Postgraduate MA

Literature and Culture

School of Arts and Media

Full-time

Part-time

Attendance

One year

Three year

Course

September 2019

Next enrolment
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Introduction

In a nutshell

This programme is your chance to gain in-depth knowledge and refine your critical skills through analysis of a wide-range of literary and cultural texts, including film and photography. During your time with us, you’ll learn in a lively, interdisciplinary research and teaching environment which will allow you to develop interesting and innovative approaches to your work and will encourage you to take critical and creative risks. Thinking and writing in different ways is a key feature of the programme.

You will also get out of the classroom and benefit from our links with local archives, cultural organisations and libraries, including the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, and the Working Class Movement Library.

You will develop confidence as you master literary and cultural theory, and will be stimulated by a range of research-led modules, taught by staff who will also guide you in your independent studies. You will enjoy taking on an active role in organising our MA Conference day, and sharing your work with your peers and mentors, and finally, you will reap the rewards of the taught elements of the programme as you identify the member of staff you want to work with and to pursue your own research project.

You will:
  • learn in an interdisciplinary environment and learn to develop your own unique project
  • acquire specialist knowledge, and a range of practical skills
  • exploit our links with local archives, libraries and museums

This is for you if...

1.

You are interested in literature, cultural texts, theory or the complex cultures of modernity

2.

You want to study with other students who are enthusiastic about the field and who want to develop their analytical and conceptual thinking skills

Course details

All about the course

MA Literature and Culture helps you to acquire specific skills in a number of areas including interdisciplinary thinking, research methods, cultural and literary theory, and critically analysing a range of literary and cultural texts.

You will develop your analytical and conceptual thinking skills and gain the expertise to focus on a specific research topic that interests you. During this programme you will carry out advanced research and produce original and innovative studies. You will also gain experience of working in archives.

The syllabus consists of two core taught modules, and four research-led modules . Please note, only four of the specialist optional modules will run in any particular year, and which will depend on staff availability, please contact us for details. The programme ends with a dissertation or an archive-based project.

The core module will equip you with the skills to read and apply theory to your work; and range of research and professional skills.

Modules focus on nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century literature and culture, and explore regional and world literatures; questions of sex, gender and sexuality; the representation of violence and trauma; graphic novels and photography; the varieties of comedy; and the politics of adaptation, translation and re-telling. There are dedicated modules on the work of Anthony Burgess, and the legacy of Shakespeare beyond drama.

The course has both a one year full-time and a two year part-time route. The part-time route will follow the path below:

Year one, trimester one

Theory, Text, Writing (CORE 30 credit module)

Year one, trimester two

Two 15 credit modules (from list below)

Year two, trimester one

Two 15 credit modules (from list below)

Year two, trimester two

Professional Practice (CORE 30 credit module)

Year two, trimester three

Final project (CORE 60 credit module)

Trimester one

Theory, Text, Writing

A series of lecture and seminars on philosophical contributions to major questions surrounding contemporary writing:

  • What is a literary text?
  • What is the relationship between language and writing?
  • How can one write politically?
  • How does one’s awareness of gender affect writing?

We will be reading the work of Freud, Marx, Derrida and others, examining how a wide variety of contemporary writers have explored these questions in creative practice including Charles Bernstein, Caroline Bergvall, David Eggers, Christine Brooke-Rose and many more.

Optional modules - two from the below:

Adaptation, Translation and Retelling

This module will explore the creative and critical challenges presented by adapting plays for stage, and novels for screen; translating texts across languages, time and space; and the politics of retelling classics from marginal and neglected points of view. You will have the opportunity to produce interdisciplinary outputs, and to work specifically with the University’s Arthur Hopcraft archive.

Anthony Burgess and the Archive

In collaboration with the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, this module will offer you an opportunity to explore the literary, journalistic and critical work of a key post-war writer. You will study canonical work by Burgess, alongside lesser known texts, including autobiography and biography. You will have access to the unique archive at the Foundation, which includes film scripts, correspondence and journalism, and this will inform the assessment.

