To successfully undertake this postgraduate study, you will ideally need to have an undergraduate honours degree in English or a closely related subject. Although your degree need not be in English, you must show some knowledge of the subject, together with the study skills expected of a graduate in this field. You should be aware that a degree of at least 2.1 or equivalent will greatly increase your chances of successfully completing the MA. It is expected that your spoken and written English will also be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum score of 7 under the International English Language testing system (IELTS). Please see their website for details.
The MA English assumes that a candidate for a master’s degree already has the knowledge and skills usually acquired by pursuing the subject at undergraduate level. The qualification will not offer remedial undergraduate training for those who have an inappropriate undergraduate degree or inadequate experience. Any student beginning the qualification without an undergraduate degree or equivalent experience in English should do so at their own risk. If you would like further advice regarding this, please speak to an adviser.
Before you enter the degree you must be able to:
- write clear, concise, accurate prose
- read large quantities of text quickly, accurately and critically
- classify evidence precisely and assess its value and reliability
- argue logically, consistently and sceptically
- marshal various sorts of evidence to support a logical argument.
To get an idea of whether the level of work involved and the approach taken on this MA is appropriate for you, you are advised to read some sections of material from the set books list for MA English part 1 (A815). In particular, we would suggest that you read the introduction to The Handbook to Literary Research. Chapter 2 of The Handbook also provides you with an indication of the skills you will need to be ready to develop in order to complete the MA. Other chapters of The Handbook give you an idea of some of the approaches to literary research with which you will have opportunities to engage on the MA. If you would like help to assess your preparedness you can contact us for advice.
How long it takes
Modules on this MA are studied during a fixed period each year. The minimum overall time in which it is possible to complete the qualification is two years, studying the modules consecutively. If you do not study the modules consecutively, you must have completed them by a maximum of 10 years to qualify for the degree.