English Literature MA

Study level: Postgraduate
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The English Literature MA explores the relationship between literature and the environment — an area of both scholarly growth and pressing concern.

Year of entry



Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode



1 year full-time
2 years part-time

Course code


Start date

September 2024
January 2025
May 2025

Course overview

English Literature MA is an exciting opportunity to study local and global literatures from the Renaissance through to the present day.

The course aims to equip you for further academic study as well as employment in public and private sector research organisations.

It fosters transferable analytical, critical, organisational and research skills that are in demand in a wide variety of workplaces, industries and careers, and should prepare you to be active and engaged citizens in a time of global environmental crisis.

In the decarbonising economies of the coming decades, in Britain and the wider world, our graduates should be ready to participate in the careers and industries that will emerge to tackle the climate crisis.

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Joint Top Modern University for Career Prospects

Guardian University Guide 2021 and 2022

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5 QS Stars for Teaching and Facilities

QS Stars University Ratings

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Top 10 UK Student City (Coventry)

QS Best Student Cities Index 2024

Why you should study this course

  • Engaging with cutting-edge critical theories and through embodied learning, you will consider the importance of literature for the regional and global concerns of the 21st century.
  • You can expect to explore a range of topics including regional studies and spatiality (including the literature of the English Midlands), postcolonial literature, Shakespearean Spaces, Romantic literature, literatures of the American West and Gothic literature.
  • This course emphasises real-world engagement and experiential learning. There are opportunities for field trips2 that encourage you to reflect on how the environment shapes the work of writers and your own work.
  • You could also have the chance to conduct in-depth case studies of how literature has galvanised communities of resistance in response to environmental catastrophes.
  • You will have the option to apply for a ‘professional experience’ opportunity2, designed to further develop your skills and knowledge with the aim of maximising your employability prospects. See the 'What you'll study' section for more information.

Collaborations with other organisations

Confucius Institute

The School of Humanities is home to the Confucius Institute. This is a collaboration created with the Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, which aims to promote an understanding of the Chinese language and culture.

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What you'll study

The English Literature MA explores the interrelations between literature and the environments in which it is produced and received. It employs a broad understanding of the word ‘environment’ to include wilderness, wasteland, urban, suburban and domestic spaces.


  • This module introduces you to the key theoretical concepts and texts relating to literary utopia and dystopia. You will learn to critically assess utopian and dystopian components in fiction and philosophy.

    You will examine how utopian and dystopian ideas intersect with concepts such as gender, violence, or technophobia and technophilia, and how they influence contexts such as architecture, the environment, communities or bureaucracy. Theoretical sessions will contextualise and historicise the evolution of utopian and dystopian literature, and will include close readings of utopian and dystopian literary texts.


  • Shakespearean Spaces will introduce you to Shakespeare as a writer of place and space. It considers the ways in which his works engage with diverse environments – from the rural wilderness to the early modern urban centre, from the great oceans of the world to the imaginary landscape.

    In addition to considering Shakespeare’s representation of space, you will explore how the places in which Shakespeare’s works are performed affect how they are understood. In their analysis of the relationship between literature and environment, you will draw upon several contemporary methodologies- these will include ecocriticism, geocriticism, spatial theory and urban studies.


  • This module examines the ways in which Romantic-period emotions shaped and were shaped by Romantic-era environments. You will study a range of environments and a range of emotions.

    Environments studied might include the country estate, the city, forests, the Lake District, carriage journeys and journeys aboard warships. Emotions studied might include romantic love, loneliness, empathy, grief, and hate. The module will also interrogate how environments defined as wasteland influenced Romantic experiences of space and emotion, as well as how synthetic materials altered domestic spaces and the lives of the people who inhabited them.


  • This module introduces you to a diverse body of American Western writing that engages with the environmental transformation of Western spaces from the early 20th century to the present.

    The module is particularly interested in critically examining and interrogating the relationship between shifting and contested human and non-human Western spaces and identity formation. The module will draw upon a theoretical framework that incorporates race-critical theories, ecocriticism and critical regionalism.


  • Gothic Nature explores the literature, theory and reception of the gothic, horror, the weird and the eerie and their relationship to human and more-than-human environments. While reading nineteenth-century short stories to present-day novels, you will also consider the roots of these contested terms in earlier forms such as myth, fairy and folk tales.

    It will primarily feature British, European, North American and Australian literature, but will also consider film, radio, computer games and other media. You will be encouraged to identify and critique the frequent entanglements of the gothic, horror, the weird and the eerie with other genres and modes, including fantasy and science fiction, and to combine ecocritical theory with intersecting disciplines including queer theory, ecofeminism, and critical race studies. A major focus of the module will be the adoption of weird and eerie texts by ecocritical scholars, deep ecologists, and those working in the Environmental Humanities more broadly.


  • This module will explore global colonial and post-colonial literature and discourses in conversation with the intersecting disciplines of climate justice, waste studies and uneven development.

    You will examine literary texts in light of imperialism, neo-imperialism, ecofeminism, environmental racism and extractive capitalism and investigate ongoing environmental catastrophes and conflicts such as those in Bhopal, the Niger Delta or Ecuador.


