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English – Contemporary Literature MA

Key Facts

  • Level:

    Postgraduate

  • Duration:

    1 year full time
    2 - 4 years part time

  • Starting:

    September

  • Fees UK:

    Full Time: £7,470
    Part Time:
    £4,150 Year one (100 credits) £3,320 Year two (80 Credits)

  • Fees International:

    Full Time: £14,000

  • Location:

    Waterside

Get in touch


For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries

study@northampton.ac.uk
0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries

international@northampton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1604 894503

TEF Gold. Teaching Excellence Framework.

Overview


This exciting course examines the role of contemporary literature in a number of different contexts. You will have the chance to explore a diverse range of texts, across varied modules, with the chance to explore a topic of your choice in specialist detail through your dissertation. You could study post-1945 classics, including late modernists like Samuel Beckett, as well as surveying the latest novels.

You may explore specialist fields such as trauma fiction or gender and sexuality, master the latest literary theories, or investigate new genres and popular narrative media, including contemporary gothic literature, film, video games and comic books.

Updated 26/11/2020

Highlights


  • Research-informed modules on current topics.
  • Flexible evening study time.
  • This course is eligible for the postgraduate loan.

Course Content


  • The programme is built to encourage you to not only examine the contemporary moment – our time, our culture – in isolation, but to use contemporary literature as a window to broader concerns: literary traditions and heritage, politics and society, personal identity and representation.

    Full-time English Masters students will take two 30 credit modules in each of two terms, followed by the dissertation. The four modules to be offered in any given year are pre-selected by the tutors from the list below.

    Part-time students can take the course over two or three years. In both cases, the first year will contain one module in each of two terms, amounting to 60 credits. If you choose to study over two years, the second year will contain one module in each of two terms, plus the dissertation, amounting to 120 credits.

    If you choose to study over three years, the second year will contain one module in each of two terms, amounting to 60 credits, and the third year will involve the dissertation only, to make up the final 60 credits (please note: student loans are not normally available to those studying the three-year option).

    All modules will be taught in the evenings (6-9pm) allowing you to take your course entirely outside of normal working hours.

    Dissertation

    The dissertation, provides greater opportunity for choice of topics and allows you the chance to master a specific area reflecting your own interests and chosen approaches.

      • Module code: LITM033
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to introduce students to a variety of methods applicable to research in contemporary literary and cultural studies. It delivers key guidance on master?s level study promotes an informed awareness of theoretical models and helps students use theoretical concepts in textual analysis.
      • Module code: LITM034
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to examine the relationship of narrative storytelling and questions of identity in contemporary culture considering a range of socio-political contexts: class race gender and sexuality; aesthetics form and postmodern narratives; and notions of `self? and authenticity the module.
      • Module code: LITM035
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to examine the ways in which classic Gothic texts plots characters and motifs are reworked for a contemporary readership. The module charts the development of the Gothic in British fiction since the 1970s interrogating its engagement with contemporary social and political concerns.
      • Module code: LITM036
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to explore literary modernism?s vigorous afterlife beyond the Second World War and into the twenty-first century through readings of key works by predominantly Anglo-American writers who continue to engage in a variety of ways with the modernist project.
      • Module code: LITM037
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to consider popular genres (including popular fiction film comics and the graphic novel) engaging with debates about cultural value and introducing and evaluating the ways in which 'high theory' and 'low culture' can be used to interrogate and illuminate one another.
      • Module code: LITM038
        Status: Designate
        Theories of sex gender and sexuality have occupied an important place in the development of English studies Women?s Studies and LGBTQ (Lesbian/Gay and/or Queer) Studies since 1960. In this module we study a diverse range of 20th- and 21st-century texts by female and male writers primarily from Britain and the United States of America but all Anglophone. They range from examples of literary fiction crime fiction utopian writing and the post-modern novel to shorter fiction auto-fictional prose post-modernism fabular fiction and new genres such as the confessional memoir and ?new narrative?. Throughout the module we will be placing our reading of the texts in the context of feminist gay/lesbian and ?queer? literary criticism. These are diverse fields of theory with their origins in works such as Virginia Woolf?s A Room of One?s Own ? an example of first-wave feminism - and subsequently in second- and third-wave feminist writing as well as in psychoanalytic theory deconstruction and social liberation theories. Many of the sessions require you to a read both a creative work and a piece of literary criticism or theory. Seminar discussion may then consider either one particular theoretical approach or a range of different theoretical approaches that may be applied to the text under discussion. In each case there will be a tutor-led and sometimes a student-led introduction to the critical materials studied. A particular emphasis may fall on the representation of the physical body and bodily behaviour appearance and identity more generally. Equally examples of non-mainstream gendered and sexual representations will feature since these provide the best illustration of socio-cultural and political tendencies or norms as well as distinctive artistic and cultural traditions and innovations. This module builds on the primary engagement students may have had with `Sex Sexuality and Twentieth-Century Fiction? (LIT2048) at level five as well as on `Contemporary Women?s Writing? at level six (LIT3010). It complements ideas and texts encountered on the fullest range of peer level seven modules including `Contemporary British Gothic? and `Trauma Fiction?.
      • Module code: LITM039
        Status: Designate
        This module provides the opportunity to explore utopian and dystopian writing through the study of texts from different historical periods. It enables students to adopt a variety of theoretical approaches and complements several other modules with its focus on issues relating to gender politics popular culture and historical context.
      • Module code: LITM040
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to examine trauma literature since the 1980s in the context of contemporary trauma theory. Focussing on concepts such as unrepresentability aporia and narrative rupture it analyses the relationship between narrative form and traumatic subject matter and how texts transform traumatic memory into narrative events.
      • Module code: LITM041
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to explore the nature of adaptation in popular media and the different ways it has been studied. Adaptation occurs between many different forms and modes and the module will examine new and different ways to view adaptation as for example translation appropriation or reimagining.
      • Module code: LITM042
        Status: Designate
        This module examines Shakespeare as a facet of contemporary culture principally through its manifestations in recent fiction and film. Discussions of Shakespeare?s cultural ubiquity and longevity will be framed by concepts such as power ideology discourse hegemony presentism appropriation adaptation and performance. A wide range of themes engaged by such adaptations and re-workings of the plays (and of the life and image of the author) for our own times will be explored by means of close analysis of the texts of these fictions and films.
      • Module code: LITM043
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to provide an opportunity to carry out independent research of considerable depth over a sustained period of time on a topic of their own choosing working with a supervisor to build on and extend scholarly understanding of contemporary literature.
  • How will I be taught on English – Contemporary Literature MA?

