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What makes the MA English programme at Worcester special?

Our English Masters degree will enable you to develop new specialist interests and research skills in the context of the interdisciplinary modern Humanities. You will explore a range of new themes that build on your existing literary knowledge, such as eco-criticism and the literary representation of the body.

You will gain hands-on experience with the recovery and digital editing of historical texts. And you will undertake a special study of literary forms and genres, analysing the way in which new literary forms emerge and genres evolve in response to social and cultural pressures, and researching particular instances of generic change and hybridity.

The degree culminates in an independent Dissertation, in which you specialise in a theme of your own choosing, and work with individual guidance from an academic expert to produce a piece of ambitious literary research.

Overview

Overview

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
  • Learn from internationally recognised experts on literature and culture
  • 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
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. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

Modules

  • Research Approaches in the Humanities and Arts (30 credits)
  • Professional Development (15 credits)
  • Digital Editing Project (15 credits)
  • The New Humanities (30 credits)
  • Evolving Genres (30 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)
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.

Duration

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

Timetables

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.

Assessment

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.

prof.-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.

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.

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Dr Nicoleta Cinpoes

Nicoleta Cinpoes joined the University of Worcester in 2007. She teaches Renaissance Literature, is Course Leader for English Literary Studies and co-director of Worcesters Early Modern Research Group.

Nicoleta is the author of Shakespeares Hamlet in Romania 1778-2008: A Study in Translation, Performance and Cultural Appropriation (Mellen, 2010) and of the open-access website: The Jacobethans. Her work has appeared in Theatrical Blends, Shakespeare Bulletin, Studia Dramatica and Shakespeare in Europe: History and Memory. In the theatre, she has worked in several capacities from that of dramaturge to assistant director and translator. Currently, she is editing Doing Kyd: A Collection of Critical Essays on The Spanish Tragedy (forthcoming, MUP) and 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.

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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. He also supervises doctoral research and is currently Director of Studies for a PhD on the poetry of Edward Thomas and Robert Frost. 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, Hilary Mantel: Haunted Decades forthcoming with Bloomsbury in 2019.

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Dr Tricia Connell

Tricia Connell's academic background is in English literature and language, and education. Her doctoral research was on the poetry of Carol Ann Duffy. Her current research interests are in twentieth-century and contemporary poetry, gender and feminism and in intersections between critical and creative writing.

Tricia teaches a variety of modules that address: creativity in women's writing, poetry in and as performance, women poets uses of the lyric and dramatic monologue, postcolonial literature and identity and narrative geographies and historical fictions in the contemporary novel.

whitney-standlee

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.

Careers

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
Costs

How much will it cost?

Fees

The current fees can be found within the tuition fees document on our figure out finances 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 £10,609 per student for postgraduate Masters study. It will be at your own discretion whether the loan is used towards fees, maintenance or other costs.

For full details visit our postgraduate loans page.

Accommodation

Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £102 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £165 per week (2019/20 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 pg-admissions@worc.ac.uk

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 international@worc.ac.uk  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