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English Literature: Renaissance and Eighteenth-Century Literature

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What you'll need

As part of the application process, you'll need to submit:

  • School or college transcripts/certificates
  • University transcripts and certified translations if applicable
  • Degree certificates
  • Personal statement outlining your learning ambitions

Our application process

  • Sign into our online portal, Apply Yourself, and start your application
  • Submit your application
  • We'll email you to let you know we're processing your application
  • Track the progress of your application using the Postgraduate Application Tracker (we'll send you a link to the tracker)
  • We'll email you when a decision has been made
  • If you've been made an offer, you can then accept or decline it using the Postgraduate Application Tracker.

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Master of Arts

A Master of Arts (MA) is a master’s degree awarded for a postgraduate programme in the arts.

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Course overview

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.

Introduction

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.

Who is this course for?

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.

What you'll learn

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:

  • Dedicated to small group teaching
  • Diverse and international student community
  • Connections with local and national arts and literature institutions
  • Access to the largest Science Fiction archive in Europe
  • Vibrant and active research environment linked to the Centre for New and International Writing and the Literature and Science Hub Life, as well as other department-based research centres
  • Interdisciplinary teaching and research environment.

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Studying this course part-time

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.

Semester one

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.

Compulsory modules

Editing the Early Modern (ENGL752)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

How do editions of the literary works read and study come into being? What’s involved in their production? What textual complexities and difficulties might they obscure? And how far can or should an editor go in resolving these complexities and difficulties? The aim of this module is to show how your critical understanding and interpretation of Renaissance and eighteenth-century literary works can be enhanced by unlocking key aspects of their remarkable life and history on the page, from early printed forms through to present-day editions. Working with an expert team of tutors with current experience in the scholarly editing of early modern texts, Editing the Early Modern introduces you to key debates in textual theory, examines the specific editorial, challenges raised by works of Renaissance and eighteenth-century writes, and asks you to produce (and defend) your own scholarly edition of a passage from an early modern text. In this way, the module introduces you to the practice of scholarly editing, historical trends and current debates in editing and textual theory, as well as early modern printing practices and book history.

Research Skills and Practice (ENGL700)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

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.

Optional modules

Shakespeare & Co (ENGL751)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

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.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Your experience

Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

An exciting place to study English

  • The Department of English is in the top 100 English Language and Literature departments in the world according to QS Top Universities rankings
  • We are internationally renowned for advancing the study of language, literature, and creative writing and have a strong research ethos
  • Our programmes offer opportunities to study creative writing and literature from a wide range of periods, as well as a range of approaches to understanding the way in which the English language works
  • We have a reputation for radical thinking, as exemplified by our success rate in the BBC and Arts and Humanities Council’s ‘New Generation Thinkers’ scheme. In total, five members our academic staff have been selected since the scheme was established in 2010
  • We are committed to small group teaching. This encourages a more rewarding learning experience, where ideas are shared and explored with peers and tutors
  • Ranked 10th in sector for research impact classified as outstanding (4*) (REF 2021)
  • We are host to Europe’s largest collection of science fiction materials which includes the John Wyndham Archive and home to the annual Liverpool Literary Festival.

Careers and employability

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.

Career planning

Three career coaches standing outside the Careers Studio

Our campus Career Studio is a space for students and graduates to drop into and talk to a career coach. Career coaches are highly trained to help no matter what stage you are at in your career planning. You can access support to find and apply for full-time and part-time roles, placements, internships and graduate schemes. You will also find the help you need if you have a start-up idea or want to create a business plan. You can explore the world of work, prepare for job interviews, and access careers events and workshops. The Career Studio is open Monday to Friday from 10am-5pm, simply drop in at a time that works for you.

From education to employment

Two graduates in postgraduate robes.

We develop our programmes with employers in mind. You will be supported to enhance your long-term employment prospects as you learn. We do this by exposing you to professionals, a variety of sectors and supporting you to work collaboratively with others to develop transferable skills. You are equipped with a clearer view of what to focus on in your area of interest, and to reflect on your studies. Our digital employability tools give you a tech-enhanced curriculum experience and make it easy for you to prepare for the world of work. You can use tools like the Handshake platform to connect with employers and message the Career Studio 24/7.

Networking events

Postgraduate students hold a discussion while sat round a table in in the Liverpool Guild of Students.

You can start building good professional networks by attending events and employability activities. Our events are designed to develop your skills and expose you to many different employers, as well as to help you make contacts in your field. We help you improve your confidence when speaking to employers and give you access to unique opportunities. Our networking events also boost your understanding of the competencies and skills that employers are looking for in their recruitment process, giving you a competitive edge.

Your future

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.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £10,800
Part-time place, per year £5,400
International fees
Full-time place, per year £22,400
Part-time place, per year £11,200
Fees stated are for the 2024-25 academic year.

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 paying for your studies..

Additional costs

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.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

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.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries that could help pay your tuition and living expenses.

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Postgraduate Global Advancement Scholarship

  • International students

If you’re an international student starting this course with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a discount of £5,000 off your master’s tuition fees, if you haven’t studied with us before.

Graduate Loyalty Advancement Scholarship

  • Home and international students

If you’re a University of Liverpool graduate starting this master’s degree with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a loyalty discount of up to £2,500 off your master’s tuition fees.

ANID Chile Scholarship

  • International students
  • Chile

If you’re a Chilean student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 20% discount on your tuition fees with an ANID Chile Scholarship.

Chevening Scholarships

  • International students

If you’re an international student from an eligible country, joining a one-year master’s course, you could apply to have your master’s fees paid, up to a maximum of £18,000, and receive additional help with living costs.

