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English Literature MA

Our course enables you to think critically about texts as radical interventions in a changing world.

You are currently viewing course information for entry year:

Start date(s):

  • September 2024


This master's in English Literature offers an intellectually challenging, innovative programme of study. It's directly informed by the outstanding research of staff in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics.

The MA moves away from period-based literary studies. Instead, it considers texts in the context of established and emerging scholarship and theory.

The School has an international reputation for high-quality research. It also has a friendly research environment. You'll join a team of leading scholars. This makes it the ideal place for postgraduate engagement with major issues in English literary studies from 1500 to the present.

Newcastle has a vibrant literary scene that will inspire you. You'll have access to:

  • Literary and Philosophical Society
  • Newcastle Centre for Literary Arts
  • Seven Stories (the National Centre for Children's Books)

This English Literature master's has a generic route and a specialist pathway in Children’s Literature. You can choose the route best suited to your individual interests and career aspirations.

Important information

We've highlighted important information about your course. Please take note of any deadlines.

What you'll learn

The emphasis of this English Literature master's is on key critical developments in literary studies, such as:

  • the relation of shifting aesthetic forms to political radicalism
  • the biographies of books
  • how authors and texts articulate their relationship to shifting geographies of cultural power
  • textual editing from manuscript to print to digital platforms
  • the sexual politics of public and private life in literature
  • the mind, the body and affect as sites of and for representation
  • the aesthetics and politics of American and world literatures
  • the history of children's literature about, by, and for Black Britons

You'll choose four 20 credit modules from a range of options (80 credits). Our optional modules are thematically structured and cover literature from the 16th to the 21st centuries.

You'll also take two 20 credit compulsory modules. These modules cover major critical issues in the subject of English Literature. They also include training in disciplinary and interdisciplinary research methodologies. This training is essential preparation for your individual research in the MA dissertation.


You will study modules on this course. A module is a unit of a course with its own approved aims and outcomes and assessment methods.

How you'll learn

Your future

What can you do with an English Literature degree?

Our English Literature MA provides an excellent foundation for doctoral research. It also develops skills that are valuable for a career in:

  • the creative and cultural industries
  • media and journalism
  • education
  • heritage management
  • publishing

Our Careers Service

Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.

Visit our Careers Service website

Quality and ranking

All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body


Our vibrant postgraduate research community have access to:

  • a dedicated workspace
  • common room
  • excellent computing facilities

You'll also benefit from a range of partnerships, which offer archival materials. These include:

Newcastle University Library has a strong range of archival materials in Special Collections.

The library also houses the Bloodaxe archive. This is a unique collection of materials relating to one of Britain's leading poetry publishers.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2024 entry (per year)

What you're paying for

Tuition fees include the costs of:

  • matriculation
  • registration
  • tuition (or supervision)
  • library access
  • examination
  • re-examination
  • graduation

Find out more about:

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Entry requirements

The entrance requirements below apply to 2024 entry.

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements

Admissions policy

This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.

Download our admissions policy (PDF: 201KB)
Other policies related to admissions

Credit transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can allow you to convert existing relevant university-level knowledge, skills and experience into credits towards a qualification. Find out more about the RPL policy which may apply to this course

How to apply

Using the application portal

The application portal has instructions to guide you through your application. It will tell you what documents you need and how to upload them.

You can choose to start your application, save your details and come back to complete it later.

If you’re ready, you can select Apply Online and you’ll be taken directly to the application portal.

Alternatively you can find out more about applying on our applications and offers pages.

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Open days and events

You'll have a number of opportunities to meet us throughout the year including:

  • campus tours
  • on-campus open days
  • virtual open days
  • webinars

Find out about how you can visit Newcastle in person and virtually

Overseas events

We regularly travel overseas to meet with students interested in studying at Newcastle University.

Visit our events calendar for the latest events

Get in touch

Questions about this course?

If you have specific questions about this course you can contact:

Scott Burdon
Learning and Teaching Assistant
School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3177


For more general enquiries you could also complete our online enquiry form.

Fill in our enquiry form

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Additional information

Research and supervision

At Newcastle University we have a range of research interests within English Literature. We produce outstanding research on subjects as chronologically distinct as Chaucer and cyberpunk.

Our work has a geographical range across:

  • the British Isles
  • the Americas
  • India
  • Anglophone Africa

We research and offer supervision in all major genres, including:

  • fiction
  • poetry
  • drama
  • film

We also have world-leading expertise in many emerging forms, including:

  • life writing
  • children's literature
  • digital media

Our aim is to combine excellence in established areas of research across a full range of periods and genres, with innovation in critical and textual scholarship. We are particularly keen to:

  • investigate the contexts of literary production
  • use and develop archival sources
  • integrate the critical with the creative work that goes on in the School

We contribute to many research groups in the University, including the:

Along with colleagues from the Universities of Durham, Northumbria and Sunderland we are also key members of the: