Skip to main content

MA (Res) English – University of Reading

Show access keys

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.

Department of English Literature

English Literature is a highly rated Department in the governmental research assessment exercises, with many staff engaged in research of international importance with a wide range of interests and approaches, from biographical and historical research to creative writing and trans-disciplinary critical theory. Our work covers all periods from Old English to contemporary literature, including several Anglophone literatures.

We have exceptional archival resources and expertise to draw on for research, including the world-famous Beckett archives, important publishers' archives and the Children's Literature Special Collection, including the Ladybird archives.

A wide range of expertise in the Department, including interdisciplinary research in, for instance, literature and science, book history, children's literature and childhood studies and early modern studies.

Dedicated Departmental Research Centres in Early Modern Studies, Children's Literature and The History of Authorship, Writing and Publishing. We are also very strongly linked to the Beckett International Foundation, the Modern Studies Research Group, the Faculty's 'Minorities' and the School's 'Theatre History and Performance Studies' research themes.

Career prospects

Upon completion of the MA or PhD our students obtain a wide range of jobs, making use of the core transferrable skills obtained on their degrees such as reading critically and closely and writing clearly and on complex and widely ranging issues. Many also go into careers which directly use the specialist subject knowledge acquired whilst studying with us. Recent destinations of our graduates include fields such as publishing, including at Oxford University Press, Walker Books and Hodder; teaching (with further PGCE training), librarianship, and work at charities such as Cancer Research UK and Into University. Many of our PhD graduates have also successfully launched academic careers at universities in the UK and abroad.


The Careers, Placement and Experience Centre also offers advice on careers and securing industry work placements, some of which can count towards your degree under the optional work-based learning module.

Funding opportunities

PhD applicants from the UK and the EU may apply to the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) or the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), depending on topic area. MA scholarships are available for International Students from certain countries.

There is a limited amount of part-time (term time) and full-time (summer vacation) English language teaching work for suitably qualified and experienced Master's and PhD applicants.

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.

What now?

Explore other courses

Not quite what you were looking for? Have another look at the Web Course Catalogue to find a course that suits your needs.

Come and visit us

The best way to get to know our campus and the town is to come and visit us and see it for yourself.

Start your application

Can you see yourself studying this degree at Reading? Start your application today!

We use Javascript to improve your experience on, but it looks like yours is turned off. Everything will still work, but it is even more beautiful with Javascript in action. Find out more about why and how to turn it back on here.
We also use cookies to improve your time on the site, for more information please see our cookie policy.

Back to top