CONACYT Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 30% discount on your tuition fees with a CONACYT Award.

FIDERH Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree and you’re in receipt of a FIDERH graduate loan, you could benefit from a 20% discount on your tuition fees with a FIDERH Award.

Fulbright Scholarship

  • International students
  • United States

If you’re a USA student joining a master’s degree, you can apply to be considered for a tuition fee discount of £20,000 with a Fulright Scholarship. One Fulbright Scholarship for master’s study is available in each academic year.

FUNED Awards

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree and you’re in receipt of a FUNED loan, you can apply to be considered for a 20% tuition fee discount. A total of up to ten awards will be available to master’s and PhD students per academic year.

Graduate Association Hong Kong & Tung Postgraduate Scholarships

  • International students
  • China
  • Hong Kong

If you’re a master’s student from Hong Kong or the People’s Republic of China who can demonstrate academic excellence, you may be eligible to apply for a scholarship worth up to £10,000 in partnership with the Tung Foundation.

HRH Princess Sirindhorn University of Liverpool Scholarship (Thailand)

  • International students
  • Thailand

If you’re a student from Thailand joining a one-year master’s degree, you might be eligible to apply to have your tuition fees paid in full and receive help with living costs. One award is available and only students who are new to the University will be considered.

JuventudEsGto Scholarship

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a resident of the state of Guanajuato in Mexico joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible for a 10% discount on your tuition fees with a JuventudEsGto Scholarship.

Marshall Scholarship

  • International students
  • United States

If you’re a USA student joining an eligible master’s with us, you could apply to be considered for a Marshall Scholarship. If your application is successful, your master’s tuition fees will be paid in full. One Marshall Scholarship for master’s study is available in each academic year.

Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary

  • Home students

If you’re a UK University of Liverpool graduate joining a master’s degree with us, you could be eligible to receive £3,000 off your tuition fees. You must have graduated in the last two years and received a widening access scholarship during your undergraduate studies.

Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship

  • International students
  • Turkey

If you’re a Turkish student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 20% discount on your tuition fees with a Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship.

Humanitarian Scholarships for Master’s Programmes

  • International students

Do you have recognised status as a refugee or person with humanitarian protection outside the UK? Or are you a Ukrainian who’s sought temporary protection in the EU? You could be eligible to apply for the full payment of your master’s fees and additional financial support.

University of Liverpool International College Excellence Scholarship

  • International students

Completed a Pre-Master’s at University of Liverpool International College (UoLIC)? We’re offering a £5,000 fee discount off the first year of master’s study to some of the highest achieving students joining one of our non-clinical master’s courses from UoLIC.

University of Liverpool International College Impact Progression Scholarships

  • International students

If you’re a University of Liverpool International College student awarded a Kaplan Impact Scholarship, we’ll also consider you for an Impact Progression Scholarship. If selected, you’ll receive a fee discount worth £3,000 off the first year of your master’s course.

Vice-Chancellor’s International Attainment Scholarship for Mainland China

  • International students
  • China

Are you a high-achieving graduate from the People’s Republic of China with a degree from a Chinese university? You could be eligible to apply for a £5,000 fee discount if you’re joining an eligible master’s course. Up to 15 eligible students will receive this scholarship.

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

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Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

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.

We are able to offer a level of flexibility for applicants. Those with a 2:2 honours degree will be considered on an individual basis.

International qualifications

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.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language, unless you’re from a majority English speaking country.

We accept a variety of international language tests and country-specific qualifications.

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
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no component below 6.0
TOEFL iBT 88 overall, with minimum scores of listening 19, writing 19, reading 19 and speaking 20
Duolingo English Test 120 overall, with no component below 105
Pearson PTE Academic 61 overall, with no component below 59
LanguageCert Academic 70 overall, with no skill below 65
PSI Skills for English B2 Pass with Merit in all bands
INDIA Standard XII National Curriculum (CBSE/ISC) - 75% and above in English. Accepted State Boards - 80% and above in English.
WAEC C6 or above

PRE-SESSIONAL ENGLISH

Do you need to complete a Pre-Sessional English course to meet the English language requirements for this course?

The length of Pre-Sessional English course you’ll need to take depends on your current level of English language ability.

Find out the length of Pre-Sessional English course you may require for this degree.

Pre-sessional English

If you don’t meet our English language requirements, we can use your most recent IELTS score, or the equivalent score in selected other English language tests, to determine the length of Pre-Sessional English course you require.

Use the table below to check the course length you're likely to require for your current English language ability and see whether the course is available on campus or online.

Your most recent IELTS score Pre-Sessional English course length On campus or online
6.0 overall, with no component below 6.0 6 weeks On campus
6.0 overall, with no component below 5.5 10 weeks On campus and online options available
6.0 overall, with no more than one component below 5.5, and no component below 5.0 12 weeks On campus and online options available
5.5 overall, with no more than one component below 5.5, and no component below 5.0 20 weeks On campus
5.0 overall, with no more than one component below 5.0, and no component below 4.5 30 weeks On campus
4.5 overall, with no more than one component below 4.5, and no component below 4.0 40 weeks On campus

If you’ve completed an alternative English language test to IELTS, we may be able to use this to assess your English language ability and determine the Pre-Sessional English course length you require.

Please see our guide to Pre-Sessional English entry requirements for IELTS 6.5, with no component below 6.0, for further details.

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new application cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted on the website.

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Fees and Finance

Discover what expenses are covered by the cost of your tuition fees and other finance-related information you may need regarding your studies at Liverpool.

Changes to English Literature: Renaissance and Eighteenth-Century Literature MA

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

23 March 2023: New postgraduate taught course pages

New course pages launched.