MA English Studies

The course provides a dynamic taught postgraduate experience in the broad field of English Studies – students explore literature, film, television and theory in a range of international contexts.

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend a course fair How to apply


This is a flexible and challenging masters course, delivered by a team of tutors with internationally recognised academic expertise in specialist areas.

MA English Studies allows you to build your own bespoke masters experience, selecting from the full range of units on offer to reflect your interests in the further study of English. Or you could choose to follow one of two bracketed specialisms, MA English Studies (Contemporary Literature, Film and Theory) or MA English Studies (The Gothic).

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities is offering scholarships worth £2,000 for graduates with a first class honours or upper second class degree. Excellence scholarships are available to full-time home and EU students for 20/21 entry. Find out more on our postgraduate funding pages.

Features and Benefits

  • An accessible Masters degree you can study in the evening, full-time and part-time.
  • Study in Manchester, an exciting, diverse, creative, internationally renowned city, a UNESCO designated City of Literature (2017).
  • Take advantage of the English Department’s involvement with heritage projects, festivals, conferences, libraries, the creative industries and a varied programme of literary/research events – get involved.
  • Taught in small groups, you will benefit from the expertise of research active staff from whom you will learn specialist subject knowledge, professional research skills and conference presentation skills.
  • We are 8th out of 89 UK universities for the quality of our impact in English Language and Literature research (REF 2014).
  • You will benefit from regular seminars by visiting speakers as well as a thriving conference schedule.
  • A personal tutoring system is in place, ensuring that all students have a tutor with whom they can discuss any aspect of their academic developments.
  • The Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies was launched in 2013 to capitalise on the expertise of a high number of internationally renowned Gothic scholars housed in the Department of English. Founding Centre Head, Linnie Blake, along with Xavier Aldana Reyes and Sorcha Ni Fhlainn form the Centre’s core members.

"If you like debates, if you care about social, historical, political and intellectual transformations over the last 30 years, if you like literature, if you like developing your critical thinking, you are in the right place!" Francesca Gattuso, MA English Studies Graduate

Career Prospects

This programme will be a considerable asset to those who wish to pursue careers in teaching, arts administration, advertising, film and television, publishing, the media, journalism, business, public relations, politics and other careers which require a critical awareness of aspects of contemporary culture and an ability to assimilate and present a coherent argument. This programme will also prepare students for further study at PhD level.

Several recent graduates have progressed to PhD study at MMU and several have gone on to complete PGCEs. Our 'Practices' core unit equips students with the skills needed to conduct academic research at postgraduate level, as well as transferable skills appropriate for the professional workplace: students present research papers, use social media platforms in the translation and dissemination of their ideas, and collaboratively organise a one-day conference.

MA English Studies provides an opportunity to gain the expertise and skills required to support predicted growth in the creative, digital, new media and communications industries.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

You will normally have at least an upper second class undergraduate UK honours degree (or international equivalent) in a related humanities subject, including a basic grounding in literature, film or critical theory.

Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification. Accepted English qualifications can be viewed here.

Course details

Students can choose to follow one of two specialist pathways, MA English Studies (Contemporary Literature, Film and Theory) or MA English Studies (The Gothic), or you may select freely from the full range of units to construct an MA English Studies experience reflecting your interests in the further study of English.

MA English Studies allows students to freely select units from the full range on offer.

MA English Studies (Contemporary Literature, Film and Theory) focuses on contemporary cultural practices and critical theoretical interventions. This pathway reflects research strengths in contemporary literary and film studies, critical and cultural theory, memory and trauma studies, the critical medical humanities and queer, postcolonial and cultural disability studies.

MA English Studies (The Gothic) begins with the pre-history of the Gothic mode in the seventeenth century, explores its eighteenth and nineteenth-century incarnations and concludes with contemporary manifestations of the mode. Students study plays and novels, films and television, framed by socio-cultural perspectives and critical and theoretical analyses.

MA English Studies

You can choose any three of the six core units offered within the Specialist Pathways , plus Practices and a Dissertation in any area of English Studies

Core Units:

  • Dissertation
  • Practices

Option Units:

  • Rise of the Gothic
  • Twentieth Century Gothic
  • Post-Millennial Gothic
  • Time
  • Space
  • Body

Bracketed Specialisms

The bracketed specialisms in Contemporary Literature, Film and Theory and The Gothic comprise:

Three mandatory core units in one of the dedicated pathways, plus the research unit Practices and a Dissertation in any area of English Studies.

