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MLit English

MLit English video
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    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

This is an exciting opportunity to study on an integrated Master’s degree for the twenty-first century.

Most English degrees divide literary study into different historical periods, such as medieval literature, Shakespearean literature and romantic literature, and work chronologically through them. We however take a different approach, dividing our units not by historical period but by subject theme. This engaging approach has been designed to give the degree a strong contemporary feel while combining literary study with the professional and vocational skills to equip you for future employment, no matter what career you choose to enter. 93% of our final year students agree our staff are good at explaining things – why not come and meet us?

Interested in studying this course part-time? Enquire now.

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Key information

Next start date:

September, 2017


Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


4 years with a 4-week placement (or 5 years with a minimum 30-week placement). Full-time

Relevant subjects:

English Literature, English Language, Communication, Film Studies, Theatre Studies, History, Sociology

Required subjects:

English Literature or Combined English Literature/Language A level (or equivalent).  If you are not studying one of these subjects please make contact with the Admissions Team.

Entry requirements:

For 2017 entry (we will use the new UCAS tariff): 112 to 120 tariff points, from 3 A-Levels, including 32 points in a required subject, or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. For more information check out our 2017 entry requirements page

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component or equivalent. For more information check out our International entry requirements page

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.

Year 1

Core units

  • Adaptation: The study of adaptation focusing on key perspectives and debates, such as fidelity and medium-specificity. Case studies will include adaptations from a wide range of media, including film, television, comic books and the internet, and will cover classic and popular texts.
  • Media & Society: This unit looks into mass communication media such as newspapers, radio, TV and the internet, with particular emphasis on public service broadcasting, regulation, globalisation and the relationship between politicians and government and the media. You'll examine current challenges that come from hybridisation, digitisation, segmentation, popular culture and dumbing down.
  • Approaches to Literature: Introducing you to literature and associated perspectives, this unit takes multiple literary forms including prose, drama and poetry. You'll concentrate on analysing and evaluating individual texts and using these to introduce perspectives and contextual factors at thematic and structural levels.
  • Language Matters: Offering a theoretical basis for understanding language interactions in various media, this unit examines attitudes and prejudices towards styles of English and the various uses of language in everyday situations and contexts, including persuasive, interactive and communicative.
  • Academic & Writing Skills: Introducing you to the practical skills of academic study, ensuring you make a smooth transition to Higher Education. You will also begin to develop high skills in academic writing, journalistic and creative writing, this unit emphasises the differences between audience and appropriate types of writing.
  • Forms & Contexts: Introducing you to the main literary forms of fiction, drama, and poetry, and associated critical perspectives. You will understand how literature is influenced by its historical, social and cultural context.

Year 2

Core units

  • Modernism & Postmodernism: Through a selection of texts, you'll explore modernism and postmodernism, two of the major literary and artistic movements in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. You'll also look at their historical and cultural perspectives and influences.
  • Narrative Structures: You'll develop analysis and evaluations of a variety of contemporary narrative texts from sources such as film, television, journalism, magazines, the internet and prose fiction.
  • Children's Literature: This unit examines the relationship between narrative form and content, and the literary, social and cultural context in which children’s literature has been produced.
  • Gender & Sexuality: Representations of gender and sexuality will be considered in novels, plays and other writing from the last 200 years.
  • Writing for the Media: Strengthen your professional writing abilities and develop your understanding of the formats and conventions employed in writing for a range of media. You'll develop judgement skills using a range of media texts.

Option units (choose one)

  • Popular Texts & Intertexts: Texts from across popular media including literary, cinematic, televisual and graphic genres will be examined.
  • Media: Messages & Meanings:This unit examines how messages are constructed, conveyed and received over a range of media and by different audiences.

Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

Year 3

A minimum 4-week placement or optional 30-week (minimum) placement. Including this in your degree is a key feature in developing your abilities and understanding of the workplace. It also offers you a platform for entering the professions after graduation. Our placement team will help you find a position in a wide range of organisations, including publishing companies, advertising agencies, schools and newspapers.

