English Literature - MA

About the course

Pursue your own intellectual interests and develop advanced critical thinking and literary analysis skills.

Research-active experts in their fields deliver the taught elements - small seminar groups enabling significant individual support and guidance.

A thorough knowledge of 19th century and 20th century texts and contexts, and specific units in Reading Ulysses, Literary Pilgrimages, and Children’s and Young Adult Literature allow you to reflect on significant historical, intellectual and philosophical debates.

Research Methods develops further skills necessary at postgraduate level.

Building on your interests, a final dissertation project allows you to conduct independent research in a topic of your choosing.

Intermediate qualifications available:

  • Postgraduate certificate – 60 credits at Masters level
  • Postgraduate diploma – 120 credits at Masters level

English Literature - MA - Bedford Campus

  • Apply Via - DIRECT ENTRY
  • Course level - Postgraduate
  • UCAS Code -
  • Campus Location - Bedford Campus
  • Start dates - Oct
  • Duration - 1 Years
  • Attendance - Full time | Part-time day
  • Download Course Specifications

Why choose this course?

  • Study in a department with vibrant research culture with regular visiting speakers and literary events, on a course informed by the research expertise of a teaching team widely published in their respective fields and receiving consistently high results in the National Student Survey (NSS)
  • Explore the wider cultural scope of your studies with specialist field trips to museums, galleries, libraries and archives, giving you the opportunity to study unique primary materials and meet professionals from these institutions
  • Develop skills which are invaluable for careers within the media, culture and knowledge industries, giving you career opportunities in advertising and marketing; arts and heritage management; broadcasting; business; communication and public relations; education, either as a primary or a secondary school teacher; journalism; librarianship or publishing
  • Gain access to the Hockliffe and the Cinderella Collections, amongst the most important archives of children’s literature in the UK
  • Benefit from acquiring the essential skills to enable you to progress doctoral level studies with an MPhil or PhD research degree.

This course is distinctive for the interdisciplinary and innovative ways in which it allows you to pursue your own intellectual interests and to develop advanced skills of critical thinking and literary analysis.

It is structured so that you acquire a thorough knowledge of nineteenth and twentieth-century texts and contexts, undertaken in two 30 credit units, accompanied by a more thematically focused approach in three 15 credit units: Reading Ulysses, Literary Pilgrimages, and Children’s and Young Adult Literature.

Unit Information – What Will I Learn?

  • Research Methods
  • Feeling Victorian
  • Literary Pilgrimages
  • Dissertation
  • Literature and Modernity in the long twentieth century
  • Children’s and Young Adult Literature
  • Reading Ulysses

Discover the School of Culture and Communications

How will I be assessed?

The setting of assessed seminar papers within the taught units enables you and your peers to take control of an aspect of the topic under discussion in any given week. This means that you are expected to structure the subsequent discussions to some extent through the framework you provide and as such involves a certain amount of teamwork.

Extended essays enable you to undertake more in-depth research into a given author or topic, while the review of an article is designed to help you engage effectively with critical debates in the field.

As a postgraduate student you are an important part of the University’s research culture and you will be required to attend research seminars given by staff and visiting speakers. In response to one of these sessions you will write a report that will contribute to your portfolio for the Research Methods unit.

The Dissertation enables you to manage your own learning in an environment which develops the work laid down in the taught units and acts as a step towards managing and realising individual projects in future employment or towards tackling a more substantial research project at higher degree level.

Entry requirements

  • Interview

You will need to demonstrate through submission of written evidence your aptitude for the subject. A short essay on a topic agreed by the admissions tutor will normally suffice.

We also welcome applications from industry professionals interested in the academic study of the subject, or looking to enhance your CV with an academic qualification.

If candidates have some distance to travel for interview a telephone or video call can be arranged.

How will this course enhance my career prospects?

The Course Coordinator and unit tutors will be able to advise you about the potential for higher degree study once you have completed your MA. Members of staff will also be able to advise you about opportunities for internships and work experience to complement your academic activities.

The Careers and Employability Service is also in a position to advise you about new and enhanced career directions available to you at the different exit points from the course.

Go Global

Whether you want to learn a new language, build networks, simply have the travel bug, or want to develop new skills and life experiences, our Go Global programme offers the opportunity to broaden your horizons, enhance your CV, and gain a truly international experience, all at the same time as studying towards your undergraduate degree. The Go Global programme is open to students from the UK and EU.

Travel to exciting destinations, including:

  • China
  • Vietnam
  • India
  • New York
  • Malaysia and Singapore

At the University of Bedfordshire we ensure that your experience here is cultural, as well as academic. That’s why a whole host of opportunities are opened up to you, providing you with that all important experience to make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting graduates jobs.

Go Europe

Our International students meanwhile, can make the most of trips to a series of exciting European destinations. From France and Belgium, to Holland and Germany, there are plenty of places to visit, network and broaden your knowledge of the global market place, by seeing and experiencing it for yourself, first-hand.

