English: Literature, Culture and Theory MA

Key information

Duration:
1 year full time, 2 years part time
Start date:
September 2018
Apply by:
1 August (International), 1 September (UK/EU)

Combine specialist study, theoretical inquiry and interdisciplinary investigations to explore literature, culture and history.

Our MA allows you to focus your study on a specific period or concept, or to engage broadly with ideas across a wide historic range. The diverse research interests of the School will ensure you're supported in shaping your course to your particular interests.

We’ll help you to engage with theoretical ideas and conceptual methods that underpin research in literature. You’ll graduate equipped with the skills necessary for further study inside and outside academia.

Why choose this course?

  • Our research quality was ranked in the top 10 in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).
  • English at Sussex is ranked in the top 15 in the UK (The Guardian University Guide 2018 and The Complete University Guide 2018and in the top 100 in the world in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017.
  • Your teaching is underpinned by the interdisciplinary research carried out in centres such as the Centre for Modernist Studies and the Centre for Early Modern and Medieval Studies.

Entry requirements

Degree requirements

You should normally have an upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above. 

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please select your country from the list.

Argentina

Degree requirements

Licenciado/Titulo with a final mark of 7.5-8.5 depending on your university. 

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Australia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Azerbaijan

Degree requirements

Magistr or Specialist Diploma with a minimum average mark of at least 4 or 81%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bahrain

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.0/4.0 (Grade B).

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bangladesh

Degree requirements

Masters degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Brazil

Degree requirements

Bacharel, Licenciado or professional title with a final mark of at least 7.5 or 8 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Brunei

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second class upper division or GPA 3.1/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.3/4.0 (grade B+).

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Chile

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of 5-5.5/7 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a leading university with overall mark of 75%-85% depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Colombia

Degree requirements

Licenciado with ‘Acreditacion de alta calidad' and a GPA of 3.5.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree or Ptychion with a final mark of at least 7.5.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ecuador

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of at least 17/20.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Egypt

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a university with an overall grade of 75%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

France

Degree requirements

Licence with mention bien or Maîtrise with final mark of at least 13.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Germany

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree or Magister Artium with a final mark of 2.4 or better.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ghana

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a public university with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Greece

Degree requirements

Ptychion from an AEI with a final mark of at least 7.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a leading institution with overall mark of 55-70% depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Indonesia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from an 'A' accredited university with GPA 3.0/4.0. 

Bachelors degree from a 'B' accredited university with GPA 3.2/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree (Licence or Karshenasi) with a final mark of at least 15.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Degree requirements

Diploma di Laurea with an overall mark of at least 105.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Japan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with a minimum C/GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Jordan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Kazakhstan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall mark of 4 or better (on a scale of 1-5)/GPA 3,33.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Kenya

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Kuwait

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or B+

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lebanon

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.5/4.0 or 14/20.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malawi

Degree requirements

Masters degree, depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Mexico

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of at least 8.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nepal

Degree requirements

Masters degree with overall mark of 80%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with second-class upper division or CGPA of at least 3.5/5.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall grade of B.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Oman

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.3/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Pakistan

Degree requirements

Four-year bachelors degree with overall grade of 65% or Masters with 60%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Palestine

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with GPA of at least 3.5/4.0 or B+

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Paraguay

Degree requirements

Bachelors with a final mark of at least 7.5/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Peru

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of 14/20 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Philippines

Degree requirements

Masters degree with 'very good' overall, or equivalent depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Qatar

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall CPGA of at least 3 (on a scale of 4).

