Course information


1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Course overview

This unique and intellectually rigorous Masters programme gives you the opportunity to develop the study of literature at an advanced level from a variety of perspectives.

 Why study MA Literary Studies at Goldsmiths

  • You will be introduced to and will develop an understanding of four areas of literary study: Modern and Contemporary American Literature and Culture; Critical Theory; Modern and Contemporary Literature; Romantic, Victorian and Decadent Literature and Culture
  • The opportunity to study a variety of literary areas brings together different literatures and approaches, fostering exciting, original and productive dialogues with each other
  • You will have the opportunity to focus your studies on one literary area or broaden the scope of your studies by choosing a diverse range of modules
  • You will combine theoretical angles with the close reading of a wide range of texts, from different media (literary, filmic, visual), periods, and cultural, geographic and linguistic backgrounds
  • You will develop your critical awareness of literary language and its responses to historical and cultural contexts 

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Richard Crownshaw.

What you'll study

Compulsory modules

You will be introduced to four literary areas through the study of four compulsory modules.

You will also complete a disseration relating to your area of interest.

Module title Credits
Pathways in Literary Studies: Modern and Contemporary Literature 15 credits
Pathways in Literary Studies: Modern and Contemporary American Literature and Culture 15 credits
Pathways in Literary Studies: Critical Theory 15 credits
Pathways in Literary Studies: Nineteenth-century Literary Romanticisms 15 credits
Dissertation 60 credits

Optional modules

You will also choose 60-credits of optional modules from a wide range of options taught in the Department. You may wish to focus your studies on one area of interest, however you you are free to choose from the full range of available options to broaden the scope of your studies.  

Optional modules are chosen from a list provided annually by the Department of English and Creative Writing.


A Research Skills Workshop will run a number of sessions throughout the year, including sessions on, for example, resources, essay-writing at Master's level, planning and developing dissertation projects.

You will also be able to take part in GLITS, the department's weekly research seminar; and in the many activities organised by the Graduate School and other Goldsmiths departments.

Download the programme specification.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject. 

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 7.0 with a 7.0 in writing and no element lower than 6.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

To find out more about your fees, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

The Department of English and Comparative Literature sometimes offers fees waivers for this programme.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your academic qualifications
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively a copy of your academic reference
  • Copies of your educational transcripts or certificates
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online. Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement
  • An essay (written in English), as an example of your academic writing

When applying, please indicate your preferred pathway.

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.

Selection process

Please submit an essay (written in English) together with your application, as an example of your academic writing.

Find out more about applying.



You'll develop transferable skills, including:

  • enhanced communication and discussion skills in written and oral contexts
  • the ability to analyse and evaluate different textual materials
  • the ability to organise information; the ability to assimilate and evaluate competing arguments


Graduates of this programme have gone on to pursue careers in:

  • publishing
  • journalism
  • public relations
  • teaching
  • advertising
  • the civil service
  • business
  • industry
  • the media

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

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