This programme will allow students to explore literary texts written in English from the late middle ages to the present day. Students will place their reading of these texts in relation to some of the most exciting recent critical debates within the discipline of English Studies.
The MLitt English Studies provides a grounding in key texts and concepts from across the range of English and related literatures, and from various historical periods; provides a firm grounding in the research methodologies and critical practices of English Studies at an advanced level; and caters to individual student’s interests by providing option modules in selected key areas within the discipline.
A core element of the programme is to examine the elusive category of ‘the literary’: what defines it, and how do we think of the place of literature within the university and the world at large? Students will look critically at a number of key concepts and approaches to text: close reading, genre, historicism, literature and cultural studies, the radical aesthetic, literary value, and the nature of the ‘text’; and they will engage with work by key thinkers such as Derek Attridge, Isobel Armstrong, John Frow, Roland Barthes, J. Hillis Miller, Diane Elam and Stephen Greenblatt.
Aims and Objectives
This degree introduces students to advanced level research methodologies and critical practices in the discipline of English. The programme will develop your working knowledge of a range of key literary texts and historical contexts, and relate these to a developmental narrative concerning the evolution of literary forms.
Structure and Content
In the Autumn semester you will take the core module: What is Literature? This module asks some large questions about how we define the elusive category of ‘the literary’, and how we might think of the place of literature within the university and the world at large. You will look critically at a number of key concepts and approaches to texts, and will consider the impact of the cultural and technological changes that are taking place all around us and that are often held to herald ‘the end of literature’ or ‘the end of the book’.
The Spring core module is Transitions and Innovations in Literature: Medieval to the Present. The module complements and builds upon the autumn core programme by exploring the application of theoretical and critical principles to specific literary texts in defined historical periods. Drawing on the research expertise of a number of English Studies staff, the module will examine the evolution of literary forms through a series of historically contextualized case studies from the middle ages to the present day. The module reflects the broad-ranging approach of the MLitt in English Studies by considering primary texts from across the historical spread of the discipline, and by addressing all the major genres of English literature -- poetry, drama, fiction and non-fiction. Teaching by research specialists will ensure that students are exposed to the very latest thinking on these topics, and have the opportunity to engage with current debates in the field.
In addition to the Core Modules, students have the opportunity to choose from among a selection of Option Modules that allow for more in-depth study of topics raised in the Core programme. For session 2011-12, the Option Modules are
• Popular Fiction 1890 to the Present
• The Short Story
• Publishing, Literature and Society
An Arts Research Training module is taken by all Stirling Master's students in the Arts & Humanities. Students choose their own programme of training from a menu of activities and seminars, ranging from writing a PhD proposal, to completing a course of directed reading, to attending research seminars in another subject. In order to complete this degree requirement, students must complete a reflective journal about their training activities.
The most significant piece of work on the course will be a dissertation of 15,000 words on a subject chosen by each student in consultation with a member of the Department. Students may choose to develop work initiated on one of the modules they have studied. Those who do not embark on the dissertation may be awarded a Diploma. The work of the best students completing the course may be deemed worthy of M.Litt with Distinction.
Delivery and Asessment
Assessment in each semester will be based on coursework and essays. Methods of assessment for each of the non-core option modules will vary but will often consist of a single essay. Teaching will take the form of regular tutorials in small groups. Though all the modules will offer close and careful supervision, participants are expected to take proper responsibility for their own studies. The aim in all cases is to foster student-led learning in expert, stimulating and congenial company.
Completing a Masters degree as a prelude to further academic research is an increasingly common pattern of study for young scholars, and is a route encouraged by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Advanced education in the Arts, the practical experience of research, and the production of a dissertation are significant transferable skills for many careers in business and the professions.
A good 2.i or better Single or Combined Honours degree in a relevant subject or subjects from a UK university or an equivalent qualification. Applicants with other qualifications or other appropriate experience may be admitted on the recommendation of the Course Director.
In the 2008 Research Asessment Exercise, over half the department's research was considered ‘internationally excellent’ or ‘world leading’
For further information, or to arrange to visit the Department, please contact the programme convenor, Dr Adrian Hunter.
Dr Adrian Hunter
School of Arts & Humanities
University of Stirling
|Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467-507|
|Fax: + 44 (0) 1786 466-210|
|Web: John Drakakis Staff Profile|