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.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: 2 years

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

£8,755 (FT) £4,375 (PT)
£17,250 (FT) £8,755 (PT)

Application deadlines

All applicants:
1 April 2015

Entry Requirements

A minimum of a high 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.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree Information

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.

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 Module

  • Authors (including Henry James, Walter Pater, D.H. Lawrence; Jules Laforge, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Virginia Woolf, Alfred Hitchcock, Chinua Achebe). Please see UCL English website for more.


  • Students take Contexts which may include one of the following:
  • The American Scene
  • Epiphany and the Everyday
  • Documenting the City
  • Suburbia
  • Graphic Cities
  • Scorsese's New York
  • Students take two optional courses, which may include the following:
  • Modernism, Sex and Redemption
  • Film and Television: Early Cinema to the Wire
  • Post-war American Poetry
  • James Joyce among the Modernists
  • Detective Fictions
  • Imagining History
  • American Counter-Culture
  • Freud


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 information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site English: Issues in Modern Culture MA


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


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.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Editorial Assistant, Granta Books (2012)
  • Researcher, BBC (2012)
  • Research Analyst, Retail Banking (2012)
  • Rights Assistant, Quercus Publishing (2012)
  • Staff Writer, Bauer Media (2012)

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL English Department has an outstanding record for research; many staff publish in mainstream as well as academic media: some are regular reviewers for newspapers and periodicals.

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.

Student / staff ratios › 31 staff › 86 taught students › 60 research students

Department: English Language & Literature

Degree reviews

Staff review

"UCL is a research-intensive university, one of the best in the world. Students and faculty are from many different countries, and take seriously our history of being a progressive and radical institution that seeks to make the world a better place. It has world-class academics and research infrastructure; and is literally minutes away from some of the best libraries and cultural resources."

Dr Lee Grieveson

MA Film Studies PhD Film Studies Now and again the Issues in Modern Culture MA in English And the research culture more broadly of the Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry, which is mostly - but not only - a centre for inter-disciplinary graduate work in the Humanities.
Reader in Film Studies

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
1 April 2015

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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
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.


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

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