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English MA

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Course Details


Duration: 1 Year Full Time 2 Years Part Time

Award: Masters

Faculty: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Course Type: Taught

Fees: For Information on Fees, see section below.


Dr. Yianna Liatsos
+353 (0) 61 234684

Brief Description

The MA in English provides opportunities and skills for the advanced study of literatures in English, literary and cultural theory, and textual practices. Students will develop expertise in self-directed learning and the pursuit of independent research as they also become familiar with current critical conversations in such areas as Irish studies, migration studies, modernism, postcolonialism, gender and sexuality studies, and early modern studies.

The MA English trains students in first-class research skills; core courses include Research Methods and Literary Theory, specifically designed with the needs of MA English graduates in mind. For those keen to pursue careers in publishing, literary journalism, or communications, our hands-on Advanced Editing modules introduce students to the practical and theoretical skills necessary to produce a literary journal in print and digital form. These modules offer a collaborative opportunity for vital team-working experience; our students create, produce, and market the literary magazine The Ogham Stone, now recognized as a serious publishing option for both well-known and emerging authors wishing to reach new audiences.

Our award-winning teachers in English research and publish powerful writing of their own, encouraging scholarly enquiry across a range of perspectives and traditions. Electives offered by our faculty include:

  • Literary Modernism 
  • Issues in Modern and Contemporary Poetry
  • Politics and American Literature
  • Literatures of Migration
  • Feminist Literary Theory
  • Gender and Sexuality in Irish Writing
  • Postcolonial Theory and Literature
  • Irish Americas in Literature & Culture
  • Literature, Film, and Human Rights 
  • Situating Irish Gothic

The MA English programme broadens and deepens learner knowledge of literatures in English, literary and cultural theory, and textual practices. We provide our students with the opportunity and skills for independent research and self-directed learning, while enhancing analytical and critical thinking skills and instructing learners in the use of traditional and technological research resources. Importantly, the programme offers the opportunity for advanced studies in English literature and the chance to complete a substantial original research thesis. Ultimately, students of this programme graduate with enhanced career opportunities in a variety of fields, including the knowledge and skills required to advance to doctoral degree studies.

 Autumn Semester  Spring Semester   Summer
  • CU6051 Literary and Cultural Theory
  • EH6081 Advanced Editing 1: Creating a Literary Journal

Electives (choose 2)

  • EH6011 Literary Modernism
  • EH6021 Gender & Sexuality in Irish Writing
  • EH6031 Literature, Film, and Human Rights
  • CU6041 Literature of Migration
  • CU6051 Cultural Constructions of the Past
  • EH6072 Situating Irish Gothic
  • EH6002 Research Methods in Literary and Cultural Studies
  • EH6082 Advanced Editing 2: Creating a Literary Journal

Electives (choose 2)

  • EH6032 Issues in Modern and Contemporary Poetry
  • EH6042 Feminist Literary Theory: Perspectives on Women & Literature
  • EH6012 Politics and American Literature
  • EH6022 Postcolonial Theory and Literature
  • EH6062 Irish Americas in Literature and Culture
  • CU6012 Utopian Theory and Texts
  • CU6002 Textual Constructions of Cultural Identity
  • Thesis research and writing

Content of modules can be found by using the search option on the book of modules

Candidates will be required to meet a minimum entry requirement of 2.2 (Level 8 Honours Degree, National Qualifications Authority of Ireland) in an English-related degree or an approved equivalent qualification.  For non-native speakers of English an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) composite score in the range of 7.0 is required.

What to Upload with your Application:

  • Qualification transcripts and certificates
  • English language qualification(s) if English is not your first language
  • Certified English translation of your transcripts/certificates where the original transcripts are in a language other than English
  • A personal statement
  • Two (2) academic letters of reference
  • A 500-700 word writing sample, providing a literary-critical response to a text that really engaged or provoked you during your undergraduate studies (this can be an extract from a longer essay submitted in fulfilment of your final year assessment).
  • A copy of your Birth Certificate (long document)


English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of either prior successful completion of a degree qualification taught through the medium of English or meet one of the criteria below (no longer than two years prior to application):

Acceptable English Language qualifications include the following:

  • Matriculation examinations from European countries where English is presented as a subject and an acceptable level is achieved
  • Irish Leaving Certificate English –Ordinary Level Grade D or above
  • TOEFL – 580 (paper based) or 90 (internet based)
  • IELTS – Minimum score of 7.0 with no less than 6 in any one component.
  • English Test for English and Academic Purposes (ETAPP) – Grade C1
  • GCE ‘O’ level English Language/GCSE English Language – Grade C or above
  • Cambridge Assessment English –Certificate of Proficiency in English - Grade C / Certificate in Advanced English Grade B
  • GCE Examination Boards – Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations – Grade C / Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate – School Certificate Pass 1-6 / University of London Entrance and School Examinations Council – School Certificate Pass 1-6

Results in examinations other than those listed above may also be accepted as meeting our English language requirements. Contact the International Education Division for advice.

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For information on funding and scholarships please click here.

Career Prospects

Our graduates are passionate about the written and spoken word. They go on to become teachers, researchers, editors, consultants, entrepreneurs, public servants, and community activists, and to work in media, public relations, academic institutions, and as professional writers.

A Master’s degree in English Literature provides vital skills including the ability to see connections between a multiplicity of ideas and disciplines, to understand the nuances of literary texts, to interpret written and cultural material of all kinds, to write effectively and persuasively, and to move between print and digital worlds.

Student testimonials

Ashley Bentley, Class of 2017/18 "The most satisfying aspect of the MA English so far has been the programme's liberating nature. I've felt as if my own literary interests have been facilitated because the programme's content permits a student to apply their own interests in a broader context, especially in the mandatory Literary Theory module".

Tan Zhu, International Student, Graduate MA English "For me, taking the MA in English at UL was a decision I’ll never regret; I was exposed to various literary texts, theories, and research methods that will benefit me throughout my life. What impressed me the most was the open and deep discussion in classes like the Irish Gothic one, which enabled students to dig out various meanings behind a Gothic novel". 

Maria do Rosário Casas Coelho, Class of 2014/15 "Attending the Literatures of Migration course at UL in the autumn of 2014 was an invaluable experience for me and my research. The group was mixed regarding nationalities and objects of study what made the sessions even more enlightening. As a Brazilian student, having access to the UL library was vital to the conclusion of my MA. It was a great experience in all senses". 

Sandrine Ndahiro, Class of 2018-19 "The MA in English enabled me to explore a variation of modules.  Through this exploration, I was able to be more creative when it came to my writing style.By the end of the MA I had better confidence in my writing abilities."

Lauren Cassidy, Class of 2018-19 "The Master of Arts in English programme at the University of Limerick has helped me to refine my skills as a researcher, writer, editor, and academic. My ability to organise research, contruct ideas, deploy theory, syntheise information, and express thoughts creatively have all improved dramatically. I would recommend this programme for any student with a passion for English literature, intellectual exploration, and participation in the development of modern academia."