English Literature: Modern and Contemporary Literature MA

  • Programme duration: Full-time: 12 months   Part-time: 24 months
  • Programme start: Autumn 2021
  • Entry requirements: You will need a good 2:1 class Bachelors degree in English studies or a similar subject.
English: Modern and Contemporary Literature MA

Module details

Due to the impact of COVID-19 we're changing how the course is delivered

Students opting for the Modern and Contemporary Literature pathway are required to take at least 60 credits from the specialist modules listed below (including compulsory modules The Modernist World and Postmodernism) in addition to the core modules (Research Skills, Dissertation Project, Dissertation). The remaining 30 elective credits can be taken in any other 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

Research Skills and Practice (ENGL700)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To equip the department's postgraduate students with the necessary research skills to make effective, critical interventions in the study of English Literature.

To equip students with the necessary presentational skills for advanced study in English Literature, including bibliographic and referencing conventions.

To equip students with para-academic professional skills relating to the development of materials for a public audience.

To equip students with the knowledge and confidence to reflect critically and creatively on the practices, contexts and real-world applications of literary study.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will have a comprehensive and practical understanding of techniques for accessing electronic and bibliographic sources.

(LO2) Students will have the ability to use scholarly referencing and bibliographic conventions appropriate for advanced literary scholarship.

(LO3) Students will acquire new skills fostering continued independent learning and a critical appreciation of complex issues within the broader context of the Arts and Humanities.

(S1) Students will gain a systematic knowledge and critical awareness of current debates and new insights within the field of literature and its contexts.

(S2) Students will gain an advanced critical and analytical skills in relation to diverse forms of discourse.

(S3) Students will gain advanced literacy, interpersonal and communications skills, and the ability to present sustained and persuasive written and oral arguments to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

(S4) Students will gain a systematic knowledge and critical awareness of current debates and new insights within the field of literature and its contexts.

(S5) Students will gain the ability to comprehensively understand and apply a variety of theoretical approaches to literature.

(S6) Students will have the ability to handle complex information and argument in a critical, creative and self-reflective manner.

(S7) Student will gain practical research skills to retrieve information, assemble bibliographic data, and critically evaluate, sift and organize material independently.

(S8) Students will gain the ability to use IT and other relevant tools and resources to present written and oral work to a professional, scholarly standard.

(S9) Student will have advanced skills and experience in selecting and using electronic and/or archival resources for planning and undertaking research and writing.

Dissertation Preparation Project (ENGL701)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The aim of this module is for students to set out the main lines of a research enquiry, its divisions and possible resources, and to undertake independent research to identify and evaluate key reading and critical contexts for the proposed topic. The object at this stage is not to try to 'solve' or 'conclude' or 'cover' the proposed topic: a much more thorough-going examination of the topic will be proper to the dissertation itself. The module also aims to help students develop public speaking skills and digital skills through the creation of an audio-visual recording. In order to qualify for a degree in a named pathway (Renaissance and Eighteenth-Century, Victorian, Modern and Contemporary or Science Fiction), the subject of their assignment for this module must be on a relevant author(s).

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will gain the ability to read, analyse, interpret and compare with competence and independence a wide variety of literary texts

(LO2) Students will gain a comprehensive and practical understanding of techniques for accessing electronic and bibliographic sources

(LO3) Students will gain the ability to use scholarly referencing and bibliographic conventions appropriate for advanced literary scholarship

(LO4) Students will gain new skills fostering continued independent learning and a critical appreciation of complex issues within the broader context of the Arts and Humanities

(LO5) Students will gain research skills enabling critical evaluation of different research methodologies and selection of appropriate methodologies

(LO6) research skills to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively in order to generate new and independent research

(S1) Students will gain a systematic knowledge and critical awareness of current debates and new insights within the field of literature and its contexts

(S2) Students will gain an advanced critical and analytical skills in relation to diverse forms of discourse

(S3) Students will gain advanced literacy, interpersonal and communications skills, and the ability to present sustained and persuasive written and oral arguments to specialist and non-specialist audiences

(S4) Students will gain the ability to autonomously design and self-direct an extended research project

