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Study information

Programme Specification for the 2023/4 academic year

MA English Literary Studies

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMA English Literary Studies Programme codePTA1EGLEGL11
Study mode(s)Full Time
Part Time
Academic year2023/4
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme

This Masters programme is aimed at the study of literature, culture and film, and embraces the particular strengths of the Department of English and Film at Exeter. Our flexible programme enables you to choose either a specific pathway or a selection of modules. If you elect to specialise, you will have one of these pathways named in your degree title. You are free on the general programme to choose from all modules on offer in each year. The programme suits students interested in the areas of literature, culture, or film studies. It is specifically designed for those seeking high level training prior to embarking on doctoral research, recent graduates wishing to extend and enhance their studies by a year before taking up a career, individuals already in employment who are interested in career development, and those who simply wish to broaden their intellectual horizons.

English and Film at Exeter
Our Masters degrees offer excellent opportunities to broaden and deepen your work in English and Film studies and to learn the skills needed for further postgraduate research. The English Literary Studies MA offers an unusually large choice of modules and pathways, with expert tuition in all areas of English and Film including Early Modern and Renaissance studies, Romanticism, Victorian literature, American and Atlantic studies, Modern, Contemporary and World Literature, Critical Theory and Film Studies. Many of our MA students go on to undertake PhD research here, where they are joined by research students from universities from across the world. The Queen’s Building, where the Department of English and Film is based, offers a dedicated postgraduate common room with computer facilities and a number of study carrels available for research students.

You will join a vibrant postgraduate and research community. The department hosts a series of events, conferences and symposia every year and is home to several research groups and centres, including the Centre for Victorian Studies, The Centre for Interdisciplinary Film Research and the Centre for Literature and Archives. The College of Humanities has invested £1.2 million into Digital Humanities to create a new lab and research space for the examination and preservation of important historical, literary and visual artefacts. The lab will allow you to use high-tech equipment to find out more about our cultural heritage, examine items in greater detail and share discoveries with the public. For more information view our Digital Humanities Lab page.

Advice and guidance on your programme can be sought from your personal tutor and programme director. All staff offer regular office hours that you can drop into without a prior appointment for this purpose.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

  • To offer an in-depth, focused and critical degree which is based on the latest research in major areas of English Literary and/or Film Studies and which combines a wide-ranging choice of modules with the option to specialise through one of the pathways.
  • To develop academic and individual skills that equip students for further study, employment, or further professional development, and to foster intellectual agility and adaptability, so as to enable them to deploy these skills to implement systematic and balanced judgements in a variety of circumstances.
  • To provide methodological skills and specialist knowledge, for advanced study or research in various fields, for professional development, or for employment.
  • To provide a stimulating and supportive environment for students that is informed by research.

4. Programme Structure

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.

http://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/english/postgraduate/

A more in-depth description of each module is also available from the following pages:

http://intranet.exeter.ac.uk/humanities/studying/postgraduatetaught/modules/

You may take one optional module up to 30 credits outside of the English Literary Studies MA from the MA Creative Writing as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module. This replaces a 30 credit optional module from the English Literary Studies MA

Providing you have not taken 30 optional credits from the MA Creative Writing, you may take elective modules up to 30 credits from another MA programme offered at the University (subject to availability, and where appropriate, the required prerequisites. This replaces a 30 credit optional module from the English Literary Studies MA.

Please note that English Literary Studies and Creative Writing are distinct MA programmes. You must be enrolled on the MA English Literary Studies to undertake a dissertation in English Literary Studies.

A choice of pathway affects the options you are expected to take: consult section 7 below. The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree programme based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new emergent areas of study, timetabling and student demand.

Stage 1


60 credits of compulsory modules and 120 credits of optional modules (you may take up 30 credits from the MA Creative Writing)

