Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

Modern and Contemporary Literature

This Master's degree in modern and contemporary literature begins with an investigation of literary and theoretical conceptions of modernity in early twentieth-century literature, focusing on topics such as urbanisation, technology, mass culture, individualism and subjectivity. You will also have the chance to analyse the historical transformations of literature and cultural thought from 1945, using the contexts of post-war reconstruction, decolonisation, the fate of avant-garde art, and theories of postmodernity and globalisation. The emergence of international literary paradigms during the twentieth century is reflected in the choice of texts from British, American and post-colonial contexts.

Course modules

You take 2 core modules and choose 2 option modules, which vary from year to year. You also complete a dissertation on any aspect of twentieth-century and contemporary literature, written from Easter to September in your final year. To find out more, read our programme handbook. Core modules: Becoming Modern; Post-War to Contemporary. Option modules: A Confusion of Tongues: Illness, Language, Writing; Aesthetics and Cultural Theory; African and Asian Filmic Narrative; Contemporary British Poetry; Contemporary US Fiction; Memory Trauma and Cultural Identity; Narrating Nation after 9/11; Postcolonialism: In Theory; The Book Unbound; Twenty-First Century Feminist Fiction and the World in Crisis; Voiceworks: Collaborative Song Project. MA Modern and Contemporary Literature dissertation: Dissertation MA Modern and Contemporary Literature.

Assessment methods

Assessment is based on 2 core courses, 1 essay each; 2 option modules, 1 essay each; dissertation of 15000 words.

Sponsorship information

The government's new postgraduate loan scheme allows you to borrow up to £10,000 to cover the cost of your tuition fees, living costs or other study expenses - and you don't have to start repaying until 2019. The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students. Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time October 2018 GBP 14,450 per Year 1 (International) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2018 GBP 7,950 per Year 1 (Home/EU) 1 Years
MA Part-time October 2018 GBP 7,225 per Year 1 (International) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2018 GBP 3,975 per Year 1 (Home/EU) 2 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Bloomsbury Campus WC1E 7HX London

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Key information

Department of English and Humanities
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