- Entry requirements: Related 2:1 degree (or equivalent)
- Full-time: 12 months
- Part-time: 24 months
The Renaissance and 18th-Century Literature MA Pathway draws together two of the richest and most fascinating periods in English literary history, encouraging you to think of them as being both in continuity and in contest with one another.
The Renaissance and Eighteenth-Century Literature MA pathway covers writers such as Shakespeare, Marlowe, Cavendish, Pope, Swift, Behn and Equiano, and offers modules that consider: how literature responded and contributed to major social and political developments such as the rise of international travel, slavery and empire (including the role of Liverpool in that process); the transition from Renaissance alchemy to modern science; the literary contests fought over form and style across both periods; the theory and practice of scholarly editing; and Shakespeare’s dialogue with both contemporaries and later eighteenth-century adapters.
Drawing upon the Department’s significant research and teaching strengths in these periods in Renaissance and Eighteenth-Century Literature, the pathway also offers the opportunity to visit local cultural institutions such as the Walker Art Gallery and International Slavery Museum.
Conversation with other students and researchers through departmental talks, seminars, conferences, and associated research centres such as the Liverpool Medieval and Renaissance Research Centre and the Eighteenth-Century Worlds Centre will help you situate that reading within a thriving academic context.
The MA is particularly suitable for graduates looking to pursue careers in the arts, culture, creative and heritage sectors, including journalism, copywriting, management in arts and culture organisations and teaching.
The MA in English Literature provides students with rigorous academic training in the broad interdisciplinary field of literary history, theory and culture. The professional skills that students will develop upon completion of the programme will prepare them well for a wide range of potential employment areas.
Departmental support includes:
Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.
International students may be able to study this course on a part-time basis but this is dependent on visa regulations. Please visit the Government website for more information about student visas.
If you're able to study part-time, you'll study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.
Studying part-time means you can study alongside work or any other life commitments. You will study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.
Students opting for the Renaissance and Eighteenth-Century pathway are required to take at least 60 credits from the specialist modules (which must include the compulsory modules Literature, Slavery and Empire and Editing the Early Modern) in addition to the core modules (Research Skills, Dissertation Project, Dissertation). The remaining 30 elective credits can be taken in any pathway run by the Department of English or across the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Please note: programme and module details are illustrative and subject to change.
Research Skills and Practice introduces students to the practices, contexts and real-world applications of academic research. Through regular seminars and a variety of assessment methods, it provides students with the opportunity to develop skills in advanced literary study, independent research and para-academic activities. The knowledge and skills practised through this module provide a foundation for the world after Master’s study.
At the end of the sixteenth century, England was making its first attempts to build a tradition as a nation of travellers and unsuccessfully attempting to establish colonies in north America. By the end of the Eighteenth century the European Grand Tour was a standard part of a British aristocratic education, and the British Empire was a global force actively participating in the international slave trade. This module looks at both literary and non-literary records of and responses to: the relationship between the ‘old world’ or the Mediterranean and the ‘new world’ of the Americas; the encounter with unfamiliar people and lands; the rise of and debate about the international slave trade, from the perspective of both the enslaver and the enslaved; the literary and cultural importance of these developments for the city of Liverpool.
The aim of this module is to read Shakespeare’s plays and poetry in company with others’ works and writings, and thereby to consider a ‘comparative’ approach to reading and interpreting Shakespeare both within and beyond his own time, and against eighteenth-century ideas of him as the great English poet of ‘Nature’, ‘Nation’, and ‘Genius’. Particular attention will be paid to Shakespeare’s contemporaries – for example Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson – as well as to his Restoration and eighteenth-century adapters and ‘improvers’, critics and performers, such as Colley Cibber and David Garrick. Material studied may include Shakespeare’s critics: Jonson to Johnson; Shakespeare and Marlowe; Shakespeare, and Milton; Hamlet and its ‘ghosts’; Richard III – sources and adaptation; and collaborative dramas in which Shakespeare is a co-author, such as All is True and Sir Thomas More.
In ENGL701 Dissertation Project, students lay the groundwork for the dissertation they will complete in the following term. This module does not require students to write or produce a finished dissertation. Rather, it requires them to conceive, carefully and self-reflectively, an original topic for their dissertation before going on to develop a plan and outline of the piece informed by secondary research. They will then deliver an oral presentation on their plans to their peers and to staff, including their supervisor (who will be assigned in the course of the module), reflect on the feedback they receive and, finally, create an audio-visual recording, such as a narrated slideshow, based on their presentation. Not only does this module provide structure and guidance in the crucial early stages of developing an extended work of literary analysis, it also offers an opportunity to practise vital skills, such as public speaking, responding to feedback and developing digital resources.