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Russia

Degree requirements

Magistr or Specialist Diploma with a minimum average mark of at least 4.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Saudi Arabia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with a CGPA 3.5/5.0 or 3/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division or CAP 4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Degree requirements

Bachelors (honours) degree with second-class division 1.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Korea

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a leading university with CGPA of at least 3.5/4.0 or B+

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of at least 2/4.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sri Lanka

Degree requirements

Bachelors Special degree with upper second honours.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Degree requirements

Licence or Diplôme with 5/6 or 8/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Taiwan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with overall mark of 70%-85% depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Thailand

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Degree requirements

Lisans Diplomasi with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

United Arab Emirates

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.3-3.5/4.0 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Vietnam

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree (with a Graduate Thesis/research component) with CGPA of at least 3.3/4.0 or 7.5/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Zambia

Degree requirements

Masters degree with GPA of 2.0/2.5 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Zimbabwe

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your country is not listed, you need to contact us and find out the qualification level you should have for this course. Contact us at pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should typically be in a subject relevant to your chosen Masters course. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Higher level (7.0 overall, including at least 6.5 in each component).

Check your IELTS qualification meets all of our entry requirements and find out more about IELTS

Alternative English language qualifications

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade B or above.

For tests taken after January 2015: 185 overall, including at least 176 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above.

For tests taken after January 2015: 185 overall, including at least 176 in each skill.

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency

Pearson (PTE Academic)

67 overall, including at least 62 in all four skills.

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic)

TOEFL (iBT)

95 overall, including at least 22 in Listening, 23 in Reading, 23 in Speaking, 24 in Writing.

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT)

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English.

French Baccalaureat

A score of 12 or above in English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language.

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language.

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

Level 5, including at least 4 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 80%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 80%

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Grade C (Honours) or above in English.

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-5 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades 1-6 in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

English language support

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for your degree, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa

Admissions information for applicants

How to apply

You apply to Sussex using our postgraduate application system

Personal statement

Yes. You must submit a personal statement as part of your application. 

Find out how to write a personal statement

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

Application deadlines

1 August (International), 1 September (UK/EU)

Course details

Full-time and part-time study

Choose to study this course full time or part time, to fit around your work and family life. 

For details about the part-time course, contact us at englishpg@sussex.ac.uk

How will I study?

You'll study taught modules in the autumn and spring terms. There are core modules and options. In the summer term, you will undertake supervised dissertation work.

You're assessed by:

  • two 3,000-word exercises for the core module
  • three 5,000-word term papers for the options
  • a dissertation of up to 15,000 words.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

Options

Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests.

Our experts

Dr Richard Adelman

Dr Richard Adelman

Senior Lecturer

Research interests

Aestheticism, Critical Theory and Marxism, Dramatic monologue, Eighteenth-century culture, Gothic, Idealist aesthetics, labour, Political economy, Repose, Romanticism, Victorian culture

View Richard Adelman's profile

Dr Natalia Cecire

Lecturer in English & American Literature

Research interests

American Studies, English and American literature, Feminist theory, History and Philosophy of Science, Modern and contemporary American poetry

View Natalia Cecire's profile

Prof Sara Crangle

Professor of Modernism and the Avant-Garde

Research interests

Abjection, Affect Studies, Archives and Editing, Avant-Gardism, Bataille, Bathos, Dada, Everydayness, Experimental Poetry, Futurism, Gertrude Stein, Grace Lake/Anna Mendelssohn, High and Late Modernism, James Joyce, Levinas, Mina Loy, Nietzsche, Phenomenology, Satire, Virginia Woolf, Wyndham Lewis

View Sara Crangle's profile

Dr Sue Currell

Dr Sue Currell

Reader in American Literature

Research interests

American History, American Studies, Cultural History, English and American literature, Twentieth Century Literature

View Sue Currell's profile

Prof Matthew Dimmock

Prof Matthew Dimmock

Professor of Early Modern Studies

Research interests

English literature 1500-1700, History, Islam, Otherness, Prophet Muhammad

View Matthew Dimmock's profile

Dr Doug Haynes

Dr Doug Haynes

Senior Lecturer in American Literature and Visual Culture

Research interests

Affect Theory, American Modernism, American Visual Art, Critical Theory, Economic Theory, Fictions of Threat, Ideas of pornography, Ideas of security, Marxism, Modern and contemporary American literature, Postmodern Literature, Psychic phenomena as types of literature, Thomas Pynchon