At the University of Bedfordshire we ensure that your experience here is cultural, as well as academic. That’s why a whole host of opportunities are opened up to you, providing you with that all important experience to make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting graduates jobs.

Fees and funding

  • The full-time standard fee for a taught Master's degree for the Academic Year 2018/19 is £6,990 per year. You can apply for a loan from the Government to help pay for your tuition fees and living costs. Visit www.gov.uk/postgraduate-loan

    The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

  • Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email admission@beds.ac.uk

  • The full-time standard fee for a taught Master's degree for the Academic Year 2018/19 is £12,000 per year

    The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

  • Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email admission@beds.ac.uk


See UK/EU Postgraduate students for full information on fees and funding.

Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email admission@beds.ac.uk


A prompt payment discount is available if you pay the full fee before or at registration. There are also special scholarships available.

See Fees and Funding for International Students for full information.

Extra costs for this course

During your course you will need to buy copies of the set texts and we estimate that the total spend will be around £200 - £250 (the exact amount will depend on whether you buy new or second hand copies).

Throughout your course there will be opportunities for extra-curricular activities and learning experiences. These activities are optional but are an important part of the learning experience.

Some are subsidised by the University (for example a trip to the theatre will incur a contribution of £10 from students) but others, such as the opportunity to visit the British Library, are self-funded.

*The information above is for guidance only. Exact costs may vary.


Physical Education and Sports Science Centre

Sports Hall

The sports hall is an integral space in the School of Sport Science and Physical Activity, complementing discipline leading Sport and Exercise Science and modern biological analysis laboratories, all co-located on the Bedford campus.

The sports hall is a major teaching facility for the University's Sport and Physical Education degree courses which have trained physical educators in the UK for over a century.

Together with its associated facilities it provides our trainee teachers and coaches with a superb environment in which to coach and teach pupils from local primary schools who are also benefiting from this new facility.

The sports hall is proud to host all Bedfordshire Bulls students' sports matches as well as national standard sporting events including British University College Sports championships – one of the few indoor sporting venues in the county to host prestigious tournaments all year round.

The facility also plays host to a number of University promoted Get into Sport activities which are open to all University students and staff.

Specialist labs

Our specialist labs give students a fantastic environment to develop their research skills and expertise, where a student can explore the biology of an elite athlete who could be performing simultaneously within the sports hall.

Few Sport Science courses in the country offer students such unique discipline leading research experience and skills, alongside intimate access to world leading researchers within their field. Students are regularly offered the opportunity to be involved within discipline defining Sport, Health and Exercise Science research

Our state-of-the-art laboratories are purpose built for research and teaching in the fields of exercise and nutrition science. This includes specialised equipment and facilities for assessing human health risk and delivering exercise and diet interventions for health promotion.

This includes:

  • Dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) for assessing bone density and body fat content
  • BodPod and underwater weighing tank for body composition assessment
  • Environmental chamber that controls temperature, humidity, and oxygen levels in the air
  • Wet lab for assessing metabolic and hormone markers in blood

Our £8m Physical Education and Sport Science Centre was used to train athletes in the 2012 Olympics.

Theatre and dance studio facilities

  • 280 seat theatre
  • 80 studio theatre
  • Four fully-sprung dance studios
  • Dance studios equipped with ballet bars, mirrors, audio playback, internet and projection
  • Large dressing rooms with en suite showers
  • A scenery workshop reserved solely for student productions
  • Large 6m by 12m white Cyclorama screen for projection and lighting
  • State of the art HD projectors
  • Full backstage comms system with audio and video relay
  • Extensive lantern stock including Led fixtures, strobes and moving lights
  • State-of-the-art, industry-standard lighting and sound consoles
  • Built in media desk and roll-down screen

Gateway Building

Opened in January 2015 the Gateway is an impressive building featuring high-quality teaching spaces, informal learning spaces, and lecture theatres (including a Harvard style lecture theatre); as well as a new student services centre.

Campus Centre

Campus Centre featuring a 280-seat professional theatre, dance studios, a fairtrade café and social space for students.

Accommodation at Bedford

For on-campus student accommodation choose from luxury living at Liberty Park's modern en-suite study bedrooms or the Student Village which offers standard rooms with shared bathroom facilities, and en-suite rooms with a private shower. All have fully-equipped kitchens. Our rooms are on-campus and have easy access to the town centre and train station.

Subjects studied at Bedford campus

  • Primary Education
  • Secondary and Post-Compulsory Education
  • Education Studies
  • Physical Education and Sport Studies
  • Sport and Exercise Sciences
  • Tourism and Leisure
  • Accounting and Business Management
  • Performing Arts and Dance
  • Social Work

Bedford town location

The Bedford campus is a 20-minute walk from the town centre. The University offers a free bus service for staff and students that runs between Bedford town centre and the campus.

Directions to Bedford campus

Bedford offers excellent transport links to the rest of the UK as it sits between the M1 and the A1. The town connects by train to Luton (20 minutes) and London (40 minutes).

Benefit from excellent on-campus facilities including a professionally-equipped 280-seat theatre and a theatre studio.

How to Apply

Bedfordshire University

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