(S5) Students will gain the ability to comprehensively understand and apply a variety of theoretical approaches to literature

(S6) Students will gain the ability to handle complex information and argument in a critical, creative and self-reflective manner

(S7) Students will gain the ability to use IT and other relevant tools and resources to present written and oral work to a professional, scholarly standard

(S8) Students will gain advanced skills and experience in selecting and using electronic and/or archival resources for planning and undertaking research and writing

(S9) Students will gain organisational skills in managing time and workloads, and in meeting deadlines

Dissertation (ENGL702)
LevelM
Credit level60
SemesterWhole Session
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

Students must develop and deliver an original capstone research project: more specifically, a 14,000-15,000-word dissertation, incorporating extensive secondary research, textual analysis, use of appropriate evidence and referencing and engagement with the contexts of literature. Students work with a supervisor who is an expert in their field. As the module requires students to plan a large project months ahead, to find and select relevant material, to maintain a coherent and complex argument and to analyse large amounts of information and text, it provides an excellent grounding in many key professional skills.

Students will build on skills developed in the Research Skills and Practice module (ENGL700) and on the lessons of the preliminary research for the Dissertation Preparation Project module (ENGL701).

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will gain the ability to read, analyse, interpret and compare with competence and independence a wide variety of literary texts

(LO2) Students will gain a comprehensive and practical understanding of techniques for accessing electronic and bibliographic sources

(LO3) Students will gain the ability to use scholarly referencing and bibliographic conventions appropriate for advanced literary scholarship

(LO4) Students will gain new skills fostering continued independent learning and a critical appreciation of complex issues within the broader context of the Arts and Humanities

(LO5) Students will gain research skills enabling critical evaluation of different research methodologies and selection of appropriate methodologies

(LO6) Students will gain research skills to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively in order to generate new and independent research

(LO7) Students will gain the ability to work with a supervisor to identify as well as autonomously plan and implement an independent, dissertation-length research project

(S1) Students will gain a systematic knowledge and critical awareness of current debates and new insights within the field of literature and its contexts

(S2) Students will gain advanced critical and analytical skills in relation to diverse forms of discourse

(S3) Students will gain advanced literacy, interpersonal and communications skills, and the ability to present sustained and persuasive written and oral arguments to specialist and non-specialist audiences

(S4) Students will gain the ability to autonomously design and self-direct an extended research project

(S5) Students will gain the ability to comprehensively understand and apply a variety of theoretical approaches to literature

(S6) Students will gain the ability to handle complex information and argument in a critical, creative and self-reflective manner

(S7) Students will gain practical research skills to retrieve information, assemble bibliographic data, and critically evaluate, sift and organize material independently

(S8) Students will gain the ability to use IT and other relevant tools and resources to present written and oral work to a professional, scholarly standard

(S9) Students will gain advanced skills and experience in selecting and using electronic and/or archival resources for planning and undertaking research and writing

(S10) Students will gain organisational skills in managing time and workloads, and in meeting deadlines

The Modern (ENGL770)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

- Students will demonstrate an advanced understanding of the concepts of ‘the modern’ and modernity, particularly as they relate to a range of early twentieth-century literary texts.

- Students will demonstrate advanced skills in analysing those texts in relation to relevant intellectual and material contexts.

- Students will demonstrate awareness of modernism as examples of individual art works and as a global network of related individuals, venues and works.

- Students will demonstrate skills in creative, cross-media approaches to coursework, including a digital assignment addressing the key ideas of the module.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will gain the ability to read, analyse, interpret and compare with competence and independence a wide variety of literary texts.

(LO2) Students will acquire an advanced knowledge and systematic understanding of the political and ideological aspects of literary texts and how they can be situated within appropriate cultural and social contexts.

(LO3) Students will gain a critical appreciation of the ways in which texts can be situated within literary history, including issues of genre, influence, and creation and reception.

(LO4) Students will acquire advanced knowledge and critical awareness of current and new literary, critical and theoretical debates.

(LO5) Students will gain new skills fostering continued independent learning and a critical appreciation of complex issues within the broader context of the Arts and Humanities.