View Doug Haynes's profile

Prof Margaret Healy

Prof Margaret Healy

Professor of Literature and Culture

Research interests

medical humanities, Renaissance studies, Shakespeare

View Margaret Healy's profile

Dr Michael Jonik

Lecturer in English and American Literature

Research interests

African American literature and culture, American Philosophy, American Studies, Continental Philosophy, Critical Theory, Critical Theory and Marxism, Deleuze, Early American Literature, Emerson, English and American literature, Foucault, Henry James, History of science, Intellectual History, Melville, Nineteenth-Century American Literature, psychoanalysis, systems theory, Systems Theory; Control, The Transatlantic Enlightenment, Theory of mind, Thoreau

View Michael Jonik's profile

Prof Daniel Kane

Prof Daniel Kane

Professor of American Literature and Culture

Research interests

Modern and contemporary American poetry, Popular Music, US cinema and popular culture

View Daniel Kane's profile

Prof Maria Lauret

Prof Maria Lauret

Professor of American Literature and Culture

Research interests

20th C Americanisation in the US, African American literature and culture, Alice Walker, American feminism, American immigrant literature, American immigration, Bharati Mukherjee, Junot Diaz, multilingual literature, Richard Rodriguez

View Maria Lauret's profile

Prof Vicky Lebeau

Professor of English

Research interests

cinema and childhood, image and text, NHS in literature and culture, psychoanalysis

View Vicky Lebeau's profile

Dr John Masterson

Dr John Masterson

Lecturer in World Literatures

Research interests

20th and 21st Century Literature and Art, African American literature and culture, African diasporas, American immigrant literature, apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa, English and American literature, Literary And Cultural Theory, Literature of Exile, Migrant and Diasporic Literature, Postcolonial Literature, Postcolonial Literature and Culture, Postcolonial Literature and Theory, postcolonial studies, South and Southern Africa, World literatures

View John Masterson's profile

Dr William McEvoy

Dr William McEvoy

Senior Lecturer in English

Research interests

Contemporary Theatre, Playwriting, Site-specific theatre and performance, Theatre and Ethics, Theory and criticism, Writer-director relationship

View William McEvoy's profile

Dr Rachel O'Connell

Lecturer In Post 1350 English Literature

Research interests

disability, Gender And Sexuality Studies, Queer studies, Queer Theory

View Rachel O'Connell's profile

Dr Catherine Packham

Dr Catherine Packham

Senior Lecturer in English

Research interests

Adam Smith, Eighteenth-century culture, Erasmus Darwin, Gender and Sexuality, History of political economy, History of science, Mary Wollstonecraft, Political economy, Scottish Enlightenment, Vitalism

View Catherine Packham's profile

Dr Chloe Porter

Dr Chloe Porter

Lecturer in English Literature

Research interests

Early modern drama, Early modern material culture, English literature 1500-1700, John Lyly, Materiality, Renaissance studies, Renaissance visual culture, Shakespeare, word and image debates

View Chloe Porter's profile

Dr Jason Price

Dr Jason Price

Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Theatre and Performance

Research interests

Activist Performance, Aesthetics and Politics, Comedy, Contemporary Theatre, Dramaturgy, Marxism, Performance Histories, popular culture, Popular Theatre, Puppet Forms, Site-Specific and Public Art, Theatre and Community

View Jason Price's profile

Dr Minoli Salgado

Dr Minoli Salgado

Reader in English

Research interests

Biopolitics, Creative Writing, Human Rights Discourse, Postcolonial Literature and Theory, Salman Rushdie, South Asian Literature in English, Terror and Transnational Writing, Trauma studies