Year 3/4

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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Britishness has been culturally constructed: the transition away from imperialism and political devolution across the United Kingdom.

Option units (choose three)

  • Crime & Terror: Studying the development of crime and gothic literature over the last 200 years, this unit will explore the cultural and historical context of the genre with reference to a range of critical approaches.
  • Post-Colonial Texts: Exploring the ways in which the legacy of colonialism has impacted on writing and other cultural forms, the unit considers key issues raised in postcolonial discourse, such as plurality, marginality, cultural diversity and hybridity, while interrogating some of the very terms on which those issues are debated.
  • Alternate Worlds: The uses of alternate worlds as motifs and narrative strategies in the development of both classic and contemporary literature. Ancient literature, Jacobean drama, utopian and dystopian visions, science fiction and fantasy are among the genres discussed.
  • Fact & Fiction: The diverse panorama of non-fiction works produced in the realm of literary, or narrative, journalism. You'll analyse ethical issues such as objectivity, accuracy, and the social and historical context of the genre over the centuries, and consider the narrative techniques used to create non-fiction novels. You'll compare these with imaginative and creative fictional narrative formats.
  • News & Journalism: Examine the practical and theoretical concepts of journalism. You'll be offered a critical perspective on journalistic outputs, the ability to report and produce news and other forms of journalism in a digital world and be equipped with practical journalism skills in a more informed and self-reflexive manner.
  • New Media Narrative: Examine the evolution of narrative forms in relation to the development of new digital media, especially non-linear and interactive narratives. You'll evaluate theoretical, critical and creative texts.
  • Writing, Editing & Publishing: A practical unit which combines studying publishing processes and practices with creative writing.
  • Transient Literature & Serial Storytelling: You will explore relationships between storytelling and the publishing formats and media used to deliver those stories. Through the study of key texts and critical perspectives you will consider how elements of materiality such as serialisation and format effectively coordinate with market, audience and content.
  • Space, Place & Environment: This unit focuses on critical representations of space, place and environment in literature and culture from industrialisation to the present. You will explore the significance of space and the environment in relation to diverse yet connected topics such as globalisation, personal, social and national identity, politics and policy, global transmission of literatures, literary tourism, conservation, biophilia and urban regeneration.
  • Media & Trauma: This unit aims to explore critical and cultural responses to traumatic experience and death across a range of media or texts from print and broadcast journalism to filmic and literary representation. The unit will focus on how trauma is interpreted, recorded, represented, constructed and produced across a range of media and in a variety of social, professional and medical contexts.

Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

Year 4/5

Core units

  • Markets & Audiences: A sociological approach to studying the cultural industries and their audiences, exploring marketing and promotion of cultural texts. You'll consider how paratexts and extratextual 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.
  • Dissertation or Major Project: 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.

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

The emphasis of this course is in guided independent learning, which helps you develop into a self-motivated learner. When not attending lectures and seminars, you will be expected to read around the subject. Your typical week’s activities will include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments. The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during each year of this course.

Year 1 – 18% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 216 hours (estimated)
  • Independent learning: 984 hours (estimated)

Year 2 – 18% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 216 hours (estimated)
  • Independent learning: 984 hours (estimated)

Year 3/4 – 18% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 216 hours (estimated)
  • Independent learning: 984 hours (estimated)

Year 4/5 – 18% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 216 hours (estimated)
  • Independent learning: 984 hours (estimated)

82% of the course is assessed by coursework

  • Year 1: 83%
  • Year 2: 60%
  • Year 3/4: 100%
  • Year 4/5: 83%

Throughout the course you will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, but you will also undertake group work and written exams.

Programme specifications

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 MLit (Hons) English

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.

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Placement opportunities

At BU, we recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career; therefore we now offer every new student the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of their course.

We will provide a great deal of help and support to ensure you achieve a rewarding and satisfying placement. What’s more, you can also choose to undertake your placement abroad, giving you the opportunity to develop yourself personally, academically, and professionally and gain skills to help you stand out in the job market.

