MA by Research English Studies

Duration Full time 1-2 years
Part time 2-3 years
Distance Learning available
Discipline
  • English
LocationCornwall (Penryn), Exeter (Streatham)
Start date September, January or April

Overview

The Masters by Research like other research degrees contains no taught element and offers you the opportunity to pursue a research project without entering into the commitment of a PhD. The programme is intended both as an award in its own right or as a progression route to a PhD. The programme can be studied one year full-time, or two years part-time and is assessed by a written dissertation of up to 40,000 words.

We welcome applications for research in all areas of English studies. Academic staff in the Department currently supervise over 80 research students.

All members of staff are active researchers and their interests as a whole encompass all the varieties of Anglophone culture not only in Britain, but in the US and elsewhere. This variety is reflected in the range of topics currently being studied by students, from poetry to drama, novels to films, medieval manuscripts to the internet, and from creative and life writing to the study of panoramas and magic lantern shows. It is also reflected in the number of research and reading groups organised by students and staff and by the number of conferences, talks and guest lectures that take place each year.

At the heart of the Department’s diversity is a common commitment to the intellectual development and welfare of all our postgraduate students and to cultural history and theory in their broadest sense. There is a special emphasis in the Department on interdisciplinarity – the deployment of approaches from disciplines such as history, sociology, politics, economics and linguistics alongside the theories and practices belonging to literary, film and cultural studies. It is this mix that enables the Department, its academic staff and its graduate students to offer supervisory expertise in social theory, gender studies, feminist theory, popular culture and film studies as well as in transatlantic and post-colonial studies and all forms of literature from the medieval to the contemporary.

Current available funding

Research areas

A summary of our main areas of research focus is provided here. The English research webpages provide more comprehensive details about current research projects. Details on individual staff research interests and publications can be found on the English staff profiles pages.

Research centres

Centre for Victorian Studies

The Centre for Victorian Studies (CVS) covers all areas of Victorian Britain and the Empire: culture (high Victorian and fin de siecle literature, gender, and sexuality); science (biology and economics); technology (print, optical and sound media). CVS is an institutional member of the University of California Dickens Project and annually sends one staff member and one advanced research student to California, where they share a week’s academic activities with international Victorianists.  CVS is also active in regular collaborations with the Nineteenth-Century Studies Centre at Birkbeck, the Victorian and late 19th and early 20th-century Divisions of the Modern Language Association of America, the North American Victorian Studies Association, the Australasian Victorian Studies Association, and the British Association for Victorian Studies. We have staff on the editorial boards of every significant Victorianist journal in Britain, North America and Australasia.

18th-Century Narrative Consortium

The Long 18th Century research group hosts the 18th-Century Narrative Consortium which aims to provide a focus for research activities and publications centred on the cultural phenomenon of eighteenth-century narrative. The period that saw the dawn of the novel also witnessed the exponential development of a market for print culture and huge social change.

Centre for South West Writing

The Centre for South West Writing exists to promote the appreciation of the region’s many important creative writers. Located in the College of Humanities, it brings together expertise from both the Streatham and Cornwall campuses of the University of Exeter.

Exeter Centre for Literatures of Identity, Place and Sustainability (ECLIPSE)

Based at the Penryn Campus in Cornwall, the aim of the Exeter Centre for Literatures of Identity, Place and Sustainability is to facilitate interdisciplinary research into literary representations and constructions of identity and place, dealing with literatures of myth, memory and history, and developing a ‘new’ eco-criticism for the 21st century.

Centre for Literature and Archives

The Centre for Literature and Archives holds many resources and manuscripts in the Special Collections archive, and actively encourages students to engage with this material.

Centre for Intermedia

English staff are also involved in the College's interdisciplinary Centre for Intermedia which promotes advanced transdisciplinary research in performance and the arts through collaborations between artists, academics and scientists from a range of disciplines.

Facilities

We have a number of specialist research resources and projects available to postgraduates: the The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum is the largest film-related archive in the UK outside the British Film Institute; the Chris Brooks Collection is a major resource for scholars of Romanticism and 19th-century fiction and culture; and the Global Circulation Project on cultures in contact is based in Exeter. Our unique collections of writings and correspondence by authors connected with the South West such as Daphne du Maurier, RD Blackmore, Agatha Christie and Ted Hughes supplement research resources held in the University library.

The University library holds a number of resources important for our research, including the Hypatia Collection of women’s literature and history as well as online resources.

The Queen’s Building, where the Department of English is based, offers a dedicated postgraduate common room with computer facilities and a number of study carrels available for research students.

Students at both campuses have access to a wealth of online information including: over 400 online journal titles; Early English Books Online (which contains facsimile texts of virtually all books printed in England, 1475-1700); the extensive Gale Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) research archive; search tools such as FirstSearch; the digital archive JSTOR; and other similar databases providing access to full text articles.

Careers

We are committed to ensuring you receive high quality research supervision to maximise your potential and prepare you for a rewarding career.

Postgraduates also have access to the wide range of support offered by our Career Zone. In addition, postgraduate research students can access our Postgraduate Researchers' Programme, which covers a range of topics to help you to succeed during your research degree and to act as a springboard for your research career.

Graduate destinations

Below are some examples of initial jobs undertaken by English postgraduates who studied with us in recent years.

Please note that due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.

Job titleOrganisation
Assistant Producer
Associate Lecturer
College Lecturer
Contract Manager
Editorial Assistant
Freelance Writer
Information Assistant
Investment Director
Journalist
Lecturer
Ministry Assistant
Pharmacy Manager
PR Account Executive
Researcher
Social Media Content Executive
Teacher
Translator
Writer
Brandon Hill Communications
Datamatics Global Services Limited
Harper Collins
Ministry of Education
National Trust
Palgrave Macmillan
Penguin
RBS
Royal Literary Fund
SISU Capital
Studio Micali
The Big Picture Company
The Express Tribune
University of Exeter

Entry requirements 2015

Students applying to enter directly into the MA by Research programme would normally be expected to have a Masters degree with Merit or equivalent in English literary studies, or other relevant qualifications such as a doctorate in another subject. Graduates with degrees in related subjects will be considered on an individual basis, such as History, Philosophy, Modern Languages and Classics.

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements. 

Apply for MA by Research study

If you are considering studying for an MA by Research, you will need to pinpoint the topic in which you wish to undertake your research and identify members of academic staff who specialise in this area and can offer you supervision. Visit our staff profiles or research supervision web pages for more information about individual research interests.

Once you have identified your research area, you will need to prepare a research proposal which outlines the specific area you wish to study and submit this with your application.

Guidelines on submitting an MPhil/PhD application, including guidelines on writing a research proposal, can be found on our application process page.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 7.0 with a minimum score of 6.5 in the writing component and all other sections no less than 6.0.

TOEFL IBT*

Overall score 100 with minimum scores of 25 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

65 with no less than 58 in all communicative skills.

Cambridge English: Advanced & Proficiency

Overall score 185 with a minimum score of 176 in the writing component and all other sections no less than 169.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Finance: fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2015/16

  • UK/EU: £4,100 full-time; £2,050 part-time
  • International: £15,000 full-time

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

Current available funding

Contact us

College of Humanities
Postgraduate Administrator
Phone: +44 (0)1392 725306
Email: humanities-pgadmissions@exeter.ac.uk