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  1. Postgraduate
    1. 2021
Study at City

MA English

Entry Year:
City’s stimulating MA English enables you to acquire academic research training and vital employability skills while studying in the heart of London.

Key information

Start date

September 2021

Academic year dates


Full-time: one year

Part-time: two years


Full-time: £8,160 *

Part-time: £4,080 *


Full-time: £13,770 *

Part-time: £6,885 *


Full-time: £13,770 *

Part-time: £6,885 *

Application period

From October 2020

There is no formal deadline, but early applications are encouraged.


Northampton Square

Who is it for?

City’s MA English will appeal to graduates from backgrounds in English, the Humanities, Creative Writing and other aligned disciplines who wish to develop their skills further at postgraduate level. The programme allows you to focus solely on English Literature, or to combine English Literature with Creative Writing and/ or Publishing. You will gain both academic and transferable skills, preparing you for a diverse range of graduate careers. You will benefit from City’s reputation as a provider of academic excellence for business and the professions and from London’s outstanding research, cultural and creative facilities.


City’s MA English aims to produce graduates who are versatile researchers, effective communicators and active, reflective learners with a range of subject-specific, transferable and employability skills. Underpinned by the conviction that English is an academic subject that makes a significant contribution to cultural life, this distinctive degree enables you to combine literary scholarship with creative and/ or professional writing.

The programme brings together:

  • Theoretical and research training in English
  • A predominantly modern and contemporary module diet centred around identity and genre that views literature as an active participant in social and cultural debates
  • A varied assessment regime that fosters your subject-specific, research and transferable skills
  • Access to elective modules in Publishing and Creative Writing that will enable you to develop additional, aligned skill-sets

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally

  • Hold a 2.1 Honours BA degree or an equivalent qualification.
  • Have studied a relevant subject such as English, Comparative Literature, Theatre and Drama, Film and Media Studies, Creative Writing or Humanities.

English requirements

If your first language is not English, you will be expected to demonstrate Level 7.0 proficiency in the IELTS English language test.

Visa requirements

International Students (EEA and Non EEA) coming to study in the UK, may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study. The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • EEA nationals joining the programme in 2020 and EEA nationals joining from January 2021
  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

Apply now:

MA English (full-time)2021/22

MA English (part-time)2021/22

When applications open, you can apply online and will be expected to submit the following:

  • You must submit a copy of your degree transcript with your application. We require an original transcript or a copy certified by your institution. If you have not yet graduated, you will be required to send us your degree transcript as soon as it is available. You will not be able to register as a City student without having supplied your degree transcript
  • You may need to attend an interview in person or by phone.
Choose from a range of stimulating modules.
Benefit from an employability-focused assessment regime.
Study in the heart of London, with access to the capital’s outstanding research, cultural and creative facilities.
During your course

More about fees

* Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase of 2%. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).

The Lord Mayor of London Scholarship


We operate a Guarantee Scheme for first year undergraduates which means you will be offered place in one of City's affiliated Halls if you meet the Scheme's criteria.

Read more about our undergraduate halls.

Our Accommodation Service can also help you find private accommodation.

Find out more about private accommodation.

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Course timetables are normally available from July and can be accessed from our timetabling pages. These pages also provide timetables for the current academic year, though this information should be viewed as indicative and details may vary from year to year.

View academic timetables

Please note that all academic timetables are subject to change.

Student support

We offer an extensive support network during your time here at City, University of London – from Learning Support (including disability support) and counselling to financial and career advice – leaving you free to enjoy every opportunity campus life has to offer.

Find out more about the different types of student support available.

Ask a student

Chat to our current students and read their blogs to gain an insight into studying at City and learn more about our undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Course content and assessment

To make sure that you can begin or continue your studies with us during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have reviewed and adapted our courses to ensure a safe learning environment for our students and staff. We have modified the way some of our courses are delivered, with many programmes being made available online.

Contact us to find out more about how our programmes will be delivered.

Teaching and learning

You will acquire knowledge and understanding through a mixture of formal lectures, seminars, workshops, individual tutorials, group work and independent learning and research. Lectures will introduce you to important contexts, concepts and critical frameworks. Seminars will be focused on discussion and student-led activities and will enable you to apply your learning in an interactive, supportive environment. The dissertation is supported by individual supervision sessions and by the skills acquired in the core module in Research Methods, which will guide you through the process of researching and writing a dissertation.

