This innovative programme gives you the opportunity to explore your literary interests from the medieval period through to present day.

Studying English Literature at postgraduate level opens up a whole host of vibrant and intellectually stimulating avenues to explore. Our unique programme draws on the wide-ranging research expertise of our staff in order to develop your critical and analytical skills in the field of literary and cultural studies. 

This programme will provide a solid grounding in the key intellectual debates within the scholarship surrounding a range of period and context specialisms, introduce you to the latest research in the field, and support your development of the skills required for writing a dissertation.

English literary texts from the medieval period to present day are studied in and alongside their many different contexts – historical, social, political and/or material – and approached from a multitude of theoretical and methodological perspectives, enabling you to develop new and highly skilled ways of reading and interpreting a wide variety of cultural documents.

Alongside the programme you will also have the chance to participate in a bespoke MA conference and become part of the department’s thriving academic research community.

Please note: We offer an additional opportunity to specialise in medieval literature via the MA Medieval Studies.


Why Study this Course?

  • Flexibility – the variety of modules on offer will allow you to study areas of the discipline which interest you the most.
  • Excellent reputation – as one of the leading Departments for the postgraduate study of English Literature and Culture in the UK, you will receive expert teaching and research supervision across a wide range of time periods, genres, media and methods. The University has also been ranked as one of the world’s top 50 institutions to study English Language and Literature in the 2019 QS World University Rankings.
  • Foundation for future careers or further study – the programme is ideal for those students looking to develop specific research interests and/or prepare for study at PhD level, but it is also an excellent way of gaining a broader overview of the subject that will prepare students for a career in sectors such as charity, teaching, local government, law, publishing, and media.
  • Active postgraduate community – with conferences, reading groups and events run by postgraduate students as well as academic staff there is always something happening in the Department.


The postgraduate experience

The College of Arts and Law offers excellent support to its postgraduates, from libraries and research spaces, to careers support and funding opportunities.

Institutional Accreditation 

University of Newcastle is accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission (DETC), Since , University of Newcastle has been continually accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor.

MA Literature and Culture

Course Level:

Postgraduate,  Taught




CODE P1047

How long it takes:

1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Study Mode:

Distance learning/ Campus

Course cost

Price: US$22,500

Entry requirements

Find out more about


Newcastle Law School

The programme is made up of three sets of modules:

  • Core modules: two modules in Research Skills and Dissertation Preparation will equip you with the skills necessary for your written assessments.
  • Foundation modules: a choice of two options from a range of modules which provide a comprehensive introduction to a variety of literary periods and themes.
  • Specialist modules: a choice of two options from a range of modules which explore specific topics within the range of literary periods and themes we offer.

Routes through the programme

You have complete flexibility to choose your foundation and specialist modules from across literary periods and themes, but it is also possible to follow an informal pathway through the programme by choosing a set of complementary modules. These include:

  • Medieval pathway: Foundation modules in Meeting Medieval Manuscripts and Understanding Medieval Literature, plus specialist modules such as:Fantasy and Fandom; Magic, Monsters and Marvels; Mapping the Middle Ages.
  • The Long Nineteenth Century pathway:  Foundation modules in Approaches to Nineteenth-Century Studies and Nineteenth Century Voices, plus specialist modules such as: Alternative Facts: Genre, Historicism, and the Fantasy of Other Pasts; Nineteenth-Century Detective Fiction; Nineteenth-Century Senses
  • Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Literature pathway: Foundation modules in Modernism and Contemporary Literature, plus specialist modules such as: Modernism in the Magazines; The End of Life As We Know It: The Implications of Digital Technology; Theories of the Modern.
  • Popular Fiction pathway: Foundation modules in Cultures of Popular Literature and Evolutions of Popular Literature, plus specialist modules such as: Fantasy and Fandom: Writing Back to the Medieval in Modern Fantasy; Guilty Pleasures: Reading the Historical Romance; Muslim Women’s Popular Fiction.

Core modules

All students will take the following modules:

Research Skills

This module will prepare you for your MA dissertation and assist those of you planning to continue to doctoral study in your application for internal and/or external funding. The module will run in Semester 1 and consists of a combination of generic research skills classes and individual supervisions. It aims to equip you with the research skills and familiarity with your chosen field that will assist you in producing strong assessed work at MA level. Topics may include: use of the library and e-resources; planning a research project; referencing methods; book history and textual criticism; and working in archives. The modules also includes sessions in the Cadbury Research Library.

