Course Overview

UK Fees £7,500 *
International Fees £14,000 *
Alumni Discount See details
Duration 1 year

* Price per academic year

Course summary

The English Language and Literature MA aims to allow you to explore the interconnections between language and literature. It will provide you with a thorough understanding of the linguistic features of English from a wide range of perspectives (theoretical and applied, synchronic and diachronic), as well as leading you to explore a wide array of texts in connection with the social, historical and political circumstances from which they emerge. Furthermore, the MA will equip you with the intellectual perspectives and the scholarly skills that will prepare you to conduct independent research.

The MA is suitable for students who have taken English language and/or literature modules at undergraduate level, and others who have taken allied disciplines such as TESOL. It is of particular interest to those wishing to pursue further study and those teaching English who wish to gain a further qualification and investigate recent and current developments in the field.

If pursuing the degree full-time, you will study 180 credits in one academic year; if part-time, you will normally complete 180 credits in two academic years. You will study five core modules (including a 60-credit dissertation on a topic of English language and/or literature), as well as two modules from the list of options. The core modules Materialities, Institutions and Contexts and Themes and Problems in Modern and Contemporary Literature examine classic and contemporary critical texts on literature in relation to ideas in larger contexts, such as history, the visual image, gender, psychoanalysis and post- colonialism. Multilingualism, Past and Present and English Worldwide examine linguistic variation and contact in English and other languages from a wide range of perspectives, both historical and present-day.

The teaching is mainly through weekly two or three hour sessions for each module, which include tutorials, seminars, practical sessions and workshops. There is also independent self-directed study, and you will be prepared for the dissertation via structured sessions in research methodology. Assessment methods include submitted coursework such as essays, reviews and exercises; there are no formal examinations.

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Core modules

Development, execution, and writing-up of an independent research project on a topic chosen by the student. All students will attend regular research seminars. Individual supervision will provide topic-specific guidance.

This module examines in detail English in its multiple varieties and multiple uses in the world: native, nativised and non-native varieties, regional variation within larger speech communities, use by monolinguals and multilinguals, and register differences according to use and user. Furthermore, it gives students the opportunity to carry out original empirical work relating to the concepts and methods they are acquiring.

This module focuses attention on the ways that literature is produced, studied, archived and circulated. It addresses question such as: How does where we read affect what we read, and how we read? How do changes in the material and institutional contexts of literary study present new challenges and possibilities for scholarship? Through theoretical reading and case studies, the module enables students to situate their critical practice in institutional and social contexts and to think reflectively about the relationship between their studies and wider society.

This module introduces students to the major theoretical frameworks for studying language contact by exploring the different processes, causes, types, effects, and outcomes that emerge from contact contexts: e.g. bilingualism, pidginization, creolisation, diglossia, borrowing, code-switching, linguistic change. The module adopts a cross-linguistic perspective and will include contexts ranging from dominant language ecologies to cases of severe language endangerment.

This module introduces students to current major themes in contemporary literature, with a particular focus on how global crises post-2001 have been mediated in literary texts. Topics will include the representation of capital and financial crisis; migrant narratives; ecology; the Anthropocene; and the contemporary resurgence of populist politics. While maintaining a primary focus on the 21st century, the module also encourages students to think historically and comparatively through 19th and 20th century representations of crisis.

Option modules

This module offers a range of different linguistic tools for exploring texts. They are analysed for lexical and grammatical cohesion, metonymy and metaphor, and register and thematic progression (Hallidayan functional grammar). Texts are also analysed using Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Multimodal Discourse Analysis (MDA). You will acquire a theoretical understanding of the main approaches to discourse analysis, and the practical skills for carrying out these analyses on real texts. You will also gain a broader awareness of how written discourse is constructed by comparing it to spoken discourse, and by discussing it in terms of more general semiotic and communication theories.

You will examine current practice and developments in language teaching, including communicative competence in language learning. During this module you will cover a range of topical issues in language learning and teaching, including: content and language integrated learning; individual differences in language learning; language for specific purposes; learner autonomy and strategy training; methodology; neurolinguistic processing and multiple intelligences; skills lessons and real language; and teacher language and national curriculum.

This module explores innovations by women through the 20th and 21st centuries in the areas of writing, film and photography. Through paying close attention to their experimental practices, it will explore questions of gender and sexuality in relation to the formal conventions of, among others, narrative, voice, montage, mimesis and the intertextual.

