School of English and Modern Languages

  • MA by Research in English

    This MA by Research in English provides an excellent opportunity for students to obtain a Masters qualification focussed on a research project of particular interest to themselves, whilst benefitting from all the facilities, training, research seminars and support at Oxford Brookes University.

    The School of English and Modern Languages at Oxford Brookes offers research expertise from the early modern period up to the present day. Our work encompasses a wide range of interests, from literature (including Drama and American Literature), through visual culture, to critical theory and politics. The Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre hosted by the School of English and Modern Languages is also a source of academic expertise and research.

    The main research areas relevant to this degree are:

    • Poetry and Poetics
    • Ecology and Ecocriticism
    • Medicine, Science, Technology and Literature
    • Comparative Literature
    • Communities
    • Postcolonialism
    • Modernism
    • Early Modern Drama
    • The Contemporary Novel
    • Textual Scholarship and Editorial Practice
    • Theatre practice and Performance-as-Research
    • Creative Writing
    • Cognitive Poetics
    • Witchcraft and the Supernatural
    • Life Writing
    • Utopia and Utopianism

    Programme structure

    The MA by Research in English builds on the School’s expertise to give you a unique and clearly focussed programme of study. You will have the opportunity to develop a high level of subject knowledge, together with the ability to develop and undertake independent research in your own particular area of interest. The programme will be attractive to applicants seeking to pursue intellectual interests beyond first degree level for further personal or professional development. The MA route is also designed to prepare you to undertake further research at MPhil or PhD level.

    At the heart of the MA by Research is the close working relationship between candidate and supervisor. While the final thesis must be the candidate’s independent work, it is the supervisor who offers advice on refining the topic (if necessary), on primary sources, on secondary reading, on research techniques and on writing the final thesis. Supervisors and candidates meet frequently throughout the year, and not less than twice a term.

    Research Training

    You will also receive training in research methods and skills appropriate to the stage they have reached and the nature of their work. This includes:

    • guidance on planning and writing your thesis
    • using bibliographic and archival resources (both electronic and printed)
    • handling research data
    • making conference presentations
    • preparing and submitting material for publication

    You will embark on a substantial piece of independent research (an MA thesis of up to 30,000 words) guided by your supervisor in regular meetings. A shorter assessment of 5,000 words, conceived as a formative essay precedes the dissertation in the programme. A viva voce examination is held at the end.