Entry requirements

Degree requirements

A 2:1 or above at undergraduate level in English or a related subject such as History, Cultural Studies and Media Studies.

Other routes

Promising applicants who do not meet the formal academic criteria but who possess relevant credentials and who can demonstrate their potential to produce written work at Masters level will also be considered. As part of the admissions process, we may call for examples of written and artistic work and/or interview candidates.

Find out more about how to apply for our postgraduate taught courses.

Months of entry


Course content

Create your own bespoke degree through our English Literature MA pathway, which is ideal if your interests are wide-ranging and you want to consider the relationship between literature from a variety of historical periods. You can explore fundamental questions about literature and consider how these debates change over time, immersing yourself in your chosen periods and areas. What you'll study

This course is ideal if your interests range across several historical periods and areas of study. It gives you the freedom to explore a wide range of themes and subjects and asks fundamental questions about the nature of literature.

Your compulsory module, The Production of Texts in Contexts examines a broad span of literature from a variety of historic periods. You'll also explore how innovations in printing and publishing affect writing, and the ways in which authorial identities and practices reflect political and social changes. The module is taught by 10 to 11 different staff members, each of whom presents a topic related to their own particular interests and specialisms.

You can choose your remaining modules from those offered by the Department of English. You can also take one MA module offered by another school in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, or by other colleges of the University of London.

Our London location means you’ll also have the wealth of London’s literary culture on your doorstep: our MA makes the most of this advantage, ensuring you explore the city’s galleries, libraries and other cultural institutions.


  • Four assessed modules
  • One non-assessed research training module
  • A 15,000-word dissertation

You might incur a small travel cost (eg travelcard) for the research training module as it involves visits to archives, museums and galleries. You may also want to buy your own copies of books, although they can all be borrowed from the library for free.

Programme changes for 2020

At Queen Mary, we have been adapting to the challenges of Covid-19 so we are ready for the new academic year, with all the academic, pastoral and community support you need to settle in and thrive. For your chosen programme of study, the result is an innovative blended learning offering, giving you access to a world-class education whether or not you can join us on campus from September. For more information, please visit our dedicated FAQ pages.

Please note that the modules listed below are for students starting the programme in September 2020.

Coronavirus FAQs

Advice and guidance for applicants

Guidance for applicants

Compulsory/Core modules

  • Dissertation
  • The Production of Texts in Context
Elective modules
  • Reading Shakespeare Historically
  • Queer Theory and Contemporary Fiction
  • Romanticism and Genre
  • Reading the Middle East
  • What is World Literature
  • Literatures of Sensation
  • Creative and Critical Writing


  • 67% Modules
  • 33% Dissertation

You will normally be assessed by a written essay of about 4,000 words for each module you take, in addition to the dissertation of 15,000 words.


You will also be assessed on a supervised 15,000-word dissertation. Recent dissertation subjects include:

  • Witnessing War: Trauma Writing, Archival Memory, and Testimony to an Absent Past in the Graphic Narrative 

  • Oriental Musings: The Romantics and The Orient 

  • Lady Anna Miller’s Letters from Italy (1777): Credibility, Authority and Self-fashioning

Information for international students

English language requirements

If you got your degree in an English speaking country or if it was taught in English, and you studied within the last five years, you might not need an English language qualification - find out more.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa.

Fees and funding

Queen Mary alumni get a £1,000 discount on their fees. Find out more about the Alumni Loyalty Award


There are a number of ways you can fund your postgraduate degree.

Our Advice and Counselling service offers specialist support on financial issues, which you can access as soon as you apply for a place at Queen Mary. Before you apply, you can access our funding guides and advice on managing your money:

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA(Engl)
    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

School of English and Drama
+44 (0)20 7882 8571