School of English

Masters courses

Find out about our Masters courses and how we can support you during your time at Sussex.

What is an MA? 

A Master of Arts is a degree qualification that takes either 12 or 24 months, depending on whether you attend full or part-time. It includes intensive coursework and an independent research component that culminates in a dissertation.

The MA allows you to build on the skills you acquired as an undergraduate, and to discover how to research with greater independence. An MA is both more specialised and more expansive than a Bachelor of Arts, and in turn, is a great way to further your expertise and your employability.

Explore our Masters courses

Through core and optional modules on each of these, you are able to develop a programme that speaks to your particular interests in theoretical and cultural studies, language, and literature,

An important feature of all of the School’s MAs is how they encourage interdisciplinary possibilities. Each course is organised to enable you to take one or two options from other courses if you wish. Each course culminates in a dissertation and the school places particular emphasis on matching expertise among its faculty with the supervision you receive.

Course structure

Full-time students will take four taught modules over the course of the Autumn and Spring terms, followed by the preparation and writing of a dissertation under supervision in the Summer. Courses are normally taught by weekly seminar. For part-time students, the same requirements are spread over two years, with one module taken in each of the successive Autumn and Spring terms, and with the preparation and writing of the dissertation extended over two Summer periods. Students can take up to two modules that are outside their named programme.


Most modules in the School of English are examined by a 5000-word essay; however, assessment varies on the MA in Applied Linguistics and the MA in Sexual Dissidence. The dissertation length is 15,000 words and it is submitted at the end of summer.

'I came to Sussex for an MA and found it a brilliant place for literary study, mainly because of the School of English's excellent teaching staff who are always interesting, passionate, and ready to challenge you on every assertion. They are open to learning as much from you as you them, and you are made to feel part of an active research community, never some passive consumer of education.

'Perhaps the best thing about studying at Sussex, for me, though, is the plethora of literary and cultural events that happen at the university, and all over Brighton: lectures, colloquiums and reading groups, film screenings, poetry readings and cabaret nights, featuring international artists and academics as well as those from the local (and thriving) arts scene. At every one my eyes were opened to new writers and new ways of thinking, and the occasional glass of free wine was great too.'

Trahearne Falvey
Modern and Contemporary Literature, Culture, and Thought MA

Contact us

For enquiries about Masters admissions:


Telephone: +44 (0)1273 876787

You might also be interested in: