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English: Issues in Modern Culture MA

This MA programme provides the opportunity to explore some of the most exciting and challenging works written in English, by writers from across the world, since the mid-nineteenth century – along with major artistic achievements in film, music and popular culture. It provides contexts for understanding these works in relation to historical, social, political, philosophical and technological developments of the period.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 11 August 2020
Notification
Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Applications for 2021/22 entry will open later in the year.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£11,170 (FT)
Overseas:
£23,340 (FT)


Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

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. This is a competitive MA, however, and the majority of our successful applicants either have, or are predicted to gain, a first class undergraduate degree (or overseas equivalent).

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:

About this degree

The programme explores a range of media, forms and genres using a variety of scholarly approaches, and encourages the development of independent research skills. The core module encourages close reading of works by writers of the period, while the optional modules offer the opportunity to analyse technologies, media, philosophical perspectives and art forms underpinning writing from 1850 to the present.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of one core module 'Authors' (60 credits), three optional modules, which are usually 'Contexts' and two 'Options' offered by the English department (60 credits), and a 12,000 word research dissertation (60 credits).

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MA in English: Issues in Modern Culture.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory module

The compulsory Authors module (60 credits) is taught over two terms and assessed by a take-home exam at the end of April. Please see the English department website for details of course contents.

  • Authors

Optional modules

The majority of students elect to take 'Contexts' (60 credits) and two of the six 'Options' (15 credits each) run by the English department.

  • Recent topics in Contexts include:
  • Modernity and the City
  • Underworlds
  • Filming New York
  • The Wireless Imagination
  • Hauntings
  • Blackness and the City
  • Queer Fictions and the City
  • Options modules change each year, but recent years have included:
  • Psychoanalysis and Modern Culture
  • Chance and the Avant Garde: Accident, Error and Catastrophe in Literature and Culture since 1960 to the Present
  • Queer Literature, Queer Theories
  • Metafiction and the Novel after 1945
  • The Literature Machine
  • Contemporary Poetry
  • Marxist Aesthetics in the 20th Century
  • Cultures of Offence
  • Global Anglophone Literature

Students on this MA programme may request to take a module taught elsewhere in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at UCL.

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.

Dissertation/report

All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 words (60 credits), to be submitted at the end of August.

Teaching and learning

Each module is taught through a weekly two-hour seminar. Assessment is through take-home written examination (Authors), essays (Contexts and Options), and the research dissertation.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

Additional costs

Additional costs may include expenses such as books, stationery, printing or photocopying, and conference registration fees.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Funding

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

Careers

Graduates from this MA will be strongly equipped to find employment in fields such as professional writing, publishing, journalism, film and television, advertising and marketing, third-sector work, social enterprise, and teaching. The programme is also an ideal preliminary stage to doctoral research in literature; candidates who obtain the MA and have found a promising subject requiring further study are encouraged to apply to the UCL MPhil/PhD programme.

Employability

Studying on this MA programme will help students to develop their written and oral communication skills; their ability to analyse and synthesise ideas and to organise complex materials in a lucid manner; their capacity for logical argumentation and critical thinking; and their time management and independent working skills.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL English has an outstanding record of world-leading research. Staff publish in mainstream as well as academic media, and some publish original creative work.

Excellent facilities are provided by the UCL library. It has several important holdings including the James Joyce Collection, the Little Magazines, Alternative Press and Poetry Store Collections, and the George Orwell Archive.

Students have access to an incomparable range of resources, including those at Senate House Library and the British Library nearby. The department holds regular research seminars and facilitates engagement with a range of events and institutions of literary culture in London.

Department: English Language & Literature

What our students and staff say

Staff view

"UCL English is a world-class department with a reputation both for prioritising the pedagogic relationship between academic staff and students and for nurturing original literary-historical scholarship. My research over the last few years has focused on the history and representation of metropolitan cities, especially at night. The various modules are terrifically rewarding, especially as the department encourages thinking outside narrow scholarly specialisms."

Professor Matthew Beaumont

English: Issues in Modern Culture
UCL English Language and Literature

Application and next steps

Applications

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

The programme is particularly suitable for graduates with a first degree in English, although applicants holding a degree in a related 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
11 August 2020

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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 13 August 2020