MA English literature part 2

This module requires you to produce a dissertation on a subject in Literary Studies of your own choice. The opening block guides you in drafting a detailed research proposal, and also introduces strategies for communicating your research to non-university audiences. The remainder of the module is dedicated to writing the dissertation. Working in close dialogue with your own personal tutor, you'll proceed from the initial proposal to submit drafts of the first two chapters before submitting the final dissertation.

Vocational relevance

You will have the option to learn and develop vocational writing skills, specifically how to write for different kinds of non-academic audiences.  


A894 is a compulsory module in our:


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.
OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

What you will study

This module requires you to research and write a dissertation on a subject in English Literature of your own choice. The module opens with a taught block focused on the writing of a detailed research proposal. Beginning with guidance in choosing a dissertation subject, you then follow these essential steps for assembling a research proposal:

  • identify the primary texts for your study
  • generate the research questions driving your inquiry
  • undertake literature searches for relevant secondary material
  • formulate a preliminary chapter structure.

The second element in the opening block is an opportunity to discover ways in which you can communicate your research to audiences beyond those in academia – such as in public lectures or podcasts; in book reviews for broad readerships; or in catalogue entries for museums and galleries.

The remaining three blocks are dedicated to independent study. Working closely with your personal tutor, you'll produce first-draft versions of two chapters of your dissertation in blocks 2 and 3.

Drawing together all your research and your tutor’s feedback, in the fourth block you'll write up the final draft of your dissertation.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You'll have a personal tutor, who provides advice and guidance, and marks and comments on your written work. In the first block, tutors facilitate discussions between you and your fellow students in the online tutor-group and module-wide tutorials. Attendance at the online tutorials is encouraged, but not obligatory, and recordings of the tutorials are made available. In the three independent learning blocks, one-to-one phone-calls between you and your tutor are scheduled at the key moments in the module: at the outset, to discuss/confirm your dissertation topic, and after the submission of each of the two draft chapters, to provide detailed feedback and guidance.  


The assessment details can be found in the facts box.

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.

Course work includes

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Future availability

MA English literature part 2 starts once a year – in September. This page describes the module that will start in September 2023. We expect it to start for the last time in September 2030. 


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Entry requirements

    The expectation is that you will have completed either MA in English literature part 1 (A893) or the discontinued module A815 before you take this module. In exceptional circumstances, you can apply to study A894 if you have completed the course-work component of an MA in English Literature or a closely related discipline.

    If you’re in any doubt about the suitability of your qualifications or previous experience, please contact us before you enrol.

    Preparatory work

    We strongly recommend that you read the study material in advance of starting the module.


    Start End England fee Register
    02 Sep 2023 Jun 2024 £3540.00

    Registration closes 10/08/23 (places subject to availability)

    This module is expected to start for the last time in September 2030.

    Future availability

    MA English literature part 2 starts once a year – in September. This page describes the module that will start in September 2023. We expect it to start for the last time in September 2030. 

    Additional costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access.

    Ways to pay for this module

    We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.

    That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options, including a postgraduate loan, if you study this module as part of an eligible qualification. To find out more, see Fees and funding.

    Study materials

    What's included

    You'll have access to a module website, which includes:

    • a week-by-week study planner with integrated option pathways
    • module materials: each week has a reading guide, online activities, and further study suggestions
    • visual and audio resources
    • an assessment guide
    • access to online forums and linked digital resources
    • access to the OU library and its research resources

    Computing requirements

    You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11), or macOS (11 'Big Sur' or higher).

    Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

    To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

    Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

    Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

    It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.

    If you have a disability

    Written transcripts of any audio components are available on the module website. 

    If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer.

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