MA English Literature

Start date(s)

September 2021

Study mode

Full-time (1 year)

Part-time (2 years)

Tuition fees 21/22

Home (full-time, per year): £7,250

Home (per credit): £40.28

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

Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies:

0151 231 5175

International enquiries

Send a message >

About this course

MA English Literature at LJMU offers you the opportunity to pursue advanced study, at the leading edges of the subject, within a vibrant community of scholars.

  • Embark on this interdisciplinary MA that studies literature in its diverse forms as a way of exploring complex questions about what it means to be human
  • Enjoy a thematic approach to study, based around ideas of place, mobility, bodies and objects
  • Explore an eclectic range of texts, periods, theories and genres within these broad themes
  • Join a supportive research culture and work alongside emerging and established scholars at the cutting-edge of their subject
  • Benefit from a valuable foundation for progression to doctoral research and many other careers in the cultural and heritage industries

The course explores the deeper potential of that most eclectic and interdisciplinary of subjects—English—and extends your reading and research into exciting new areas. You will master skills of research, analysis, argument and writing that are both a vital preparation for doctoral research and highly valued by employers.

The MA English Literature is designed to help you think critically about the role of literature in history and explore some of the new directions scholars in English are taking.


The programme consists of a series of modules each within a theme that highlights key approaches and issues in contemporary literary studies:

  • Place and Mobilities examine the way space structures our thinking about literature and culture, rethinking terms such as locality and environment, nation and world
  • Objects and Bodies address ongoing debates about the body in history and, more recently, emerging theories of the relation between humans, animals, and things

In all of these modules we explore a wide range of literature from the early modern period to the present, from Britain, America, Europe and beyond.

Liverpool waterfront

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)

Image of money

  • 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 MA English Literature will enhance your prospects in a wide variety of careers, such as teaching, freelance writing, research, academia, print journalism and the creative and heritage industries.

Replace or delete this image as required

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

News and views

Browse through the latest stories and updates from the University and beyond

Delighted to team up with @Police_Now to offer superb qualifications to graduate officers and detectives…

Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

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

Image of students in classroom
Core modules

30 credits

Students studying on this module will demonstrate and apply detailed and informed knowledge and understanding of theoretical and critical concepts in mobility studies, transnationalism, diaspora studies and the global humanities through verbal and visual forms.

30 credits

This module will enable you to explore the significance of place in literary and cultural texts of the modern period. It will draw upon this dynamic field to examine the way in which place has been articulated and re-examined across diverse forms and genres, including poetry, novels, creative non-fiction, new nature writing, film, and visual culture. You will be introduced to advanced aesthetic, theoretical, and conceptual approaches to the study of a range of permutations of place. These may include: homes, housing and the country house; the country and the city; urban, suburban, and peri-urban places; the landscape of the everyday; littoral landscapes; the relations of the local, national and the global.

Research Methods for English Studies
30 credits

This module introduces and develops research skills for students in English Studies. It is intended to guide them as they undertake postgraduate level study, helping them to develop high-level skills in recognising and evaluating research methods and reflecting on and developing their own research and academic writing skills. The module will also give you the opportunity to see yourself as part of a community of postgraduate researchers, and present your ideas to peers accordingly.

Optional modules

30 credits

You will trace the literary and cultural history of the body from the Early Modern period to the present day. Exploring changing experiences of human embodiment in modernity, the module deploys a variety of theoretical perspectives, from gender theory to the medical humanities, to analyse sexuality, race, and class at a corporeal level.

30 credits

You will be introduced to object-orientated ontologies and the ‘social biography’ of things. The ‘material turn’ in literary studies has led to a renewed interest in how objects inform daily life and are of significance in works of literature. From the early modern period, where clothing maketh the man, through to the Victorian fixation with the lavish material culture of their time through to postmodernism’s hyper-realities, objects and subjects merge and are materially altered through this transaction. This module will explore the materiality of things, how subject and object become metonyms and make for fluid borders between object and subject.

Public Culture and Collaborative Practice
30 credits

Representatives from collaborating cultural partners will be involved in facilitating access to resources and expertise within their organisations. This will include the possibility of experience on LJMU-affiliated research and archival projects. You will be required to undertake a structured series of visits to these partners and will have access to appointed contacts. From this you will gain insight into the everyday workings of the project and/or organisation, its policies and its politics.

60 credits

The dissertation 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.


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

The English Literature programme at LJMU benefits from expertise in a wide variety of research areas: early modern cultures, romanticism, nineteenth-century print cultures, contemporary literature and culture, national literatures (especially Irish, Scottish and American) and postcolonial and world literatures.

Teaching methods

Staff in English have published recent books on seventeenth-century theatre, Sherlock Holmes, the 1950s, madness and the romantic poet, women travellers in Norway, shyness, housing, emigrant experience, betrayal, Irish music, the postcolonial intellectual, the cultural memory of Atlantic slavery and contemporary fictions of multiculturalism.

Applied learning

Staff are involved in a number of large-scale collaborative projects such as the building of a replica Elizabethan theatre at Prescot (Shakespeare North), the Archive of Working-Class Writing, the Liverpool Travel Studies Seminar, the War Widows Project and the Marginal Irish Modernisms network. In the most recent research assessment (REF2014), 22% of our research was rated as world leading and 46% as internationally excellent. 50% of our research was rated world-leading for public impact.

Image of two people looking at computer monitor

Archive of Working-Class Writing, the Liverpool Travel Studies Seminar, the War Widows Project and the Marginal Irish Modernisms network. 

In the most recent research assessment (REF2014), 22% of our research was rated as world leading and 46% as internationally excellent. 50% of our research was rated world-leading for public impact.

Person sat using laptop


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.

Assessments have been designed to develop a creative engagement with different material and confirm your confidence in the discipline.

There will be a variety of assessments spread across modules, including in-class presentations, posters, online contributions, critical reflections and portfolios. The most common piece of assessment will be the extended essay, allowing you to develop advanced techniques of reading, research, writing and presentation.

The course concludes with your completion of a major piece of coursework: a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice.

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 offers an ideal environment in which to expand your knowledge and horizons at postgraduate level.

Situated on Mount Pleasant in the new ‘Knowledge Quarter’ of Liverpool, the School is home to five subject areas: English, History, Criminology, Sociology, and Media, Culture & Communication. It offers a wide range of opportunities to expand your knowledge and horizons, with a lively programme of cross-disciplinary research seminars, conferences, visits from international scholars and public events.

Research from the School is recognised nationally and worldwide, and staff in the English Department are active in a wide range of fields including early modern cultures, nineteenth century studies, regional and global literature, and contemporary and everyday cultures.

Order your brochure Research

Entry requirements

You will need:

  • 2:1 or above in Literature, Cultural History, or a related subject

Additional information:

  • Applications are welcomed from highly motivated, non-standard entry students with relevant experience, but without the necessary formal qualifications
  • IELTS English language requirement: 6.5 (minimum 5.5 (minimum 7.0 in written work) in each component)
  • Pearson PTE Academic requirements: 59-64 (minimum 51 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

Prospective applicants are advised to contact the Programme Leader for further information.

Image of student in Library

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.

Applications will be judged on the strength of their results on their first degree, personal statement, and references. 

The online application form asks you to provide a personal statement (minimum 500 words): this should be written in advance and copied into the relevant section. Your personal statement should include information on why you wish to study an MA, why you are interested in the course at Liverpool John Moores University, and how your previous knowledge and experiences will contribute to your success on the programme.

Image of Students in classroom

In cases of non-standard entry – where an applicant does not have a first degree, or has a degree in an unrelated discipline – candidates may be asked to provide a sample of written work and invited to attend an interview.

Please note that the deadline for applications will be the end of July in the year before the start of the course. We will consider applications after this date but places may not be available.

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