American Literatures

Staff member? Login here

Course overview
(MA) Master of Arts
American Literatures
Current
University of Essex
University of Essex
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Masters
Part-time
None
MA T72024
25/07/2017

Professional accreditation

None

Admission criteria

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.

Additional Notes

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.

Course qualifiers

None

Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes

Please refer to the full time version of this course for information on Core and Compulsory modules.

External examiners

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.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 26 October 2020 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.

Key

Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2020/21

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 Options from list year 1 Optional 0 Optional Optional

Year 2 - 2021/22

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 LT981-7-FY Dissertation Core 80
02 Options from list year 2 Optional 0 Optional Optional

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

1. To enhance (to deepen and extend) students' acquaintance with literary texts.

2. To provide nuanced and intellectually rigorous ways of thinking about interconnected American literatures.

3. To provide modules opening paths to areas of current scholarly and critical specialisation, particularly in American literatures.

4. To deepen the knowledge and to refine the skills which students bring with them from their first degrees.

5. To give students a structured introduction to advanced material and advanced perspectives in their fields of specialisation.

6. To encourage students to work independently as scholars in specific fields of investigation and to formulate and present a coherent and reflective view of their findings.

7. To provide a choice of courses to suit individual interests and needs.

8. To enhance students' career prospects.

9. To prepare qualified students for progression to doctoral research with a view to entering the academic profession.


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 within the following areas: U.S. Literature, Caribbean Literature, Postcolonial Studies, Migrant Literature, Translation and Comparative Literature, Modernism and Postmodernism, Literary and Cultural Theory.

A8: Advanced perspectives for the analysis and theorisation of relevant cultural domains, literary contexts & theoretical parameters

Learning methods

A1-8 are addressed in seminars and oral and written comments on essays and draft dissertations.

A6 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

Assessment methods

Formal assessment is by coursework (four essays - one for each module apart from LT901; a Secondary Literature Review + Dissertation Plan for LT901), 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: Think independently

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

Learning methods

These skills are developed in:-

1. seminars

2. class presentations (which may form the basis of essays)

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.

Assessment methods

Essays and dissertation. As well as being important pieces of work in themselves, the former are regarded 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

Learning methods

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 on the module LT901 Research Methods.

Advice on writing essays and dissertations is given in the MA guide

Assessment methods

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: Use of relevant data and statistics in appropriate research contexts

D4: Management of projects and timetables. Finding, understanding and organising information.

D5: Ability to interact with others and to understand and grasp different perspectives

D6: Finding, understanding and organising information

Learning methods

This range of key skills (1-6) is developed during the preparation of coursework, and developed through tutors' comments on essays, and in supervision of written work.

1 and 5-6 are developed during seminar discussion.

Assessment methods

Essays and dissertations are assessed for all these skills


Note

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Contact

If you are thinking of studying at Essex and have questions about the course, please contact Undergraduate Admissions by emailing admit@essex.ac.uk, or Postgraduate Admissions by emailing pgadmit@essex.ac.uk.

If you're a current student and have questions about your course or specific modules, please contact your department.

If you think there might be an error on this page, please contact the Course Records Team by emailing crt@essex.ac.uk.