Taught course

Modern and Contemporary Literature

Institution
Birkbeck, University of London · English, Theatre and Creative Writing
Qualifications
MA

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Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree (2:2) or above in English or a related subject.

Non-standard entry qualifications or appropriate training and experience will be considered.

Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

Months of entry

October

Course content

Our MA Modern and Contemporary Literature begins with an investigation of literary and theoretical conceptions of modernity in early twentieth-century literature, focusing on topics such as urbanisation, technology, mass culture, individualism and subjectivity.

You will also have the chance to analyse the historical transformations of literature and cultural thought from 1945, using the contexts of post-war reconstruction, decolonisation, the fate of avant-garde art, and theories of postmodernity and globalisation.

The emergence of international literary paradigms during the twentieth century is reflected in the choice of texts from British, American and post-colonial contexts.

This exciting programme has been running successfully for over 30 years, with staff committed to constantly changing and updating the course to reflect changes in literary culture.

Highlights
  • In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), English Language and Literature at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 91% of eligible staff submitted research, of which 75% was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent. Read the Department of English, Theatre and Creative Writing blog to keep up to date with our research activities.
  • Birkbeck is at the geographical centre of London’s research library complex, a short distance from the British Library, Senate House Library and the Institute of Historical Research. Senate House Library has an outstanding collection of literary periodicals of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, while the nearby University College London Library also has an important James Joyce archive. The Poetry Library at London’s South Bank Centre is rich in twentieth-century poetry. We are also at the heart of literary London, in Bloomsbury, WC1. You could be studying in a building that was once home to Virginia Woolf and frequented by members of the Bloomsbury Group, now home to our School of Arts. The building houses our own creative hub which includes the Peltz Gallery, the Gordon Square Cinema and a theatre and performance space.
  • Birkbeck's School of Arts hosts the internationally acclaimed Contemporary Poetics Research Centre, which regularly features visiting poetic practitioners. There will also be opportunities to join a number of graduate seminars and reading groups, and occasional discussions with practising novelists and poets. The Centre for Contemporary Literature runs a wide variety of talks and conferences.
  • The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students.
  • The School of Arts is an official partner of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. Opportunities for students have included a year’s free membership of the ICA, private views, discounts on all talks and events, free members' screenings and £3 cinema tickets on Tuesdays, up to 25% off ICA Artists' Editions and a monthly e-newsletter.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Name
Student Advice Service
Email
studentadvice@bbk.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)20 3907 0700