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MA in English Literature

MA in English Literature

With pathways in:

The MA in English Literature at Cardiff offers an exciting opportunity for students to expand their intellectual horizons while developing advanced-level research, writing and analytical skills. A stimulating programme of research-led modules – ranging from the medieval to the modern – provides students with an excellent grounding in some of the key historical, conceptual and political contexts informing literary research at postgraduate level.

The flexible structure of the MA enables students to assemble programmes of study tailored to their personal and professional interests. While the MA provides excellent research training for students who plan to move on to further study at PhD level, it is also ideal for those who wish to deepen their understanding of the discipline. Many of our students have undertaken the MA to strengthen their transferable skills for a variety of future or current careers, including journalism, publishing, teaching and administration.

Students are free to follow one of the specialist pathways or the Open Pathway; they take two modules per semester and all modules are open to all students.

Entry Requirements

Students are normally required to hold a first degree in English Literature (single or joint honours) of at least 2:1 standard, but applicants with other relevant qualifications will be considered.

How to Apply

You may apply online or send us a paper application form (also available from the 'Apply' section of Cardiff University's website). Applications are considered on a continuous basis throughout the year.

In addition to the application form we require the following supporting documents:

The School welcomes applications from students from outside the United Kingdom. More information is provided on our International Students page.


Assessment is by one 4,000-word essay (or equivalent) for each taught module and a dissertation of 16,000-20,000 words.

Length of Course

The MA programme is one year full-time, with entry every September.


All teaching is by seminars and workshops structured around student participation and interaction, with opportunities for students to present their work. Each module (except Research Methods and Training) consists of a two-hour seminar per week.

Research Methods and Training

All students attend weekly, one-hour Research Methods and Scholarly Presentation workshops. The purpose of these workshops is to develop and enhance students’ research skills and to provide them with the methodological and critical knowledge to develop a dissertation project.

The School welcomes applications from students from outside the United Kingdom. More information is provided on our International Students page.

The School also offers opportunities for full-time and part-time study leading to the degrees of PhD and MPhil. Please see our Postgraduate Research section for further information.


For details of possible funding opportunities please visit the following sites:


Find Undergraduate courses

Find Postgraduate courses

For further information, please contact:
Postgraduate Office

Phone: +44 (0)29 208 70322

Cardiff School of English, Communication,
and Philosophy
Cardiff University
John Percival Building
Colum Drive
CF10 3EU

Student Views

"The MA is the most rewarding, challenging and intellectually stimulating course I have undertaken – and I have enjoyed every moment of it. The course is structured in such a way that, over the four modules, I was constantly developing advanced analytical skills in critical reading and writing which allowed me to write my dissertation with confidence and enjoyment.  This, combined with the friendliness and approachability of staff, creates a learning environment that is highly conducive for students to fulfil their academic potential.  Personally, the most important and unexpected outcome of the course is that it has instilled in me a genuine sense of pride in my own writing and at the end of the year I felt extremely proud of all that I had achieved.’

Michael John Goodman – former MA student

‘I chose to study the MA in English Literature at Cardiff University because of the wide range of modules and pathways available.  I can’t believe how much I learnt in a year!  The course was intensive but the tutors were supportive and this helped me to develop the skills and confidence I needed.  I enjoyed the experience so much that I am now studying for the PhD within the School."

Elinor Smith – former MA student