(MA) Master of Arts
Literature, Culture, and Society
University of Essex
University of Essex
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
A 2.2 degree in Creative Writing, Theatre/Drama Studies, Literature, Film and Media Studies, Modern Languages , Art History, Music, Philosophy, History, American Studies, Performance studies, Journalism, Law, Politics and Sociology.
You may be asked to provide a piece of creative writing if you do not hold a degree in a relevant field.
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code
IELTS 7.0 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5 except for 6.5 in writing
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.
Rules of assessment
Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.
Please refer to the full time version of this course for information on Core and Compulsory modules.
Prof Duncan James Salkeld
Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature University of Chichester
External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment.
External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course.
They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards.
External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.
1. To provide courses opening paths to areas of current scholarly and critical specialisation
2. To deepen the knowledge and to refine the skills which students bring with them from their first degree
3. To give students a structured introduction to advanced material and advanced perspectives in their fields of specialisation
4. To encourage students to work independently as scholars in specific fields of investigation and to formulate and present a coherent and reflective view of
5. To provide a choice of courses to suit individual interests and needs
6. To enhance students' career prospects
7. To prepare qualified students for progression to doctoral research with a view to entering the academic profession
8. To enhance (deepen and extend) students' acquaintance with literary texts, film texts and their ability to make comparisons between literature and film
Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods
On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:
A: Knowledge and understanding
A1: A range of literature in special subject areas
A2: Contexts for the study of the writers and writing taught
A3: Critical opinion and significant critical debates
A4: The interrelation of the writing studied with literary/critical thinking about it
A5: Advanced methods of critical analysis and argument
A6: Appropriate research techniques and methodologies
A7: Major cultural domains, literary contexts, & theoretical parameters
A8: Advanced perspectives for the analysis and theorisation of relevant cultural domains, literary contexts & theoretical parameters
1-8 are addressed in seminars and oral and written comments on essays and draft dissertations.
6 is additionally addressed in special seminars.
Students are expected to pursue their understanding of course content and special topics through independent study and wide reading.
Tutors are available to offer advice in the adaptation of generic research techniques (6) to individual needs
Formal assessment is by coursework (four essays) and dissertation, the latter constituting the most significant form of assessment of the knowledge and understanding acquired.
Essays are 4000-5000 words apiece.
The dissertation is 20,000 words.
B: Intellectual and cognitive skills
B1: Question received thinking
B2: To think independently and to make connections between familiar and new ideas
B3: Analyse and evaluate data at advanced levels
B4: Reason critically in an environment of complex ideas
B5: Argue coherently and persuasively
B6: Adopt critical positions in reading complex texts and in writing on them
B7: Analyse and evaluate theoretical concepts at advanced levels
B8: Develop and sustain a critical argument over a sustained period of research
These skills are developed in:-
2. Class presentations (which may form the basis of esays)
3. Oral and written comments on essays
4. Guided reading of secondary sources
Individual guidance is provided in close supervision of essays, of dissertation proposals, and of dissertations.
Essays and dissertation.
The former are regarded essentially as a form of progressive assessment leading to the writing of the dissertation.
C: Practical skills
C1: Organise, structure and present an argument in writing, putting forward clear critical positions
C2: Deploy an advanced vocabulary of special literary and critical terms
C3: Use basic theoretical terms
C4: Compile and present extended bibliographies
C5: Provide complex references according to accepted conventions
C6: Use libraries and IT to gain access to a variety of scholarly sources
C7: Write in a scholarly manner
This range of practical skills (1-7) is taught in seminars and developed through tutors' comments on essays, and in supervision of written work.
Guidance on skills 4-7 is provided in special seminars on techniques and methodology.
Advice on writing essays and dissertations is given in the MA guide
Essays and dissertations are assessed for all these skills.
D: Key skills
D1: Clear, focused, relevant and effective written expression and oral communication
D2: Typing and word-processing skills; use of electronic library catalogues and email
D3: Management of projects and timetables. Researching, understanding and organising information
D4: Ability to interpret and construct an argument, and to grasp other points of view
D5: Finding, understanding and organising information
The five relevant key skills are implicit throughout the degree.
1-5 are employed in essays.
Oral communication skills are developed through seminar discussion and include developing the ability to build an argument, to "read" an argument put during a discussion, and the ability to respond effectively.
Essays and dissertations are assessed for qualities that incorporate all these skills.