The English MA offers the best of both taught and research-focused postgraduate courses, enabling you to concentrate on your chosen assessments and individual interests while training you in the practical skills involved in humanities research. You will graduate equipped with the skills to pursue a wide variety of careers, from publishing to event management, teaching, research, or progression onto a PhD.
The flexible course structure will enable you to explore your independent research goals, while working collaboratively with others in similar fields across English studies and the Humanities. Past projects have often evolved into PhD projects, exploring topics such as African-Americans in fiction and film, the role of screenwriting in film adaptations and representations of the nine worthies in medieval and early modern writing. The choice and freedom to develop your own specialisms will help you to produce your best possible work and the curriculum is designed for you to build on your skills from one module to the next. This course is ideal for students who are self-motivated, with good time management and the ability to work independently, as these skills will be developed throughout.
You will examine a range of methods of research and investigate how approaches (e.g. feminist, Marxist, editorial, and adaptation) can be applied to literary texts. This will culminate in the designing of your own research project and the production of a sustained piece of writing.
The course also covers the practical skills involved in humanities research, ranging from first-hand experience of conference management, presenting work and writing for publication. You will be encouraged to participate in the DMU research community through research events, international conferences and networking with the Centre for Adaptations and the Centre for Textual Studies.
- Receive expert teaching and supervision for your dissertation from our specialist academics with expertise ranging from medieval manuscripts to postmodernism.
- Benefit from collaborative teaching and individual learning experiences and receive personalised feedback to reach your independent research goals.
- You will have access to DMU’s extensive and specialised archives, such as the Andrew Davies archive of scripts, correspondence and unperformed screenplays, as well as archives further afield at the British Library or British Film Institute in London.
- Practical training in presenting work, writing for publication, research and organising a conference will give you real-world skills for a career in teaching, publishing, research or event management.
- The focus on individual research provides ideal preparation for progression to PhD.
- Take part in major research events to enhance your learning through the Centre for Adaptations and Centre for Textual Studies, as well as international conferences where you can meet researchers from all over the world.
Structure and assessment
English Research Training
The module equips you in the necessary research skills in English, offering a range of methodological and practical approaches. You will contribute to workshops in research presentation, writing for publication, teaching and research, and working with sources. You will present your research ideas to fellow students in poster form; you will also write an extended essay in which you contextualise your research goals in relation to issues in English as raised by the course.
Putting Methods into Practice
This module runs alongside English Research Training, equipping you to put into practice the skills and methodologies explored there. Weekly workshops will investigate how different approaches (e.g. feminist, Marxist, editorial, and Adaptation) can be applied to literary texts, using Shakespeare’s Hamlet as a test case. You will write a review of the play (as text or performance); you will produce three blog posts reflecting on what you learned in workshops; you will write a critical essay putting a methodological approach into practice.
Conference Organisation and Presentation
The module is designed to train you in the skills involved in event organisation and presentation. It will involve collaborative as well as individual research skills. You will be guided through the necessary training in organising a conference, choosing a topic and delivering a relevant paper. You will be assigned roles (treasurer, programme developer, marketing manager, website designer) and will also present a paper at the conference. You will be assessed on a reflective essay, outlining your contribution to the management of the conference and a written version of your presentation (including slides).
English Project Research Training
The module is designed to train you in the skills involved in designing and writing a research project in English Literature or Language. The aims of the course are to prepare the groundwork for the final dissertation and to enable you to present and receive feedback from your peers. You will produce a research proposal and critical review of relevant literature. You will also produce a case study in which the methodology and contextual research used in the proposal and critical review are tested.
The final project will be a sustained piece of writing, amounting to 15,000 words (although Creative Writing projects will vary in word count). The piece will draw on research undertaken throughout the year but will provide a new and sustained argument.
Note: All modules are subject to change in order to keep content current
Facilities and features
The course offers opportunities to visit archives in De Montfort University (such as the newly acquired Andrew Davies archive of scripts, correspondence and unperformed screenplays) and afield, for example the British Library or British Film Institute in London.
You are provided with a dedicated space in the ground floor of the Clephan Building that includes computers, scanners, printers and social area.
The main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (other than in exceptional circumstances) and offers a huge range of online resources, all of which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose.
The library is run by dedicated staff who offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching and reference management and assistive technology, and mathematical skills for non-maths students. There is also a Just Ask service for help and advice, available via email or telephone.
Our Learning Zones and the The Greenhouse also provide space for group or individual work and study.
There are 1,600 study places across all library locations, more than 700 computer stations, laptops to borrow, free wi-fi and desktop power outlets.
You can also book rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities for group work and presentations, secure an individual study room with adjustable lighting or make use of our assistive technology.
Opportunities and careers
Starting a business
If you are thinking of starting your own business or working for yourself, the Enterprise Team can help provide you with the right advice and guidance to get your business off the ground.
This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.
Through #DMUglobal, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.
Students can undertake careers in a range of areas, including events management, teaching and further research including PhD research.
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