English Literature Masters - MA/PgD/PgC


The MA English Literature is a rewarding taught degree which takes you on an exhilarating literary journey using texts from the eighteenth century to the present day.

Drawing on staff research expertise from the Romantic period to contemporary literature we explore a range of literary forms and delve into subjects such as historical and contemporary representations of place, the politics of genre fiction, and the representation of gender and sexuality. The dissertation gives you the flexibility to pursue your own research interests with the support and encouragement of a supervisor. Our wider academic community is dynamic so you will also have the chance to take part in additional activities which can include, but are not limited to, open mics, guest speakers, archive and museum visits, poetry readings and more. 

The MA is taught by published researchers and writers. The course aims to support you while you develop and hone your critical writing and research skills, all of which are transferable to a range of industries.  You can take our MA for professional development purposes, in order to enhance your career and to increase your employability in the creative arts, education, and heritage sectors. This  degree will also help you to specialise in an area of literary study which can pave the way for doctoral study. 

One of the great strengths of the programme is its flexibility. MA English Literature can be studied either full or part-time and classes are scheduled in the evenings. Modules can be taken individually, allowing you to control the pace and depth of your postgraduate study. Programme delivery is enhanced by the university's commitment to e-learning .

You may also be interested in our MA Creative Writing  or MA English Literature & Creative Writing programmes. 

This degree will undergo a periodic review in 2023/4 to ensure the course content is and remains current. Should any changes to course content be made as a result of the review, all applicants will be informed once changes are confirmed.

​Course Content​​

Our modules are delivered over one year full-time or two years part-time. This content is indicative and subject to alteration. 

"Juvenile Trash": Rethinking Genre Fiction (Optional module)
Genre fiction is often seen as frivolous and less important than ‘serious’ literary fiction. In this module we ‘rethink’ genre fiction, digging deeper to evaluate the aesthetics, politics and undeniable value of genre fiction. In our seminars, we explore a range of genres, including fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction, crime fiction, historical fiction, romance, and children's literature. 

We examine the way in which various texts – Shirley Jackson’s 'The Haunting of Hill House', Octavia Butler’s 'Kindred', Walter Mosely’s 'Devil in a Blue Dress', or Sarah Waters’s 'Fingersmith', for instance – show that genre fiction can both entertain and challenge. Seminars will provide you with opportunities to critically examine texts as well as to develop your own writing skills through genre-specific writing exercises and workshops.

Space, Environment and Modernity (Optional module)
In this module you will examine how literature both reflects and shapes the way we see the environment—not just the green landscape but the grey cityscape. You will do this by considering literature’s responsibility for the production of concepts of the countryside and the city, from the early nineteenth-century Romantic poets, through to contemporary novelists. This examination will entail a consideration of the interrelation of aesthetic, cultural, and social practices in representations of the environment, and an analysis of intellectual, cultural, historical, and sociological pressures that shape literary responses to the environment. You will study writing from Romanticists William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Clare, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Felicia Hemans. You will also read novels from Modernists Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, and Djuna Barnes, and postmodernists Sam Selvon, Clarice Lispector, and Guy Gunaratne.

Contesting Identities: Gender and Sexuality in Literature 
In this module we examine the shifting paradigms of gender and sexual identities from the late 19th century to the present day, with reference to social, cultural and political changes, via a range of texts. Through a selection of fascinating authors – for instance, Nella Larsen, Virginia Woolf, Carson McCullers, Toni Morrison, Jeanette Winterson, and Alison Bechdel - you will develop a sophisticated understanding of debates, theories and ideas relevant to the topics of gender and sexual identities. 

Literary and Critical Arts Research Methods 
This module seeks to develop active and innovative researchers who are sensitive to the ethical and cultural choices they make as contemporary writers and critics. Throughout this module, you will be asked to consider what it means to learn and the approaches which are necessary to undertake robust and unbiased research. You will be introduced to a variety of research methods which will help to develop your practical research skills as well as your literary and critical practices. 

The Dissertation module provides you with the opportunity to undertake a sustained, rigorous and independent investigation of a specialised topic in literary studies.

Learning & Teaching​

This MA English Literature degree is taught by leading researchers and active writers.

Most modules are taught through group workshops, seminars and online delivery.  Some modules will also include individual tutorials and the dissertation module is delivered entirely through one-to-one tutorials with your supervisor.

In workshops and seminars full use is made of University technology and course materials will be delivered and stored through our Virtual Learning Environment.  It will be possible for you to access the Virtual Learning Environment remotely and you will be encouraged to do so. 

All modules are 30 credits apart from the dissertation which is worth 60 credits.

