Introduction

Delve into the world of English Language and Literature and uncover a variety of historical and contemporary texts. Taught by internationally-renowned specialists, the programme will enhance your understanding of the relationship between language and literature, broaden your knowledge of English literary periods and issues, and trace the development and varieties of the English language.

Study Information

Study Options

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MLitt
Duration
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September or January
Location of Study
Aberdeen
Subject marketing image

The MLitt English Language and Literature programme provides graduate-level skills and training in a variety of areas of English literature and linguistics. The programme introduces students to specialist knowledge and scholarly approaches in the historical and critical analysis of English language and literature and is ideally suited for students who wish to solidify their skills and expertise in the subject, either in preparation for more intensive and specialist research or in preparation for other careers, including teaching.

You can take this degree as a stand-alone one-year or two-year part-time Master's degree or as a first step towards a PhD (subject to admission to a further degree programme either at Aberdeen or elsewhere). The programme provides an excellent pathway for students eager to study the subject in the context of the British university system, and students who wish to look more closely at the relationship between language and literature.

Available Programmes of Study

English Language and Literature

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
MLitt 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September Aberdeen View

Programme Information

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses
Fundamentals of English Language (EL50D2)

30 Credit Points

This core course introduces students to advanced study of the English language. Three key aspects of the structure of English are introduced: the sound patterns of English (phonology); the structure of English words (morphology) and the structure of sentences (syntax). We then consider the relationship between the semantic meaning of linguistic constructions and their pragmatic implications. The course will enable students to refer confidently to the structure and use of the English language in their own research projects, whether the focus is literary or linguistic.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

Choose ONE of the following:

Locations and Dislocations: the Role of Place in Literature (EL50C1)

30 Credit Points

This course examines the social, political and cultural construction of place in literary texts. The imaginative co-ordinates of places such as ‘Scotland’, or ‘England’ exist in a constant state of flux, refusing to yield an essential, authentic image. Using core texts from the early modern period paired with more recent literary responses we explore the idea of place in its various forms. Key themes and issues to be discussed will include the rural and urban divide; literature and nationhood; the nature of community; the significance of emigration, and displacement; walking texts, metropolitan literature, and ideas of the “new world”

View detailed information about this course
The Novel: Environments and Encounters (EL50C5)

30 Credit Points

This module explores how the evolution of the novel form has allowed, and required, authors to find new ways of depicting spaces, places and interactions (between characters in particular environments, but also between characters and their environment). This chronologically wide-ranging course moves from the early days of the novel form through to contemporary fiction, allowing for an opportunity to study the many literary tactics that authors have employed to create the settings for their works – from vast historical backdrops, to natural spaces, to urban environments, to smaller domestic and private places. It also us to consider how different cultural moments have prompted authors to rethink how they represent characters’ encounters with the world around them, and with the other cultures, races, species and genders that inhabit that world. As well as narrative theories, students will have the chance to study canonical and less well-known texts from angles informed by current critical approaches such as ecocriticism, animal studies, postcolonial and queer theory.

View detailed information about this course
Placing the Romantic (EL50C8)

30 Credit Points

From Wordsworth’s lakes to Walter Scott’s Scottish Highlands, the concept of literary Romanticism is irrevocably tied to ideas of place and locale. During the Romantic era colonisation, urbanisation, agricultural reform and conflict all redefined how writers thought and wrote about their place within the world. This course will explore how Romantic texts have engaged with and defined place, looking not just at canonical examples of the romantic English landscape, but also exploring Romanticism’s global reach and Victorian and modern legacies.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses
Approaching English Language and Literature (EL55D1)

30 Credit Points

This core module takes a chronological approach to the development of English literary language (placing this within the context of language as a whole). Four canonical authors in English are used to facilitate the introduction of key concepts and terminology from across stylistics, sociolinguistics and literary studies. It is intended to equip students from the MLitt in English Language and Literature with the knowledge of these disciplines needed to produce a summer research project on their chosen topic. 

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

Choose ONE of the following:

Infinite Scotlands: Scotland and the Literary Imagination (EL55C7)

30 Credit Points

This course explores the ways in which place is negotiated in a range of Scottish texts. Looking at a selection of texts about rural, urban, and diasporic experience across the centuries, and including both canonical and lesser-known works, this course will acquaint students with key debates in the study of regional and national fiction. Place in these texts is something to be praised and scorned, embraced and abandoned, but always remains central in any discussion of individual and communal identities. Major themes and issues to be discussed include: the idea of ‘home’; the role of nostalgia and longing in Scottish fiction; the nature of community; the significance of emigration and displacement.

