Degree with a difference – a personalised MA English for distance learners

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

A new type of postgraduate degree that allows students to choose from a rich palette of English subjects and study from a distance has been launched by the University of Nottingham’s popular School of English.

The Masters in Applied English scheme is a new way of studying for a degree from anywhere in the world over a flexible period of time, and is unique among UK universities.

The course can be tailor-made to each student, giving them the freedom to choose a study portfolio of subject ‘pods’ from the wide variety of 10 other English MAs offered at Nottingham. These include Masters in Professional Communication, English Literature, Name-Studies, Applied Linguistics, with English Language Teaching, World Literatures, and many others.

The original ethos of the Applied English suite of pods is to allow the postgraduate student to create a personal programme of study that draws on and is embedded in their own life and experience. This flexibility and the huge range of pods available means people from all backgrounds and careers can benefit – from teachers to writers, journalists and creatives, people in industry and anyone with an interest in English language, literature, history and communication.

Professor Peter Stockwell, School of English

Course leader, Professor Peter Stockwell, said: “We have redesigned our masters programmes for the way that students will study into the future. The student’s interests and requirements are central to the programme, all built upon the longstanding and world-leading traditions of English at Nottingham."

Kathryn Bullen, PhD student and former MA English distance learner

Kathryn Bullen is a current PhD and former MA distance learner student in the School of English. She said: “I think the new MA in Applied English is very attractive, as it offers a wide range of choices for the student and they are presented in an original, modern and highly interactive way. The new MA gives students the opportunity to build their own course over a flexible period of time. The pods on offer are a really exciting mixture of subjects too; for example, you can study Old Norse, English place-names, or the relationship between text and performance.”

Teaching on the new MA Applied English is delivered by the latest methods in online, web-based distance learning, featuring multimedia content, a rich range of interactive exercises, digital resources, instant access study materials and is supported by an active community of learners across the world. Each student is assigned a Personal Advisor to help them design their bespoke degree and guide them throughout the course.

In addition, individual research-active academic tutors supervise students through the teaching material and offer their own insights and support throughout the programme. A traditional dissertation is offered, alongside alternatives such as work-based learning or large research project, all of which are supported and supervised by world-leading staff.

Assessment of the MA qualification is through digital portfolio submissions with an option to include a traditional dissertation. Students can also submit creative projects which offer more relevance to their personal and professional goals, for example, a teaching plan, blog or video series. All assessment is bespoke, flexible, rigorous and conducted to the highest international standards.

The Masters course has a registration period of up to 4 years part-time. Within these limits, study time is flexible. Students can pay for individual pods on a per pod basis or in instalments if they wish.

A regular and optional residential school is held both at Nottingham and at other locations around the world at least once a year.

A new video on the current options for distance learning is available here and the Distance Learning Summer School is showcased here.

Full details of the MA Applied English, entry criteria and application process are available here.

Story credits

For more information please contact Emma Hutson in the School of English, University of Nottingham via email or Emma Rayner, Media Relations Manager for the Faculty of Arts on +44 (0)115 951 5793 

Emma Rayner - Media Relations Manager, Faculty of Arts
Phone: 0115 748 4413

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Notes to editors:

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. Ranked 103rd out of more than 1,000 institutions globally and 18th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2022, the University’s state-of-the-art facilities and inclusive and disability sport provision is reflected in its crowning as The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 Sports University of the Year. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally. Alongside Nottingham Trent University, we lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, a pioneering collaboration which brings together the combined strength and civic missions of Nottingham’s two world-class universities and is working with local communities and partners to aid recovery and renewal following the COVID-19 pandemic.

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