Postgraduate‌ ‌courses‌ ‌in‌ ‌English‌ ‌Literature‌

Are you an avid reader who enjoys research, analysis and debate? 

Well, luckily for you, there are plenty of postgraduate courses to choose from in English literature. 

English literature refers to the study of texts that are written in the English language. It is a body of written texts which range from the 7th century to the present day. These texts include poetry, drama and prose fiction. Students will engage in debate, analysing and theorising texts.

If this sounds interesting to you, we have more details for you below. 


There are a number of different postgraduate courses across the UK that cover English literature while some look more specifically into certain topics, writers or genres. This allows students to tailor their degree to best suit their interests. Some courses offer the choice of studying full time or part time. Specific details can be found on your chosen University websites. 

Here are examples of some of the courses on offer across the UK.

English Literature MA

MA courses in English literature focus on the dissident writing and transgressive texts from the early modern period to present day. Most general English literature courses will engage with the recent developments in theoretical and critical practice. Such courses will help the student to develop their understanding of the literature and will help to sharpen analysis skills, writing skills and literary research skills. 

English Literature: Modern and Contemporary Fictions

More specific courses are also on offer that look at a particular topic. Courses that focus on Modern and Contemporary Fictions will study literary text in the wider context of cultural production and relate them back to social, historical and political circumstances from which they emerge. Such courses are suitable for those who wish to continue on to study a PhD. 

Shakespeare Studies 

For those who want to do a postgraduate degree in a more specific area suited to their interests, this is an example of what kind of specific courses are on offer. A course in Shakespeare Studies will help students to develop a critical but appreciative understanding of Shakespeare’s contribution to literary and theoretical history. It will provide students with a rigorous knowledge of approaches to the study of Shakespeare with emphasis on the criticism, textual studies, plays and the history of Shakespeare’s reception. 

Victorian Gothic: History, Literature and Culture

Another example of more specific courses is on which focuses solely on the Victorian Gothic era. Courses such as this explore the 19th-century Gothic cultures and will look at the fears, wonders and dark imagination of the Victorian era. The idea of the society and culture in this era being a contradictory matter may also be focused on.

Entry requirements

Each course will differ in their entry requirements but most postgraduate courses in English literature require an Honours degree (2.1) in English, English literature or a related field. Some Universities consider applications on an individual basis. 

Job options 

Job options with an English literature degree open many doors from communications to PR and many more. Such jobs option include:

  • Teaching
  • Journalism
  • Writer
  • PR and communications
  • Advertising
  • Media work 

Career development 

All of the above job options would suit someone who has English literature degree under their belt. While they are just some of the main job options, the skills required and learned throughout the degree can help open many doors in other areas such as the analytical skills learned that could be used while working in Law. 

Also, a career in teaching is also quite common and with experience, it is possible to work your way up to higher positions. 

Skills and requirements 

  • Passion for reading
  • Strong communication skills
  • Strong reading and writing skills
  • Interest in researching 
  • Self motivated
  • Enjoy discussion and debate
  • Ability to find own opinions and answers

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