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Postgraduate Study

Our postgraduates study and research across the spectrum of English Studies with support from world-leading scholars and an excellent research environment.  

Postgraduate students benefit especially from our links with research centres and institutes within Durham University, such as the Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, the Centre for Poetry and Poetics, the Centre for Modern Conflicts and Cultures, and the Institute for Medical Humanities.

Postgraduates also experience our extensive extra-curricular events programme, which brings leading researchers and writers to share their expertise, as well as our partnership with external organisations such as Durham Book Festival. 

Graduates from our MA or PhD programmes are highly employable, and go on to further academic study or varied careers in the UK and internationally. 

Find out more about postgraduate life
29th in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024 English Language and Literature
3rd in the Guardian University Guide 2024
Our postgraduate community comprises around 60 taught postgraduates and 60 PhD researchers
World leading research 90% of our research activity was judged to be 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' in the Research Excellence Framework 2021
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Postgraduate Open Days

With the choice to connect with us online, in-person or both, our Open Days are the best way to explore your postgraduate study options in Durham.

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Look Closer at Our Department of English Studies

Discover the big picture and the little details of our Department of English Studies.

More about our MAs in English Literary Studies

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University student
My time doing an MA was my favourite year of my whole time at university, and I’m so glad I followed my gut when it was telling me I wasn’t quite ready to leave academia and enter the job market straight after finishing third year. I felt a lot less pressure to get top marks during my MA and therefore had more confidence to experiment with my ideas, take risks, push the boundaries of analysis and also follow other interests alongside literary works, such as art history and theatrical performance.

Ella Mackenzie
MA Romantic and Victorian Literary Studies, 2021
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Employability and Careers

A postgraduate degree in English from Durham doesn't just offer you higher-level insights into our subject. It also provides a range of transferrable skills that prepare you for a range of careers. The stats and stories of our MA and PhD alumni show success in all sorts of areas.

More about employability with an English MA or PhD


University student
After I arrived in Durham, it was quite daunting to move from the light-hearted welcoming week at my college to the serious, academic environment of the English department. As it turned out, I had no reason to worry at all - the staff were very friendly and welcoming, as were the students. Most of us were new to Durham, and a large portion of the group is international as well.

Ida Marie Halvorsen
Former MA student

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Postgraduate Courses

Thanks to our large body of world-leading scholars, our courses give you the freedom to study broadly or to specialise within English, or to engage in interdisciplinary learning and research.

MA English Literary Studies

Our English MA programme allows you to take modules that cover a wide range of periods, contexts, and theoretical approaches
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MA in Creative Writing

The MA in Creative Writing is an academically rigorous programme, taught by award-winning writers
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PhD research by dissertation

Our academic staff expertise will support your research interests
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PhD and MLitt in Creative Writing

Combine a creative portfolio with supervised literary-critical research
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Interdisciplinary MAs

As well as our wide-ranging postgraduate courses in Literary Studies we contribute to interdisciplinary postgraduate qualifications:

  • Master of Data Science (MDS) Digital Humanities
  • MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies
  • MA, Diploma, or Certificate in Medical Humanities
  • MA Environmental Humanities


University student
For prospective applicants to an English MA at Durham, I would advise that the degree opens a variety of exciting and thought-provoking opportunities – both within professional and personal spheres...Undertaking an MA has enabled me to seamlessly transition into a career path that I had never considered before, equipping me with the necessary skillset to succeed in a fulfilling marketing-based role.

Leah Collins
MA English Literary Studies, 2023

Get in touch

If you have any enquiries please contact us or follow us on social media.