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MA (Res) English – University of Reading

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MA (Res) English

The MA in English gives you a thorough grounding in research methods, making use of such world-renowned archives as the Beckett Archive.

Course overview

In the early stages, this MA also invites students to think in the nature, range, traditions and preoccupations of English studies. What are the implications of organising study around terms such as 'Renaissance,' Victorian', or 'Modern,' and how do these categories sustain or otherwise interact with ideas of class, sexuality, nation, race, or form? These components of methods and concepts then open out into a wide choice of options across periods and national traditions. This MA may be especially suitable for students who plan to become teachers, and who believe that postgraduate study will enhance their professional versatility, but it will also be of interest to students whose research interests cut across normal disciplinary boundaries.

Students take core modules on Materiality and Textuality, and Modern English Studies, and then have a choice from the options available on the MAs in Early Modern Literature, Nineteenth-Century Literature, and Modern and Contemporary Writing. All of the taught modules are assessed by essay. These seminar courses are followed by guided research toward a dissertation of 20,000 words.

Why choose Reading?

  • Our MA teaching at Reading is highly rated for its friendliness and expertise. You will be taught in small groups, with lecturers and professors leading discussion and giving lectures. There are three teaching terms, and assessment is by essays, and a 20,000-word dissertation written over the summer. You will be given an expert supervisor for your dissertation, who will meet with you for a number of one-to-one advice sessions. Our MAs are taught courses but they also provide appropriate research training for those going on to PhDs. As a part of this, you will actively engage with the University's world-leading archives and special collections.
  • As an MA student in this thriving and dynamic Department, you will be welcomed at a number of special events, including research seminars and guest lectures.
  • We offer a distinctive range of MA courses, each of which has taught components, followed by dissertation supervision: we have concentrated expertise in Early Modern Studies, Samuel Beckett, Children's Literature, and Writing and Publishing History. We hold unique archival collections in all of these areas, with which our MA students engage throughout their time with us.

Career prospects

Our students continue, or return to, careers in teaching, publishing, the media, the civil service, the charity sector and advertising, as well as going on to do PhD research. Students report that their careers are supported by the skills they have acquired on the MAs in terms of not only subject expertise, but also critical thinking, reading closely and with advanced understanding, and writing well.

Visit the University Order a prospectus

Entry Requirements

Our MAs are open to those whose undergraduate degree is in English or in a discipline in which the study of literature has formed a substantial part. We would normally expect a good second-class honours degree or higher.

Contact us

Postgraduate Secretary

Mrs Jan Cox  


Course fees

View our full list of course fees.

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