Skip to content


What makes the MA English programme at Worcester special?

As an English MA student, you will explore an exciting range of themes that build on your existing literary knowledge. These themes span a broad range, from eco-criticism to the literary representation of the body. We also offer the chance to gain hands-on experience with the recovery and digital editing of historical texts.  

You will undertake a special study of evolving literary forms and genres, analysing the way in which forms emerge and genres change in response to social and cultural pressures. Students will be encouraged to develop new specialist interests and research skills in the context of the interdisciplinary Modern Humanities which will culminate in an independent dissertation. Your dissertation will allow you to specialise in a subject of your own choosing, and work with individual guidance from an academic expert to produce a piece of ambitious literary research. 



Key features

  • Specialise in your chosen subject within the interdisciplinary environment of the modern Humanities 
  • Study the complexity and evolution of literary genres 
  • Study exciting contemporary themes such as the relationship between literature and medical science 
  • Develop your research skills to postgraduate standard, equipping you for professional research or application for doctoral study 
  • Gain relevant work experience while you study 
  • Join the thriving research culture of the School of Humanities and gain experience presenting your work at a postgraduate conference 
A lecturer is speaking to a student

Postgraduate Open Day

Book a place at our Postgraduate Open Day, on Saturday 22 April 2023 between 10am - 2pm, to learn more about this course, get a feel for our campuses, and meet your lecturers. 

Book here
Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

BA, First or Second Class Honours in a relevant subject

Applicants will be invited to an informal interview

Course content

What will you study

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. All students, whether full-time or part-time, follow a standard diet of six mandatory modules. The modules are kept up to date in terms of current debates in the subject, and continue to evolve in relation to the research expertise of the teaching team. Modules have been designed with flexibility and variety in mind; students exercise considerable choice in what they study and write about, within the overall theme of each module


  • Research Approaches in the Humanities and Arts
  • Professional Development
  • Digital Editing Project
  • The New Humanities
  • Evolving Genres
  • Dissertation
Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

You will be taught through a combination of seminars, workshops, individual tuition, and online interaction.

All students take an introductory module on advanced concepts and relevant theories in the Humanities, which also provides a grounding in postgraduate research methods and skills. All students also undertake a grounding in Digital Humanities methodologies, researching from databases and recovering and editing historical documents or literary texts. You will study a module on the interdisciplinary ‘New Humanities’, including environmental, medical, and scientific themes, which are relevant to both historical and literary / cultural scholarship. You will also take a special module dedicated to your main disciplinary focus: students registered to the MA English will take 'Evolving Genres’, and MA History students will take ‘History and the Media'.

All students take a module on Professional Development, in which they apply their academic skills in a practical work project, either on a university-based project, or with a relevant external organisation, such as a media company, local cultural amenity, charity, or voluntary sector body. Opportunities for work-based learning will be tailored to students’ longer-term plans and ambitions, for example, some students may choose to work on a creative industries networking event, while others may prefer to devise and run an academic conference.

The culmination of your Masters study is your specialist Dissertation. The taught modules will all help you to prepare for this by building your higher-level research skills and giving you opportunities to put them into practice. You will develop and expand your initial research plan in a workshop setting, in the light of peer and tutor feedback, and work towards the completion of your full Dissertation with the support of an individual advisor, who will be a research-active specialist in your subject. Staff in the School of Humanities are recognised experts in a wide range of fields. You make all the key decisions relating to your Dissertation, including the subject matter, the intellectual approach, the argument and structure; you own the project from start to finish. You have a totally free choice of theme: the only limitation is that we must be able to provide an expert advisor to support you.

Contact time

At Masters level, there is a strong emphasis on guided independent study and on student-initiated research; consequently, contact time is lower than for undergraduate studies. In a typical week, as a full-time student you will have an average of four to six hours of scheduled teaching, plus up to an hour of individual or small group tuition.

Students who choose to take the course on a part-time basis will study over two academic years, with roughly half the amount of regular weekly contact.

Seminar-based modules will have three hours contact per week and will normally run for 12 weeks, plus further time spent preparing summative assessments.

Supervision and workshop-based modules (e.g. Professional Development and Dissertation) will typically begin with a short series of three-hour classes and then move to individual or small group supervision for the duration of the module. One module, the Digital Editing Project, is completed over two intensive study periods.

