Explore our English Literature taught Master's degree.
The English Literature MA offers a varied, flexible approach to graduate study within one of the world's leading English departments. Our department offers options ranging from the Gothic and Postcolonial Theory to Petrofiction and the Anthropocene and allows you to explore these topics while working with those at the cutting intellectual edge of literary studies.
Our MA will train you in the study of writing and culture across a range of periods, cultures, and genres. It has an open and flexible study route. You will choose from a number of modules that address a range of issues and topics in the field of literatures written in English as well as literary theory and World Literature.
Modules range from Feminist Literary Theory and Queer Studies to Ecopoetics, the Gothic, World Literatures, and Drama. You will study four modules, two in Term One and two in Term Two; and undertake a dissertation project on an (approved) topic of your choice with a specialised supervisor in Term Three.
General entry requirements
65% (or equivalent) in an undergraduate degree in English Literature or a related degree. Applicants may be required to provide a writing sample to demonstrate suitability for the course.
English language requirements
You can find out more about our English language requirementsLink opens in a new window. This course requires the following:
- Band C
- IELTS overall score of 7.5, minimum component scores of two at 6.5/7.0 and the rest at 7.5 or above.
We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.
For more information, please visit the international entry requirements pageLink opens in a new window.
There are no additional entry requirements for this course.
The Dissertation offers you the opportunity to pursue your own distinct research interests. You can develop any idea you’ve discovered in your modules or write on a completely new topic that has always fascinated you. Our students choose an array of topics within the broadly-conceived boundaries of ‘literary studies’, although we’ll discuss your plans with you to make sure an available member of our teaching staff can support your topic.
Students often use their MA dissertations as springboards to PhD projects and have sometimes gone on to publish parts of their work in scholarly journals.
Choose one Critical Theory module from options including:
Critical Theory Today
Critical and Cultural Theory has never been more vibrant, nor more urgently needed, than today. Work in all areas of the Humanities has long been inextricably intertwined with critical reflection, often drawing from a multiplicity of disciplines, from philosophy and sociology to literary and visual studies. This module examines key developments in the development of critical and cultural theories, charting recent cultural and literary theory in historically and philosophically located ways.
Queer Theory and Praxis
This module aims to familiarise students with current theories of gender and sexuality, with a particular focus on literary and historical methodologies. You will learn about the effect of legal, medical, and moral frameworks on the emergence of forms of sexual identity worldwide and the impact of globalization on local forms of sexuality and sexual practice. You will work with Intersectional approaches to literary and cultural study that involve queer theory.
This module will consider some of the most important debates and trends in feminist literary theory over the last few decades. The module will consider the intersections of academic and popular, intellectual and activist dimensions of feminist literary theory; we also place emphasis on the articulation of feminist literary practice with representations of race, sexuality and class. Questions of reading practices, genre and canon-formation, as well as those of artistic expressions in response to the collaboration and conflict engaged between 'western', 'multicultural' and 'third world' feminisms will be some of the key themes that the module will explore.
Petrofiction: Studies in World Literature
This module studies the world literature of energy and natural resources, a critical category in the conjoined fields of the Energy and Environmental Humanities. We explore a range of works about that most combustible of planetary resources: oil. Our lives are saturated in oil – the most significant resource of the post-war capitalist world system. It is everywhere, especially in those places where it often appears abstract, scarce, or unseen.
Oil and its myriad refined products determine how and where we live, move, work and play; what we eat, wear, consume. It is heavily invested in the shaping of our political and physical landscapes. To think about oil is not solely to think about automobiles or derricks or spectacular spills or barrel prices. The computer or the phone (or even the paper!) on which you are reading this blurb could not be made – or brought to you – without this mineral. Oil’s universality makes it as controversial as it is ubiquitous in its apparent vitality and necessity as much as its toxicity. Energy, then, is as social a phenomenon as it is technological or a matter for engineering. Modern culture is a Hydrocarbon culture and recent scholarship has begun to engage with it as such, finding that oil, fossil fuels and other energy forms are deeply embedded in modern literature, art and culture.
World Literature in the Anthropocene
This module investigates the implications of the concept of the Anthropocene for literary-cultural studies on a world scale. Participants will read initially in the history of debates surrounding this term – denoting the advent of a geological era in which human action acquires decisive planetary force – as a way of revisiting conventional interpretive frameworks and categories, including questions of periodisation, comparative methodology and the ‘worlding’ of literary study. We will then take up a series of optics prompted by the Anthropocene and its counter-concepts (Capitalocene, Plantationocene, Growthocene et al.) to further explore the challenges of reading ecological crisis and culture in an era when it is no longer feasible to disarticulate human from so-called natural history. Texts range from literary works to field-specific criticism to theoretical writings, with an emphasis on the latter.
