The Centre for Poetry and Poetics supports research at all levels, including through MA and PhD student studies. In addition to studies in poetry generally, we welcome applications from those interested in the work of Basil Bunting, and in the history and significance of poetry magazines such as Poetry Durham.
MA Studies in Poetry
The Department of English Studies taught MA offers a group of modules (a pathway) that allow students to focus on a specific area, such as poetry studies. For more information about studying English generally, visit the Department's webpages on postgraduate study.
Q3K707 Studies in Poetry MA Postgraduate Taught 2018
Our taught MA pathway in Studies in Poetry offers choice, flexibility and the opportunity to specialise within this field. You can learn from the rich variety of research expertise in the Department and you also have the chance to concentrate on a particular area of literary study within the field. Our commitment to research-led teaching means that students are able to explore the cutting edge of the discipline - from John Milton to Romantic forms of grief, to the study of modern poetry. We provide an intimate, dynamic and supportive environment for students of all backgrounds and nationalities.
Our programme offers up-to-date training in research methods and skills.
You will choose three modules, at least two of which are from within the pathway, and you will write a dissertation on a subject related to studies in poetry.
An MA in Studies in Poetry is often the platform for further research at PhD level, as well as providing an excellent grounding for jobs in education, the arts and the media.
If you choose to take this named pathway, you will be expected to select at least two modules from those available within the pathway and to write your dissertation in an area related to it. Your third optional module may, if you wish, be chosen from the full list of MA modules on offer in the Department. Students may, with permission, take one module from other modules on offer elsewhere in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. All students must take the core Research Methods and Resources module and the dissertation alongside their three optional modules.
- Research Methods and Resources
Typical modules might include:
- Warrior Poets in Heroic Societies
- John Milton: Life, Works and Influence
- Lyric Poetry of the English Renaissance and Reformation
- Romantic Forms of Grief
- Second Generation Romantic Poetry
- Elegy: From John Milton to Seamus Heaney
- Women in Victorian Poetry and Painting
- S. Eliot
- Modern Poetry
- The Writing of Poetry.
Modules are subject to staff availability and normally no more than five of the above will run in any one year.
Please use the 'additional comments' section of the application form to indicate your choice of modules as well as to provide a personal statement.
To find out more about the modules available to students studying at Durham University please click here.
Please note: Current modules are indicative. Information for future academic years may change, for example, due to developments in the relevant academic field, or in light of student feedback.
Learning and Teaching
Course Learning and Teaching
One of the distinctive features of the Durham MA in Literary Studies is that it permits both a broad-based, eclectic study of literary topics from the earliest periods of literature to the present and the possibility of specialisation through designated pathways in such areas as Medieval and Renaissance Studies or Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Studies. All students take 3 optional modules, taught in small seminar groups of up to 10, with each module generating 18 hours of contact time (9 seminars x 2 hours) over the academic year. A strong emphasis is placed on independent research, and seminars usually involve a considerable amount of preparation, including short presentations and workshop activities. Assessment for these modules is usually by coursework essay.
All students also register for the Research Methods and Resources module, which generates an additional 20 hours of contact time over the academic year. Again, a strong emphasis is given to independent research. Both pieces of assessed written work for the Research Methods and Resources module involve significant preparation for the MA dissertation (and in some cases for doctoral study later on). The MA dissertation is supported by 3.5 hours of dedicated individual supervision time. Drafts of the dissertation are read and commented upon by the supervisor.
Each MA student is assigned an Academic Advisor who can guide and support her or his progress during the programme of study.
Throughout the taught MA degree programme, all students are strongly encouraged to participate in a lively series of staff-postgraduate research seminars, usually involving invited guest speakers from the UK and beyond.
Subject requirements, level and grade
You will normally require an English or English-related Honours degree (at least a 2:1 or equivalent) from a recognised university.
Please use the 'additional comments' section of the application form to provide a personal statement.
In addition to your three module choices, you will also need to include a piece of written work of approximately 2,000 words in length on a literary subject. This can be any piece of literary-critical work you have completed recently and may be emailed direct to the Department if you wish (email@example.com).
We welcome applications from holders of international qualifications. For advice on the equivalency of international qualifications, please contact our International Office.
English Language requirements
Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.
How to apply
Fees and Funding
Fees and Funding
Full Time Fees
|EU Student||£7,245.00 per year|
|Home Student||£7,245.00 per year|
|Island Student||£7,245.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£17,325.00 per year|
Part Time Fees
|EU Student||£4,000.00 per year|
|Home Student||£4,000.00 per year|
|Island Student||£4,000.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£9,600.00 per year|
Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and funding
The Basil Bunting Poetry Archive was established in 1988 and is held in Durham University Library's Archives and Special Collections at Palace Green. The CPP especially welcomes enquiries from researchers at MA, PhD level, and beyond who are interested in studying Bunting's work.
Poetry Durham was a magazine launched in 1982, under the editorship of Michael O’Neill and Gareth Reeves. The first issue included poems by established poets such as Fleur Adcock, Douglas Dunn, Roy Fisher, the American writer Reginald Gibbons, Grevel Lindop, and C.H. Sisson, as well as by younger writers who would go on to make a name for themselves: Romesh Gunesekera (most famous now as a novelist and writer of short stories), Jamie McKendrick (poet and translator) and D. W. (David) Hartnett (poet and novelist). Applicants interested in the history and significance of poetry magazines are invited to apply to Durham's Department of English Studies to pursue research in this area and to explore the significance of Poetry Durham regionally, nationally and internationally.
PhD Funding Now Available
Durham University has just committed £10 million of additional funding for new PhD studentships over the next four years. As part of a major investment in postgraduate education and internationalization, Durham University has expanded the funding for its flagship Durham Doctoral Scholarships programme, which is open to applicants from anywhere in the world. We particularly welcome applications from students who wish to work in interdisciplinary fields of strategic importance to the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, including The Centre for Poetry and Poetics.
Applicants resident in the UK and EU should apply via the Northern Bridge AHRC consortium; all Durham applicants to Northern Bridge will automatically be entered into the DDS competition as well. For further information, see https://www.dur.ac.uk/arts.humanities/funding_opportunities/
Postgraduate Funding Opportunities
Postgraduate funding opportunities - find out more about scholarships available for postgraduate study.