Course Overview

Attendance
UK/EU Fees £5,500 *
International Fees £12,500 *
Alumni Discount See details
Duration 1 year

* Price per academic year

Course summary

This course gives you the chance to study English literature in a modern university environment, while taking advantage of the wealth of resources offered by London's rich cultural life. You will examine literary texts in the wider context of cultural production and relate them to the social, historical and political circumstances from which they emerge.

The course team consists of academic specialists who make use of the many nearby museums, galleries and libraries in their teaching. The course will be of particular interest to those wishing to prepare for further study at MPhil or PhD level, and those teaching English who want to gain a further qualification and investigate recent and current developments in the field.

The English Literature: Modern and Contemporary Fictions MA at the University of Westminster is designed to offer a coherent programme of postgraduate study that allows for both chronological range and specific topical focus. It gives you the opportunity to revisit and reinvestigate the texts, critical practices, institutions and periods that make up the discipline in order to see it in new and exciting ways.

It consists of three core modules. 'Themes and Problems in Modern and Contemporary Fictions' introduces students to current major themes in contemporary literature. In particular, students examine the ways in which contemporary texts engage with and mediate ongoing crises and conflicts post-2001. 'Materialities, Institutions, Contexts' enables students to identify key aspects of the material and institutional contexts in which literary studies emerged and developed. Students on the core modules develop advanced skills of argument, synthesis, research and presentation.

The Dissertation, which can be written on an appropriate topic of your choice, is also a core module. The option modules provide an opportunity for you to deepen and extend your knowledge of a range of periods, issues and forms across the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

Course structure

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

You will choose four modules from the option modules listed below.

Core modules

This extended piece of research work is an opportunity for you to pursue a topic of individual interest, and is conducted through individual study and directed supervision.

The module is designed to support and develop your independent research skills.

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.

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.

Option modules

Focusing on the 1990s to the present day, this module examines the idea of the “queer”. Examining a range of theoretical, literary and cultural perspectives on the topic, the module will investigate what queer means and how it has shaped our ideas about sexuality, identity, intimacy, desire and representation. Each week students will engage with some theoretical writing to complement and extend our engagement with the primary material.

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.

This interdisciplinary module explores the emergence of American trauma culture from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Drawing upon key literary, cultural, and critical texts, the course interrogates the ways in which evolving conceptions of trauma are inherently related to the changing conditions of historical modernity, informed by processes of industrialisation, technologisation, militarisation, and securitisation.

Seminars will highlight the paradoxes and inconsistencies inherent to various trauma paradigms, examining the ambiguous relations they construct between individuals and collectives, internal and external borders, mind and body, past and present, private and public life.

Using a range of theoretical, historical, literary, cinematic, visual and other cultural texts, you will explore the idea of urban culture as it has developed since the mid-19th century. The module considers a variety of different representations of the city, and the ways in which they understand the specificity of urban experience itself. You will also explore the changing global forms and interrelations of ‘western’ and ‘non-western’ urban forms. 

This module offers students a chance to spend time in a working environment and to think critically about the issues raised by their time there. In the past students have gained work placement places in schools, galleries, publishing companies and translation agencies, among others.

Entry Requirements

Typical offer

You should have a good Honours degree (usually 2:1 or above, or equivalent) in a relevant subject area.

If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS score of at least 6.5 with 7.0 in writing (or equivalent).

Applicants may also be asked to provide an example of previous written work as part of the application. The University offers pre-sessional summer programmes if you need to improve your English before starting your course.

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

Typical offer

You should have a good Honours degree (usually 2:1 or above, or equivalent) in a relevant subject area.

If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS score of at least 6.5 with 7.0 in writing (or equivalent).

Applicants may also be asked to provide an example of previous written work as part of the application. The University offers pre-sessional summer programmes if you need to improve your English before starting your course.

More information

Careers

An MA in English Literature provides students with skills in researching, writing, critical thinking, articulating, synthesizing and conveying ideas, which enable students to pursue a wide range of careers.

Many students who undertake a Masters in English wish to pursue PhD study or careers in the education sector, media, journalism, publishing, and library and information work.

A Masters in English shows the ability to communicate effectively and to a high standard. The ability to articulate and transmit ideas clearly prepares students to enter careers in advertising, marketing and PR.

Our Career Development Centre has just been shortlisted for the Best University Careers Service in the National Undergraduate Employability Awards for 2017.

With a growing network of over 3,000 employers around the world and a team of experienced careers consultants, we are here to help you succeed.

In 2015–16, we helped over 1,500 students find work placements across a range of sectors, with 250 employers attending 14 on-campus skills and careers fairs.

As a Westminster student, you’ll have access to our services throughout your studies and after you graduate.

We can help you:

  • find work placements related to your course
  • find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
  • find international opportunities to enhance your employability
  • market yourself effectively to employers
  • write better CVs and application forms
  • develop your interview and enterprise skills
  • plan your career with our careers consultants
  • meet employers and explore your career options at our employer fairs, careers presentations and networking events throughout the year

Find out more about the Career Development Centre.

Find out more

15% discount for teachers

If you are currently teaching in a UK secondary school or further education college, you may be entitled to a 15% discount on this MA course.

Find out more

English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies webinar

Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies

Fees and Funding

UK and EU tuition fee: £5,500 (Price per academic 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.

Funding

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.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate 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: £12,500 (Price per academic 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.

Funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate 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.

Course Location

Our Regent Campus is composed of three sites all situated on and around one of the most famous and vibrant streets in London. The Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities is based at 309 Regent Street and includes recently refurbished social spaces and gym facilities. Students in the faculty 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.

Contact us

Call our dedicated team on:

+44 (0)20 7915 5511

Opening hours (GMT): 9am-5pm Monday to Friday

[email protected]

More information

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