Independent self study

In addition to your scheduled teaching, you will be expected to undertake around 30 to 35 hours of guided independent study. This will include preparatory reading of documents and academic sources, online activities, working on individual or group projects, and preparation of assessed work.

Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including The Hive university and public library, module Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs), and digital learning resources.


  • Full-time: around 13 months. From early September, to late September of the following year
  • Part-time: around 23 months


Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that whilst we try to be as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week; and some classes can be scheduled in the evenings.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments. 

Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments, which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.  Assessment methods include a range of coursework assessments, such as: essays, portfolios, presentations, and a major Dissertation project.

There are no formal timed examinations.

A typical assessment pattern for the course would be as follows.

Professional Development:

  • Report
  • Portfolio

Digital Editing Project:

  • Position paper
  • Digital project

Research Approaches in the Humanities and Arts:

  • Presentation
  • Essay

The New Humanities:

  • Portfolio
  • Conference paper

Evolving Genres:

  • Portfolio of online discussion
  • Critical project

English Dissertation:

  • Research proposal
  • Dissertation

You will receive detailed feedback on both formative and summative assessments. Feedback is intended to support learning, and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We will provide you with feedback on formal coursework assessments 20 working days after submission.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team who are fully research-active and contribute peer-reviewed research to the Research Excellence Framework in subjects such as History and English Language & Literature. Many of the School’s academic staff have international reputations in their specialist fields.

Over 90% of academic staff in the School of Humanities have a teaching qualification or full Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

Programme Specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

Meet the team

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.

Professor Michael Bradshaw

Professor Michael Bradshaw

Michael is the Head of School of Humanities, having previously worked at Edge Hill University, Manchester Metropolitan University, Bristol University and the University of Tokyo.

Michael is a specialist in Romanticism, especially poetry and drama of later Romantics. His published critical work includes authors such as: Thomas Lovell Beddoes, John Clare, George Darley, Thomas Hood, John Keats, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Walter Savage Landor, Mary Shelley, and Percy Shelley. 

He has also published on Romantic drama, ‘Romantic generations’, Romantic fragment poems, and the periodical press in the 1820s, as well as the contemporary author Alan Moore.


Professor John Parham

John is Professor of Environmental Humanities and course leader for the Arts and Humanities MRes programme. He teaches modules in green media, the new humanities and research methods. John also leads the university’s Green Voices Research Group who have held events, in Worcester, with the nature writers Caspar Henderson and Richard Kerridge, and the photographer David Plummer.

For 20 years, John was co-editor of the journal Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism (published by Taylor & Francis).


Dr Sharon Young

Dr Sharon Young is a  Fellow of the HEA and her teaching interests include, Renaissance, Restoration and eighteenth-century literature, women's poetry, and literary theory.

Sharon's research focuses mainly on women's poetry of the early modern period, Renaissance revenge tragedy and women's manuscript culture. Sharon has published on female poets and the critical debates of the early eighteenth century and Mary Leapor. She is the course leader for English Literature.

Professor Nicoleta Cinpoes, Head of English, Media & Culture

Professor Nicoleta Cinpoes

Nicoleta Cinpoes joined the University of Worcester in 2007. She teaches Renaissance Literature, is International Exchanges Liaison for the School of Humanities and co-director of Worcester's Early Modern Research Group.

She has edited Doing Kyd: A Collection of Critical Essays on the Spanish Tragedy for Manchester University Press (2016) and is currently collaborating on a new Romanian translation of Shakespeare's complete works, writing introductions to Hamlet (2010), Titus Andronicus, Measure for Measure, The Merchant of Venice and The Comedy of Errors.

Dr David Arnold, Senior Lecturer in English Literature

Dr David Arnold

David Arnold trained as a Classicist before moving on to doctoral work on twentieth-century American poetry. His research and teaching interests lie in poetry, American literature, ecocriticism and narrative criticism. He has published articles on the literary improvisations of William Carlos Williams and a book on American poetry: Poetry and Language Writing: Objective and Surreal (Liverpool University Press, 2007). His recent work focuses on ecophenomenological readings of modernist writing, and Buddhist American Poetry.

David teaches at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and has responsibility for modules in Literary Theory and American Writing. David is a member of both the British Association of American Studies and the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment. He is also a member of the Green Voices Research Group.