View Minoli Salgado's profile

Dr Samuel Solomon

Dr Samuel Solomon

Lecturer in Creative and Critical Writing

Research interests

Contemporary Poetry, Creative and critical writing, Feminist theory, Gender and Sexuality, Literary And Cultural Theory, Marxism, Modernist and contemporary writing, Print Culture

View Samuel Solomon's profile

Dr Bethan Stevens

Dr Bethan Stevens

Lecturer in English and Creative & Critical Writing

Research interests

Book Illustration, Creative and critical writing, Historical Fiction, Modernism, Museum Studies, popular culture, The History of Printmaking, The Long Nineteenth Century, The Novel, The Short Story, Victorian culture, Word and Image Theory

View Bethan Stevens's profile

Prof Keston Sutherland

Prof Keston Sutherland

Professor of Poetics

Research interests

Contemporary Poetry, Critical Theory, Marx, Philosophy, Poetics, psychoanalysis, Romanticism, Samuel Beckett, Wordsworth

View Keston Sutherland's profile

Dr Pam Thurschwell

Dr Pam Thurschwell

Reader

Research interests

adolescence in literature, English and American literature, Henry James, Literary And Cultural Theory, psychoanalysis, The supernatural (19th/20th century)

View Pam Thurschwell's profile

Dr Katie Walter

Dr Katie Walter

Senior Lecturer in Medieval English Literature

Research interests

Medieval English literature, Medieval literary theory, Medieval medicine, Reading practices, Reginald Pecock, The body, The senses, Vernacular theology, William Langland

View Katie Walter's profile

Prof Marcus Wood

Prof Marcus Wood

Professor of English

Research interests

Medical, Religious and literary traditions in late medieval England

View Marcus Wood's profile

Dr Tom Wright

Dr Tom Wright

Senior Lecturer in English

Research interests

American Studies, citizenship, Cultural History, Media & Communication Studies, Nineteenth century literature and culture, Theatre and performance studies

View Tom Wright's profile

Course enquiries

Postgraduate Admissions
+44 (0)1273 678468 
englishpg@​sussex.ac.uk

Find out about the School of English 

Fees and scholarships

How much does it cost?

Fees

UK/EU students:
£7,900 per year
Channel Islands and Isle of Man students:
£7,900 per year
International students:
£15,500 per year

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

If you’re studying part time over two years, you’ll be charged 50% of the equivalent 2018 full-time fee in each year of study. The fee in your second year – if you continue your studies without a break – will be subject to a 2.5% increase (subject to rounding).

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Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters loans

You can borrow up to £10,280 to help with fees and living costs if your course starts on or after 1 August 2017. Loans are available from the Student Loans Company if you’re from the UK or if you’re an EU national studying for a Masters.

Find out more about Postgraduate Masters Loans

Scholarships

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

How Masters scholarships make studying more affordable

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Careers

Our graduates have gone on to careers in:

  • teaching and education
  • publishing
  • website production and marketing
  • journalism and writing
  • the charity sector
  • NGOs.

A number of our graduates go on to further study and careers in academia. Some of our MA students have taken up funded doctoral study at universities including Cambridge, Bristol, Johns Hopkins, Pennsylvania, Yale and Sussex, among many others.

Graduate destinations

93% of students from the School of English were in work or further study six months after graduating. Our students have gone on to jobs including:

  • publications controller, Oxford University Press
  • web content developer, The British Library
  • bookshop manager, Waterstones.

(EPI, Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015 for postgraduates)

Interpretation, Theory, and Research Methods in Literary Study

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module provides students beginning the English Literature, Culture and Theory MA with the knowledge and practical experience of research methods needed to undertake research as a literary scholar. It enables you to interrogate some of the theoretical and cultural assumptions that underpin research in English, both past and present.

Dissertation (English MA programmes)

  • 60 credits
  • Summer Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module gives you the opportunity to undertake supervised work on a dissertation of up to 20,000 words, on a topic of your choice agreed with your supervisor. If you are a part-time student, you will begin your background reading for the dissertation in the first summer term and vacation of your studies.