A placement should be a highly rewarding experience for you and the employing company and we do our best to ensure that everyone involved feels that they have got the most that they can from the experience. Why not read about some of our students’ experiences?

The benefits to you as a placement student are many. You will have the chance to:

  • Put the theory learnt throughout the course into professional practice
  • Enhance your study and help you decide on subject options (where appropriate)
  • Learn a wide range of skills such as time management, problem solving and team work (all of these are important to succeed in any career)
  • Make contacts, as it is not uncommon for our students to be offered permanent positions to return to after graduating
  • Gain a real insight into how the industry operates in roles that would be almost impossible to achieve for an outsider
  • Many of our students, during their placement, are given responsibilities normally associated with graduate trainees.

How long is my placement?

You will begin your placement after completion of your second year of study and can choose to complete 4-weeks or a minimum 30-week placement.

Your application

We will be looking at your individual applications and making a tailored offer based on your potential to succeed on the course.

We look at a range of factors including your academic achievements, work and other experience, predicted grades, reference and personal statement, and in some cases, your performance at an interview/selection test.

If you meet one or more of our contextual data indicators for educational disadvantage (such as being in care, living in a low participation neighbourhood or in an area with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics), your offer could be between 20-60 points below the published tariff.

Our offer making process

Our offer making will typically be based on your three main graded qualifications, including any required subjects. Additional study may be valuable for breadth of study, and we will look at a range of qualifications and subjects, including the Extended Project Qualification and General Studies, although these may not be part of our offer.

If you do not meet the criteria of your original offer, we may still offer you a place. We will review your whole application and consider all academic qualifications (including those not in the offer) and the rest of the application to see if you have the academic potential to succeed on the course. If we feel the answer is yes, we will still confirm your place.

How we'll assess your application

We look at individual applications and make a tailored offer based on your potential to succeed on the course considering a range of factors, including your academic achievements, work and other experience, predicted grades, reference and personal statement, and in some cases, your performance at an interview/selection test.

If you meet one or more of our contextual data indicators for educational disadvantage (such as being in care, living in a low participation neighbourhood or in an area with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics), your offer could be between 6-20 points below the published tariff.

Unconditional offer scheme

Our Unconditional Offer Scheme seeks to reward exceptional applicants who are predicted to achieve top academic results. The scheme is offered to applicants on all courses who are predicted AAA at A-level/triple Distinction in BTEC Extended Diploma, or above, or equivalent, subject to any course selection measures and meeting other entry criteria (i.e. required qualifications). What’s more we’ll recognise your achievement if you meet these grades with an Academic Excellence Scholarship from £1,500 when you arrive*.

We believe that unconditional offers will reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible. Excellent grades will become a part of applicants’ CVs and are also required for BU’s scholarships. International qualifications are considered in the scheme; however applicants must satisfy the English language requirements.

*Our scholarships are subject to terms, conditions and eligibility criteria, detailed on our scholarships pages.

2017 entry requirements

The new UCAS Tariff will be used for September 2017 entry.

The entry requirements for this course are 112 to 120 tariff points, from 3 A-Levels, including 32 points in a required subject, or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM

UCAS have created a helpful calculator so you can calculate points to use for courses starting from September 2017 onwards.

Excluded subjects: This course does not accept General Studies

GCSEs: This course requires a minimum of 4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including Maths and English or equivalent qualifications.

Numeracy and literacy: We need to be sure that you can express yourself in written English and have basic numeracy skills. We look at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which includes GCSEs, iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills Level 2. If you do not have formal qualifications to this level or have alternatives, we may still be able to consider your application – please contact the askBU Enquiry Service to find out more.

Other qualifications: We have outlined below other qualifications that we consider for this course. If you are studying a qualification that is not listed, please contact the askBU Enquiry Service – it may be that we can still consider it.