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
EASM023 Dissertation 60Yes

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
EGLS options MA CW-ELS 2023-4
EASM151 Modernism and Material Culture 30 No
EASM169 Publishing and Power: Black and Asian Literary Networks in the UK 30 No
EASM174 Writing Women in the English Middle Ages 30 No
EASM150 Empire, Decadence and Modernity: Literature 1870-1910 30 No
EASM152 Criticism and Theory: Critical and Literary Theory in a Global Context 30 No
EASM157 The Literature of Cold War America 30 No
EASM167 World Cinema / World Literature 30 No
EASM171 Expanding Queerness: Critical Debates in Theory, Literature, Film and Television 30 No
EASM191 Environments of Early Modern Drama 30 No
EASM192 Global Voices: Shakespeare and the Early Modern World 30 No
EASM109 Bodies Politic: Cultural and Sexual Politics in England, 1603-1679 30 No
EASM154 The Body and Identity 30 No
EASM180 Crossing Medieval Boundaries 30 No
EASM177 The Global Publishing Marketplace: Creating Audiences 30 No
EASM179 Translation and Publishing: New Approaches to Literary Activism 30 No
CW options MA CW-ELS 2023-4
EASM121 The Poetry of Events - Building a Plot 30 No
EASM156 Writing Nature: Ecology, Place, Memoir (Creative Writing) 30 No
EASM166 Prose Writing Workshop 30 No
EASM169 Publishing and Power: Black and Asian Literary Networks in the UK 30 No
EASM122 Writing for the Screen 30 No
EASM133 The Structures of Realism 30 No
EASM185 Story Machines: Interactive Texts and Narrative Games 30 No
EASM196 Writing for the Planet: Creative Writing as Climate and Ecological Activism 30 No

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Demonstrate a sophisticated and intellectually mature ability to analyse literature and/or film and to relate its concerns and its modes of expression to its historical and other contexts
2. Demonstrate an advanced and autonomous ability to interrelate texts and discourses specific to their own discipline with issues in the wider context of cultural and intellectual history
3. Demonstrate an advanced and autonomous ability to understand and analyse relevant theoretical ideas, and to apply these ideas to literary texts and/or films
4. Demonstrate an advanced and precise ability to work from the detail of literary texts, with a full appreciation of their formal aspects
5. Demonstrate an advanced ability to digest, select, and organise interdisciplinary material and to trace the development of debate across disciplinary boundaries

The taught components of the MA English Literary Studies are delivered in the first two terms, leaving the third for your dissertation. Modules are taught in seminar groups, with lots of time for discussion and interaction. In seminars you will be expected to take part in debate and present your work. Seminars will be supported, where relevant, by film screenings, field trips and archival trips to the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum.

We believe in collaborative, small group learning and teaching for your modules will be delivered through seminar groups. You will be encouraged to discuss your ideas and interact with your fellow students and academic staff. You will be expected to play an active role in debating and presenting your work. Throughout your programme you will develop and enhance your communication, analytical, and critical thinking skills.

On your modules you will be assisted by the coursework you produce such as critical essays. The final assessment piece will be your dissertation, the culmination of your programme of study. You will conceive, plan, research and write an independently researched 15 000 word dissertation that will display your subject knowledge and methodological skills. The dissertation is your opportunity to explore a topic that interests you in greater detail, something which may form the basis of further research or other portfolio.

Read more at http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/english/english-ma/#U66b3Hyy8h023XtQ.99

Modes of assessment are combined in a varied way across each module in line with the module’s intended learning outcomes. Students should consult module descriptors for a detailed breakdown of assessment modes within each module.The range of assessment modes employed across the programme include the following

  1. individual and group presentations
  2. research reports
  3. critical essay
  4. creative portfolio
  5. annotated bibliographies
  6. dissertation

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

6. Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the area under investigation, employing relevant conceptual frameworks and creative processes to the topic of investigation
7. Define a research topic and devise and sustain a complex process of independent research into the field of English Literary Studies and/or Film Studies
8. Engage critically and analytically with selected theoretical approaches appropriate to your chosen pathway (if applicable) and thereby gain an overview of your chosen field

As above

ILO 6: Methods 1-6 listed above

ILO 7: Dissertation

ILO 8: Methods 1-6 listed above

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

9. Demonstrate initiative and originality in problem solving, act autonomously at a professional level, and make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations
10. Work effectively in a group, clarifying tasks and making professional use of personal resources to negotiate and manage conflict, to achieve advanced research or creative tasks
11. Engage confidently in academic and professional discourse

As above

ILO 9: Methods 1-6 listed above, especially the dissertation

ILO 10: group presentations; written group assignments

ILO 11: Methods 1-6 listed above

7. Programme Regulations

Programme-specific Award Rules

Our flexible programme enables you to choose either a specific pathway or a selection of modules, which might be at a much later date than date of entry to the MA English Literary Studies. All students graduate with an MA English Literary Studies, but if you elect to specialise, you will have one of the following pathways named in your degree title:

American and Atlantic Studies

This pathway deploys some of the most important turns in American Studies, using a transnational lens to focus on the literature and culture of the United States. Students will explore the institutional contexts out of which US literature is produced, circulated, and consumed, and reflecting staff research interests, substantial space is dedicated to American modernism, African American literature, and the culture of the Cold War. Using archival resources unique to Exeter and online archives, the American and Atlantis Studies Pathway develops the key skills required for researchers working on the United States.

