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English MA

English MA

With an established reputation for both teaching and research, this course specialises in diverse literary concepts and periods, including medieval manuscripts, early modern printing, digital humanities, Romanticism, Shakespeare and his contemporaries and adaptations of popular and canonical literature.

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Watch: Tim Fulford, Professor of English talk about the moment that inspired him to study English.

The English MA offers the best of both taught and research-focused postgraduate courses, enabling you to concentrate on your chosen assessments and individual interests while training you in the practical skills involved in humanities research. You will graduate equipped with the skills to pursue a wide variety of careers, from publishing to event management, teaching, research, or progression onto a PhD.

The flexible course structure will enable you to explore your independent research goals, while working collaboratively with others in similar fields across English studies and the Humanities. Past projects have often evolved into PhD projects, exploring topics such as African-Americans in fiction and film, the role of screenwriting in film adaptations and representations of the nine worthies in medieval and early modern writing. The choice and freedom to develop your own specialisms will help you to produce your best possible work and the curriculum is designed for you to build on your skills from one module to the next. This course is ideal for students who are self-motivated, with good time management and the ability to work independently, as these skills will be developed throughout.

You will examine a range of methods of research and investigate how approaches (e.g. feminist, Marxist, editorial, and adaptation) can be applied to literary texts. This will culminate in the designing of your own research project and the production of a sustained piece of writing.

The course also covers the practical skills involved in humanities research, ranging from first-hand experience of conference management, presenting work and writing for publication. You will be encouraged to participate in the DMU research community through research events, international conferences and networking with the Centre for Adaptations and the Centre for Textual Studies.

Key features

  • Receive expert teaching and supervision for your dissertation from our specialist academics with expertise ranging from medieval manuscripts to postmodernism.
  • Benefit from collaborative teaching and individual learning experiences and receive personalised feedback to reach your independent research goals.
  • You will have access to DMU’s extensive and specialised archives, such as the Andrew Davies archive of scripts, correspondence and unperformed screenplays, as well as archives further afield at the British Library or British Film Institute in London.
  • Practical training in presenting work, writing for publication, research and organising a conference will give you real-world skills for a career in teaching, publishing, research or event management.
  • The focus on individual research provides ideal preparation for  progression to PhD.
  • Take part in major research events to enhance your learning through the Centre for Adaptations and Centre for Textual Studies, as well as international conferences where you can meet researchers from all over the world.


At DMU, we are committed to helping our graduates enhance their careers and personal development through further study.

Postgraduate Alumni Scholarship
Up to 20 per cent of tuition fees offered to DMU alumni who wish to continue their studies at DMU by enrolling on a postgraduate taught course. For more information visit our Postgraduate Alumni Scholarship page.

Sports Scholarship
Apply for the DMU Sports Scholarship, worth up to £6,000.

More courses like this:

Humanities research degree MPhil/PhD
English Language Teaching MA
Sports History and Culture MA

  • UK
  • EU/International

Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time.

Start date: September 2022

Fees and funding:

2022/23 tuition fees for UK students: £8,560 (full-time) per year

Part-time fees: £715 per 15 credits across all of our courses.

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Duration: One year full-time

Start date: September 2022

Fees and funding: 

2022/23 tuition fees for EU and international students: £15,100

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

You should have the equivalent or above of a 2.2 UK bachelor’s honours degree in a related humanities subject, including a basic grounding in literature, film or critical theory.

We encourage and welcome applications from applicants with a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives and all non-standard applications will be considered. 


Non-standard applicants will be invited to attend an interview.


English language requirements

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with 5.5 in each band (or equivalent) when you start the course is essential.

English Language tuition, delivered by our British Council-accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments

Programme structure 


Core modules

  • English Research Training
  • Putting Methods into Practice
  • Conference Organisation and Presentation
  • Developing Your Project
  • Dissertation

Click here for more detailed module information.

Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.



At the beginning of the year, you will be asked to complete learning contracts in collaboration with your personal tutor which will identify the main areas you wish to pursue across the programme, such as Romanticism, adaptations, periodical writing or early modern printing, which will form the basis for all your assessments. For example, a student wishing to pursue the English MA in the area of Shakespeare and film, may wish to conduct a literature search on work on Shakespeare adaptations, write a book review on Russell Jackson’s Shakespeare and the English-speaking Cinema (2014), design a poster outlining the various film adaptations of The Taming of the Shrew, present a conference paper on Laurence Olivier’s 1948 film of Hamlet and write a dissertation on the Shakespeare films of Laurence Olivier.

