Taught course

Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies

University of Leeds · School of English

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (Hons) in English, postcolonial literature or a related subject.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of English admissions team.

Months of entry


Course content

Postcolonial studies is an intellectually dynamic and politically urgent field. It takes the pulse of contemporary societies and cultures in the context of an increasingly interconnected yet deeply complex world.

Our Masters degree allows you to look critically at problematic histories whose legacies remain with us: the history of slavery; the history of apartheid; the ongoing histories of colonialism itself, which cut across different languages and cultures in different parts of the world.

You’ll discover the richness and diversity of Anglophone postcolonial cultures, their social and historical contexts, and the theoretical but also practical issues they raise. An understanding of these issues will also allow you to gain an in-depth knowledge of how creative outputs like literature, film and music engage with race, place and identity across a variety of contexts – from the stereotyping of Turks and Jews in the Renaissance, to the global ‘migration crisis’ and Black Lives Matter movement of present times.

The scope and scale of our academic expertise will help you to examine postcolonial societies and cultures from a broad range of perspectives. This flexibility will give you many opportunities to pursue your personal interests, while an independent research project will enable you to explore a topic of your choice in even greater depth.

Our academic staff have specialist interests in postcolonial ecocriticism, disability studies and medical humanities, decolonial thought and anti-colonial struggle, diaspora and cosmopolitan community, states of refuge and asylum, postcolonial theory, psychoanalysis and trauma, indigenous knowledges, postcolonial film, theatre and poetry, postcolonial prize cultures and reception histories.

Specialist resources

The University of Leeds Library is one of the best research libraries in the UK, with holdings across the entire range of postcolonial literatures/cultures and special collections in a number of areas directly relating to the postcolonial field.

Our Special Collections offer a huge range of rare books, manuscripts and art, as well as microfilm collections of American, Indian and South African newspapers, US government and presidential files, the Black Power Movement archive, the Church Missionary Society archive, and documents relating to British imperialism, foreign affairs, and overseas policy.

Take a 360 tour around our libraries:

Brotherton Library

Laidlaw Library

Edward Boyle Library

Our research culture

You will also be welcome to participate in a lively and inclusive postgraduate research culture in the School and beyond, as represented in such early career scholar-oriented bodies as the cross-disciplinary Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, the Leeds University Centre of African Studies, and the Postcolonial Research Group.

These collectives and others like them hold regular workshops, conferences and other activities and events in which you'll be actively encouraged to get involved.

Information for international students

This course requires an IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).

If you need to study for longer than 10 weeks, read more about our postgraduate pre-sessional English course.

Fees and funding

There are a number of scholarships available to both UK/EU and international students. Further information.

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

Postgraduate Administrator
+44 (0)113 343 0277