English Literature MA

Study level: Postgraduate
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MA English Literature explores the interrelations between literature and the environments in which it is produced and received.

Year of entry


Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode



1 year full-time
2 years part-time
16-24 months (with professional experience)

Course code


Start date

May 2023

Course overview

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

  • 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 modules for more information.
  • Engaging with cutting-edge critical theories and through embodied learning, students will consider the importance of literature for the regional and global concerns of the twenty-first century.
  • This course emphasises real-world engagement and experiential learning. A typical year with us might involve a trip to Lake Geneva to reflect on how the strange weather of 1816 shaped the works Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley, and Lord Byron2. There are also opportunities to conduct in-depth case studies of how literature has galvanised communities of resistance in response to environmental catastrophes such as the Bhopal disaster in India2.
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Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

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Teaching excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

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Career ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Why you should study this course

  • MA English Literature equips students for further academic study as well as employment in public and private sector research organisations.
  • It fosters transferable analytical, critical, organisational, research and campaign skills that are in demand in a wide variety of workplaces, industries and careers.
  • The course prepares students 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 are ready to participate in the careers and industries that will emerge to tackle the climate crisis.

What you'll study

MA English Literature 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. It seeks to understand the role of literature in collective human and more-than-human adaptation and resistance to environmental change.


  • 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 students 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, students 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, students 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. Students 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 students 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, students 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. Students 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 postcolonial literatures and discourses in conversation with the intersecting disciplines of climate justice, waste studies and uneven development. Students 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 will introduce students to a range of research tools and methodologies applicable to the study of literature. As well as covering traditional research approaches and tools, such as research library archives and digital archives, theoretical and methodological approaches, this module will also prepare students to source and synthesise scientific data relevant to the course.


  • The dissertation gives students 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. Students may write about any area of English Literature that staff in the School can supervise.


  • Compulsory

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 1 semester of professional experience is £1,333.33, for 2 semesters of professional experience is £2,666.67, and for 3 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 include:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Presentations
  • Group projects
  • Workshops
  • Practical laboratory sessions

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.

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.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2022/2023 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. 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 upon the module.

Assessment methods 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.

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

2022/23 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK £10,600 per year Request fee information
International £16,950 per year 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.

  • We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.

    If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.


Students will benefit from studying on our well-equipped, modern campus. The Faculty of Arts and Humanities is joining two of our school’s completely refurbished Art and Design buildings and adding a range of new facilities, which is planned to open fully in 2023. This will include a hyper studio for students across all disciplines to collaborate on projects together4.

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Arts and Humanities Building

We are currently in the process of a major redevelopment of our Faculty of Arts and Humanities buildings. The building will be open to the public, as well as students, and will feature an expansive gallery space.

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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 Students’ Union.

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Confucius Institute

The School of Humanities is home to the Confucius Institute. This is a collaboration created through a partnership with 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 and more; cultural, political and technological approaches to the environmental crisis.

You will 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.

How to apply

  • 1Accreditations

    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 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 COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the 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 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. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

    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 2022/23 contract can be found here. 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.

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