The MLitt in Women, Writing and Gender offers a unique opportunity to explore the rich and varied output of women writers across history and to consider critical issues surrounding gender and writing from 1500 to the present day.
The MLitt in Women, Writing and Gender is an intensive one-year taught programme run by the School of English. The course aims to introduce students to key issues surrounding the contemporary discussion of gender.
Gain an excellent foundation for further research on women writers and the relationship between gender and literature.
Consider broader historical and contemporary debates in feminism and gender studies, and examine the diversity of women’s literary practices across a range of centuries and genres.
Develop your skills as a researcher within a specific area of study by taking a special topic module.
Participate in the School of English's wider research culture through the School's period-based research groups, colloquia and postgraduate forum.
Taught modules consist of weekly or fortnightly classes and seminars, of one to two hours each, normally with a maximum class size of 15 students. Assessment comprises written essays and a short oral presentation. The School of English prides itself on its support of student work through detailed feedback and commentary.
During the course of the year, but with particular focus during the last four months, students will research and write a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of their choosing.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment.
Literary Research: Skills and Resources: trains students in the understanding and use of the essential skills and resources of research in English Studies; it also provides preparation for the MLitt dissertation.
Theories and Contexts: supports students' work by providing a theoretical and critical background to key debates in contemporary feminist and gender theory.
Women, Writing and Gender 1: Renaissance to Romanticism: seeks to introduce students to a range of debates concerning women, writing and gender through history.
Women, Writing and Gender 2: Victorian to Contemporary: continues the chronological survey of debates surrounding women, writing and gender begun in the previous module by examining continuity and change in constructions of gender across the period 1800 to the present.
Students will choose one optional module out of the following three choices:
Special Topic in English Studies: a directed reading programme which allows students to explore topics in greater depth than is possible in compulsory modules.
A compulsory module from another English MLitt (see module catalogue).
An approved postgraduate-level module outwith the School of English (arranged independently with another school such as Classics, Modern Languages, Divinity or Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies).
Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered; some may only allow limited numbers of students.
The dissertation module allows students to engage in a substantial piece of independent research.
Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation of not more than 15,000 words must be submitted by a date specified in August.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.
Conferences and events
The School of English hosts research events through its four research groups:
18th Century, Romantic and Victorian
Medieval and Renaissance
Modern and Contemporary
The School of English normally also hosts an annual colloquium. Recent themes have been:
The English Legal Imaginary, 1500-1700
Bannockburn, 1914: Anniversary culture, war and national identity in Scotland
Opera and Fiction
World Literature and Dissent
John Keats and Romantic Scotland
Libraries in Literature.
The Postgraduate Forum offers postgraduates the opportunity to present research in progress to a group of their peers.
All School of English study applicants will be given access to the My Application portal. The Scholarships and Funding area of the portal includes an online catalogue through which you can apply for available relevant awards.
Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.
A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in a subject-related area.
If you studied your first degree outside the UK, check the international entry requirements.
English language proficiency.
The qualifications listed are indicative of minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
Supplementary application to the School of English
CV or résumé. This should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date.
Sample of academic writing on a relevant literature topic (approximately 2,000 words)
Two original signed academic references
Academic transcripts and degree certificates
Evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).
After the MLitt
Many graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrew's.
In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in Women, Writing and Gender.
Graduates of the course go on to pursue careers in a range of sectors including journalism, marketing, publishing and teaching.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.