Assessment: 1,000-word research proposal and 3,000-word literature review

Dissertation Preparation

This module builds on the skills developed in the Research Skills module. It is designed to support you in developing your dissertation research topic, and to equip you with the skills and experience that you need to present and communicate your research to an academic audience. The module will develop your ability to structure and present research effectively in different formats, and your confidence in speaking to an audience and responding to questions. You will be supported by individual supervisory tutorials with your project advisor, lectures in poster and oral presentation techniques, and weekly group writing sessions. The mid-module poster presentation and end of module MA conference will give you the opportunity to participate in different modes of research presentation, to discuss your work with academics and fellow MA students, and to demonstrate presentational skills demanded by employers as well as by a career in academic research.
Assessment: Research poster and 15-minute conference presentation

Foundation modules

You will choose two modules from a range which typically includes:

  • Meeting Medieval Manuscripts
  • Understanding Middle English
  • Approaches to Nineteenth-Century Studies
  • Nineteenth-Century Voices
  • Modernism
  • Contemporary Literature
  • Cultures of Popular Literature
  • Evolutions of Popular Literature
  • Living in Code: Understanding Digital Cultures

Specialist modules

You also have a choice of two options from a range of modules which explore specific topics within the range of literary periods and themes we offer. Options vary from year to year, but those available typically include:

  • After the Deluge: Writing and Recovery after the First World War
  • Alternative Facts: Genre, Historicism, and the Fantasy of Other Pasts
  • Byron and Keats
  • Fantasy and Fandom: Writing Back to the Medieval in Modern Fantasy
  • Flourish for the Players (Shakespeare’s Contemporaries)
  • From Cover to Cover: Histories of the Book
  • From Plato to the Postmodern: Theories of Literature and Art
  • Guilty Pleasures: Reading the Historical Romance
  • John Donne and the Metaphysical Poets
  • Modernism in the Magazines
  • Muslim Women’s Popular Fiction
  • Neo-Victorianism
  • Nineteenth-Century Detective Fiction
  • Nineteenth-Century Senses
  • PoMo Historical Fictions
  • The Art of Translation
  • The End of Life As We Know It: The Implications of Digital Technology
  • The Pre-Raphaelite Circle
  • Theories of the Modern


In addition to your taught modules, you will conduct a piece of independent research with the support of a supervisor, culminating in a 15,000-word dissertation.

Considering postgraduate study, but unsure whether you meet the entry requirements for a Masters-level degree? Postgraduate admissions guidelines vary by course and university, but can be quite flexible.

Your existing qualifications will be important, but you don’t necessarily need a great Bachelors degree to apply for a Masters. Your personal circumstances and experience may also be considered during the admissions process.

This guide explains the typical entry requirements for a Masters, which include:

      • An undergraduate degree in a relevant subject – Depending on the programme and institution, you may need a 2.1 in your Bachelors, but this isn’t always the case
      • Language proficiency – If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to display a certain ability level, usually through a language test
      • Professional experience – Some postgraduate programmes may require you to have some professional experience (this is usually the case for PGCEs and Masters in Social Work)
      • Entrance exams – These are only required in certain subject areas and qualifications, including some MBAs

Tuition fees for UK/EU students 2020/21

MSc:  Full-time £9,900. Part-time £4,950
Postgraduate Diploma:  Full-time £6,660. Part-time £3,300


Tuition fees for International students 2020/21

MSc: Full time £23,310
Postgraduate Diploma: Full-time £15,540


You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.

All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for your future career, but this can also be enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University and the College of Arts and Law.

The University’s Careers Network provides expert guidance and activities especially for postgraduates, which will help you achieve your career goals. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated  careers and employability team who offer tailored advice and a programme of College-specific careers events.

You will be encouraged to make the most of your postgraduate experience and will have the opportunity to:

  • Receive one-to-one careers advice, including guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique, whether you are looking for a career inside or outside of academia
  • Meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs and employer presentations
  • Attend an annual programme of careers fairs, skills workshops and conferences, including bespoke events for postgraduates in the College of Arts and Law
  • Take part in a range of activities to demonstrate your knowledge and skills to potential employers and enhance your CV

What’s more, you will be able to access our full range of careers support for up to 2 years after graduation.


Postgraduate employability: English Literature

Newcastle English Literature postgraduates develop a range of skills including presentation, communication and analytical skills, as well as the ability to work independently, think critically and develop opinions.

Over the past 5 years, 78% of English Literature postgraduates were in work and/or further study 6 months after graduation (DLHE 2012 – 2017). Many of our graduates go on to further study or academia, while others use their transferable skills in a wide variety of occupations including copywriting, marketing, publishing and teaching.