The School of English at Nottingham has long been in the forefront of research and teaching in the interface between language, literature and culture. The principle of language study that we have established at Nottingham combines theoretical and ideological dimensions with practical applications. We believe in a humane linguistics and a rational approach to literary scholarship.
This course covers a wide range of material, with options to develop your own thinking and pursue your own interests and research. It offers an exciting opportunity to explore the interface of language, cognition, literature and culture, where you will work with several leading world figures while discovering your own position as a stylistician.
The course explores the role of language in literature using a variety of approaches, ranging from discourse analysis to corpus linguistics, and cognitive poetics. We believe that linguistics and literary study cannot be separated, and we aim to turn you into a creative-thinking interdisciplinary expert in literary linguistics.
Masters students attend research events and are actively engaged in the research community of the Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics (CRAL)
The programme offers an excellent route towards pursuing a PhD
The School of English was ranked: 11th in the UK for English in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019, 13th for English by the Complete University Guide 2020, and 49th for English Language and Literature in the QS World University Rankings 2019
- We are ranked 9th in the UK by 'research power' (REF 2014)
Teaching on this course will include:
- seminar group teaching
- group and one-to-one tuition with academic members of staff
- teaching informed by active researchers
- access to a variety of online resources
- flexible course content
- a theoretical grounding in research methodology
- innovative and engaging teaching methods
Professional development modules
All students will take one of the following two modules:
Mastering the Arts: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Research
You will achieve:
- greater confidence in dealing with original research
- a recognition of the huge range of approaches that can be used to address research questions.
We build on the research skills you have already developed during both your undergraduate degree and discipline-specific MA modules. The emphasis is on:
- ensuring you are possessed of a range of practical ways to approach research
- making you think about the nature of your discipline-specific approaches within a context of growing interdisciplinarity.
You will have the chance to consider topics as varied as:
- academic publishing
- digital transformations
- use of illustrations in dissertations.
You will also have the opportunity to hear academics from across the Faculty talk about the problems they have confronted and how they overcame them.
This module is worth 20 credits.
Mastering the Arts introductory video
Arts in Society
We will help you to apply your arts MA across society to enhance your career and contribute to wider society.
We'll demonstrate how the arts can be used to:
- transform society, politics and culture
- enhance the careers of arts and humanities MA students.
You'll be able to explore, explain and then detail how your disciplinary skills can impact upon wider issues to emphasise the applicability of the arts and humanities. From the role of the scholar activist to understanding ‘knowledge transfer’ and ‘public engagement’, you'll develop professional skills in preparation for a career within academia or across a range of sectors.
- harness the ways in which the arts and humanities enable us to think differently and to innovate
- work on issues of research, networking, grant-writing and cultural exchange
- learn how to engage, communicate and create.
This module is worth 20 credits.
You will also take at least 3 of the following modules:
Cognition and Literature (20 Credits)
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.
Consciousness in Fiction
The module will explore in depth techniques for the presentation of consciousness in novels and other fictional texts. Students will learn about the linguistic indices associated with the point of view of characters and the various modes available to a writer for the presentation of characters thoughts and perceptions. Alongside detailed examinations of narrative texts which portray consciousness, students will also study different theories put forward to explain the nature of writing consciousness in texts. Our stylistic analyses of fictional minds will also aim to account for historical changes in the techniques used for consciousness presentation.
Working with a range of texts from the early modern period to the present day, this module explores the relationship between the ‘dramatic text’ of the written script and the ‘theatrical text’ of the script in performance through the lens of linguistic analysis. Drawing on facets of stylistics and discourse analysis, the module considers the role of language in moving dramatic scripts from page to stage, exploring aspects of characterisation (such as identity, power and provocation), the role of language in story-telling on stage, and the 'management' of performance through stage directions.
This module surveys key work in narratology, from literary, stylistic and sociolinguistic perspectives. Combining a consideration of ideological and theoretical issues in narratology with methodological approaches from other areas of linguistic study such as pragmatics, discourse analysis and cognitive poetics, the module will explore narratological analysis in relation to both literary and non-literary narratives.
You then take one further module from across the School of English.
These include modules in the areas of: applied linguistics, English language, medieval studies, Viking & Anglo-Saxon studies, creative writing and English literature.
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.
Teaching methods and assessment
Most taught modules are assessed by written work of varying format and length commensurate with content and weighting. Tutors provide detailed comments on assignments. The objective is to provide you with the confidence to work as professional academics, at ease with the conventions of the discipline, and ready to tackle any area of research in literary linguistics.
Towards the end of your studies, you will complete a supervised dissertation of 14,000 words. This is a major piece of advanced independent research, which you will undertake with the supervision of a specialist in your chosen area. We will provide you with advice and guidance while you select and refine your area of study, and offer close supervision and support as you complete your research and your MA.
You will be taught using the latest advances in teaching methods and electronic resources, as well as small group and individual tuition.
Our postgraduate students move into an extraordinarily wide range of careers following their time in the school. Previous Literary Linguistics MA graduates have gone on to a wide range of careers, with a particularly high proportion continuing their dissertation research into doctorates and into academic posts at universities around the world.
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 at the University of Nottingham 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
Securing funding for postgraduate study can be a complicated and competitive process, but there are many opportunities available to support your studies. Our step-by-step guide to funding sets out all of the different stages and avenues to explore.
The latest information about funding opportunities is available on the school website.
The Graduate School provides information on university-wide and national sources of postgraduate funding.
Tuition fees and funding may be affected by UK Government policy following the outcome of any negotiations regarding the UK’s exit from the European Union.
The UK government has confirmed that EU students who begin full-time courses in 2020-21 will continue to have access to the same fees and funding options as in previous years, for the full duration of their course of study. For information about how the UK’s exit from the European Union could affect EU students studying in Britain, please refer to our Brexit information for future 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.