Satire, Slapstick and Spoof: Varieties of Comedy

This module will identify the differences between satire, slapstick and spoof as modes of comedy; and develop an understanding of the function of laughter and humour across a range of cultural texts, particularly film, exploring questions of taste, as well as gender, class and race. You will analyse issues of language, communication, performance and context in the service of humour; and will debate issues around comedy as a genre and as a necessary licenced cultural means for negotiating areas of social and political tension.

Visual Novels

This module explores novels which exploit their visual form, and will discusses the role and place of photographs in modernist, experimental and contemporary novels; the development of the graphic novel and its historical, national, and global contexts; and the importance of typography and other forms of visual textual emphasis. You will have an opportunity to submit a photo-essay or a visually experimental text.

Creating Shakespeares

This module offers an innovative approach to the issue of Shakespeare’s cultural identity and to his role as key figure in critical, cultural, and intellectual debates beyond the realm of drama. You will be encouraged to explore the various, often imaginative ways and means in which producers, readers, and spectators have been influenced by Shakespeare’s work. The module will look, for example, at the emergence of a distinct field of Shakespeare criticism in the eighteenth century, at how Shakespeare was produced and received in Manchester in the nineteenth century, at film, television, and social media adaptations of his works in the twentieth and twenty first century, and at innovative approaches to Shakespeare criticism.

Representing Violence and Trauma

This module will explore the aesthetic, ethical and political challenges of representing violence and trauma, and the role played by art and culture in post-conflict society and peace-building initiatives. This will involve the analysis of an interdisciplinary range of fictional and non-fictional texts, and the study of the Holocaust, Hiroshima, Northern Ireland, Rwanda, 9/11, the Balkan war, serial killing, and rape. You will have the opportunity to write a critical essay or offer a creative response.

Writing Sex and Gender

This module examines constructions of sex, gender and sexuality in literature and culture. Theoretical frameworks derived from sexological, feminist, psychoanalytical and/or queer approaches will be used to examine a range of fictional and non-fictional texts from across the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Specific topics may include race, pleasure, intimacy, sensation, disability and utopia.

Regional and World Literatures

This module looks at questions of nation, place, class and identity in texts composed in English and its closely related varieties (such as Scots, African American, and other national and regional dialects), and will explore debates relating to cosmopolitanism, globalisation, and postcolonialism. Students taking this module may opt to work on an archive-based project for their assessment, and those using the University’s Walter Greenwood archive may submit their work for the annual Walter Greenwood Prize.

Trimester two

Professional Practice

This module will provide research and professional skills, including writing grant and funding applications; project management; conference organisation and the building of an online digital profile. Students will also visit local libraries, museums and arts organizations, where opportunities for archival research and work experience will be provided; and industry and guest-expert speakers will offer guidance on career development.

Optional modules - two from the below:

Anthony Burgess and the Archive

In collaboration with the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, this module will offer you an opportunity to explore the literary, journalistic and critical work of a key post-war writer. You will study canonical work by Burgess, alongside lesser known texts, including autobiography and biography. You will have access to the unique archive at the Foundation, which includes film scripts, correspondence and journalism, and this will inform the assessment.

Regional and World Literatures

This module looks at questions of nation, place, class and identity in texts composed in English and its closely related varieties (such as Scots, African American, and other national and regional dialects), and will explore debates relating to cosmopolitanism, globalisation, and postcolonialism. Students taking this module may opt to work on an archive-based project for their assessment, and those using the University’s Walter Greenwood archive may submit their work for the annual Walter Greenwood Prize.

Writing Sex and Gender

This module examines constructions of sex, gender and sexuality in literature and culture. Theoretical frameworks derived from sexological, feminist, psychoanalytical and/or queer approaches will be used to examine a range of fictional and non-fictional texts from across the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Specific topics may include race, pleasure, intimacy, sensation, disability and utopia.

Representing Violence and Trauma

This module will explore the aesthetic, ethical and political challenges of representing violence and trauma, and the role played by art and culture in post-conflict society and peace-building initiatives. This will involve the analysis of an interdisciplinary range of fictional and non-fictional texts, and the study of the Holocaust, Hiroshima, Northern Ireland, Rwanda, 9/11, the Balkan war, serial killing, and rape. You will have the opportunity to write a critical essay or offer a creative response.

