Modern and Contemporary Literature (MA)

Year of entry

2018

Start date

October 2018

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

Duration

One year full-time or two years part-time

Attendance

Two evenings a week full-time or one evening a week part-time, October to September

This Master's degree in modern and contemporary literature begins with an investigation of literary and theoretical conceptions of modernity in early twentieth-century literature, focusing on topics such as urbanisation, technology, mass culture, individualism and subjectivity.

You will also have the chance to analyse the historical transformations of literature and cultural thought from 1945, using the contexts of post-war reconstruction, decolonisation, the fate of avant-garde art, and theories of postmodernity and globalisation.

The emergence of international literary paradigms during the twentieth century is reflected in the choice of texts from British, American and post-colonial contexts.

This exciting MA programme has been running successfully for over 30 years, with staff committed to constantly changing and updating the course to reflect changes in literary culture.

Highlights

  • Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 13th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2016-17 World University Subject Rankings.
  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), English Language and Literature at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 91% of eligible staff submitted research, of which 75% was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.
  • Birkbeck is at the geographical centre of London’s research library complex, a short distance from the British Library, Senate House Library and the Institute of Historical Research. Senate House Library has an outstanding collection of literary periodicals of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, while the nearby University College London Library also has an important James Joyce archive. The Poetry Library at London’s South Bank Centre is rich in twentieth-century poetry.
  • Birkbeck's School of Arts hosts the internationally acclaimed Contemporary Poetics Research Centre, which regularly features visiting poetic practitioners. There will also be opportunities to join a number of graduate seminars and reading groups, and occasional discussions with practising novelists and poets.
  • The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students.
  • Find out what our students say about studying English and humanities at Birkbeck.

Course structure

You take two core modules and choose two option modules, which vary from year to year.

You also complete a dissertation on any aspect of twentieth-century and contemporary literature, written from Easter to September in your final year.

To find out more, read our programme handbook.

Module groups