The MLitt in Modern and Contemporary Literature and Culture enhances students' knowledge and thinking about the key texts, contexts and theories that have shaped literature and culture from 1900 to the present.
The MLitt in Modern and Contemporary Literature and Culture is an intensive one-year taught programme run by the School of English. The course aims to enhance students’ textual knowledge and promote thinking about the interconnections between modern and contemporary literature and its historical, cultural and theoretical contexts.
Students will read and discuss some of the major texts and debates which have contributed to the shaping of the “modernist”, “postmodern” and “contemporary” cultural moments.
The MLitt is aimed at those interested in modern and contemporary literature, in the acquisition of a taught postgraduate qualification, and in the possibility of moving towards a PhD.
Study the interdisciplinary dimensions of modern and contemporary culture through topics which explore cultural production across the arts, music, film and literature.
Learn about the key developments in modern and contemporary literary studies in dialogue with leading scholars.
Typical seminar topics might include: women’s writing and gender studies; crime fiction; contemporary critical theory; modern and contemporary poetry; postcolonialism; Scottish literature; war writing; literature of the 1940s; British cinema and music.
In each semester students take one module that concentrates on the literature of the period and one module that engages with the period’s theoretical, cultural and historical developments. Students are encouraged to develop their own, individual interests via one optional module.
Taught modules consist of weekly seminars, with class sizes typically ranging from three to ten students. Modules are assessed through coursework essays. 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.
Contemporary Literature and Culture: exposes students to a range of contemporary authors, poets and playwrights, moving between a detailed focus on highlighted key works and a wider perspective on individual writer’s oeuvres.
Contextualising the Modern: an exploration of the radical literary experiments following the First World War in the context of the wider movements in culture and society that informed literary modernism in the first decades of the 20th century.
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.
Reading the Modern: an exploration of influential British, American and French modernists' pursuit to develop modes of representation compatible with a new urban, industrialised and mass-oriented age.
Theorising the Contemporary: an introduction to key literary and cultural theories within the contemporary period via the close study of selected theoretical texts.
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 programme.
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
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.
The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019 entry.
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.
A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in a subject-related area.
If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see 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 School of English (Word).
a sample of academic writing on a modern or contemporary 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).
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.