Taught course

Modern and Contemporary Fiction

University of Chester · Department of English

Entry requirements

Minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2) in an appropriate discipline, or equivalent.

Months of entry


Course content

This is an innovative programme that explores a rich variety of twentieth- and twenty-first-century fiction. It provides broad coverage of key genres, as well as in-depth study of specific author(s)/topic(s) and the opportunity to specialise in an area of choosing.

Programme Structure

The MA comprises six modules:

  • Shorter Fiction – this module typically focuses on flash fiction (or ‘the short-short story’), the short story, and the novella. As well as considering works by major short-story writers and the development of the genre of the short story, the module explores its relation to the shorter and longer forms of flash fiction and the novella.

  • Novel Histories: Past, Present, Future – focuses on fiction in which the representation of the past, present, and/or future is central. It typically includes historical fiction, contemporary ‘political’ fiction, and ‘future histories’ (including utopian/dystopian fiction).

  • Popular Fictions – focuses on some of the best examples of various ‘genre fictions’, typically including crime/detective fiction, science fiction, neo-Victorian fiction, and the campus novel.

  • Special Author(s)/Topic(s) – focuses in depth on a specific author or topic, or on an illuminating combination of author(s) and/or topic(s).

  • Research Methods – designed to prepare students for the Dissertation, this module provides training in research methodologies, typically including the use of bibliographies, periodicals, and archives. There will also be workshops in which students present and discuss the initial research findings they will subsequently develop in the Dissertation.

  • Dissertation – allows students to pursue their own particular interest in modern and contemporary fiction. Students will devise their Dissertation proposal during the Research Methods module, and then work under the guidance of a supervisor, who will provide advice and support in one-to-one tutorials.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions
+44 (0)1244 511 000
+44 (0)1244 513 111