English Literature Masters

English Literature Masters - MA/PgD/PgC


Key Facts

Place of Study:
Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy
Cyncoed Campus

Course Length:
1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

25% Alumni Discount:
The Cardiff Metropolitan University Alumni Discount is a 25 per cent reduction in tuition fees for Cardiff Met Alumni enrolling on taught postgraduate courses. 
See if you are eligible.

Course Overview

The MA English Literature is a rewarding taught degree offering an exhilarating analysis of English Literature using texts from the 'long nineteenth century' to the present day.

The degree focuses on historic and contemporary textual representations of place, theorising cultural representations and practices of genre, space, history, textuality, gender and sexuality and the effect of these on constructions of identity.

The MA is taught by published researchers and writers. The course is aimed to support you while you develop and hone your critical writing and research skills, particularly in relation to literature that addresses genre, gender and sexuality, history, place and space. You can take our MA for professional development purposes, in order to enhance your career and to increase your employability in the arts and heritage sectors. The MA will also help you specialise in the areas of contemporary and historical literature in relation to pave the way for doctoral study. 

We have expertise across a number of fields and our academic community is vibrant and dynamic with strong industry links. 

One of the great strengths of the programme is its flexibility. MA English Literature can be studied either full or part time. Modules can be taken individually, allowing you to control the pace and depth of your postgraduate study. Programme delivery is enhanced by the university's commitment to e-learning .

You may also be interested in our MA Creative Writing  or MA English Literature & Creative Writing programmes.

​Course Content​​

All of our modules are core, with the exception of one online option, They are delivered over one year full time or two years part time.

Literary and Critical Arts Research Methods

This module will introduce you to research methods at MA level. The module provides a thorough breakdown of research methods across the fields of Creative Writing and English Literature. This module is taught across all of our MA Creative Writing and English Literature pathways and it is also a great opportunity for you to get to know your peers. In this module you will consider:

  • What is a 'research method' in creative writing and in literary studies? Starting points.
  • 'Creative' and 'Critical': in what ways are these activities distinct and in what ways might or should they be combined?
  • Is the author dead? Biographical research, life-writing and textuality.
  • What is textual analysis? The varieties of close reading.
  • "Context stinks!" Writing and historical research, theory and practice.
  • What is an archive? Theory and practice of archival research, digital and analogue variants.
  • World literature. How are research and writing impacted upon by cultural difference? Are we one world, or multiple worlds?
  • Who am 'I'? Writing, identity, and identity politics.

"Juvenile Trash": Rethinking Genre Fiction

In this module you will evaluate the aesthetics and politics of genre fiction.  You will critically analyse, and/or write within, a selection of genres, including fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction, crime fiction, historical fiction, romance, and children's literature.  You will engage with recent scholarship on these genres also.

Space, Environment and Modernity
In this module you will

  • examine how literature reflects and shapes the way we see the landscape and the environment; Consider literature's responsibility for the production of concepts of the countryside and the city from the early nineteenth century to the contemporary
  • engage with pre- and post-1900 literary works that cover a broad historical range of spaces and landscapes;
  • examine the interrelation of aesthetic, cultural and social practices in representations of the landscape and the environment;
  • analyse intellectual, cultural, historical and sociological pressures underlying the various responses to the landscape and the environment.

Textual Technologies

In this module you will

  • explore ideas about the ways in which literary texts have developed in tandem with technologies related to text in a broad sense.
  • investigate the ways in which digital and other technologies have impacted on literary forms and modes of production and reception, as well as on what we understand as 'text', 'literature' and 'narrative'.
  • analyse a range of texts and develope critical and interpretative skills. This range may include print books, digitised narratives, and other text and narrative forms (such as mass and social media).

Contesting Identities: Gender and Sexuality in Literature

In this module you will

  • examine the shifting paradigms of gender and sexual identities from the late 19th century to the present, with reference to social, cultural and political changes, through a range of texts.
  • become conversant with theoretical frameworks relevant to gender and sexuality.
  • engage with debates, theories and politics relevant to the topics of gender and sexual identities.

J.R.R. Tolkien: Myth and Middle-earth in Context  (Online option)

This module is delivered entirely online and may be taken in place of another module on the programme, as authorised in consultation with your Programme Director.

