MA Modern and Contemporary Literature
Year of entry: 2020
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- Study post-1900 literature in all its geographical, formal and thematic complexity and diversity.
- Explore a variety of critical and theoretical approaches to modern and contemporary writing.
- Become part of a community of active researchers working in the fields of contemporary writing, creative writing, modernism studies and postcolonial studies.
- Discover the literary heritage and cultural assets of Manchester, a UNESCO City of Literature.
Each year, there are two Open Days for SALC master's programmes: November and May.
The details for the May Open Day will be posted here as soon as they are finalised.
Our open days are designed to enable you to:
Get an overview of both the University as an institution and the School that houses the subject area in which you are interested.
Explore available funding options and find out how to apply.
Discover more about course content through subject specific talks or taster sessions.
Meet academics and current students and find out more about life as a postgraduate student at Manchester.
Find out more about our world-leading research.
For entry in the academic year beginning September 2020, the tuition fees are as follows:
UK/EU students (per annum): £9,500
International students (per annum): £19,000
UK/EU students (per annum): £4,750
Policy on additional costs
All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).
Each year the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures offer a number of School awards and Subject-specific bursaries (the values of which are usually set at Home/EU fees level), open to both Home/EU and international students. The deadline for these is early February each year. Details of all funding opportunities, including deadlines, eligibility and how to apply, can be found on the School's funding page where you can also find details of the Government Postgraduate Loan Scheme.
See also the University's postgraduate funding database to see if you are eligible for any other funding opportunities.
For University of Manchester graduates, the Manchester Alumni Bursary offers a £3,000 reduction in tuition fees to University of Manchester alumni who achieved a 1st within the last three years and are progressing to a postgraduate taught masters course.
The Manchester Master's Bursary is a University-wide scheme that offers 100 bursaries worth £3,000 in funding for students from underrepresented groups.
Courses in related subject areas
Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.
Academic entry qualification overview
We normally expect students to have a First or Upper Second class honours degree or its overseas equivalent in a humanities-based subject area.
An overall grade of 7.0 (with a minimum writing score of 7) in IELTS is required or 100+ in the TOEFL iBT with a minimum writing score of 25.
If you have obtained a different qualification, please check our English language requirements to ensure that it is accepted and equivalent to the above requirements.
English language test validity
Other international entry requirements
We accept a range of qualifications from different countries that equate to a UK 2.1. For these and general requirements including English language see entry requirements from your country .
If English is not your first language, please provide us with evidence of:
- an overall grade 7.0 (with a minimum writing score of 7) in IELTS; or
- 100+ in the IBT Internet-based TOEFL).
The other language tests we accept can be found here: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/new-approved-english-tests.pdf
Exceptions to needing a language test (if English is NOT your first language) are:
if you have successfully completed an academic qualification deemed by UK NARIC as equivalent to at least a UK Bachelors Degree or higher from one of the following countries:
Antigua & Barbuda; Australia; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Ireland; Jamaica; New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; UK; USA.
Other entry requirements
For those applicants whose academic background is not directly related to studies in English and American literature, and/or for whom English is not their mother tongue, we require an academic-standard essay (in English) relevant to the subject no more than 4,000 words long.
Application and selection
How to apply
Advice to applicants
You should include a personal statement (no more than 500 words) that demonstrates your understanding of the subject and your motivation for wanting to study the programme.
If your academic background is not directly related to the programme, you should supply an academic-standard writing sample on a subject related to the programme.
If English is not your native language, then you should provide an academic-standard writing sample in English directly related to the subject.
For more advice on the application process, please visit our Applying page.
How your application is considered
Applications are mainly considered on the basis of an assessment of past and predicted academic achievements, the academic reference(s) and any other supplementary evidence that supports the application. Once we have an application that is ready for a decision, the admissions tutor (often the Programme Director) will relay the decision to the admissions team, who will send you this decision.
Please note that your application is usually received by the School 24 to 48 hours after the time you submit it. If you have not provided documentation that allows the admissions tutor to make a decision, we will contact you.
Our MA Modern and Contemporary Literature master's course offers an opportunity to become part of an exciting, intellectual group of researchers working in 20th and 21st century literature, culture and theory.
You'll undertake an intensive and challenging investigation of the literatures in this period, as well as units that introduce you to leading research in the broad field of modern and contemporary writing.
Units provide opportunities to study modernism and its margins, postcolonial writing, radical subcultures, American culture, contemporary fiction and much more.
We focus theoretically on the relationships between texts and the various contexts in which they're produced and in which they circulate.
Via detailed engagements with the minutiae of aesthetic form, we consider the connections between aesthetic and political practice, with particular focus on representations and constructions of sexuality, class, gender and race.
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 event series, Literature Live, which brings contemporary novelists and poets to the University to read and engage in conversation. This series attracts an impressive line-up of speakers, such as Martin Amis, Seamus Heaney, Hilary Mantel and Audrey Niffenegger.
John Rylands Library on Deansgate is part of the University and offers the rare opportunity to see a range of archival treasures.
Centre for New Writing
Manchester is home to the Centre for New Writing, a major hub for new writing excellence and home to award-winning teaching staff including Booker-shortlisted M J Hyland and Jeanette Winterson.
Teaching and learning
You will learn through a variety of teaching methods, depending on the units you take, including lectures, seminars and independent study.
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
You will be assessed through a variety of methods depending on the units you take, including written assignments.
Course unit details
You will 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 take four units, including at least one of the three possible core units:
- Key Issues in Twentieth-Century Cultural Theory and Literary Criticism
- Modernism and its Margins
- Reading the Contemporary
You may also choose up to 30 credits worth of units from another MA course in place of one of your optional units, subject to the approval of the Programme Director.
You will write a 15,000-word dissertation 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|
|Reading the Contemporary||ENGL60081||30||Optional|
|Queer Cinema and Beyond||ENGL60152||30||Optional|
|Postcolonial Literatures, Genres and Theories||ENGL60461||30||Optional|
|Shakespeare: Theory and the Archive||ENGL60492||15||Optional|
|The Times of Literature||ENGL60761||30||Optional|
|Space, Place and Text||ENGL60781||30||Optional|
|Displaying 10 of 18 course units|
|Display all course units|
You will have access to one of the UK's five National Research Libraries at Manchester, as well as 24/7 study facilities at the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons and cultural assets such as the John Rylands Library, the Whitworth and the Manchester Museum.
Find out more about our facilities .
On completion of this course, many of our postgraduates continue their research to develop careers in academia.
However, career paths overall are extremely varied and skills are transferable.
The high standard of arts research training, both formal and practical, opens doors to many kinds of public and private sector graduate careers requiring research skills and the formulation of projects and policy documents.