MA English Literature and American Studies / Course details
Year of entry: 2024
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Our MA English and American Studies postgraduate taught course prepares you for further research in the discipline while also broadening and deepening your critical engagement with English and American literature and culture.
The structure of the course is flexible, which means you can choose to combine your interests in English and American literature and culture, or focus exclusively on English Literature.
Our department provides vibrant research environment with close links to the Centre for New Writing, involvement in the Manchester Literature Festival and access to the world-class John Rylands Library.
While this course offers you a range of units that are chronologically or geographically specific, all are informed by recent theoretical and historical developments that allow you to think about categories like literature, culture and history in nuanced and fresh ways.
Manchester Literature Festival holds literary events across Manchester throughout the year, many in partnership with the University. The Centre for New Writing also hosts a regular public events series, Literature Live, which brings contemporary novelists and poets to the University to read and engage in conversation.
The John Rylands Research Institute and Library on Deansgate is part of the University and offers the rare opportunity to see a Gutenberg bible, Shakespeare folios and other archival treasures.
Teaching and learning
Depending on the units you take, you will learn through a variety of teaching methods, including seminars, film screenings, research workshops and online activities.
You will also attend seminars on topics such as how to study at MA level, how to research and write a master's thesis, and career options.
Coursework and assessment
Depending on the units you take, you will be assessed through methods such as written assignments and presentations, as well as the dissertation.
Course unit details
Students undertake units totalling 180 credits. Core and optional units combine to make 120 credits, with the remaining 60 credits allocated to the dissertation.
You will choose two of the three core units on offer. Each core unit is worth 30 credits, and will lay the groundwork for your further coursework, as well as preparing you to think about your dissertation. The current core units are:
- Approaches to Literary Study: Historicism and the Archive
- Space, Place and Text (Ecocriticism)
- American Studies: Theory, Methods, Practice
These units address questions that are at the heart of literary and cultural studies, and will give you conceptual tools relevant to all of the units offered in the second semester.
You will choose 60 credits worth of course units. Semester 2 units are primarily weighted at 15 credits, thus allowing you to choose from a wider variety of options and to diversify your engagement with the field. Semester 2 course units explore a range of periods, approaches, and literary cultural productions. Some offer special activities, like the chance to engage with the holdings in the John Rylands Library.
When your coursework is complete, you will write a 12-15,000-word dissertation, worth 60 credits, supervised by an academic member of staff.
Course unit list
The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.
|American Studies: Theories, Methods, Practice||AMER60091||30||Optional|
|Race, Gender and Power in the American South: From Slavery to Segregation||AMER62002||15||Optional|
|The AIDS Crisis: American Cultural Representation||AMER62032||15||Optional|
|Historicising the Contemporary: Literature and Politics 1970-2000||ENGL60081||30||Optional|
|Postcolonial Literatures, Genres and Theories||ENGL60462||30||Optional|
|Shakespeare: Theory and the Archive||ENGL60492||15||Optional|
|Space, Place and Text||ENGL60782||30||Optional|
|Displaying 10 of 19 course units|
|Display all course units|
You will have access to a wide range of facilities to enhance your studies at Manchester, including the University Library and John Rylands Library.
You will also have the opportunity to enjoy Manchester's many other cultural assets for both study and recreational purposes, including the Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Museum.
Find out more on our Facilities page.