View detailed information about this course
Writing the Self (EL55C2)

30 Credit Points

What is at stake in writing autobiographical texts? What are the forms writers have used to write themselves? Is autobiography simply, as Oscar Wilde states, the lowest form of criticism? Looking at a range of texts from the Medieval period to the present, with a special focus on women’s writing, this course examines the formal, ethical, political, and aesthetic choices writers make when writing themselves.

View detailed information about this course
A Social and Textual History of the English Language (EL55C3)

30 Credit Points

Of all ‘Barbarian’ languages, English is one of the longest recorded. This is both a blessing and a curse: there are texts from all periods of the language’s history which are available for study; linguistic and social changes have meant that these texts are often difficult to read. This course will give you the opportunity to learn how best to read these texts the best way this can be done: by reading the texts in an informed manner.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses
English Literature and Language Dissertation (EL5919)

60 Credit Points

The Dissertation project is a key part of the MLitt programme. Students complete a significant piece of independent research under the supervision of a specialist in English Language or Literature.

View detailed information about this course

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £19,400
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
Home / RUK £9,200
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
MLitt 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January Aberdeen View

Programme Information

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses
Approaching English Language and Literature (EL55D1)

30 Credit Points

This core module takes a chronological approach to the development of English literary language (placing this within the context of language as a whole). Four canonical authors in English are used to facilitate the introduction of key concepts and terminology from across stylistics, sociolinguistics and literary studies. It is intended to equip students from the MLitt in English Language and Literature with the knowledge of these disciplines needed to produce a summer research project on their chosen topic. 

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

Choose ONE of the following:

Infinite Scotlands: Scotland and the Literary Imagination (EL55C7)

30 Credit Points

This course explores the ways in which place is negotiated in a range of Scottish texts. Looking at a selection of texts about rural, urban, and diasporic experience across the centuries, and including both canonical and lesser-known works, this course will acquaint students with key debates in the study of regional and national fiction. Place in these texts is something to be praised and scorned, embraced and abandoned, but always remains central in any discussion of individual and communal identities. Major themes and issues to be discussed include: the idea of ‘home’; the role of nostalgia and longing in Scottish fiction; the nature of community; the significance of emigration and displacement.

View detailed information about this course
Writing the Self (EL55C2)

30 Credit Points

What is at stake in writing autobiographical texts? What are the forms writers have used to write themselves? Is autobiography simply, as Oscar Wilde states, the lowest form of criticism? Looking at a range of texts from the Medieval period to the present, with a special focus on women’s writing, this course examines the formal, ethical, political, and aesthetic choices writers make when writing themselves.

View detailed information about this course
A Social and Textual History of the English Language (EL55C3)

30 Credit Points

Of all ‘Barbarian’ languages, English is one of the longest recorded. This is both a blessing and a curse: there are texts from all periods of the language’s history which are available for study; linguistic and social changes have meant that these texts are often difficult to read. This course will give you the opportunity to learn how best to read these texts the best way this can be done: by reading the texts in an informed manner.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses
English Literature and Language Dissertation (EL5919)

60 Credit Points

The Dissertation project is a key part of the MLitt programme. Students complete a significant piece of independent research under the supervision of a specialist in English Language or Literature.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses
Fundamentals of English Language (EL50D2)

30 Credit Points

This core course introduces students to advanced study of the English language. Three key aspects of the structure of English are introduced: the sound patterns of English (phonology); the structure of English words (morphology) and the structure of sentences (syntax). We then consider the relationship between the semantic meaning of linguistic constructions and their pragmatic implications. The course will enable students to refer confidently to the structure and use of the English language in their own research projects, whether the focus is literary or linguistic.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

Choose ONE of the following:

Locations and Dislocations: the Role of Place in Literature (EL50C1)

30 Credit Points

This course examines the social, political and cultural construction of place in literary texts. The imaginative co-ordinates of places such as ‘Scotland’, or ‘England’ exist in a constant state of flux, refusing to yield an essential, authentic image. Using core texts from the early modern period paired with more recent literary responses we explore the idea of place in its various forms. Key themes and issues to be discussed will include the rural and urban divide; literature and nationhood; the nature of community; the significance of emigration, and displacement; walking texts, metropolitan literature, and ideas of the “new world”

