MRes English

Start date(s)

September 2021

Study mode

Full-time (1 year)

Tuition fees 21/22

Home (full-time, per year): £5,250

International (full-time, per year): £15,600

Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies:

0151 231 5175

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About this course

LJMU's MRes in English enables you to carry out an independent research project in the field of English Studies.

  • Work alongside active researchers in the field
  • Benefit from specialist supervision and study within a diverse community of fellow researchers
  • Discover the wide variety of approaches currently practised in the discipline

The MRes seeks to extend your knowledge of literary and cultural history while developing your analytical and critical skills. It is also intended to cultivate an understanding of research as a specific activity.

The programme is delivered by academics actively engaged in research under the aegis of the Research Centre for Literature and Cultural History at LJMU. Key areas of specialism include early modern literature and culture; gender and sexuality; medical humanities; 19th century literature and history; regional, national and postcolonial literatures; contemporary and everyday cultures; literature and cultural geography; 20th century and contemporary writing (British, Irish, Scottish, American).


Over the course of the programme you will be introduced to key developments in the field of literary studies and given the skills necessary to produce a successful postgraduate research project. You will be working individually with a supervisor throughout the year, as well as taking part in taught modules with fellow English MRes students and others across the Faculty. In addition, you will take part in the wider research activities of the English department itself.

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Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)

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  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

The programme is designed, in part, as a preparation for doctoral study, and students who progress to PhD often acknowledge the important role it has played in their development. 

The advanced skills that it teaches – of research, analysis, conceptualisation, argument and presentation – are also highly prized in many areas of employment.

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The student experience

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Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme.

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework.

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Core modules

Research Methods for Arts, Professional and Social Studies
30 credits

This module introduces and develops generic research skills in arts, humanities and social science. It:

  • introduces you to library, bibliographic, online and other facilities necessary for postgraduate research
  • assists you in recognising and applying appropriate strategies for developing a research project – identifying research questions, theoretical problems, material for analysis and critical position
  • develops your capacities for evaluating strengths and weaknesses in the methodologies of researchers in your field
  • helps you to gain confidence in communicating your ideas verbally to your peers, and conform to postgraduate-level standards for the presentation of written work

English Research Project
60 credits

The aim of this module is to allow you to present an 18000 word dissertation or research project of equivalent size on an area of study normally related to the themes and concerns of Literature and Cultural History. It assesses your ability to present, in scholarly form, a sustained piece of research which demonstrates knowledge and understanding of a relevant field, methodologies and critical context, organises material into a clear and relevant argument, and shows the ability to work independently.

Contemporary Literary Studies
30 credits

 The aim of this module is to give you a broad awareness of the current state of literary studies, new approaches and ongoing debates in the field. It enables you to develop strategies for identifying and exploiting relevant resources for research. It:

  • helps you to situate research project within a wider field of contemporary literary studies
  • equips you with skills for working with primary and secondary sources through presentations and seminars covering textual analysis and critical interpretation 

English Project Development
30 credits

The aim of this module is to promote your theoretical and methodological orientation and help you situate your own work in relation to advances within the field. It helps you to acquire skills and confidence in chairing discussion and presenting your own ideas.


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

Study seminars take place on Tuesday mornings and afternoons.

Teaching methods

You will receive specialist supervision and study within a diverse community of fellow researchers. Staff are active in a wide range of fields, from early modern literature to prison writing, late 19th-century national identities, Scottish and Irish studies, theories of the everyday, and contemporary British fiction.

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How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme. Assessment techniques vary from module to module to reflect relevant assessment approaches and the key learning points of each topic.

Assessed work on this programme is designed to advance your progress at different stages of the project and help you realise your full potential as a postgraduate researcher.

Assessment is based on a range of research tasks and projects and includes: literature review; seminar presentations, reflective exposition and evaluation of appropriate methodologies; outline research plans, reflective and annotated bibliographies; oral presentations and the research project/dissertation.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Colin Harrison

Dr Colin Harrison

Programme leader

I have written on 19th century urban disorder, American modernism, and late 20th century cultural and intellectual history. My recent book American Culture in the 1990s is an attempt to comprehend the developments taking place in America at the end of the last millennium, examining a variety of cultural spheres including film, television, radio, music, literature, fine art and digital culture.

I am currently supervising doctoral projects on early 19th century Supreme Court history and hobo literature in the modern era. I would be keen to supervise postgraduate research in any area of 19th century American culture, American modernism, intellectual history and visual culture.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

The School of Humanities and Social Science on the Mount Pleasant Campus is situated in an historic part of Liverpool, close to the city’s cathedrals and a short walk from cafes, bars and the cultural quarter. LJMU’s Aldham Robarts Library is also conveniently close and houses all the resources you will require for your studies. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Entry requirements

You will need:

  • a minimum 2:1 in literature, cultural history or a relevant discipline

Additional information:

  • IELTS English language requirement: 6.5 (minimum 5.5 (minimum 7.0 in written work) in each component)
  • Pearson PTE Academic requirements: 64 (minimum 59 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
  • RPL is accepted on this programme
  • You may need to meet university staff as part of the selection process

If you have any specific queries, please contact

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Please note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

View country specific entry requirements

Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the programme.

You need to:

  • submit an academic transcript
  • provide two academic references

Your application form should be supported by a research proposal of at least one A4 page with a bibliography.

You must demonstrate:

  • a sufficient level of knowledge related to the discipline
  • evidence of the learning capability and commitment to work at postgraduate level
  • a feasible and well-developed research proposal that falls within the department's capacities for supervision

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Research proposals should be 1000-1200 words (excluding bibliography), and will probably include:

  • a statement of key research aims / questions
  • the identification of primary sources for analysis
  • a brief outline of key secondary literature on the topic, and an indication of the way the research might engage with scholarly debates

Applications will be considered by at least two programme tutors, including the Programme Leader for MRes English.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.

Important info about this course