University of Birmingham

University of Birmingham

Literature and Culture

The programme draws on the extensive international research expertise of the English Department; it develops critical skills in the field of English literary studies, provides a solid grounding in the key intellectual debates on a range of period and context specialisms, and develops skills required for writing a research thesis.

Entry requirements

Students should already have completed an honours degree in English Literature or in a cognate subject with a heavy literary element, with at least a high upper 2nd class (65 or above) result, or a 3.5/4.0 GPA; candidates with joint honours in English literature and another cognate subject, or single honours in a cognate subject that includes substantial work in English Literature, are also encouraged to apply. All successful candidates must have a very high competence in written English, and are assumed to have extensive undergraduate exposure to literary studies in English across a broad historical range. All prospective students must also submit a sample of written work as part of the online application process. This should be a piece of academic writing from their 1st degree, on English (or Anglophone) literature, that demonstrates their ability as a critic and scholar of literature. (Please note that journalism and creative writing, including poems, stories, or memoirs, are not acceptable.) Students must submit a personal statement. This should be an account of their current, developed literary interests arising from their undergraduate or other literary studies and should indicate their plans to extend these as a postgraduate student of English literature.

Course modules

Applicants must study 1 of following: Research skills A (semester 1) and B (semester 2) (for most English Literature MA students). Or: Resources and methods for medieval literary studies (semester 1) (for English literature MA students intending to specialise in medieval topics). Candidates also choose a total of 4 optional modules (two in each semester) from a range which includes: Contemporary literary cultures: politics; contemporary literary cultures: performance; film, theory, politics; language and literature; modernism: 1910-1940; narrative analysis in fiction and film; plays and poems of Shakespeare A: Comedies, histories, poems; plays and poems of Shakespeare B: Problem plays, tragedies, late plays; topics in medieval texts, cultures, and societies; Victorian modernity: 1880-1910; writing revolutions 1: Politics, publics and professionalism in literary culture, 1580-1700; writing revolutions 2: Politics, publics and professionalism in literary culture, 1700-1832. Candidates can also choose from the following optional modules available on the MA Medieval Studies: Chaucer and his sources; literature and culture of the Medieval West Midlands; mastering middle English; plays, pageants, and spectacle: Drama before Shakespeare; reading and writing Scottish literature 1375-1513.

Sponsorship information

Scholarships may be available to home and international students.


Qualification Study mode Fee Course duration
MA Full-time £ 6,570 per Academic year (home fees) 1 years
MA Full-time £ 14,850 per Academic year (overseas fees) 1 years
MA Part-time £ 3,285 per Academic year (home fees) 2 years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Edgbaston Campus Birmingham B15 2TU West Midlands

Key information

Postgraduate Enquiry Service
Telephone number: 
0121 414 5005