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MA English - Contemporary Literature

University of Northampton


This exciting course examines the role of contemporary literature in a number of different contexts. You will have the chance to explore a diverse range of texts, across varied modules, with the chance to explore a topic of your choice in specialist detail through your dissertation. You could study post-1945 classics, including late modernists like Samuel Beckett, as well as surveying the latest novels.

You may explore specialist fields such as trauma fiction or gender and sexuality, master the latest literary theories, or investigate new genres and popular narrative media, including contemporary gothic literature, film, video games and comic books.

Course Details

The programme is built to encourage you to not only examine the contemporary moment - our time, our culture - in isolation, but to use contemporary literature as a window to broader concerns: literary traditions and heritage, politics and society, personal identity and representation.

Full-time English Masters students will take two 30 credit modules in each of two terms, followed by the dissertation. The four modules to be offered in any given year are pre-selected by the tutors from the list below.

Part-time students can take the course over two or three years. In both cases, the first year will contain one module in each of two terms, amounting to 60 credits. If you choose to study over two years, the second year will contain one module in each of two terms, plus the dissertation, amounting to 120 credits.

If you choose to study over three years, the second year will contain one module in each of two terms, amounting to 60 credits, and the third year will involve the dissertation only, to make up the final 60 credits (please note: student loans are not normally available to those studying the three-year option).

All modules will be taught in the evenings (6-9pm) allowing you to take your course entirely outside of normal working hours.

Methods of Learning

Modules are taught face to face in small groups, with occasional preparatory work and consolidation activities that are completed online, with tutor guidance.


Assessment varies from module to module, but there are currently no exams for this course. Previous modules have used annotated bibliographies, essays, online discussion forums, critical explications and presentations as forms of assessment. Your final assessment consists of a 15,000 word dissertation.

Opportunities Abroad

You have the chance to spend your second term with one of our Erasmus partners as part of the funded Erasmus scheme. We have agreements with the University of Zaragoza, Spain and the University of Muenster, Germany.

Read more


  • Critical Theory and Methodologies (30 Credits)
  • Twenty-First Century Storytelling (30 Credits)
  • Contemporary British Gothic
  • Literary Modernism in a Postmodern World
  • Pulp Visions (30 Credits)
  • Gender, Sexuality & Writing the Body (30 Credits)
  • Brave New Worlds
  • Trauma Fiction
  • Literary Transmediations
  • Shakespeare our Contemporary: Text and Screen
  • Requirements

    Listed below are the documents required to apply for this course.
    1 year


    Sep 2024

    Start Month

    Aug 2024

    Application Deadline

    Upcoming Intakes

    • September 2024

    Mode of Study

    • Full Time