MA English Studies


A seminar in an optional MA unit will usually consist of 2-5 students

The MA in English Studies at Lincoln is a unique taught postgraduate programme which aims to give students a critical understanding of current developments in contemporary literature, a sample of the diversity and variety of English studies now, and the skills needed to equip them for further research.

The distinctive feature of the programme is its focus on 21st century writing in Britain and Ireland. The core units, English Now 1 & English Now 2, offer students the opportunity to read and give considered attention to the poetry, drama, fiction and life writing that is being produced now in Britain and Ireland. We have chosen to make the contemporary moment the core of the taught programme not just because we believe the study of current literary creativity is valuable and stimulating in itself, but because we believe contemporary writing provides a uniquely exciting focus for the study of current theoretical and critical thinking, of the relationship of literary texts to their contexts, and of the distinctiveness of literature itself as a cultural practice.

Seminar groups in the English Now core units usually range from 9-14 students

The second half of the programme offers students a choice of two units from a set of options on the literature of the present and the past, in each case leading to a small research project of the student’s own choice. The selection ranges from twenty-first century American fiction and British Literature of the 1980s and 90s, to studies of 16th century English poetry and includes units focused on periods, authors or themes such as utopia and dystopia, and the 19th century woman writer.

Staff are always happy to discuss work with students on a one-to-one basis

In the final part of the programme, students are required to complete a 15,000-word  dissertation on a subject they have chosen in consultation with tutors. All students receive preparatory training for this, and will be guided by an academic supervisor.

The English Now units run consecutively in semesters A and B, the two specialist options concurrently with them, one in semester A and one in semester B. Options currently validated include Literature in the Thatcher Years, Utopian and Dystopian Literature, Issues in Ecocriticism, Contemporary American Fiction, 21st, Century Literary Theory, The 19th Century Woman Writer, Robin Hood and Poetry & Patronage (1557-1625) (N.B. these options depend upon staff availability and student preferences, and may not be offered every year). Students will also be offered a series of research methods seminars in order to hone their study skills and prepare them for further study at PhD level.

English Now units are taught in regular two hour daytime sessions, usually on a Wednesday. Full-time students will take one core unit and one optional unit each semester, followed by the dissertation, over a twelve month period. Part-time students will take one core unit each semester in year one, and one optional unit each semester in year two, followed by the dissertation in the summer of Year 2.

Successful applicants usually have an undergraduate degree in English or a related subject at 2.1 level or above. We require all applicants whose first language is not English to have obtained an IELTS score of 6.5 or above.

MA English Studies Course Information Pages

For further details please contact the Programme Leader:

Dr. Rupert Hildyard

(01522) 886070

or the Admissions Tutor:

Dr. Renée Ward

(01522) 835471