Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

Contemporary Literature and Culture

Birkbeck's MA Contemporary Literature and Culture offers you the opportunity to specialise in twenty-first-century literature and culture, as well as exposing you to the most important literary and theoretical developments of the last few decades. This MA considers the legacy of postmodernism, the effects of new technologies on narrative form, and the aesthetic, spatial and political coordinates of writing produced in an increasingly networked and globalised world. Through a range of literary and interdisciplinary options, you have the opportunity to pursue your own interests, whether they lie in contemporary poetics; in fiction from Britain, the US, Europe or postcolonial nations; in the changing forms of the book in a digital age; or in historical approaches to issues like nation, race, gender and sexuality. The MA's programme of study opens up the aesthetic, historical and political dimensions of contemporary literature and culture.

Entry requirements

A good 2nd-Class Honours undergraduate degree in literature, cultural studies, history or another relevant subject. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.

Course modules

You take 2 core modules and 2 option modules (which vary from year to year).

You write a dissertation on any aspect of contemporary literature and culture from Easter to September in your final year.

The Summer Research Programme is a programme of events run for a closely connected cluster of MAs in the School of Arts, on a weekly basis throughout the 11-week summer term. The programme includes a series of dissertation workshops that supplement one-to-one supervision, but it also reflects the dynamic and wide-ranging nature of contemporary studies in the School. It includes guest speakers, debates and film screenings, takes in Birkbeck's annual Arts Week and is concluded by a student-led conference that showcases the work of MA students across the School.

To find out more, read our programme handbook.
Core modules:

Post-War to Contemporary;
Reading the Contemporary .

Literature and culture option modules:

A Confusion of Tongues: Illness, Language, Writing;
Contemporary British Poetry;
Contemporary US Fiction;
Memory Trauma and Cultural Identity;
Narrating Nation after 9/11;
Reading Time in the Twentieth Century;
The Book Unbound;
Twenty-First Century Feminist Fiction and the World in Crisis;
Voiceworks: Collaborative Song Project .

Theory option modules:

Aesthetics and Cultural Theory;
Postcolonialism: In Theory;
Theory of Clouds .

Film and television option modules:

Film Festivals;
Global Television .

Art and photography option modules:

Exhibiting the Body .

Assessment methods

All assessment will be via coursework essays rather than examinations. For the core courses and most of the option modules, assessment will consist of one 5000-word essay for each module; the dissertation will be 15,000 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.

Qualifications

Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 5,375 per Year 1 (Wales) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 5,375 per Year 1 (EU) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 5,375 per Year 1 (England) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 11,500 per Year 1 (International) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 5,375 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 5,375 per Year 1 (Scotland) 1 years
MA Part-time October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (EU) 2 years
MA Part-time October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (England) 2 years
MA Part-time October 2016 GBP 5,750 per Year 1 (International) 2 years
MA Part-time October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 2 years
MA Part-time October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (Scotland) 2 years
MA Part-time October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (Wales) 2 years
MA Full-time September 2017 - 1 years
MA Part-time September 2017 - 2 years

Campus details

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

Get in touch

Remember to mention TARGETpostgrad when contacting universities.

Key information

Contact: 
Department of English and Humanities
Telephone number: 
020 3073 8376