Students take 180 credits worth of modules, including the dissertation element. One credit represents 10 hours of student work. Modules are worth 20 credits, and are classified at level 4 (i.e., intended for students who hold a first degree in an appropriate subject at a suitable standard).
Students are required to take the module Descriptive Linguistic Analysis. This is an entry module which must be successfully completed before continuing with the MA. Students can choose an additional 100 credits from a range of taught elective modules. A final 60-credit dissertation then completes the MA.
Course materials and teaching for this course are available over the Internet. All taught modules are assessed by written work of around 3,000 words or equivalent (for a 15-credit module). Tutors provide feedback on practice exercises as preparation, and detailed comments on assignments.
The dissertation module is assessed by written work of 12,000-15,000 words.
You will have access to many online resources, as well as your own personal tutor for each module that you take. Particular features of the programme include:
- a theoretical grounding in research methodology and linguistic description
- one-to-one tuition with expert members of staff
- innovative and engaging teaching methods
- access to many online resources
- great flexibility in course content, optionality, and changes in direction.
All MA students in the School of English join a lively and thriving postgraduate community. As such, you will be invited to attend a voluntary 'Summer School' each year, giving you a chance to meet other students in the school face-to-face.
Descriptive Linguistic Analysis (Distance Learning)
This module is a core course in language and linguistics. It introduces and then develops the key terms, theories, frameworks, ideological approaches and methodologies required in linguistic study and research. It includes a substantial research methods component. It also invites and encourages critical evaluation, reflection and response to linguistic thinking and analysis.
Literary Linguistics 1 (Distance Learning)
This module explores the use of linguistic frameworks to investigate literary texts. Through a series of practical analyses, students will be introduced to a range of linguistic explorations of poetry, prose, and drama from a wide range of historical periods. The course will invite students to use the analyses as an occasion for the critical evaluation of the various approaches to language and literature, to investigate the notions of literariness and interpretation, and to consider the scope and validity of stylistics in relation to literature and literary studies.
Literary Linguistics 2 (Distance Learning)
This module further explores the use of linguistic frameworks to investigate literary texts.
Cognition and Literature (Distance Learning)
This module represents a course in cognitive poetics. It draws on insights developed in cognitive science, especially in psychology and linguistics, in order to develop an understanding of the processes involved in literary reading. The module also develops skills in stylistics and critical theory.
Narratology (Distance Learning)
This module surveys key work in narratology, from literary, stylistic and sociolinguistic perspectives, with each unit written by an area specialist. The module introduces key approaches to the study of narratology and offers students insight into the development of narrative from Chaucer to the present day. The emphasis will be on literary narratives, though comparative exploration of non-literary and narratives will also appear.
What is Literature? (Distance Learning)
This module addresses the question 'What is literature?' by introducing key critical methodologies and theoretical frameworks that have been developed to study literary and dramatic texts. The primary aim is to encourage you to become more reflexive about your own practice as a literary critic. We want you to come away from this module confident in your ability to use different critical methodologies and theoretical frameworks to read literary texts. For this reason, the range of the module is purposely broad. Each Unit introduces a particular critical methodology or theoretical framework, and works through significant issues by examining a particular author, period or genre, ranging broadly over literatures from the fourteenth century to the present day.
Language and Gender (Distance Learning)
The course will explore the relationship between language and gender in spoken interaction and written texts, drawing on key approaches in the areas of discourse analysis, sociolinguistics and pragmatics. The extent to which gender affects the language we produce when interacting with one another in a variety of contexts will be focused on, along with the issue of sexism in language use. Various theoretical paradigms that have been presented to explain language and gender differences will be critically examined, along with gender ideologies which operate in society. Students will be encouraged to combine theoretical thinking with hands-on analyses of data from authentic examples of spoken interaction and from a variety of publications including the popular media. The practical consequences of the discipline in terms of how findings can have a political impact on wider society are also discussed.
Intercultural Business Communication (Distance Learning)
This module will explore the use of language in interactions between speakers of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds from three different perspectives: Description, Development, and Assessment. With a growing proportion of interactions in the world today taking place between people of diverse cultural backgrounds, it is important to identify and describe language use which may lead to misunderstanding and communicative breakdown. This module will look at ways in which language barriers might be overcome in such interactions, and at the key factors in this process. We will examine intercultural interactions in a variety of contexts, e.g. business and other professional encounters, the language of the media, the foreign language classroom, etc.
The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. This course page may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.
Our postgraduate students move into an extraordinarily wide range of careers following their time in the school.
Conducting postgraduate work in the School of English fosters many vital skills and may give you a head start in the job market. Studying at this level allows you to develop qualities of self-discipline and self-motivation that are essential to employment in a wide range of different fields.
We will help you develop your ability to research and process a large amount of information quickly, and to present the results of your research in an articulate and effective way. A postgraduate degree from the School of English shows potential employers that you are an intelligent, hard-working individual who is bright and flexible enough to undertake any form of specific career training.
Average starting salary and career progression
For postgraduates from the School of English, six months after graduation:
- 96.6% were in employment or further study
- the highest salary was £34,000
- the average salary was £21,875.
Source: known destinations and salary data for full-time, home, postgraduates extracted from the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016/17.
Careers support and advice
We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students whatever your course, mode of study or future career plans.
You can access our Careers and Employability Service during your studies and after you graduate. Expert staff will help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.
More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.
Scholarships and bursaries
Distance learning students are charged a standard fee with no differentiation between UK/EU and international students. Fees are paid on a module by module basis.
The majority of postgraduate students in the UK fund their own studies, often from a package made up of personal savings, parental loans or contributions, bank loans and support from a trust or charity.
Every year, a number of students are successful in the AHRC, ESRC or other competitions for funding. The school also provides a number of bursaries and scholarships for MA students.
Government loans for masters courses
Masters student loans of up to £10,906 are available for taught and research masters courses. Applicants must ordinarily live in the UK or EU.
International and EU students
Masters scholarships are available for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure you apply for your course with enough time.
We provide guidance on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study. You can also access specific funding opportunities, entry requirements and other resources for students from specific countries.