The motivation for the masters programme is to develop your skills from module to module, ensuring that each module develops skills that will contribute to the following module. The course consists of 180 credits with four 30-credit modules followed by a 60-credit dissertation, moving from taught to research-based study. The programme introduces you to a range of approaches and subject areas within the Humanities, to be translated into your choice of assessment topic. You will commence the course with two taught programmes in English research methodologies and in Humanities research skills training. In the second term, you are trained in conference planning and presentation in which you will participate in the organisation and delivery of a Humanities conference in which you will have the opportunity to present your work. Following from these opportunities to present and receive feedback, you will focus on independent work in which you will lay the groundwork for your dissertation of 15,000 words.

The programme is designed to provide for intense immersive learning for those who wish to complete in a year, as well as to suit those who need to fit their study around busy and demanding professional and personal lives. 

Contact hours
In your first two terms you will normally attend around 3 hours of timetabled taught sessions including lectures, tutorials and workshop and studio sessions each week, and be expected to undertake at least 32 hours of independent study each week. Your third term will be pre-dominantly self-directed (including meetings with your supervisor), during which you can expect to undertake 35 hours of independent study each week.



Full-time students:

Semester 1 has been designed to introduce students to methodologies in English and to provide both practical and theoretical training in developing research to Masters Level. You will be taught in lunchtime sessions two modules, English Research Training and Putting Methods into Practice. You will meet your personal tutor in the first week of term and design a learning contract, outlining the areas you wish to cover over the three semesters.

Semester 2 develops from the first semester and offers you a taught module on Conference Organisation and Presentation and a self-directed study in which you prepare the groundwork for your final dissertation, in a critical survey and/or case study.

Semester 3 is devoted to the final 15,000-word dissertation that should build on the work completed over the previous semesters.

Part-time students:

Year 1 Semester 1 offers support alongside full-time students in English Research Training and Putting Methods into Practice. These modules will be taught back-to-back during lunchtimes each week during term and you will submit work for English Research Training in Year one, first semester and for Putting Methods into Practice in Year one, third semester.

Year 1 Semester 2 focuses on the development and consolidation of practice from semester one in Conference Organisation and Presentation.

Year 1 Semester 3 provides you with an opportunity for independent learning and reflection based on the workshops in Putting Methods into Practice. You are offered this time to prepare your assessments.

Year 2 Semester 1: During this semester you will complete the Project Research Training module, a self-directed study in which you prepare the groundwork for your final dissertation, in a critical survey and/or case study.

Year 2 Semester 2 and 3 are devoted to the final 15,000-word dissertation that should build on the work completed over the previous semesters.

Facilities and features

Library and learning zones

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including Blackboard, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a ‘Just Ask’ service for help and advice, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that give you the chance to ask the library teams for help.

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.

Campus Centre

The home of  De Montfort Students' Union, (DSU) our Campus Centre offers a welcoming and lively hub for student life. Conveniently located at the heart of campus, it includes a convenience store, a Subway and a Starbucks. Here you can find the DSU-owned charitable accommodation service Sulets and DSU’s shop, SUpplies, selling art supplies, stationery and clothing, and printing and binding services. The building is also home to the DSU officer team. 

Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities Learn more

DMU Works

We want to help you develop skills that are based on real-world experience. Our dedicated careers and employability team, DMU Works, are on hand to support you with finding placements, volunteering opportunities, CV writing skills, research opportunities and much more.

DMU students are encouraged to pursue their entrepreneurial spirit and the Enterprise Team can help you explore your business idea, business growth, the option of freelancing or being self-employed. There are lots of events, workshops, one-to-one consultation opportunities and enterprise competitions that you can get involved in to progress in your chosen career path. 


DMU Global

This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

While overseas DMU Global opportunities are not currently possible, DMU will continue to review government advice and if travel is permitted, we hope to offer a small number of extra-curricular opportunities in the summer of 2021. 



Graduate careers

Students can undertake careers in a range of areas, including publishing, events management, teaching, research, or further study in the form of a PhD. 

Examples of recent international graduate destinations include lecturer at Meisei University, Tokyo, and copywriter for Anker, a technology company created by ex-Google developers in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. 

Take your next steps