Dr Lucy Arnold

Dr Lucy Arnold is a specialist in Contemporary literature, with particular research interests in contemporary gothic, narratives of haunting, contemporary women’s writing and psychoanalytic criticism. Her teaching experience spans a wide range of periods and genres but focusses on twentieth and twenty-first century literature. Her published work to date has concerned the writing of Booker Prize winning novelist Hilary Mantel, with her monograph, Reading Hilary Mantel: Haunted Decades, published with Bloomsbury in 2019.

Dr Whitney Standlee, Senior Lecturer in English Literature

Dr Whitney Standlee

Dr Whitney Standlee is a specialist in literature of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with particular research interests in Irish women’s writing and migrant literature. Her publications include two recent books on the subject of Irish women’s writing.

Whitney teaches on a range of core and elective modules at all levels, all of which deal at least in part with nineteenth- and early twentieth century literature.

Dr Jack McGowan

Dr Jack McGowan

Jack’s research focuses on contemporary poetry and poetics, and he specializes in the development of performance poetry in the UK since the mid-20th century, and the oral roots of poetry.

Jack is a performance poet with 10 years of experience on the UK spoken word scene and he writes for both performance and page publication.

Katy Wareham Morris smiling at camera

Katy Wareham Morris

Katy leads the BA Hons in Media & Culture, a dynamic course which responds to innovations in media forms and applications as well as contemporary cultural issues. Katy is particularly interested in how digital technologies have changed media industries and the way audiences respond to them; and, media futures including immersive media. Katy interrogates media representations created by and representing identities and cultures which have been historically marginalised and challenge the white, middle class, patriarchal tradition. Katy is a proud working class, disabled, female academic and, a published poet.

Neil Laurenson

Neil Laurenson

Doing the English MA at the University of Worcester is one of the best things I have ever done. I started it twenty years after my BA, so I was a little anxious to begin with, but the lecturers and my fellow students have been so supportive.

I loved exploring the origins and overlaps of different genres, and I also particularly appreciated the interdisciplinary nature of the course. Learning about, for example, the environmental humanities has really opened my eyes to how literature and culture link with politics and history.

The MA has given me the freedom to deep dive into my own interests such as land inequality in England and how this is represented in literature. Creating a website to share my research into an eighteenth-century text was a challenge, but the module leader supported me throughout.


Where could it take you?

As a graduate of Masters programmes in English you can work in a wide variety of careers, including:

  • Media, including editing, production, copywriting, etc.
  • Journalism, including print, broadcast, and digital media
  • Teaching, at compulsory and post-compulsory levels
  • Arts administration
  • Charitable and voluntary sectors
  • Civil Service
  • Human Resources
  • Retail management
  • Doctoral research and academic careers

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time home and EU students enrolling on MA/MSc/MBA/LLM/MRes courses in the academic year 2023/24 is £8,180 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on MA/MSc/MBA/LLM/MRes courses in the academic year 2023/24 is £15,800 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time home and EU students enrolling on MA/MSc/MBA/LLM/MRes/PGCert/PGDip courses in the academic year 2023/24 are £682 per 15-credit module, £1,363 per 30-credit module, £2,045 per 45-credit module, and £2,727 per 60 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fees for part-time international students enrolling on MA/MSc/MBA/LLM/MRes courses in the academic year 2023/24 are £1,317 per 15-credit module, £2,633 per 30-credit module, £3,950 per 45-credit module, and £5,267 per 60 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.

Students are encouraged to purchase their own copies of key texts for major assessed projects. But the great majority of texts are provided free of charge from the holdings in the university Library and other Learning Resources.

Students receive a standard allocation of credit, in order to download and print digital resources from the Library or from module VLEs.

When trips and educational visits are arranged to enhance your learning experience, these will be provided free of charge.

Postgraduate loans

The Government will provide a loan of up to £11,836 if your course starts on or after 1 August 2022 per eligible student for postgraduate Masters study. It will be at your own discretion whether the loan is used towards fees, maintenance or other costs.

For more details visit our postgraduate loans page.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £122 per week to 'En-suite Premium' at £207 per week (2023/24 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Apply for enrolment

Please make your application via our online application form. If you have any questions, please contact the Admissions office on 01905 855111 or

International applicants

If you are an international student, please visit our international applicant pages.

If you have any questions about the application process please contact our international team via  or +44 (0)1905 542640. 

If you are interested in applying for this course please begin by making an informal enquiry with the Course Leader.

Apply for this course - full time Apply for this course - part time

Get in touch

Professor Michael Bradshaw

Course leader

Postgraduate Admissions Office