Blackness, Innocence, Modernity

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

In this module you will theorise modernity’s deeply racialised encounters with the temporalities of innocence.

You historicise psychoanalytic and anthropological discourses of development in concepts of childhood, primitivism, and deferral.

You also examine how the production of innocence structures legal, epistemological, and aesthetic questions in U.S. literature and culture.

You will write a series of blog posts and a research essay.

Literature and Society, 1750-1890

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

Literature & Society, 1750-1890 explores the interplay between the nationwide perspectives of social philosophy and the more individualistic concerns of literary culture in the late 18th and 19th centuries. It offers you a chance to make broad connections across the period, at the same time as providing you with in-depth knowledge of principal theoreticians of culture in these decades and their major works. Emphasis will be placed on the manner in which literary works can be read in conversation with, and in opposition to, social theory with each seminar structured around close readings of an example of each style of writing.

The History of Domesticity: Literature, Public and Private 1700-1800

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

Ideas of the 'private' and the 'public' are central to the ways we think about literature, culture, sexuality and subjectivity, and they are also terms whose history intersects with the emergence of both modern literary culture and modern subjectivities in fascinating ways. Jurgen Habermas's contention, that the convergence of public and private spheres constituted a foundational moment in the emergence of modernity, has significant implications for the way we think about writing, as public, private, or both. This module offers the chance to trace how developing notions of public/private not only informed the development of the recognisably modern literary culture of this period, but were also problematised and contested by it. The module will focus on three intersecting areas:

(1) the writing of sexuality within the private/public space of the novel;
(2) the politicisation of privacy and secrecy in the politically fraught period of the 1790s; and
(3) the representation of domesticities, including the Gothic castle and the cottage, and their resistance of easy categorisations as public/private spaces.

Sources examined will range from fictional and non-fictional texts to visual materials, aesthetic and political writings, and contemporary theory.

The Renaissance Body

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

In early-modern England the body was a major intellectual preoccupation and a focal metaphor informing and shaping cultural structures and artefacts. This period, too, like the cusp of the 21st century, had a very distinctive conception of the person as a construct or artifice, as the product of social intervention and cultural organization. Engaging with interpretative models from the fascinating interdisciplinary field of cultural theory of the body, you will explore the aesthetics of embodiment through a range of literary and visual texts, unravelling the dense significance of the corporeal imagination of the Renaissance. Key themes include: body borders, the supernatural and society; gendered voices, sex and agency; the medical imagination; diabolic inversions (the witch's body); heroic and monstrous masculinities; transvestitism; mystical monarchy; diseased bodies; revolutionary corporealities; body, soul and mind; consuming bodies and eating communities; the fabricated body; and pornography.

Theory in Practice: Readings in Contemporary Theory and Literature

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

What is 'theory'? Although it goes in and out of fashion with the speed of rising or plunging hemlines, the use of theory, literary theory, or literary criticism as a way to read literary texts is always useful. And contrary to popular opinion, it's not the application of an arcane or secret language to garner a secret knowledge. Rather, it is a self-conscious and informed method of analysing the presuppositions behind the apparently natural way we read; indeed, sometimes it's a method of reading in itself, derived from a philosophy or theory of language, as is the case with Bataille or Derrida. Theory sounds dull, but really it's a creative practice, as is reading, which Walter Benjamin likened to telepathy.

This module seeks, through a number of case studies, to address a number of critical paradigms that have proved significant in the post-war period. In particular, notions of materialism, materiality and historicity will be set in tension with ideas about relativism, deconstruction and 'play' as very different ways of construing some iconic American texts. Alongside the close reading of primary and secondary texts, discussions in class will be directed towards such subjects as: the construction/reflection of subjectivity in language and discourse; the relation of the literary text to sociality; the effects and efficacy of modernist/avant-garde/postmodern literary techniques; and the writing of race, gender and class.