Creating Shakespeares

This module offers an innovative approach to the issue of Shakespeare’s cultural identity and to his role as key figure in critical, cultural, and intellectual debates beyond the realm of drama. You will be encouraged to explore the various, often imaginative ways and means in which producers, readers, and spectators have been influenced by Shakespeare’s work. The module will look, for example, at the emergence of a distinct field of Shakespeare criticism in the eighteenth century, at how Shakespeare was produced and received in Manchester in the nineteenth century, at film, television, and social media adaptations of his works in the twentieth and twenty first century, and at innovative approaches to Shakespeare criticism.

Visual Novels

This module explores novels which exploit their visual form, and will discusses the role and place of photographs in modernist, experimental and contemporary novels; the development of the graphic novel and its historical, national, and global contexts; and the importance of typography and other forms of visual textual emphasis. You will have an opportunity to submit a photo-essay or a visually experimental text.

Satire, Slapstick and Spoof: Varieties of Comedy

This module will identify the differences between satire, slapstick and spoof as modes of comedy; and develop an understanding of the function of laughter and humour across a range of cultural texts, particularly film, exploring questions of taste, as well as gender, class and race. You will analyse issues of language, communication, performance and context in the service of humour; and will debate issues around comedy as a genre and as a necessary licenced cultural means for negotiating areas of social and political tension.

Adaptation, Translation and Retelling

This module will explore the creative and critical challenges presented by adapting plays for stage, and novels for screen; translating texts across languages, time and space; and the politics of retelling classics from marginal and neglected points of view. You will have the opportunity to produce interdisciplinary outputs, and to work specifically with the University’s Arthur Hopcraft archive.

Trimester three

Final Project

This final module provides students with the opportunity to develop their specific research interests, including archive-inspired interests, in consultation with supervisor and professional archivists, and to produce an independently researched 12,000-14,000 word project.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?

85%

Written/Text-based assignments

15%

Presentation

Teaching for most modules takes place in weekly, two-hour seminars. Personal supervision is provided throughout the course and in support of the writing of the dissertation. The module Literary Research Practice is taught in three longer block sessions, with additional one-to-one supervisory sessions with a member of staff.

School of Arts and Media

The School of Arts and Media is the largest School at the University of Salford with more than 4,000 creative students. Across sites at MediaCityUK and the University's Peel Park campus, we offer a huge variety of courses, from fashion image making and styling, television and radio, creative writing and music to journalism, animation, design and performance.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Many graduates of this course have used it as part of their career development in areas as diverse as teaching, librarianship, media, publishing and the arts. Others use it as a means of access to PhD study or further research. You will develop a wide range of skills on this course (writing, communication, presentation and analytical skills) that are transferable to a variety of careers.

This course will suit you if you want to either progress in a career you already have experience in, re-skill for a different career path or continue the studies you took as an undergraduate.

Graduates from this course have progressed onto a number of careers within the arts, museums, libraries, education and others have progressed to PhD study. Graduates have gone on to work for companies including Hello Magazine, the University of Salford, local museums, secondary schools and further education, and to obtain competitive scholarships for PhD study.

Research in the English Subject Directorate is coordinated by Dr Scott Thurston, Director of the Research Centre for English Literature and Language. There are over 15 research-active academic staff in English and a number of early career researchers engaged in a range of research projects. We welcome PhD applications from MA students. 

Career Links

Our English subject directorate has links with the BBC at MediaCityUK. We also have links with local publishers and cultural organisations, including:

  • Working Class Movement Library
  • International Anthony Burgess Foundation
  • The Portico
  • Working Class Movement Museum
  • The Central Library, Arts Council
Requirements

What you need to know

This course would be suitable for graduates in the humanities who want either a broad-based master's qualification or who are looking for a disciplined introduction to further study at a PhD level.

Which qualifications do I need?

To join this MA you should have a second class honours degree, 2:2 or above.

English language requirements

International students must provide evidence of proficiency in English – IELTS with an overall band score of 6.5 (no individual band less than 5.5) or an equivalent recognised Secure English Language Test score

 

Standard entry requirements

Standard entry requirements

To join this MA you should have a second class honours degree in English or an arts degree, 2:2 or above.

Alternative entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2019/20 £7,776per year
Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

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Enrolment dates

September 2019

September 2020