Key Facts

Course Title: Contemporary Literature and Film
Course type: MA, postgraduate diploma, postgraduate certificate
Mode of Study:Full Time or Part Time
Contact Details:Dr Nicholas Bentley
Website: Go to School homepage
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Subject Area: Humanities


‌The MA Contemporary Literature and Film provides the opportunity to study a wide range of literary and filmic texts in their social, cultural and political contexts. It enables the study of relevant current theories and debates, and encourages thinking about the ways in which studying literature and film can be applied to a range of professional contexts such as publishing, teaching, professional writing, and the medical humanities. Students can study literary and filmic texts together, or develop research interests in either field, as well as the opportunity to take options in creative writing. The programme is taught by research-active professors and lecturers with a passion for their subject.

The programme involves three main aspects:

  • The critical analysis of contemporary fiction, poetry, drama, film and TV from around the world
  • The study of theories, ideas and current debates in literary and screen studies
  • The consideration of how the study of contemporary literature and film can be used in practical and professional contexts

The MA Contemporary Literature and Film seeks to explore the relationship between these three areas and to show how knowledge of each informs and influences the others. In addition, it aims to provide the skills necessary for academic study at an advanced level either for those wishing to go on to further academic research, or as an advanced preparation for those interested in pursuing careers in a range of professional contexts.

Please also refer to MA Contemporary Literature & Film Handbook 2017-18

Aims of the Course

The Masters programme aims to enable students to:

  • Display an informed knowledge and understanding of the major debates, ideas and themes in contemporary literature and film.
  • Describe and evaluate the relevance and application of key concepts and theoretical approaches within contemporary literature and film.
  • Comment on and present the conclusions of theoretical and analytical research across a range of contemporary cultural texts including fiction, drama, poetry, film and television.
  • Demonstrate the ability to offer close analysis of the formal and generic characteristics of literary and filmic texts.
  • Offer informed evaluations of the way in which social and historical contexts and cultural politics impact on contemporary literature and film.
  • Use the knowledge and skills they have acquired in a socially responsible way, in complex and unpredictable contexts and as the basis for more advanced learning or professional training.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally have a good honours degree (a high 2.2 or above).

Course Content

Indicative Modules

The following is a list of indicative modules:

  • Working in Contemporary Literature and Film
  • Studying Contemporary Literature and Film
  • Contemporary British Fiction
  • Contemporary American Fiction
  • British Society through the Eyes of British Film
  • Postcolonial and World Literature in English
  • The Canadian Metropolis
  • British Women Directors
  • Postmodernism: Fiction, Film and Theory
  • The Writer as Critic; the Critic as Writer
  • Writingscapes
  • High Culture: Drink, Drugs, and the American Dream
  • Dissertation

Teaching and Assessment

Depending on the choice of modules taken, students may be assessed using some of the following methods:

  • Dissertations test students’ ability to carry out independent research and communicate findings in an extended piece of written work following recognised academic standards of presentation.
  • Essays test the quality and application of subject knowledge. They allow students to demonstrate their ability to carry out bibliographic research and to communicate their ideas effectively in writing in an appropriate scholarly style using appropriate systems of referencing.
  • Oral presentations, either by individual students or in groups, assess students’ subject knowledge and understanding. Where applicable, they also test their ability to work effectively as members of a team, to communicate what they know orally and visually, and to reflect on these processes as part of their own personal development.
  • Research proposals test students’ ability to plan, prepare, and structure a viable research project. They also test the students’ knowledge of relevant and important areas of research within English literary studies and film studies, and to assess the originality and impact of certain areas of research to the field.
  • Short research papers test students’ knowledge of different research methodologies. They also enable students to demonstrate their ability to formulate research questions and to answer them using an appropriate strategy.

Additional Costs

Apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for this post graduate programme.