Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies

English and Comparative Literature

Wall of colourful books

MA courses

Our MA courses offer a variety of distinctive options for in-depth and interdisciplinary study of English, world, and comparative literature. You can choose from a range of specially focused modules drawing on our internationally recognised research expertise in areas such as Shakespeare, Romanticism, Modernism, as well as European, American, and Caribbean literature. All MA courses are available on a full or part-time basis.

MA modules are intensive and taught in small groups by our expert academic staff, which, combined with a supervised dissertation project, provide a thorough preparation for undertaking independent research and PhD study.

A range of scholarships and funding for postgraduate study are available.

  • MA Literature

    Our MA Literature provides a rigorous and advanced course of study in English, comparative and world literature. Core modules equip you with the necessary critical and methodological skills for successful postgraduate study in literature, while our selection of specialist optional modules allow you to focus on your particular research interests before undertaking a dissertation project.

    Read full course descriptions on Course Finder:

    Our module directory allows you to see the range of postgraduate modules you can take as part of your course.

  • MA American Literatures

    Our MA American Literatures enables you to undertake a rich investigation into the variety and interconnections of American writing and reflects our teaching and research strengths in the literatures and cultures of the Americas, particularly the US South and the Caribbean. The course combines core and optional modules with a dissertation project and equips you with critical, methodological and specialist subject knowledge necessary for successful postgraduate study, while allowing you to follow your particular research interests across American literatures.

    Read full course descriptions on Course Finder:

    Our module directory allows you to see the range of postgraduate modules you can take as part of your course.

  • MA Film and Literature

    Our MA Film and Literature engages with the comparative study of interactions between film and literature. You benefit from our department’s extensive expertise in film theory and practice, as well as in a wide range of literature specialisms, including European, American and Caribbean literature, adaptation and translation, postcolonial theory, psychogeography and myth.

    Read full course descriptions on Course Finder:

    Our module directory allows you to see the range of postgraduate modules you can take as part of your course.

  • MA Wild Writing: Literature, Landscape and the Environment

    Our MA Wild Writing offers the chance to explore the local landscape and the wilder landscapes of Britain, as well as those across the world, through a combination of modules from our Department of Biological sciences and Department of Literature film and theatre. Our field trips take you outside the classroom, often in sun, sometimes in snow or rain. You gain an understanding of key environmental challenges while building your own ways of approaching writing about the wild: creative, critical, and scientific.

    Read full course descriptions on Course Finder:

    Our module directory allows you to see the range of postgraduate modules you can take as part of your course.

    Wild Writing blog

    Find out more about our MA Wild Writing course by reading Wildeasters, a nature writing blog which contains contributions from current and former students on literature, landscape, the environment and the natural world.

  • MA Avant-Gardes

    The Avant-Garde is an artistic movement that has had an impact across various forms of art such as literature, theatre and film, which pushes the boundaries of creativity and challenges the status quo.

    Our MA Avant-Gardes explores the concept of the Avant-Garde and the influence that it had during the inter-war period, and how it continues to influence creative arts today.

    Read the full description on course finder:


Courses with other departments

We also an MA course jointly with our Department of Language and Linguistics:

Research seminars and events

Throughout the year you can expand your experience beyond what you study on your course by attending our weekly research seminars with guest speakers invited from the UK and abroad, as well as regular film screenings and writer’s talks as part of our Writers at Essex series.

We also hold major conferences and symposia and as a postgraduate student you will have the opportunity to be involved in organising and presenting at our annual MA conference.

Languages for all

Reading texts in their original language can be a real advantage for postgraduate research. Our University’s Languages for All scheme allows you to study a language alongside your course at no extra cost.

Fees and scholarships

Fees and scholarships

Find about our fees and scholarships. If you would like any further information or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Research excellence

Research excellence

Three-quarters of our research is rated 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' (REF 2014). We do both creative and critical work across genres and media forms using a distinctly comparative approach.

AHRC funding

PhD student in library

Apply for a PhD studentship for your doctoral study funded by the Consortium for Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Wild Writing blog

Find out more about our MA Wild Writing course by reading Wildeasters, a nature writing blog which contains contributions from current and former students on literature, landscape, the environment and the natural world.