The MA in English Literature comprises a Research Methods module, a core module from a list of critical theory options, three further optional modules, and a Dissertation of 16,000 words. You can take one of your three optional modules from outside of the department, including from the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.
Seminars consist of 5 to 12 students.
All essays are marked by two members of staff. The standard length for essays for modules on this course is 6,000 words; the Dissertation is 16,000 words. Marks are given out of 100.
For more information, please visit the English Literature web pageLink opens in a new window on the English website.
Your personalised timetable will be complete when you are registered for all modules, compulsory and optional, and you have been allocated to your lectures, seminars and other small group classes. Your compulsory modules will be registered for you, and you will be able to choose your optional modules when you join us.
Graduates from these courses have gone on to work for a range of employers, including: Deloitte; International Institute for Environment and Development; TeachFirst; The Times; V&A Museum; Yale University Press. They have pursued roles such as: arts officers, producers and directors; higher education teaching professionals; journalists, newspaper and periodical editors; management consultants and business analysts and marketing associate professionals.
Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant offering impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:
- Understanding Assessment Centres
- Careers following your English and Comparative Literary Studies Degree
- Discovering Careers in the Creative Industries
- Careers in Publishing and Journalism
- Careers in the Public Sector
- Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
English and Comparative Literary Studies at Warwick
Founded in 1965, English and Comparative Literary Studies is one of the few comparative departments in the UK. We are in the top 5 English departments in the UK (Guardian University Guide, 2023); and one of the top 30 English departments in the world (QS World Subject Rankings, 2022). We are also ranked in the top 10 UK universities for research environment (2021 Research Excellence Framework); and 91% of our research is rated 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent' (Times Higher Education).
Our research is interdisciplinary, comparative, and dynamic; we also ensure that all our students study literature as a historical, global, aesthetic, and theoretical subject. Our strengths as a department include American studies, eighteenth and nineteenth-century studies, environmentalism and ecocriticism, theatre and performance, gender studies, the literary and cultural history of the medieval and early modern period, poetry and poetics, theology and literature, and World Literature. Our major research centres include Poetry at Warwick, and the Warwick Research Collective (WReC). We were also involved in establishing the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance in 1993, which brings together staff from five departments engaged in the study of Renaissance Europe, and which enjoys formal academic links with several institutions including the Warburg Institute, the Sorbonne, and with the University of Venice. We have close links with the Centre for Research into Philosophy, Literature, and the Arts, the Early Modern and Eighteenth-Century Centre, and the Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies. We are actively involved in the EUTOPIA consortium and the Monash Warwick Alliance.
Our Postgraduate courses
Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.
Fee Status Guidance
The University carries out an initial fee status assessment based on information provided in the application and according to the guidance published by UKCISA. Students are classified as either Home or Overseas Fee status and this can determine the tuition fee and eligibility of certain scholarships and financial support.
If you receive an offer, your fee status will be stated with the tuition fee information. If you believe your fee status has been incorrectly classified you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire (follow the instructions in your offer) and provide the required documentation for this to be reassessed.
The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides guidance to UK universities on fees status criteria, you can find the latest guidance on the impact of Brexit on fees and student support on the UKCISA website.
Additional course costs
Please contact your academic department for information about department specific costs, which should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below, such as:
- Core text books
- Printer credits
- Dissertation binding
- Robe hire for your degree ceremony
Scholarships and bursaries
Find out how to apply to us, ask your questions, and find out more.
How to apply
The application process for courses that start in September and October 2024 will open on 2 October 2023.
Applications will close on 2 August 2024 for students who require a visa to study in the UK, to allow time to receive a CAS and complete the visa application process.
Throughout the year we attend exhibitions and fairs online and in-person around the UK. These events give you the chance to explore our range of postgraduate courses, and find out what it’s like studying at Warwick. You’ll also be able to speak directly with our student recruitment team, who will be able to help answer your questions.
Join a live chat with our staff and students, who are here to answer your questions and help you learn more about postgraduate life at Warwick. You can join our general drop-in sessions or talk to your prospective department and student services.
A Warwick talk and tour lasts around two hours and consists of an overview presentation from one of our Recruitment Officers covering the key features, facilities and activities that make Warwick a leading institution. The talk is followed by a campus tour which is the perfect way to view campus, with a current student guiding you around the key areas on campus.