PDF version of English: Issues in Modern Culture MA

Contact details

Mr James Phillips

Email: james.phillips@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 7122

Fees and funding

UK/EU 2013/14:

£8,250 (FT)

Overseas 2013/14:

£16,250 (FT)

The English Department has an allocation of AHRC studentships. Only candidates who have already been offered a place on the programme will be considered.

If you wish to be considered for AHRC funding please indicate this on your application form.

Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL Scholarships website

More information

Prospectus Entry


Key facts

Research Assessment Rating

65% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
(What is the RAE?)

The programme information on this page relates to 2013 entry. 2014 content to appear here shortly. 

English: Issues in Modern Culture MA

This MA programme introduces students to major works of nineteenth- and twentieth-century British, French and American writers and provides a context for those works in philosophical and technological developments of the period. The programme explores a wide range of genres and authors and encourages the development of independent research skills.

Degree summary

What will I learn?

The core course develops a close reading of works by writers of the period, while the optional courses offer the opportunity to analyse some of the technologies, media, philosophical perspectives and art-forms whose development during the twentieth century has made itself felt in modernist and postmodernist writing.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

The UCL English has an outstanding record for research; many staff publish in mainstream as well as academic media: some are regular reviewers for newspapers and the London Review of Books. The ongoing Survey of English Usage provides an invaluable, internationally used resource.

Excellent facilities are provided by UCL's library. It has several important holdings including the James Joyce Collection and the George Orwell Archive.

Our graduate students have access to an incomparable range of archives and libraries, including Senate House Library and the British Library, both of which are nearby.

See subject website for more information:

Degree structure

Availability: Full-time 1 year; Part-time 2 years

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of one core module (60 credits), three optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core Modules

  • Authors


  • Contexts may include the following:
  • Modernism, Sex and Redemption
  • The Avant Garde from Eisenstein to Punk
  • Henry James
  • Film and Television: Early Cinema to 'The Wire'
  • Ulysses
  • British Poetry from W.H. Auden to Simon Armitage
  • Post-War American Poetry
  • 21st Century Fiction
  • Queer Writing 1900-1950
  • Chekhov and the Modern Short Story in English
  • Irish Poetry from Yeats to Muldoon
  • American Modernism (Cather, Toomer, Williams, Dos Passos)
  • Hollywood Romantic Comedy: Genre and Gender, 1930-1980


All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

Each course is taught through a weekly seminar. Assessment is through take home written examination, essays and the research dissertation.

Further details available on subject website:

Entry and application

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard will normally be required.

For overseas equivalencies see the relevant country page.

How to apply

You may choose to apply online or download application materials; for details visit www.ucl.ac.uk/gradapps

Applications should be made by 1 March for the year of entry, or by 1 February for candidates who are also seeking funding through the Arts and Humanities Research Council and those seeking UCL funding.

Who can apply?

The programme is particularly suitable for graduates with a first degree in English, although applicants holding a degree in another subject will be considered. The programme gives students a thorough grounding in the skills needed for independent research, and is an ideal foundation for further academic study in this field.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study English: Issues in Modern Culture at graduate level
  • why you want to study English: Issues in Modern Culture at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and/or professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


The programme is an ideal preliminary stage to doctoral research and candidates who obtain the MA and have found a promising subject requiring further study are encouraged to apply to the UCL MPhil/PhD programme.

Recent first destinations of graduates include:

  • College of Technology: Lecturer
  • Kings Fund: Assistant Programme Manager
  • Oxford University Press: Administrative Assistant - Literature
  • Queens University Belfast: Research Assistant
  • Perrett Laver: Research Associate
  • The Guardian: Trainee Writer
  • The Daily Mail: Administrative Assistant
  • Castle School of English: EFL Teacher
  • British Library: Leading Library Assistant
  • Garden and Gun: Editorial Assistant

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:

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