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Masters in Literary Studies in English

Course convenor

Professor Sandra Young (

Course outline

The new coursework Masters programme will be known as the MA in Literary Studies in English. It offers four compelling streams of inquiry, each of which is populated by clusters of semester-long elective courses that are supported by the research specialisations of lecturers in the department.

Black Literary and Intellectual Traditions

World Literatures in English

Literary Engagements with the Past

The Intersection between Creative and Critical Writing

Course structure

The first year of the MA is devoted to coursework, comprised of three electives and a core course. Students are invited to select at least two electives within each stream and a third elective from another stream.

All course work will be completed in the first year of the programme.

Students will be required to write a dissertation of 25000 words during the first and second year in the programme. Students register for the dissertation during the second year of the programme, through the following code: ELL5001W.

Compulsory (core) courses

In addition to the 2 MA electives, students are required to take 2 MA core courses which are designed to support the work of research. All coursework MA students will, therefore, be required to register for the following two courses during their first year of study:

ELL5047F: Literary Theory in the Global South

The first semester core course aims to introduce students to key debates and fields of knowledge around postcoloniality and decoloniality, with an emphasis on reading and producing literary theory from the global South. It asks of students to think through and write about the meanings of being situated in the global South as producers of knowledge. Students will be expected to draw on and synthesise the work of key postcolonial and decolonial theorists, with the aim of epistemologically orienting their own work as produced from the global South.

The course will consist of various modules such as "Decoloniality",  "Postcolonialism, Feminism and Performance", "Engaging History, Historicity and Historicism", and "Theory from the Global South". These will be co-taught by academic staff.

ELL5045S: Research Methods in English Literary Studies

The second semester core course focuses on ‘Research Methods’. It aims to equip students with the tools to do archival research and build their own archives, to identify and engage the field(s) within which their research is located, to work across disciplines, to formulate a compelling research topic and to structure the robust argument that will underpin the dissertation. Modules focusing on these research skills will be co-taught by academic staff.

The Research Methods core course will require a 4000-word research proposal as a final output, ensuring that students start delving into research for their dissertations during the second semester of their coursework and creating valuable momentum for the year of independent research.


Electives are offered within each of the following streams of inquiry:

  1. Black Literary and Intellectual Traditions
  2. World Literatures in English
  3. Literary Engagements with the Past
  4. The Intersection between Creative and Critical Writing
  5. Environmental Humanities

Electives offered in 2021


How to apply