Capital and Poetics

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

In the wake of the end of the Cold War and especially since September 11, as neoconservatives replaced Marxism with 'terrorism' as their new and irrational enemy, many writers in America and Europe sought with redoubled commitment to revitalise elements of Marxist thinking in their creative practice: to confront the new dominant form of rationality with a creative rationality of the dominated.

In this module, you will investigate the history and present significance of that commitment in several ways:

  • through study of the tradition of Marxist thinking about the relation of aesthetics to social and political life
  • through consideration of mainstream trends in contemporary literature and the economic and political interests they reflect and fortify
  • through the evaluation of theoretical claims made by contemporary writers themselves, both in creative writing and in criticism, about their own strategies of opposition and the problem of their potential efficacy.

Capital Culture: Money, Commerce and Writing

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module offers you the opportunity to explore the interconnections between literature and commercial capitalism in a wide variety of literary and other texts drawn largely, but not exclusively, from the period 1710-1820, which saw the rise of modern capitalism. The module traces the responses of writers to the emergence of modern commercial society including the celebration of trade and empire, concerns about social change, the representation of labour and the critique of capitalism from Romantic poets and other writers. Topics addressed include the commodity and the fetish; property and the 'it-narrative'; labour, literary labour, and idleness; slavery; sex and money; consumption and consumerism; the role of art and the artist in commercial society; and different ideas of value (economic and aesthetic). Texts studied will include visual art, alongside novels, poetry, short stories, autobiography, journalism, essays and economic writings. Short extracts from the works of Adam Smith and Karl Marx will provide theoretical perspectives.

Image and Text 1780-1880

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

Concentrating on the intersections between visual and verbal cultures in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, this module explores the intricate inter-relationships of visual images and texts (poetry, non-fictional prose, and fiction). Beginning with Edmund Burke's A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful (1757) and Immanuel Kant's 'Analytic of the Sublime' from The Critique of Judgement (1790), in relationship to recent theoretical work on the sublime (by Lyotard and Eagleton for example), we consider the aesthetic of the sublime as played out in painting and in art theory. Subsequent topics include: the case of the Elgin Marbles; Ekphrasis; discourses of the grotesque in John Ruskin and William Morris; poetry and scientific discourse; Pre-Raphaelitism; the history and theory of nineteenth century photography; representations of childhood in Lewis Carroll, Christina Rossetti and J.M. Barrie; 'Symbolism' and the 'Supernatural'.

ImagiNation: The Great American Novel

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

'The Great American Novel' became something of a shibboleth in the 20th century, for American writers and critics alike. Was it possible to capture the essence, as well as the diversity, of the American nation in fiction? And if so, how should this be done – in a novel of panoramic reach, such as John Dos Passos' USA to Don De Lillo's Underworld, or in representation of America's historico-political unconscious, such as Toni Morrison's Beloved or Jayne Anne Phillips' Machine Dreams, or could a topic so ostensibly small as family life come to take on the burden of representative American-ness, as in Jonathan Frantzen's The Corrections?

In this course you will look at representations of American history in fiction-both film and literature-to discover how American fiction of the 20th and 21st centuries has represented American history, politics, and most of all national identity. Because of this subject matter, you will be taking on big novels, which may also be great –though the definition of 'greatness' will itself be part of your investigation, rather than a foregone conclusion. You will, for example, consider questions of representativeness as well as representation, and this will involve issues of gender, race and ethnicity, mainstream and margin, the local and the cosmopolitan. You will be drawing on cultural theory and historiography to put your reading and viewing into scholarly perspective.

International Modernisms, 1840-Present

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module will take a long view of modernism, one inextricable from the development of avant-garde aesthetics.

Europe is often credited with the inception of experimental, self-reflexive artistic practice. In our reading, we will examine continental authors and aim to take a more global view of avant-gardism. We will attend to influential authors that are not often or readily considered in English-speaking university curricula. These writers – French, Italian, Russian, German, American, Spanish, Chilean, Argentine, and Caribbean – challenge, reinforce, and expand more familiar models of Anglo-American modernism.