In the module you will:

  • examine the work of J.R.R. Tolkien as one of the main authors of the fantasy literature genre
  • critically evaluate the creative uses of Tolkien's sources, from medieval to contemporary
  • consider how Tolkien's work responds to contemporary cultural changes and intellectual and social developments
  • address major themes and continuities in Tolkien's work
  • engage with recent critical and theoretical approaches to Tolkien's work

The Dissertation module provides students with the opportunity to undertake a sustained, rigorous and independent investigation of a specialised topic in their chosen discipline area within the contexts of English.

Learning & Teaching​

Most modules are taught through group workshops, seminars and online delivery.  Some modules will also include individual tutorials and the dissertation module is delivered entirely through one-to-one tutorials with your supervisor.

In workshops and seminars full use is made of University technology and course materials will be delivered and stored through our Virtual Learning Environment.  It will be possible for you to access the Virtual Learning Environment remotely and you will be encouraged to do so. 

All modules are 30 credits apart from the dissertation which is worth 60 credits.

In a 30-credit module you will receive 33 hours of timetabled teaching and you will be expected to conduct 267 hours of independent study.  The 60-credit dissertation is mainly conducted with independent study.  You will receive 6 hours of tutorial supervision (this includes supervisors looking over your work) and you will be expected to conduct 594 hours of independent study.

Each student is appointed a personal tutor who will be available for academic advice, pastoral support and personal development planning.  Tutors also have weekly office hours.

A critical but supportive environment is achieved through a combination of workshops, research seminars and e-learning. You will be introduced to the practicalities of preparing and submitting your work for possible publication. 


We have a variety of approaches to assessment across the programme depending upon the module.

In some modules ("Juvenile Trash": Rethinking Genre Fiction) you can choose your method of assessment (creative portfolio and critical reflection, or essay, for example). In other modules (Textual Technologies) you will be asked to produce an essay.

Modules also make use of Virtual Learning Environments for assessments and you may be asked to view material online and then to respond to it (Literary and Critical Arts Research Methods).

You will receive tutor support in class and through our VLE in order to prepare you for each assessment point. We also have library facilities online and at campus. 

Employability & Careers​

The MA is also a great choice for those wishing to enhance their employment and professional opportunities in the arts or heritage sectors. The programme is suitable for those who are teachers of English Literature at 'A' Level or GCSE and would like to enhance their expertise for professional development purposes.

The course also prepares you for further study at PhD level at Cardiff Metropolitan University and beyond.
This degree will encourage you to develop the valuable transferable skills of autonomy, effective collaboration, self-direction, organisation, initiative and adaptability that are highly regarded in the workplace.  A Master's degree in English Literature may lead to a variety of careers which include the particularly relevant areas of teaching, research, journalism, public relations, the Civil Service, publishing, the media, and employment in the public or voluntary sectors. 

Entry Requirements​ & How to Apply

Applicants should usually have a first or upper second-class honours degree, in a relevant subject. Students that meet the criteria will be invited for interviews.

Selection Procedure:
Application form, CV, submission of a writing portfolio containing an example of your critical writing (such as an undergraduate essay) and interview (the interview can be conducted via Skype or telephone).

International Applicants:
Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 6.0 standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website.

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made direct to the university via our self-service facility. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/howtoapply.

If you are interested in using credit from another institution, or have obtained qualifications and/or experience to study for a course at Cardiff Met,  you can find further information on this as well as information on how to apply on the RPL page.

Additional Information

Course Length

1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

  • If you wish, you can simply take individual modules (perhaps just one, or more, depending on your interest)
  • If you wish to go further, you might choose to complete a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, two modules)
  • Further still, you might wish to undertake a Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, four modules)
  • Or you might wish to go for a Master's Degree, submitting a dissertation after completing the six taught modules. It's completely up to you.
  • All options are taught either full or part time. All teaching is done in the evening, full time two evenings a week, part time just one evening a week. 

Tuition Fees and Financial Support: 

For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available. Please refer to www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/fees.

Part-time fees:
Charges are per Single Module unless specified:
Undergraduate = 10 Credits; Postgraduate = 20 Credits

Please contact the programme leader for further information on modules to be studied part-time and how this will affect fees.

Contact Us

For general enqui​ries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email askadmissions@cardiffmet.ac.uk

For course specific enquiries, please contact the programme leader, Dr Kate North:
Email: knorth@cardiffmet.ac.uk
Tel: +44(0) 29 2020 5839 ​


Full terms & conditions in relation to accepting an offer to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University can be found by visiting www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/terms