In a 30-credit module you will receive 33 hours of timetabled teaching and you will be expected to conduct 267 hours of independent study.  The 60-credit dissertation is mainly conducted with independent study.  You will receive 6 hours of tutorial supervision (this includes supervisors looking over your work) and you will be expected to conduct 594 hours of independent study.

Each student is appointed a personal tutor who will be available for academic advice, pastoral support and personal development planning.  Tutors also have weekly office hours.

A critical but supportive environment is achieved through a combination of workshops, research seminars and e-learning. You will be introduced to the practicalities of preparing and submitting your work for possible publication. ​


We have a variety of approaches to assessment across the programme depending upon the module. The majority of your modules are assessed through essay but other modes of assessment include blog posts and poster presentations. 

Modules also make use of Virtual Learning Environments for assessments and you may be asked to view material online and then to respond to it (Literary and Critical Arts Research Methods).

You will receive tutor support in class and through our VLE in order to prepare you for each assessment point. We also have library facilities online and at campus. 

Employability & Careers​

The MA is also a great choice for those wishing to enhance their employment and professional opportunities in the arts or heritage sectors. The programme is suitable for those who are teachers of English Literature at 'A' Level or GCSE and would like to enhance their expertise for professional development purposes.

The course also prepares you for further study at PhD level at Cardiff Metropolitan University and beyond.
This degree will encourage you to develop the valuable transferable skills of autonomy, effective collaboration, self-direction, organisation, initiative and adaptability that are highly regarded in the workplace.  A Master's degree in English Literature may lead to a variety of careers which include the particularly relevant areas of teaching, research, journalism, public relations, the Civil Service, publishing, the media, and employment in the public or voluntary sectors. 

A few student successes:

Kate Delaney is an experienced digital marketer with a focus on social media management for small businesses and the book industry.

Dan Mitchell is an award-winning stand-up comedian, comedy writer, TV and radio actor, presenter and event host/compere. His is also a Facilitator for Roald Dahl exhibition at the Wales Millennium Centre.

Keren Williams is Children's Digital Assistant at Candy Jar Limited publishing company (2018)

Durre Shahwar is Associate Editor of Wales Arts Review.  She is a Cardiff-based writer. She has a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing & MA in Creative Writing, both from Cardiff Metropolitan University. She is a Word Factory Apprentice 2017, mentored by Alexei Sayle. In 2015, she was commended for the Robin Reeves Prize for Young Writers.

Barbara A Stensland (MA Creative Writing) writes a blog about living with MS that has recently been published as a book, 'Stumbling in Flats' (2015). It has been shortlisted for The International Rubery Book Award 2015.

Alex Sambrook (MA Creative Writing) had a short story shortlisted in the prestigious Bridport Short Story Competition (2012).

Entry Requirements​ & How to Apply

Applicants should usually have a 2.2 honours degree, in a relevant subject. Students that meet the criteria will be invited for interviews.

Selection Procedure:
Submission of online application form, please check Compulsory Supporting Documents here. Suitable applicants will be interviewed via Teams or over the phone.

International Applicants:
Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 6.5 standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website.

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made direct to the University via our self-service facility. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/howtoapply.

If you are interested in using credit from another institution, or have obtained qualifications and/or experience to study for a course at Cardiff Met, you can find further information on this as well as information on how to apply on the RPL page.

Additional Information

Partner Employee Discount

There is a fee discount of 25% available to part-time students who are employed in one of Cardiff Metropolitan University’s partnership schools for Initial Teacher Education and Training or partnership employer community. Eligibility criteria and terms apply. For further information please contact Admissions.​​

Contact Us

For general enquiries, please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email directapplications@cardiffmet.ac.uk

For course specific enquiries, please contact Dr Elizabeth English
Email: eenglish@cardiffmet.ac.uk

We endeavour to deliver courses as described and will not normally make changes to courses, such as course title, content, delivery, and teaching provision. However, it may be necessary for the university to make changes in the course provision before or after enrolment. It reserves the right to make variations to content or delivery methods, including discontinuation or merging courses if such action is considered necessary. Please read our Terms and Conditions for the full information.

Key Course Information

Place of Study:
Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy
Cyncoed Campus

Course Length:
1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

Course Disclaimer
We endeavour to deliver courses as described and will not normally make changes to courses, such as course title, content, delivery, and teaching provision. However, it may be necessary for the university to make changes in the course provision before or after enrolment. It reserves the right to make variations to content or delivery methods, including discontinuation or merging courses if such action is considered necessary.

Please read our Terms and Conditions for the full information.

Meet the Team: Nick Taylor-Collins

English Literature lecturer and Programme Director Dr Nick Taylor-Collins, talks about his love for reading and learning from passionate teachers at school, and how this influences his teaching in the seminar room.