    Modules are taught face to face in small groups, with occasional preparatory work and consolidation activities that are completed online, with tutor guidance.

    How will I be assessed?

    Assessment varies from module to module, but there are currently no exams for this course. Previous modules have used annotated bibliographies, essays, online discussion forums, critical explications and presentations as forms of assessment. Your final assessment consists of a 15,000 word dissertation.

    Are there any specialist facilities and features?

    You will benefit from

    • a specialist understanding of contemporary culture
    • close attention from staff with research expertise
    • freedom to choose your own dissertation topic for in-depth research
  • To apply for the MA in English (Contemporary Literature) we normally ask that you have a Bachelor’s degree in English, or a related discipline, at 2:1 or higher. Applications with alternative qualifications or experience and from overseas students are welcomed and will be assessed in accordance with the University’s Admissions Policy and Academic Regulations.

    For more more information on how to make an application, please visit our How to Apply page.

    If you are an International student and would like information on making an application, please see our How to Apply page.

    English Language Requirements

    All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:

    • Minimum standard – IELT 6.5 (or equivalent)
      for study at postgraduate level.

    For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.

  • 21/22 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 21/22 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £7,470
    • UK – Part Time: £4,150 Year one (100 credits) £3,320 Year two (80 Credits)
    • International: £14,000
    Additional Costs

    We do ask that you buy the prescribed primary texts for each module. We carefully review the costs of every module each year, so that they do not exceed £100 per module. In practice, by using libraries, freely available online resources and second-hand copies of books, costs are often less than half of this total figure.

    You will have the chance to attend a range of research seminars, conferences, field trips and other activities beyond the curriculum for free or at minimal cost.

    20/21 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 20/21 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK and EU – Full Time: £6,840
    • UK and EU – Part Time: £3,800 Year one (100 credits) £3,040 Year two (80 Credits)
    • International: £13,750
    Additional Costs

    We do ask that you buy the prescribed primary texts for each module. We carefully review the costs of every module each year, so that they do not exceed £100 per module. In practice, by using libraries, freely available online resources and second-hand copies of books, costs are often less than half of this total figure.

    You will have the chance to attend a range of research seminars, conferences, field trips and other activities beyond the curriculum for free or at minimal cost.

     

    Postgraduate Loans
    If you are starting a postgraduate Master’s course in 2020/21 or 2021/22 either full-time or part-time* you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan through Student Finance England.

     

    For information on the scholarships available to you, please see our scholarships page.

  • You have the chance to spend your second term with one of our Erasmus partners as part of the funded Erasmus scheme. We have agreements with the University of Zaragoza, Spain and the University of Muenster, Germany.

    Contact our course enquiries team for more information.

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Careers and Employability


Students who have studied with us have gone on to a variety of careers, including: teaching, adult education, journalism, theatre management, marketing, editorial work with major publishers, librarianship, arts administration, museum and curatorial work, librarianship, bookselling, social work training, management trainee schemes with large companies, local government.