- Dissertation (60 credits)
Write a 15,000 dissertation on a subject of your own selection. Work with a dedicated supervisor who will provide tutorial support throughout the composition of the work. Demonstrate your ability to evaluate current research and scholarship relating to a particular research topic, using an appropriate methodology.
- Approaching Literature (30 credits)
Gain an introduction to the three main areas of study represented by the optional modules: English literature, World literatures, and literary linguistics. Reflect critically on how knowledge in the discipline is produced through an appreciation of critical concepts and methodologies, as well as debates about the composition of the subject. Develop your research skills at postgraduate level, which will support and pave the way for the optional modules and your dissertation.
Optional modules are chosen by the MA English Studies Curriculum Steering Committee on a rotational basis. In 2023/24 the optional modules are:
- Crime Fiction: Theory and Practice (30 credits)
Examine a variety of crime fiction, from the founding works of Poe and Conan Doyle, on to the classic period of the 1920’s (Agatha Christie’s work for example), through the noir or hard-boiled fiction of Chandler and Hammett, concluding with the geographical and formal diversity of contemporary crime writing. Read and learn about the fiction and its transformation in the hands of authors, and as you grasp the forms and concerns of the genre, you’ll write essays, and have the option of writing your own crime fiction, informed by the analysis and discussions we will have in seminars.
- Language and Ideology in Children's Fictions (30 credits)
Build upon your knowledge of language in society. Learn a range of topics covering the ideological interpretations of fictions written for young children through the close linguistic analysis of texts. Get the opportunity to explore a range of issues based around themes such as gender, 'otherness', war, death, and social class as found in contemporary children's fictions as well as traditional fairy tales produced for a range of reading abilities. Study texts including the Alhbergs' Burglar Bill and Anthony Brown's Gorilla, to JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Michael Morpurgo's Private Peaceful.
- The Global City (30 credits)
Study a range of prose responses to the city across the globe from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century. Look at the rise of the white-collar clerk or office worker from the mid-nineteenth- century to the early twentieth, fiction from realism to modernism. Study the city in the late twentieth century and the globalised city of the early twenty-first century by examining some of the most exciting and original postmodern urban fiction.