(S1) Students will acquire a systematic knowledge and critical awareness of current debates and new insights within the field of literature and its contexts.

(S2) Students will gain advanced critical and analytical skills in relation to diverse forms of discourse.

(S3) Students will gain advanced literacy, interpersonal and communications skills, and the ability to present sustained and persuasive written and oral arguments to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

(S4) Students will gain the ability to comprehensively understand and apply a variety of theoretical approaches to literature.

(S5) Students will gain the ability to handle complex information and argument in a critical, creative and self-reflective manner.

(S6) Students will gain the ability to use IT and other relevant tools and resources to present written and oral work to a professional, scholarly standard.

(S7) Students will acquire advanced skills and experience in selecting and using electronic and/or archival resources for planning and undertaking research and writing.

(S8) Students will gain organisational skills in managing time and workloads, and in meeting deadlines.

The Contemporary (ENGL772)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The aims of this module are as follows:
- To enable students to engage with a cross-section of literature, theory and criticism to understand the concept of ‘the contemporary’ as a scholarly discipline.
- To enable students to understand and engage with the historical and conceptual connections between ‘the contemporary’ and other periodisations such as ‘the modern’.
- To develop skills in the comparison of literary and critical/theoretical writing, and in the understanding of how to apply theoretical contexts to contemporary literary contexts.
- To develop skills in creative, cross-media approaches to coursework including the opportunity to create a podcast addressing the key ideas of the module.
- To provide students with the materials to develop a critical understanding of how ‘the contemporary’ might vary across diverse authors and writing practices.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will gain the ability to read, analyse, interpret and compare with competence and independence a wide variety of literary texts.

(LO2) Students will acquire an advanced knowledge and systematic understanding of the political and ideological aspects of literary texts and how they can be situated within appropriate cultural and social contexts.

(LO3) Students will gain a critical appreciation of the ways in which texts can be situated within literary history, including issues of genre, influence, and creation and reception.

(LO4) Students will acquire advanced knowledge and critical awareness of current and new literary, critical and theoretical debates.

(LO5) Students will gain new skills fostering continued independent learning and a critical appreciation of complex issues within the broader context of the Arts and Humanities.

(S1) Students will acquire a systematic knowledge and critical awareness of current debates and new insights within the field of literature and its contexts.

(S2) Students will gain advanced critical and analytical skills in relation to diverse forms of discourse.

(S3) Students will gain advanced literacy, interpersonal and communications skills, and the ability to present sustained and persuasive written and oral arguments to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

(S4) Students will gain the ability to comprehensively understand and apply a variety of theoretical approaches to literature.

(S5) Students will gain the ability to handle complex information and argument in a critical, creative and self-reflective manner.

(S6) Students will gain the ability to use IT and other relevant tools and resources to present written and oral work to a professional, scholarly standard.

(S7) Students will acquire advanced skills and experience in selecting and using electronic and/or archival resources for planning and undertaking research and writing.

(S8) Students will gain organisational skills in managing time and workloads, and in meeting deadlines.

Optional modules

Literature and Crisis (ENGL771)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To deepen student critical awareness of non-canonical and canonical literatures. To advance student understanding of the social and political aspects of literature as a response to the present. To enable students to undertake individual research on lesser-known approaches and topics across time periods.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will gain the ability to read, analyse, interpret and compare with competence and independence a wide variety of literary texts.

(LO2) Students will gain an advanced knowledge and systematic understanding of the political and ideological aspects of literary texts and how they can be situated within appropriate cultural and social contexts.

(LO3) Students will gain a critical appreciation of the ways in which texts can be situated within literary history, including issues of genre, influence, and creation and reception.

(LO4) Students will gain an advanced knowledge and critical awareness of current and new literary, critical and theoretical debates.

(LO5) Students will gain new skills fostering continued independent learning and a critical appreciation of complex issues within the broader context of the Arts and Humanities.

(S1) Students will gain a systematic knowledge and critical awareness of current debates and new insights within the field of literature and its contexts.

(S2) Students will gain advanced critical and analytical skills in relation to diverse forms of discourse.

