Skip to main content

MA Literary Media

  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions, Part-Time

Our different approach to literary media means that this course raises conceptual questions about how we define literature and culture and what ideological issues are raised by doing so. It gives you a chance to consider how a literary canon can be created or contested, and explores what value judgements are made in the process. Notions of censorship, conformity, transgression and innovation are explored alongside a theoretical consideration of the material and institutional contexts in which culture is produced.

The course enables you to combine the skills of literary analysis developed during an undergraduate degree with a series of new theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of English in a range of different media. It invites you to explore the proposition that literature exists in a number of different forms, from film to print fiction, and from the internet to television. In other words, the course de-privileges the idea of the printed text and considers it alongside the kinds of narrative that exist in other media.

Our team includes leading national and international scholars in the fields of modern and contemporary literature, media studies, cultural studies and new media writing. In addition, the Faculty of Media & Communication has a number of practising media professionals whose experience of working within the media industries complements the academic expertise of our researchers. This combination of academic rigour with professional practice is ideally suited to helping you develop transferable skills during your Master’s degree.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2017, September 2018


Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


1 year full-time, or 2 years part-time

Relevant subjects:

English, literature, cultural studies, media studies, scriptwriting or film

Required subjects:

All subjects considered

Entry requirements:

A  Bachelors Honours degree, 2:1 or above or equivalent. If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 7.0 (Academic) or above. For more information see our full entry requirements.

Course details

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

The following units will be studied over three semesters for the one year full-time option, or over four semesters spread over two years for the part-time option.

Core units

  • Cultures & Materialities: An introduction to working with contemporary collaborative media and the historical differences and continuities in literature’s production, storage and display. From the pre-Gutenberg era to digitalised print, you'll study literary cultural production as part of a broad cultural and media history.

  • Markets & Audiences: A sociological approach to studying the cultural industries and their audiences, exploring marketing and promotion of cultural texts. You'll consider how para texts and extra textual materials contribute to audience expectations and experiences, and how they reflect cultural and political differences.

  • Interactive Storytelling: Investigate and understand the art of storytelling in digital-interactive media. Starting with a brief pre-history, this unit will come to grips with contemporary traits thrown up at the intersection between digitalisation and interactivity. There will be a rigorous scholarly framework for your existing digital literacy and you'll have space to reflect on and improve your competence with interactive digital media.

  • Literature & Controversy: You'll explore definitions of free speech, freedom of expression, censorship and public interest in the context of public cultural controversies. For example, D.H Lawrence’s 'Lady Chatterley’s Lover' might be studied as a literary text, while the student also studies the historical context of attempts to censor and suppress the novel and debates over that suppression in the print and broadcast media.

  • Mediating the Nation: The relationship between cultural production and a series of changing historical and political contexts in contemporary Britain. More specifically, you'll consider cultural constructions of Britain, Britons and Britishness. By analysing a range of literary and cultural forms, you'll explore how these things have been constructed and legitimised through culture historically. This unit will also look at how two historical developments have had a significant impact on how British ness has been culturally constructed: the transition away from imperialism and political devolution across the United Kingdom.

  • Narrating Identities: An opportunity to study a number of genres that can loosely be defined as life writing. Critical approaches to biography, autobiography, autobiographical fiction and film biopic will be analysed in a theoretical framework to help you generate the critical vocabulary and cultural literacy needed for detailed analysis. You'll explore notions such as cultural identity, dominant ideology and emerging or oppositional cultural narratives.

  • Dissertation (academic) OR Major Project (creative): An opportunity to develop and show your critical, analytical and research skills by completing a significant piece of academic or creative work. You'll finish your studies and work with a degree of independence not previously experienced in your coursework, focusing on topics that interest you the most. You'll hone your strengths and establish curiosity to take with you into future careers.

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for MA Literary Media.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

Selection criteria

Applicants will usually receive a decision on their application based on the information submitted in the application form. However, some applicants may be invited for interview to discuss their application further.

Applicants may be interviewed in person, via telephone or Skype. For more information, take a look at our post graduate how to apply pages. 

Full entry requirements

The normal requirements for embarking upon a postgraduate taught degree are:

  • A good Bachelors Honours degree, 2:1 or above or equivalent.

If you lack the formal academic qualifications needed to enter a postgraduate or post-experience degree, there are several alternative routes to follow. Some of these are based on experience. Contact the AskBU Enquiry Service for more information.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

  • IELTS (academic) 7.0 overall or equivalent with 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in each other component, or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.

You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our postgraduate entry requirements page.


This course enables students to combine the skills of literary analysis developed during an undergraduate degree with a series of new theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of English in a range of different media.

Some of our Literary Media graduates are now undertaking roles such as*:

  • Scriptwriting
  • Print journalism
  • Radio production
  • Corporate communications.

Industries worked in

  • Media
  • Journalism
  • Publishing
  • Scriptwriting.

Further study

If you want to continue your studies after achieving your Master's, you can look into our range of doctoral programmes.

*All information shown has been taken from Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) or BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.

No hidden extras

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services, many of these are included on the Next Steps insert enclosed with your offer letter.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsidised travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU pages.
  • Fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Students section of the website.

Repeat units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies, you may be required to pay additional fees equivalent to one ninth of the tuition fee per 20 credit unit.

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

Additional information

Your career and development

Your career and development

Read about career and development opportunities and discover how gaining industry experience could help you.

International students

International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.