Access Courses: BU welcomes Access to HE Diploma applicants. This course requires applicants to Pass the Access to HE Diploma (with 60 Credits - at least 45 at level 3, remainder at level 2 or equivalent).  Any combination of grades to meet the overall tariff is acceptable

BTEC Qualifications

  • Extended Diplomas: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit.
  • Diploma: This course requires a Distinction, Merit in addition to an A-Level Grade C in a relevant subject.
  • 90-credit Diploma: The 90-credit Diploma will be accepted as part of your overall tariff butit must be accompanied by A-Levels or equivalent qualifications.
  • Subsidiary Diploma: This course requires a Distinction in addition to two A-Levels in relevant subjects to achieve the overall tariff.

A combination of BTEC qualifications to meet the overall course tariff is also acceptable.

Cambridge Pre-U: We welcome applicants studying the Cambridge Pre-U or a combination of Pre-U subjects and A-levels.

European Baccalaureate: Applicants are required to achieve a minimum score of 73 - 75% overall.

International Baccalaureate Diploma: The IB Diploma is welcomed as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB). This course requires 30-31 points including 5 points from each of the 3 Higher Level subjects.

Scottish Qualifications: Scottish Advanced Highers, Scottish Highers and other Scottish qualifications are all welcomed providing that your results meet the overall course tariff and include required subjects as appropriate.

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma: The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma is welcomed alongside A-Levels or equivalent, to meet the overall course tariff.

OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Qualification: The OCR Extended Diploma or a combination of one Diploma plus one Introductory Diploma is acceptable for entry to this course.

Extended Project Qualification:The grade achieved for the Extended Project may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has marginally failed to meet the conditions of their offer.

Deferred entry: We are happy to consider applicants for deferred entry.

International entry requirements

English language 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) 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each of the 4 components, or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course. Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement, without the need to re-take IELTS.

Academic entry requirements

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students’ page.

We offer a number of preparatory programmes through the Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.


This course is a solid preparation for any career where clear communication is essential. The emphasis of the final year will be on work-based learning and the acquisition of advanced research skills, making you even more employable once you've graduated from this course.

You will acquire enhanced career prospects and Master’s level skills that will give you a head start when looking for a job. We have an excellent graduate employment rate, with 95% of our students in work or further study within six months of finishing their course*.

As a English MLit graduate, you will be prepared to undertake roles such as:

  • Editorial assistant
  • Marketing executive
  • Public relations officer
  • Journalist
  • Communications manager.

Further Study

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

*All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Your lecturers

Our staff are actively engaged in research and professional practice in the english sector which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Find out more about some of the staff and their research activities who will be teaching on this course below.

Dr Hywel Dix

I completed a doctorate in English and Cultural Studies at the University of Glamorgan in 2006, having earlier studied at the universities of Cambridge and York. I see myself as a specialist in modern and contemporary British literature, postmodernism, postcolonial studies and critical cultural theory.

In my research, I am interested in the relationship between culture and social and political change, especially in relation to political devolution in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. I explore these in detail in my monographs After Raymond Williams: Cultural Materialism and the Break-Up of Britain (2nd edition, University of Wales Press, 2013) and Postmodern Fiction and the Break-up of Britain (Continuum, 2010) as well as numerous other articles, book chapters and conference presentations. I am currently working on a comparative study of Welsh and Scottish literature, which is likely to be given fresh impetus by the recent results of the European referendum on ‘Brexit.’

More recently, I have developed a second research interest, exploring the relationship between literary careers and the body of work known as Career Construction Theory, which has its origins in social psychology and in career counselling. Drawing on the theories, concepts and critical approaches of Career Constructionism has enabled me to develop a new understanding of the material properties of authorial careers. I anticipate publishing this research in a new monograph in 2017 as well as editing a collection of essays on the newly emerging field of Autofiction in English.

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Head of Education for the School of Journalism, English and Communication and programme leader for BA English. I am interested in supervising potential doctoral projects on aspects of contemporary British literature.

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 subsided 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 webpages
  • 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 an additional fee of £1,500 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.

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Additional information

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International students

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