(S3) Students will gain advanced literacy, interpersonal and communications skills, and the ability to present sustained and persuasive written and oral arguments to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

(S4) Students will gain the ability to comprehensively understand and apply a variety of theoretical approaches to literature.

(S5) Students will gain the ability to handle complex information and argument in a critical, creative and self-reflective manner.

(S6) Students will gain the ability to use IT and other relevant tools and resources to present written and oral work to a professional, scholarly standard.

(S7) Students will gain advanced skills and experience in selecting and using electronic and/or archival resources for planning and undertaking research and writing.

(S8) Students will gain organisational skills in managing time and workloads, and in meeting deadlines.

Science Fiction And/as the Archive (ENGL781)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

This module provides students with key skills of archival research, using the University’s excellent resources in the area, as well as encouraging them to consider how “the archive” can manifest more conceptually through sf writing. Its assessments encourage the acquisition of skills in presenting information suitable for different audiences.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to demonstrate advanced skills in textual analysis of a range of science fiction works with detailed attention to questions of genre, form and/or narrative structure

(LO2) Students will be able to analyse with a sophisticated conceptual grasp how science fiction texts engage with and inflect concepts such as archive, time, and their “contemporary” moment

(LO3) Students will be able to demonstrate a systematic understanding of ways in which science fiction texts are historically and culturally situated, reflecting their time and/or place of production

(LO4) Students will be able to critically engage with academic research and/or theoretical discourses, and relate these to specific science fiction texts

(LO5) Students will be able to demonstrate practical working knowledge of a specific aspect of a major archival collection, and its relevance to the field

(S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills)

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral

(S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Listening skills

(S5) Information skills - Critical reading

(S6) Research skills - All Information skills

(S7) Skills in using technology - Using common applications (work processing, databases, spreadsheets etc.)

(S8) Research skills - Awareness of /commitment to academic integrity

The Body (ENGL773)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

This module seeks to provide students an opportunity to read and analyse different theories of the body and explore them within literary texts drawn from the modern and contemporary period. The module offers students a supportive intellectual environment in which to critique representations of the body in society, thereby contributing to greater awareness of others and difference and promoting social cohesion in turn. It embodies a holistic approach to learning that is self-aware and intellectually rigorous through focused reading, learning and discussion as well as through modes of authentic assessment. It supports the university’s wider agenda for research-connected teaching and for students to gain confidence which reflects a key hallmark of the Liverpool graduate.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will gain the ability to read, analyse, interpret and compare with competence and independence a wide variety of literary texts, more specifically the different theoretical and conceptual approaches to the study of the body.

(LO2) Students will gain an advanced knowledge and systematic understanding of the political and ideological aspects of literary texts and how they can be situated within appropriate cultural and social contexts, particularly in independent interpretations of literary representations of the body.

(LO3) Students will gain a critical appreciation of the ways in which texts can be situated within literary history, including issues of genre, influence, and creation and reception, especially in the context of representations of the body in modern and contemporary literature.

(LO4) Students will gain advanced knowledge and critical awareness of current and new literary, critical and theoretical debates within theories of the body.

(LO5) Students will gain new skills fostering continued independent learning and a critical appreciation of complex issues within the broader context of the Arts and Humanities.

(S1) Students will gain a systematic knowledge and critical awareness of current debates and new insights within the field of literature and its contexts.

(S2) Students will gain advanced critical and analytical skills in relation to diverse forms of discourse.

(S3) Students will gain advanced literacy, interpersonal and communications skills, and the ability to present sustained and persuasive written and oral arguments to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

(S4) Students will gain the ability to comprehensively understand and apply a variety of theoretical approaches to literature.

(S5) Students will gain the ability to handle complex information and argument in a critical, creative and self-reflective manner.

(S6) Students will gain the ability to use IT and other relevant tools and resources to present written and oral work to a professional, scholarly standard.

(S7) Students will gain advanced skills and experience in selecting and using electronic and/or archival resources for planning and undertaking research and writing.

(S8) Students will gain organisational skills in managing time and workloads, and in meeting deadlines.