Core Units for The Gothic:

  • Rise of the Gothic
  • Twentieth Century Gothic
  • Post-Millennial Gothic
  • Dissertation
  • Practices

Core Units for Contemporary Literature, Film & Theory:

  • Time
  • Space
  • Body
  • Dissertation
  • Practices

Read more about this year of study

Core Units


The unit sets out to introduce subject specific and professional skills in practice. The unit houses a research seminar series featuring six papers/readings by leading academics and writers which students are required both to attend and to reflect upon via a range of exercises using social media platforms: blogs, Twitter, Slideshare, YouTube or Vimeo. Students will also learn how to develop a web presence for their work (using LinkedIn and other platforms) and will work together to design, organise, publicise and manage an MA conference at which they will present their plans for their dissertation projects. The unit also furnishes students with the skills they require to devise and complete an independent research project.


All MA students submit a dissertation of around 15,000 words.

Likely Optional Units


This unit explores literary, filmic, theatrical, artistic, televisual and theoretical material on the following: biopolitics, biosociality and bioculture in late capitalism, debates around identity, recognition and personhood, debates on the posthuman, transhuman and the human/machine interface, the neurological turn, tissue economies, food and consumption, postcolonial, neo-colonial and crip embodiments, sexuality and the sexed body.  This unit also explores the distinctive ways in which literary, televisual and cinematic texts mediate particular ideas about the body, embodiment, and identity and the political and ethical dimensions of cultural representation.


This unit introduces students to a range of literary, cinematic and theoretical constructions of space, place, nation and the world in contemporary culture. The unit considers the concept of space in the following contexts: Postmodernity and Post-postmodernity; Globalisation, geopolitics and neoliberalism; Nation; The city; Suburbia; Indigeneity; Post- and neo-colonialism; Border spaces and border crossings; Corporate spaces; Virtual and digital spaces. We explore these contexts through a close critical analysis of literary and cinematic mediations of post 9/11 culture and the war on terror, cultural representations of contemporary geopolitics, the US/Mexico border, land abuse in Australia, urban/suburban fears, corporate culture and the logic of marketization, virtual space and concepts of security and risk in a digital culture.


The unit provides a general overview of these concepts in relation to post-postmodernism, and then focuses on issues such as contemporary witnessing, the repression and rewriting of history, postcolonial trauma, and the trace of the past. The unit covers themes including post-postmodernism and meta-modernism, the role of twenty-first-century fiction in the representation of the past, the relevance and future of trauma theory, the im/possibility of contemporary witnessing, the neglect of postcolonial trauma, and the relationship of genre and form to representation (encompassing the novel, film and poetry).

Rise of the Gothic

The unit provides a historical overview of the rise of Gothic literature from the Renaissance to 1900 and an introduction to current debates in Gothic Studies. Topics to be covered include: Gothic Renaissance (Shakespeare and Jacobean revenge drama); eighteenth-century Gothic fiction (Walpole, Lewis, Radcliffe); Gothic Romanticism (Dacre, poetry and visual art); nineteenth-century American Gothic (Hawthorne, Poe, Brockden Brown); Victorian Gothic (Emily Brontë, ghost stories, Bram Stoker, H.G. Wells); critical consideration of debates in Gothic Studies about the Female Gothic, queer Gothic, the uncanny and the doppelgänger.

Twentieth Century Gothic

This unit is explores key Gothic texts of the twentieth century and the critical debates that inform our understanding of them. Students will study a range of British and American literary and filmic texts drawn from Gothic submodes (such as the weird and the grotesque) against their historic and cultural context; developments in the representation of the monster (such as the vampire, the zombie and the serial killer); and the most significant debates in modern Gothic Studies.

Post-millennial Gothic

This course explores a range of literary, filmic, televisual and graphic novel texts that best exemplify the contemporary Gothic, including Gothic adaptations, neoliberal Gothic, digital Gothic, transnational Gothic, the New Weird and the ongoing evolution of figures such as the vampire and the serial killer, as well as the most significant debates within contemporary Gothic Studies

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:


Department of English

Our Department of English is a large, vibrant community of around fifty internationally renowned writers and critics, and is home to the Manchester Writing School and Centre for Gothic Studies.

As well as a solid grounding in the traditional core of the subject, the department offers a modern and innovative approach to the study of English, with all strands of its degree programmes offering the opportunity to study abroad for a term.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff


UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £8,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £1417 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

UK and EU students: Distance learning fee: £1417 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £16,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £2667 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Distance learning fee: £2667 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 each year for books and printing.

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

Find out more

Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

Learn more

Want to know more?

How to apply

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

Apply online now

If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for postgraduate taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.