The programme comprises modules of at least 60 credits from these specialist modules and the EASM023: Dissertation module must be relevant to the field of American and Atlantic Studies:

Code

Title

Credits

EASM100

The Cultures of American Modernism

30

EASM157

The Literature of Cold War America

30

 

Criticism and Theory

The Criticism and Theory Pathway takes seriously the definition of Critical Theory as “the self-clarification of the wishes and struggles of the age.” It aims to train you in critical methodologies and to clarify and refine your individual position as a critic and theorist. It immerses you in recent and current debates and helps you understand what is at stake in each. The modules prepare students, especially those going on to the Ph.D. or into employment in the culture industries, with critical self-consciousness, sophistication, and confidence, whatever your specialist medium, period, or genre. Recent syllabi include the History of Sexuality and Digital Desire; Biosocial Identities; Neoliberalism; Surveillance Capitalism; Ecocriticism; Capitalist Realism; Gender Recognition Act and Queer Theory; Globalization and World Literatures; Future of Humanities and Universities; Auto-Theory.

The programme comprises modules of at least 60 credits from these specialist modules and the EASM023: Dissertation module must be relevant to the field of Criticism and Theory:

Code

Title

Credits

EASM106

Criticism and Theory: Current Debates

30

EASM152

Criticism and Theory: Critical and Literary Theory in a Global Context

30

EASM171

Expanding Queerness: Critical Debates in Theory, Literature, Film and Television

30

 

Enlightenment to Romanticism

This pathway allows you to explore the literature and culture of Britain in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It investigates the Augustan, Romantic, and early Victorian eras, with a particular emphasis on the Enlightenment and its long-term cultural and historical consequences. Compulsory modules focus on two key strands within the culture of this period - its understanding of the body, and its relationship with the past - while the dissertation can deal with any aspect of English literature from the late seventeenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries.

The programme comprises modules of at least 60 credits from these specialist modules and the EASM023: Dissertation module must be relevant to the field of Enlightenment to Romanticism:

Code

Title

Credits

EASM142

Revival and Return: Using the Past from Pope to Keats

30

EASM154

The Body and Identity

30

EASM181

Romanticism and the Politics of Exclusion

30

 

Film Studies

The Film Studies Pathway will allow you to specialise in key areas of film and television studies, and to explore a wide range of intersections with different forms of cultural production. The pathway offers the exciting opportunity to study film in dialogue with literature, art history, and critical theory. You have the option to study dedicated modules on film sound, the screenplay, consider the relationships between moving pictures, perception, and the human body as they have been addressed by cinema and theorists, and engage with critical conceptual intersections of World Cinema. You will be taught by experts in American, East Asian, European, South Asian, and other world cinemas, film history and archives, and film theory. You will also have unique access to the archival collection of the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum and a rich research culture.

The programme comprises modules of at least 60 credits from these specialist modules and the EASM023: Dissertation module must be relevant to the field of Film Studies:

Code

Title

Credits

EAFM081

Hearing Film: Film Sound and Music

30

EAFM088

Sense, Sensation, and Cinema

30

EAFM089

Archival Encounters: Material Film Histories

30

EASM167

World Cinema/World Literature

30

 

Medieval Studies  

The Medieval Studies Pathway will allows you to specialise in key aspects and genres of medieval literature from Old English to the early sixteenth century. The pathway offers the exciting opportunity to study literature in dialogue with art history, material culture and critical theory. You will study literature written by, for, and about medieval women, explore how medieval texts crossed boundaries of culture, period, and genre, and engage with new approaches to the Global Middle Ages. You will also have unique access to the rich manuscript holdings of Exeter University Special Collections and the Exeter Cathedral Library and Archives. 

The programme comprises modules of at least 60 credits from these specialist modules and the EASM023: Dissertation module must be relevant to the field of Modern and Contemporary Studies:

Code

Title

Credits

EASM174

Writing Women in the English Middle Ages

30

EASM180

Crossing Medieval Boundaries

30

 

Modern and Contemporary Studies

The Modern and Contemporary Pathway allows you to specialise in a range of modules focussed on key developments in literature, film, television, and visual cultures of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Modules focus on key trends and issues, and, through a wide range of methodologies, enable you to develop new analytical skills to engage with texts in the contexts of their cultural moment of production. Pathway modules are particularly invested in explorations of material cultures, critical theory, and the intersections of disciplines, such as the medical and environmental humanities.

