant part; other disciplines may be considered.
  • Academic Title
    MA English
  • Course description
    Programme description

    - Unrivalled location in the centre of London, with easy access to the British Library and the major libraries and archives of the capital.
    - Flexible programme with a wide range of options allows students the opportunity to specialize in areas of their choice.
    - A dynamic, research-led department with an international reputation for excellence.

    Our master's programme combines dynamic taught courses with independent research. You will select one of the several pathways, examined in five elements. Pathways range from the medieval period to the present day.

    A typical programme profile consists of a compulsory core module which highlights critical thinking and research issues plus three further options and a dissertation on a topic of your choice. Note that some pathways have other requirements.

    The research training offered on all pathways provides the necessary base for doctoral studies. In addition, the department has a lively postgraduate research culture.

    Pathways
    Medieval Literature and Language; 1850 - the Present; Writing, Gender and Culture; Writing Lives: Literary Biography and Autobiography in Theory, History and Practice.

    Programme format and assessment
    Taught core and optional modules assessed by coursework and/or examination plus a compulsory dissertation.

    Programme modules for MA English 

    Eighteenth-Century Writing, Gender and Culture

    This module covers issues of writing, culture and gender specific to the 18th-century. It also addresses transhistorical concepts such as genre, letter-writing, the body and travel. Typically there will be a focus on genre, especially on letters both real and fictional, and on life-writings.

    Gender and Middle English Literature
    This module engages with current critical debates about the reading and interpretation of medieval writings, particularly in the context of gender and queer theory. It places medieval constructions of gender, including masculinity and non-normative notions of gender and sexuality, in their historical, social and religious contexts.

    Manuscript Materials
    A study of English vernacular manuscripts of the medieval period, with special attention given to the history and development of script. The module is principally concerned with English vernacular manuscripts up to 1525. The teaching incorporates frequent tasks, for example: sample transcriptions; codicological descriptive exercises; and work on the history of script.

    Prison Writing: An English and European Tradition
    This module examines the literary works of writers in prison. We shall explore ideas of the writer as hero in a European intellectual tradition with examples drawn from Antiquity to the present. All texts may be read in English but a reading knowledge of French would be invaluable for some poetic examples.

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