The module has a theoretical focus on gender studies, philosophies of language, and theories of the avant-garde. Authors and artists studied include Gertrude Stein, Dorothy Richardson, Claude Cahun, Djuna Barnes, Maya Deren, Anaïs Nin, Marguerite Duras, and Kathy Acker. The theoretical element of the course encompasses such thinkers as William James, Hélène Cixous, Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva, Simone de Beauvoir, and Denise Riley.

This module focuses on the literature and art of the first half of the twentieth century and on interpretations of the term modernism itself. It looks at a range of different forms, styles, attitudes and practices included under the heading of modernism, and seeks to situate modernist literature within a metropolitan and international context. The module addresses theories of modernism and modernity; experience and subjectivity; modernism and phenomenology; and London and the two wars.

You will critically explore concepts and issues in sociolinguistics, including: language in face-to- face interaction; language variation, choice, creation, planning, change, decline and death; languages and factors such as age, class, gender and ethnicity; multilingual communities; language and society; bilingualism and diglossia; casual and ritual interaction; conversational interaction focusing on issues such as linguistic politeness; oral narratives, and conversational routines; language socialisation; conversational code-switching; talk and gender. Throughout the module, attention will be paid to issues of methodology, and the most appropriate methods for studying each topic area.

This module critically considers different approaches to the sociolinguistic study of language and gender. This includes knowledge of theoretical frameworks used to understand why and how sex and gender can be viewed as significant social categories in relation to language use. The module also aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to enable them to carry out independent empirical investigations in the field of language and gender research. 

Content will vary each year according to the topic selected by the Course Team, and based on staff research specialisms. A detailed syllabus and reading list will be made available at the time of module choices. The module aims to provide an in depth examination of a particular topic in English Language and Linguistics based on current trends.

Programme Specification

For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the programme specification.

For general enquiries about the course, please email [email protected]

To request an accessible version of the programme specification, please email [email protected]

Entry Requirements

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2) in a relevant subject (eg English language, English literature or TESOL). Applicants may be required to attend an interview (either face to face or via Skype). 

If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.5 with at least 6.0 in writing.

Applicants are required to submit one academic or professional reference.

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process.

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2) in a relevant subject (eg English language, English literature or TESOL). Applicants may be required to attend an interview (either face to face or via Skype). 

If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.5 with at least 6.0 in writing.

Applicants are required to submit one academic or professional reference.

More information


The English Language and Literature MA will provide you with sophisticated analytical skills and a widely applicable knowledge base, which will enable you to study at MPhil or PhD levels with a view to pursuing an academic career. The course is also particularly relevant to teaching English as a first or foreign language, and to a range of professions involving the study and use of language and literary texts.

While studying the MA, you will also benefit from the careers workshops organised by the departmental employability coordinator.

Our Careers and Employability Service is here to support you to achieve your full potential.

With a growing network of over 3,000 employers around the world and a team of experienced careers consultants, we provide you with a variety of opportunities to work and develop new skills. As a University of Westminster student, you’ll have access to our services throughout your studies and after you graduate.

We can help you:

  • find work placements, graduate jobs or voluntary experience related to your course
  • discover international opportunities to enhance your employability
  • write effective CVs and application forms
  • develop your interview and enterprise skills
  • plan your career with our career consultants
  • gain insights into your chosen industry through mentoring
  • meet employers and explore your career options at our employer fairs, careers presentations and networking events 

Find out more about the Careers and Employability Service.

Find out more about other employability initiatives at the University of Westminster.

Find out more

English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies

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Fees and Funding

UK tuition fee: £7,500 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.


As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

Find out about postgraduate student funding options.


The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible postgraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

International tuition fee: £14,000 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

EU Qualifications Welcome Award Scheme

If you are accepted on an undergraduate programme starting in September 2021 on the basis of an eligible EU qualification only, you will be awarded a tuition fee reduction of £4,500 per year, which will align your fee more closely to the one for UK students. For more information, see the EU Qualifications Welcome Award Scheme.

International student funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

Course Location

Our Regent Campus is composed of three sites, situated on and around one of the most famous and vibrant streets in London. Our Humanities subjects are based at 309 Regent Street which includes recently refurbished social spaces, gym facilities and our Regent Street Cinema. Criminology, Sociology and Politics students are also taught at our Wells Street site. Westminster Law School resides at Little Titchfield Street. Alongside a full mock courtroom, hi-tech learning spaces and a pro-bono clinic, it also houses our state-of-the-art, 382-seat lecture theatre. For more details, visit our locations page.

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