You will go beyond just reading manifestos and overviews of the Dadist movement – we will ask you not only to think about what Futurism is, but to closely read F.T. Marinetti's Mafarka the Futurist: An African Novel. The module encompasses fiction, drama, and poetry. All works will be read in English, and issues of translation and transmission will form part of our discussion.

Literature and Society, 1750-1890

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

Literature & Society, 1750-1890 explores the interplay between the nationwide perspectives of social philosophy and the more individualistic concerns of literary culture in the late 18th and 19th centuries. It offers you a chance to make broad connections across the period, at the same time as providing you with in-depth knowledge of principal theoreticians of culture in these decades and their major works. Emphasis will be placed on the manner in which literary works can be read in conversation with, and in opposition to, social theory with each seminar structured around close readings of an example of each style of writing.

New Configurations in Critical Theory

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module will explore a wide range of contemporary critical approaches that have emerged not only out of the influential work of 20th century philosophy, literary theory and psychoanalysis, but also from a variety of disciplinary quarters. Our investigations will be loosely mapped to four interrelated topics of literature, aesthetics, politics and science but comprise a number of pressing theoretical issues. These are: affect, biopolitics, 'life', impersonality, animality, the posthuman, the status of conceptual art, the earth, political ontology, the common and communism, new materialisms, science and the brain, networks and information, systems theory and complexity theory. Possible readings include the work of Deleuze, Guattari, Agamben, Badiou, Rancière, Esposito, Bennett, Malabou, Smithson or Luhmann.

Spectacular Imaginings: Renaissance Drama and the Stage 1580-1640

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module explores English Renaissance drama and its staging between the advent of the commercial theatres in London (circa 1580) and their closure during the early 1640s as a consequence of the English Civil War. This new module has been developed with, and will be co-taught by, scholars and theatre practitioners at London's Globe Theatre. The Globe's programme at both its new indoor Jacobean theatre (the Sam Wannamaker theatre) as well as its main outdoor theatre will form an important part of this module with you attending performances at both venues.

The module will focus on a selection of plays from this period exploring them in their original social, cultural and aesthetic contexts. It will also reflect upon why plays from this era are so frequently and successfully re-produced for the modern stage and screen. What roles did theatre play in London during the Renaissance and why was England virtually unique in Europe (Spain is the only counterpart) in creating a large-scale commercial theatre that generated a vast corpus of new plays? The module examines many of the most significant themes with which this theatre engages, among them unruly sexualities (incest, adultery and rape); violence and eloquence; London and city commerce; domestic tragedy; marriage and divorce; the place of the court; the foreign and the exotic; and the supernatural. It considers the roles of genre, acting styles, theatre companies, star actors, boy players, audiences and the varying physical spaces of the theatres in mediating these themes.

You will have access to the unique Globe archives when researching your dissertation project. Four of the plays will be determined by the Globe's season (including at least one by Shakespeare). The tragedies, comedies, histories and tragi-comedies studied will include works by Marlowe, Webster, Ford, Middleton, Dekker, Beaumont and Fletcher, Cary, Marston and Shakespeare.

Technologies of Capture: Photography and Nineteenth Century Literature

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

The photographic image is ubiquitous, its presence has morphed into many 21st century cultural manifestations. Most obviously, in digital form, the photograph has become a staple of social networking sites and other visual modes of communication. Yet at its invention in 1839, the status and future of photography was far from clear-cut. Known as 'the black art from France' owing to its miraculous transcription of the visual world photography was frequently aligned with magic. Indeed, owing to its causal connection to its referent, a photograph had the status of an imprint as well as an image. People also delighted in seeing themselves the right way round as the photograph corrected the lateral inversion of the familiar mirror image. At the other end of the spectrum, however, photography's 'birth' was considered by some enough to bring about the 'death' of painting. In the nineteenth century, the presence of the camera radically affected major social, aesthetic and philosophical categories. 

