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Master’s in English in the UK

A Master’s in English in the UK is a postgraduate program that offers a choice of focus on a particular aspect or historical era of English literature. The Master’s curriculum is highly advanced and includes intense examination of literature from a variety of standpoints and disciplines. Students will have the opportunity to study the topics of their choice and learn advanced analytical, critical and research skills.

What Is a Master’s in English?

Most UK universities offer a Master’s in English program. Typically, students will choose an area of literature that interests them and will focus their studies on interpretation through a diversity of lenses. Areas of concentration are often split up as follows:

  • Old English, including language study and examination of works such as Beowulf. Some programs include the study of related works that were strong influences on Old English literature, such as the Icelandic Eddas. This type of program will also examine contemporary translations and interpretations of the works studied.
  • Medieval English. This course of study generally covers authors such as Chaucer and Langland, as well as lesser known poets and non-fiction writing of the period.
  • Early Modern literature programs cover the 16th and 17th centuries, and include the works of authors such as Webster, Marlow, Shakespeare, Spenser, Donne, Vaughan and Milton.
  • Restoration and Enlightenment literature, focusing on authors such as Swift and Pope as well as early Romantics.
  • 19th Century literature, covering the Victorian and early Edwardian periods.
  • Contemporary literature, covering a large time period starting from the beginning of the 20th century and including many diverse genres.

Students will examine historic and social influences, literary precursors and related works. They will also study a variety of critical approaches to literary analysis, including specific works concerning literary theory and critical analysis of particular works. Many programs also offer cultural perspectives.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s in English in the UK?

Students who complete a Master’s in English program in the UK gain valuable research and writing skills. In the UK, postgraduate English programs focus heavily on independent research and written work. Pursuing this degree entails engaging intensely with language, narrative and tone. The deeper understanding gained through this type of academic endeavor prepares students for rigorous analysis in many types of fields.

The UK has a longstanding, rich and diverse literary tradition that has influenced literature and language in many parts of the world. International students often find it extremely rewarding to pursue a Master’s in English in the UK and to immerse themselves in a multifaceted analytical framework.

The study of English literature at an advanced level also means studying relevant history, culture, critical theory, poetics and linguistics. The perspectives afforded by such study serve to broaden the mind and hone critical thinking in a variety of contexts.

What Kind of Career Can You Expect With a Master’s in English?

Many Master’s in English degree holders choose to continue their academic studies and to pursue further degrees. They typically combine academic research and publication with teaching at the university level.

Other graduates choose to enter a variety of fields. In addition to teaching English at the secondary level, English graduates find employment in many sectors. The research, analysis and communication skills gained through a postgraduate Master’s program are highly transferable to many fields. Some sectors where English graduates find success include:

  • Law
  • Politics
  • Government
  • Activism
  • Community education and enrichment
  • Publishing
  • Media
  • Entertainment
  • Journalism
  • Advertising

Some professions require obtaining additional degrees or licensing, depending on the location. For example, legal and counseling positions may be contingent on meeting several types of licensing requirements. Students who choose to pursue additional degrees often find that their Master’s in English studies provide them with a significant advantage when it comes to completing coursework.

Graduates obtain employment with many types of employers, from corporations to government agencies to non-profits. Their ability to think critically and present arguments in a logical, coherent fashion makes them assets in public-facing positions. A Master’s in English from a UK university is also a prestigious credential that is recognised by many employers throughout the world.

University of Southampton

Southampton, United Kingdom

  • 67SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 25,423Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

University of Southampton (Southampton) is a public institution located along the University Road in Southampton, United Kingdom. Southampton offers a wide range of master's degree programs across its five academic faculties namely: Arts and Humanities; Engineering and Physical Sciences; Environmental and Life Sciences; Medicine; and Social Sciences....

University of Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton, United Kingdom

  • 158SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 15,540Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

The University of Wolverhampton offers more than 500 courses through 18 schools and institutes. Located Wolverhampton, England, the university offers bachelor's and master's degree programs. Some of the schools and institutes available include the School of Humanities, School of Biology, Chemistry and Forensic Science, and the Institute of Sport....

University of Dundee

Dundee, United Kingdom

  • 177SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 20,910Average Tuition
  • 80%Acceptance Rate

The University of Dundee (DU) is a public research university located in the city of Dundee, Scotland. The University has dedicated faculties through which it delivers master's degree programs to both local and international students ...

Goldsmiths, University of London

London, United Kingdom

  • 239SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 20,338Average Tuition
  • 9.3%Acceptance Rate

Goldsmiths, University of London (Goldsmiths) is a public university located in New Cross, South East London, UK. Goldsmiths offers a wide range of master's degree programs across its academic faculties including: Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship (ICCE); Confucius Institute for Dance and Performance; Media, Communications and Cultural Studies (MCCS); Institute of Management Studies (IMS); and Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies (STaCS)....

University of Stirling

Stirling, United Kingdom

  • 240SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 16,029Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

The University of Stirling is located just two miles from the centre of the city of Stirling in Scotland. The University of Stirling offers its undergraduate students the chance to select from almost 200-degree combinations. The university has a Graduate School which serves as a hub for its postgraduate community. In addition, the university has five faculties of Arts and Humanities; Natural Sciences; Social Sciences; Health Sciences and Sport; and the Stirling Management School....

London Metropolitan University

London, United Kingdom

  • 334SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 11,440Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

London Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom, places students at the centre of everything it does. The University is proud of its vibrant, multicultural and socially diverse community, and welcomes applicants regardless of age or background....

Liverpool John Moores University

Liverpool, United Kingdom

  • 506SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 17,732Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) is a public research-driven university located in Liverpool, England. LJMU offers a wide range of master's degree programs through its five academic faculties namely: Arts, Professional and Social Studies; Education, Health and Community; Engineering and Technology; Liverpool Business School; and Science. 
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Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester, United Kingdom

  • 511SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 20,338Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), is a public university located in Manchester, UK. MMU offers master's degree courses in a wide range of faculties including the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Faculty of Business and Law and Faculty of Education....

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