The programme comprises modules of at least 60 credits from these specialist modules and the EASM023: Dissertation module must be relevant to the field of Modern and Contemporary Studies:

Code

Title

Credits

EASM151

Modernism and Material Culture

30

EASM171

Expanding Queerness: Critical Debates in Theory, Literature, Film and Television

30

EASM100

Cultures of American Modernism

30

EASM167

World Cinema/World Literature

30

 

Renaissance Studies

The Renaissance Studies Pathway draws upon the department’s world-leading research in the early modern period, offering expertise in various aspects of literature and culture, such as contexts of dramatic performance, memory and memorialisation, letter writing, and political and religious poetry. Modules attached to this pathway are themed around bodies and space and address issues such as gender, colonialism, sexuality, and civil war; adopting a global framework to understand early modern culture, on the module Renaissance Space students will study texts from Britain and Ireland in dialogue with literature from North America and India.

The programme comprises modules of at least 60 credits from these specialist modules and the EASM023: Dissertation module must be relevant to the field of Renaissance Studies:

Code

Title

Credits

EASM109

Bodies Politic: Cultural and Sexual Politics in England, 1603-85

30

EASM191

Environments of Early Modern Drama

30

EASM192

Global Voices: Shakespeare and the Early Modern World

30

 

Victorian Studies

The Victorian Studies Pathway is constituted by two modules covering the period 1830-1910 and, together with two additional modules covering nineteenth-century culture, students on the pathway benefit from Exeter’s rich archives: the Chris Brooks collection of Victorian books and periodicals, the popular optical entertainments housed in the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, and the papers of relevant authors contained in the University’s Special Collections. The department is at the leading edge of Victorian Studies in the world and students on the pathway will be exposed to the latest discoveries, theories, and methodologies in the field.

The programme comprises modules of at least 60 credits from these specialist modules and the EASM023: Dissertation module must be relevant to the field of Victorian Studies:

Code

Title

Credits

EASM150

Empire, Decadence and Modernity: Literature 1870-1910

30

EASM099

Making Progress? Literature in a Changing Environment 1830-1870

30

 

You may want to consider the two specialist modules below should you wish to complete 120 credits in Victorian Studies. These two modules are not pathway bearing:

Code

Title

Credits

EASM154

The Body and Identity

30

EASM168

Victorian Things: Nineteenth-Century Material Culture

30

 

World and Postcolonial Cultures

The World and Postcolonial Cultures pathway gives you the opportunity to specialise in film, literature, and critical theoretical concepts. You will be taught by scholars with expertise in archival studies and material cultures, critical theory, ecocriticism, commodity fictions, film studies, print cultures, and the creative industries. This pathway allows you to explore issues such as anti-colonial nationalism, neo-colonialism, writing Black Britain, trans-nationalism, resource conflicts, Black Power, partition and border conflicts, and world revolutions in film and fiction. This pathway highlights the transformation of research in World and Postcolonial film and literatures in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and encourages you to think in an interdisciplinary way. It will enable you to question the range of stylistic, artistic, and theoretical responses to the dynamic cultural and socio-political changes directly linked to the colonial experience, decolonisation, neo-colonialism, and globalisation across regions as diverse as, but not limited to, Africa, Britain, the Caribbean, and East and South Asia.

The programme comprises modules of at least 60 credits from these specialist modules and the EASM023: Dissertation module must be relevant to the field of World and Postcolonial Cultures:

Code

Title

Credits

EASM167

World Cinema/World Literature

30

EASM169

Black and Asian British Publishing

30

EASM184

World Literature and Postcolonial Studies

30

Classification

Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Personal and Academic tutoring: It is University policy that all Colleges should have in place a system of academic and personal tutors. The role of academic tutors is to support you on individual modules; the role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme and extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.

Student/Staff Liaison Committee enables students & staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Please refer to the University Academic Policy and Standards guidelines regarding support for students and students' learning.

10. Admissions Criteria

Undergraduate applicants must satisfy the Undergraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Postgraduate applicants must satisfy the Postgraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Specific requirements required to enrol on this programme are available at the respective Undergraduate or Postgraduate Study Site webpages.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

(Quality Review Framework.

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

0

18. Final Award

MA English Literary Studies

19. UCAS Code

C01F

20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits

180

ECTS credits

90

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

23. Dates

Origin Date

01/01/2012

Date of last revision

29/06/2022