While photographs revolutionised representation, their relationship to existing visual and verbal forms was rich and complex and raised many questions. What did it mean to speak about literary 'realism' in the context of Fox-Talbot's new negative/positive process? How did post-mortem photographs affect literary portrayals of death and the spirit world? What was the impact upon Victorian institutions such as the asylum of the new genre of the photographic 'mug-shot'? What form of translation occurred when a two-dimensional photograph recorded the three-dimensional form of sculpture? This module explores the emergence and development of the photographic medium in relationship to a range of literary texts. Beginning with the 'pre-history' of photography as manifest in a range of optical toys, gadgets and visual spectacles it traces the emergence of various photographic forms as they intersect with literary ones. You have the opportunity to engage, in the context of 19th century fiction, poetry and non-fictional prose, fascinating material and conceptual changes that occur in the wake of the advent and popularisation of photography. 

Topics for discussion include: the Picturesque; photographing sculpture (the case of the Parthenon Marbles); Pre-Raphaelitism; post-mortem photographs; spirit photography; photography and science; collecting and cartes de visite; the camera in colonial encounters; photography and disciplinary institutions; detective fiction; and photographing children. 


No prior experience of photography or other visual media is required simply a readiness to engage visual technologies and images in addition to literary texts.

The Migrant Writer: Postcolonialism and Creativity

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

To write is to travel' according to Iain Chambers; the module will use this idea to explore the displacement of the writing subject within the historical context of twentieth century migration, postcolonialism and globalisation. The work of key migrant writers will be analysed in relation to central concepts in literary and cultural criticism: hybridity and dialogical discourse, the development of 'border languages', mimicry and the migrant subject, homelessness and the creation of new cartographies, and diasporic and non-originary histories. In the process the centrality of migration, exile and displacement to a range of critical and theoretical approaches will be highlighted.

The Uncanny

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

The uncanny is difficult to define: it is mysterious, eerie, at once strange and familiar. It offers especially productive possibilities for exploring issues of identity and liminality, boundaries and interdisciplinarity. This module will engage with the uncanny across a wide range of texts and contexts, extending from literature (novels, short stories, drama and poetry) to film. Discussion will focus on a number of linked topics, including repetition, doubles, strange coincidences, animism, live burial, telepathy, death and laughter. 

The module aims to develop your engagement with the notion of the uncanny across a broad range of literary and other texts; to develop your skills of reading and critical analysis, especially insofar as the uncanny by its nature engenders intellectual uncertainty and calls for an unusual critical patience; to enhance your capacity for critical reflection on their experience of the familiar and the strange, the ordinary and the extraordinary.

Voices in the Archives: Writing from History

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

In this module you will consider how writers draw on history to shape their creative writing.

You will think about how different literary genres engage with the past through form, narrative and literary language, and look at the cultural impact of contemporary historical fiction. You will also consider work by poets and film-makers.

Authors studied may include Sarah Waters, Ian McEwan, Toni Morrison, Hilary Mantel, David Dabydeen, Mario Petrucci, George Szirtes and Michel Hazanavicius.

You will take part in creative workshops and develop key research skills, exploring the methodological implications of using physical and virtual archives.

You will work with historical newspapers, letters, diaries, prints, photographs and other documents to experiment with using language from the past to inflect contemporary voices.

Topics for discussion include the critical and ethical implications of writing about real historical events and characters. You will consider how contemporary writing is founded on a long tradition of writing from history, often re-visiting the past with a particular political or creative agenda, from Shakespeare and Dickens onwards.

You'll also explore how recent historical fiction interacts with other genres, for example in the fantasies of Susanna Clarke and Angela Carter and consider theoretical work on memory and nostalgia by critics such as Mieke Bal and Svetlana Boym.

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