The MA programme is delivered by a team of dedicated academics. Creative Writing and Publishing modules are led by published authors and professionals with industry experience. You may also benefit from access to visiting speakers from academia, the professions and the creative industries.

The MA programme deploys a variety of assessment methods that are designed systematically to develop your graduate-level academic, research, professional and creative skills and to prepare you for a wide range of graduate employment. Individual modules deploy a range of assessment methods, including critical essays; assessed group and individual presentations; portfolios of writing that demonstrate evidence of the ability to write in diverse registers and for diverse audiences; research-based assignments; individual and group projects; creative and professional writing; and a substantial dissertation project. Some modules may include group assessments and forms of peer assessment.


The MA award consists of 120 credits of taught modules and a 60-credit Dissertation, which is supervised.

You must complete two compulsory 15-credit modules (Literary Theory and Concepts; Research Methods) and at least three of the following 15-credit modules:

  • Constituting Identities
  • Literary Cartographies
  • Genre in Context
  • Imagined Communities
  • Theorising Women’s Writing
  • Text and Image

You will select the remaining 45 credits of taught modules from a range of modules in English Literature, Publishing and/or Creative Writing. You may take all 120 taught credits in English, select a combination of English and Creative Writing or Publishing modules, or study all three. Please note that the module offer is subject to sufficient recruitment.

Part-time route

Part-time students will normally study two modules per term over two years and will complete a dissertation in term 3 of their second year of study.

Please note that academic timetables are subject to change.

Term one

  • Literary Theory and Concepts (core): familiarises you with key literary theories and concepts that are essential for the advanced study of literature and culture.
  • Constituting Identities: examines the intertwining of self and story in different narrative forms.
  • Literary Cartographies: explores the construction of different kinds of textual 'worlds' in literature.
  • Text and Image: gives you the opportunity to analyse cultural products that combine textual and visual modes.
  • Publishing options, currently Digital Publishing; Publishing History and Culture.
  • Creative Writing options, currently Creative Writing Workshop and Storytelling.

Term two

  • Research Methods (core): familiarises you with a variety of research methods applicable to advanced literary study.
  • Imagined Communities: examines how communal identities are constructed through shared narratives.
  • Theorising Women’s Writing: explores the frameworks, theories and methods that scholars have developed to discuss women’s writing as a distinct field.
  • Genre in Context: examines how genre writing is shaped by, and in turn shapes, the social and cultural contexts in which it was produced.
  • Publishing options, currently Digital Product Innovation; Creating and Developing Content in Print; International Publishing Case Studies.
  • Creative Writing options, currently Creative Writing Workshop.

Term three

Working in consultation with a supervisor, you will complete a 15,000-word Dissertation on a topic of your own choice.

The programme specification contains more information on how the course is organised, the requirements for progression for each part and credits required for awards.

Overall workload

The full-time programme requires a full-time commitment to study. Part-time students should expect to devote at least two days a week to their studies. Full-time students can expect between 10 and 12 hours of classroom-based study per week during term-time, plus a significant amount of time spent on preparatory reading, independent study and research, and preparation of assignments. Part-time students should typically expect half of this contact time. Face-to-face activities will be supported by the virtual learning environment.

After you graduate

Career prospects

The MA in English develops key transferable skills in research, analysis and oral and written communication relevant to a range of careers, including publishing, advertising and marketing, library science, digital media, charities and the heritage industry, teaching and journalism. English graduates are able to think analytically, initiate and conduct projects creatively, articulate complex conclusions effectively both orally and in writing, and display sensitivity to diversity and wider contextual issues. If you avail yourself of the study options in Publishing and/or Creative Writing, you will benefit from our established reputation in these fields. Aspiring creative writers will get exposure to agents, editors and others within both traditional and electronic publishing. We have for many years supported the career prospects of our Publishing graduates via links with an industry advisory board as well as with alumni. The MA in English also prepares you for further MPhil/PhD research and expedites your access to such programmes.

Find out more information on the Careers support available at City.

Contact details

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