How do the tidy editions of literary works that you read come into being? What textual complexities and difficulties might these editions obscure? And how far can or should an editor go in resolving these complexities or difficulties? This module addresses these questions, while at the same time giving you practical experience of scholarly editing. Working with a team of tutors with recent and current experience in scholarly editing, you will introduced to key debates in textual theory, will examine the specific editorial challenges raised by the work of a range of writers from the period, and will produce your own edition of a passage of literary text.
This module explores the literary and cultural frameworks within which scientific knowledge and practice was produced, narrated, and communicated during the Renaissance and long eighteenth century. Reading science as performance, and theatre as experiment, the module will locate plays alongside alchemical and natural philosophical ideas and writings, in order to think through the issues both literature and science raise about secrecy and public demonstration, curiosity and observation, audience, and space. The module will also pay attention to how emerging ways of knowing and seeing influenced poetic and prose accounts of body and mind, discovery and imagination, and nature and self, and how writers were inspired by or set themselves against different narratives of nature, from simple conceits to grand visions of the cosmos.
The final dissertation, comprising a 14,000-15,000-word thesis on a subject devised by the student and agreed with their supervisor, is written over the summer. Some students take this opportunity to explore in more depth a theme, idea, or author studied in one of the taught strands; others strike out in a wholly new direction. This module is a culmination of previous modules studied on the MA, in which students, under the supervision of a tutor, bring to bear the skills, knowledge and confidence they have developed over the course of the Master’s programme.
Teaching on the MA in English Literature is delivered through a combination of seminars and tutorials held on campus. Depending on which module options are taken, there may be lectures and separate seminar sessions scheduled, but all classes will take place on campus in person. Class sizes for Masters programmes in the Department of English tend to be small, and a typical class in English will include between 8-10 students.
Students on the English MA will for the most part be assessed by a combination of formative and summative coursework. This will take a number of different forms, including essays, essay plans, research proposals, and a dissertation. In addition, students will be assessed by presentations in certain modules. Other assessment formats may apply also depending on the options modules taken.
We have a distinctive approach to education, the Liverpool Curriculum Framework, which focuses on research-connected teaching, active learning, and authentic assessment to ensure our students graduate as digitally fluent and confident global citizens.
Dr David Hering, Programme Lead for the English Literature MA gives an overview of the course.
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The MA in English Literature will provide you with rigorous academic training in the broad interdisciplinary field of literary history, theory and culture. The professional skills that you will develop upon completion of the programme will prepare you well for a wide range of potential employment areas. The MA is particularly suitable for graduates looking to pursue careers in the arts, culture, creative and heritage sectors, including journalism, copywriting, management in arts and culture organisations and teaching.
Graduates wishing to continue academic studies will find a supportive and nurturing research environment that prepares them well for doctoral-level research activities. Career pathways that follow this route include employment in higher education (teaching and/or research), or teaching at secondary and further education levels.
Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.
|UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)|
|Full-time place, per year||£10,150|
|Part-time place, per year||£5,075|
|Full-time place, per year||£21,400|
|Part-time place, per year||£10,700|
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support.
If you're a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan worth up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs. Learn more about tuition fees, funding and Postgraduate Loans.
We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.
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We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help cover tuition fees and help with living expenses while at university.
The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.
My qualifications are from: United Kingdom.
|Postgraduate entry requirements||
You will normally need a 2:1 honours degree, or above, or equivalent. This degree should be in English studies or a related subject.
If you hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but don’t meet our entry requirements, a Pre-Master’s can help you gain a place. This specialist preparation course for postgraduate study is offered on campus at the University of Liverpool International College, in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways. Although there’s no direct Pre-Master’s route to this MA, completing a Pre-Master’s pathway can guarantee you a place on many other postgraduate courses at The University of Liverpool.
You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language. International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.
|English language qualification||Requirements|
View our IELTS academic requirements key.
Higher Level (Grade 5)
|TOEFL iBT||88 or above with minimum scores in components as follows: Listening and Writing 19, Reading 19, Speaking 20.|
|INDIA Standard XII||70% or above from Central and Metro State Boards|
|Hong Kong use of English AS level||B|
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Last updated 19 April 2023 / / Programme terms and conditions /