  • This module is designed to help you develop your academic writing skills so you can carry out and complete written tasks. Activities will focus on fostering and enhancing your ability to communicate effectively when writing in English in specific academic contexts.

    Areas covered will include planning and drafting written work, addressing the task, organisation of texts, paraphrasing and summarising, citation and referencing and proofreading. There will also be opportunities to reflect on and critically evaluate written work.


  • The focus of the module is to advance your literary skills of analysis by engaging in activities that encourage critical reading and writing. It aims to help you make the move from an undergraduate skills level of analysis to a postgraduate level of critical thinking. Therefore, this is a practice-based module with the aim of developing your skills in critically interrogating texts (including your own work) and developing your own voice in your written work.


  • The dissertation gives you an opportunity to conceive and carry out an individual programme of research and writing, under the supervision of a member of staff with teaching and/or research interests in the area to be studied, leading to the ultimate submission of a final dissertation. You may write about any area of English Literature that staff in the school can supervise.


  • This module explores the changing world of work which Arts and Humanities students enter after study. New technology and the changing global economy mean that jobs and skills are changing and evolving quickly and will continue to do so. This is an exciting and new world, and this module is designed to empower you to realise your potential in it.

    This module provides tools for you to develop into changemakers, thrive in a changing world of work and participate in creating a better future for society. You’ll be guided through a process of reflection that explores four possible futures for the world of work and how to situate your own professional identity as the future of work changes through your careers. This module is designed in collaboration with The RSA (Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), and upon successful completion students will receive RSA digital badging.


With professional experience option

The professional experience opportunity2 enables you the opportunity to apply for optional professional experience in semester 1, which, upon successfully securing an opportunity, will extend the duration of your master’s to either 16, 20 or 24 months. The professional experience provides an opportunity for you to develop expertise and experience in your chosen field with the aim of enhancing your employability.

Please note that the optional professional experience modules incur an additional tuition fee, which for one semester of professional experience is £1,333.33, for two semesters of professional experience is £2,666.67, and for three semesters of professional experience is £4,000.

Professional experience may also be subject to additional costs, visa requirements being met, subject to availability and/or competitive application. Professional experience opportunities are not guaranteed but you will benefit from the support of our Talent Team in trying to find and secure an opportunity. Find out more about the professional experience option.

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

How you'll learn

Teaching methods could include:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Presentations
  • Group projects
  • Workshops

This course can be offered on a part-time basis. Whilst we would like to give you all the information about our part-time offering here, it is tailored for each course each year depending on the number of part-time applicants. Therefore, the part-time teaching arrangements vary. Request further information about part-time study.

Teaching contact hours

The number of full-time contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, it is likely to be around 10 contact hours per week in the first year. 

Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 35 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules. 

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending on the module.

Assessment methods may include:

  • Group work
  • Presentations
  • Projects
  • Coursework
  • Individual Assignments

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally hold a good undergraduate degree, in a social science or humanities related subject, or equivalent international grade/qualification, from a recognised university.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications; speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

Typical entry requirements

Applicants should normally hold a good undergraduate degree, in a social science or humanities related subject, or equivalent international grade/qualification, from a recognised university.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course. 

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

2024/25 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £11,200 | £15,200 (with prof. experience)   Request fee information
EU £11,200 | £15,200 (with prof. experience) per year with EU support bursary**
£18,600 | £22,600 (with prof. experience) per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International £18,600 | £22,600 (with prof. experience)   Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Postgraduate Finance page.

We offer a range of international scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees3 cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU Support Bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.


You will benefit from studying on our well-equipped, modern campus. Our aim is to offer you sector-leading facilities in a dedicated environment:4

Delia Derbyshire building

Delia Derbyshire Building

The Delia Derbyshire complex offers more space to learn, design and make, including a hyper-studio for students across all disciplines to collaborate on projects together, a gallery space and an events atrium.

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The Library

You will benefit from our support designed to help you succeed and our industry-relevant teaching and resources. These include our modern library and computing facilities, dedicated careers advice and Your Students’ Union.

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Confucius Institute

The School of Humanities is home to the Confucius Institute. This is a collaboration created with the Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, which aims to promote an understanding of the Chinese language and culture.

Careers and opportunities

Upon successful completion, you will have knowledge of:

  • major literary periods, movements and genres
  • advanced research methods and tools
  • cutting-edge critical theory
  • the relationship between literature and the environment
  • the climate emergency and intersecting crises including biodiversity loss, habitat destruction, pollution, climate justice as well as cultural, political and technological approaches to the environmental crisis.

You should be able to:

  • rapidly familiarise yourself with diverse knowledge domains
  • communicate research findings effectively to a range of different audiences
  • thrive in transdisciplinary work environments, both individually and as part of a team
  • argue logically and persuasively
  • critically analyse and synthesise information from a range of sources.

You may opt to further your learning and knowledge with one of our PhD courses.

How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London, Coventry University Wrocław, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough, and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the University) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.


    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or international opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be unpaid and/or subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel, public authority guidance, decisions or orders and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand any visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For international students, we may increase fees each year, but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.


    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the current 2024/2025 contract is available on the website. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.