View detailed information about this course
The Novel: Environments and Encounters (EL50C5)

30 Credit Points

This module explores how the evolution of the novel form has allowed, and required, authors to find new ways of depicting spaces, places and interactions (between characters in particular environments, but also between characters and their environment). This chronologically wide-ranging course moves from the early days of the novel form through to contemporary fiction, allowing for an opportunity to study the many literary tactics that authors have employed to create the settings for their works – from vast historical backdrops, to natural spaces, to urban environments, to smaller domestic and private places. It also us to consider how different cultural moments have prompted authors to rethink how they represent characters’ encounters with the world around them, and with the other cultures, races, species and genders that inhabit that world. As well as narrative theories, students will have the chance to study canonical and less well-known texts from angles informed by current critical approaches such as ecocriticism, animal studies, postcolonial and queer theory.

View detailed information about this course
Placing the Romantic (EL50C8)

30 Credit Points

From Wordsworth’s lakes to Walter Scott’s Scottish Highlands, the concept of literary Romanticism is irrevocably tied to ideas of place and locale. During the Romantic era colonisation, urbanisation, agricultural reform and conflict all redefined how writers thought and wrote about their place within the world. This course will explore how Romantic texts have engaged with and defined place, looking not just at canonical examples of the romantic English landscape, but also exploring Romanticism’s global reach and Victorian and modern legacies.

View detailed information about this course

Programme Fees

Please refer to our InfoHub Tuition Fees page for fee information for this programme, or contact study@abdn.ac.uk.

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • E-learning
  • Group Projects
  • Individual Projects
  • Peer Learning
  • Seminars

Assessment Methods

Assessment methods vary by individual course and include essays, reports, presentations, written exercises and written and oral examinations. The MLitt also requires a 15,000 word dissertation, while the diploma consists of coursework alone.

Courses are assessed through essays, presentations, group and project work. The variety of assessment in the programme ensures that students apply theory to practice and become expert communicators and team players.

Why Study English Language and Literature?

  • Taught by a range of published experts and researchers in the field.
  • Explore the theory and criticism of a range of literary periods and styles.
  • Learn about the history, development, varieties of English language.
  • Excellent opportunity to acquire broad and in-depth knowledge of a variety of English Literary and Linguistic topics.
  • Develop a set of marketable skills to enhance your employability and have opportunities to work in a variety of roles across different sectors including education, marketing and journalism.
  • Gain specialist knowledge, skills and research training in English language and literature.
  • This flexible programme offers a choice of modules meaning you can focus on specific literary periods to pursue your own interests. 

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

A 2.1 Honours degree or the equivalent in English Literature or a relevant cognate discipline in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

Fee Information

Additional Fee Information

  • Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programmes section above.
  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

The SFC Postgraduate tuition fee scholarship may be available for those classified as Home/EU fee status students for this programme. Visit the scholarship page for more information.

The James Carnegie maintenance scholarship for postgraduate students is available with this degree.

Scholarships

Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

Aberdeen Global Scholarship (EU)

The Aberdeen Global Scholarship is open to European Union (EU) students.

This is a £2,000 tuition fee discount available to eligible self-funded Postgraduate Masters students who are classed as International fee status and are domiciled in the EU, plus another £3,000 discount for eligible Postgraduate Masters students who would have previously been eligible for Home fees (Scottish/EU) fee status.

View Aberdeen Global Scholarship

Careers

The programme offers to develop your knowledge and build a set of marketable skills to enhance your employability. English graduates find excellent opportunities across various sectors including education, research, marketing and journalism.

Useful Fact about this Subject

The University of Aberdeen has been ranked 14th in the UK and 3rd in Scotland for English by the Complete University Guide 2021.

Useful Fact about this Subject

The University has also been ranked 5th in the UK and 1st in Scotland for Linguistics by the Complete University Guide 2021.

Useful Fact about this Subject

Research centres including the Centre for the Novel, Sir Herbert Grierson Centre for Textual Criticism and Comparative Literary History and the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies.

Useful Fact about this Subject

Historic collections including rare printed books, the 12th century Aberdeen Bestiary, the novels of Sir Walter Scott and an exceptional collection of Charles Dickens' first editions.

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX