Top Master’s in English Literature Schools

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Master’s in English Literature in the UK 

A Master’s in English Literature degree is a focused postgraduate course of study in written language from the British Isles and beyond. Students who have a love of reading and research may find satisfaction from a degree program in this topic. This degree may prepare you for a career in teaching, research or literary criticism. You can be a candidate for a program if you have a Bachelor’s degree in some other subject.

What Is a Master’s in English Literature?

In order to earn a Master’s in English Literature, you must spend a great deal of time reading and interpreting the written word. You may read a variety of texts, including poetry, novels, short stories, nonfiction and plays. English literature also deals with the history of these types of texts, from the beginnings of the English language to the present day. There may also be a focus on individual regions and their literature examples, such as American, British, Irish, Australian or Scottish literature. As you complete this program, you become equipped to teach about literature or perform jobs that require critical reading skills. Schools in the UK that offer Master’s in English Literature programs include Kingston University, University of Nottingham, University of Oxford and the University of Edinburgh.

The typical Master’s in English Literature program lasts from one to two years in the UK. Along with extensive reading, critiquing and writing, you may also be asked to prepare a thesis along with original research into a text or author. Since reading and writing are universal skills, many programs do not require a Bachelor’s degree in English for admission. A variety of other undergraduate degrees in the humanities or sciences may make you eligible for postgraduate English literature study. While the program offerings among different schools vary, here are some courses that may be offered:

  • Literary Theory and Criticism: Major literary theories may be discussed, and techniques for critiquing literary works are taught.
  • Author Study: Students may elect to focus their studies on a specific author in English literature, such as Shakespeare, Chaucer, Twain or Dickens.
  • Historical Time Period: Students usually analyse the literature of a time period in history, including medieval, renaissance, Victorian or modern.
  • Genre Study: Literature covering specific forms or genres may be thoroughly studied and critiqued. Some possible literature topics that may be covered include African-American, science fiction, memoir or immigrant fiction.
  • Thesis Requirement: English literature programs may have a mandatory thesis research paper required before program completion.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s in English Literature in the UK?

A degree in English is one of the most flexible degrees around. This type of degree can give a person top skills in critical reading, analysis, writing and thinking. Those skills are highly transferable to many different industries and jobs. Getting a Master’s in English Literature may additionally give you a way to earn more money in your career or secure a better job. You may also use your new skills in applying for a doctorate program if desired.

What Kind of Career Can You Expect With a Master’s in English Literature?

Common careers with a Master’s in English Literature often involve some form of written communication. Jobs in creative fields, marketing, publishing or education may be more easily secured with this type of degree. This type of degree is ideal for many other jobs in public service or the private sector as well.

If you want to use your literary skills in your line of work directly, one popular job type could be in the publishing industry as a book reviewer. Publishing also gives graduates opportunity as editors or in new author recruitment. Jobs involving writing may also be a great path for those with a Master’s in English Literature. Former students may find work as reporters, writers or bloggers in various forms of media. Writing in the advertising industry may also recruit English literature majors for copywriting or campaign management. This degree is another way to get into teaching English. You could expect to work with young adolescents in the secondary level with a Master’s in English Literature degree. If you want to use your English literature knowledge indirectly, you may find work in private business working in sales, grant writing, management or other aspects of commerce.

Getting your Master’s in English Literature may be the right path for your future happiness. Look for the best programs in the UK to help you get started.

University of Birmingham

Birmingham, United Kingdom

  • 75SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 17,061Average Tuition
  • 70%Acceptance Rate

The University of Birmingham is located in the heart of England with campuses in the Edgbaston and Selly Oak areas of the city of Birmingham. Birmingham University offers over 350 different courses in its undergraduate program; 400 postgraduate taught courses; 140 research courses and 450 PhD opportunities....

University of Buckingham

Buckingham, United Kingdom

  • 89SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 19,321Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

The University of Buckingham (UB) is one of UK’S oldest private universities located in the city of Buckingham, England. Through its 14 academic schools, the university offers master’s programs in a wide variety of disciplines....

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Cardiff, United Kingdom

  • 90SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 16,716Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

Cardiff Metropolitan University (Cardiff Met) is a UK public Institution with two central campuses located in Llandaff and Cyncoed in Wales, United Kingdom. Through its 6 academic schools, the university offers master’s programs in a wide range of disciplines....

University of Chester

Chester, United Kingdom

  • 118SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 14,563Average Tuition
  • 65%Acceptance Rate

The University of Chester is one of the oldest universities in the UK. Founded in 1839, it is a public university situated in Chester, England. The University has dedicated faculties, through which it delivers master’s degree programs to local and international students. ...

York St John University

York, United Kingdom

  • 149SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 15,647Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

York St John University (York St John) is a public university located along Lord Mayor's Walk in York, England, UK. York St John offers a wide range of master's degree programs across its nine academic schools including: Art, Design and Computer Science; Education; Health Sciences; Humanities, Religion and Philosophy; and Sport....

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury, United Kingdom

  • 156SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 13,684Average Tuition
  • 100%Acceptance Rate

Canterbury Christ Church University focuses on educating people going into public service. It retains its status as a Church of England foundation. It is also known as England's "missionary university"....

Queen's University Belfast

Belfast, United Kingdom

  • 178SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 17,553Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

Queen's University Belfast (Queen's) is a public institution located along the University Road in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK. Queen's offers a wide range of master's degree programs across its three academic faculties namely: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Engineering and Physical Sciences; and Medicine, Health and Life Sciences....

Anglia Ruskin University

Cambridge, United Kingdom

  • 251SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 17,998Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) has 4 campuses located in Cambridge, London, Chelmsford and Peterborough, United Kingdom. ARU offers over a 100 master’s degree programs across its 4 academic faculties, namely: Arts, Law and Social Sciences; Health, Social Care and Education; Science and Technology; Medical Science; and the Lord Ashcroft International Business School. ...

Brunel University London

Uxbridge, United Kingdom

  • 307SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 22,596Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

Brunel University London (BUL) is a research-intensive public university located in Uxbridge, West London, United Kingdom. Through its academic schools, the university offers master’s degree programs in a wide range of disciplines including television studies, social work, health and exercise Sciences, sports, education, engineering, psychology, and environmental studies. ...

Bangor University

Bangor, United Kingdom

  • 329SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 19,574Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

Bangor University (Bangor) is located in Bangor, in coastal Wales, United Kingdom. Bangor offers over a 100 master’s degree courses through its 3 academic colleges, namely: the College of Arts, Humanities and Business; the College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering; and the College of Human Sciences....