Birkbeck, University of London

Course Introduction

This programme offers you the opportunity to specialise in twenty'first'century literature and culture, as well as exposing you to the most important literary and theoretical developments of the last few decades. This MA considers the legacy of postmodernism, the effects of new technologies on narrative form, and the aesthetic, spatial and political coordinates of writing produced in an increasingly networked and globalised world.

Through a range of literary and interdisciplinary options, you have the opportunity to pursue your own interests, whether they lie in contemporary poetics; in fiction from Britain, the US, Europe or postcolonial nations; in the changing forms of the book in a digital age; or in historical approaches to issues like nation, race, gender and sexuality. The MA's programme of study opens up the aesthetic, historical and political dimensions of contemporary literature and culture.

Course Modules

You take 2 core modules and 2 option modules (which vary from year to year).

You write a dissertation on any aspect of contemporary literature and culture from Easter to September in your final year.

The Summer Research Programme is a programme of events run for a closely connected cluster of MAs in the School of Arts, on a weekly basis throughout the 11'week summer term. The programme includes a series of dissertation workshops that supplement one'to'one supervision, but it also reflects the dynamic and wide'ranging nature of contemporary studies in the School. It includes guest speakers, debates and film screenings, takes in Birkbeck’s annual Arts Week and is concluded by a student'led conference that showcases the work of MA students across the School.

To find out more, read our programme handbook.

Core modules:

Post'War to Contemporary;

Reading the Contemporary .

Literature and culture option modules:

A Confusion of Tongues: Illness, Language, Writing;

Contemporary British Poetry;

Contemporary US Fiction;

Memory Trauma and Cultural Identity;

Narrating Nation after 9/11;

Reading Time in the Twentieth Century;

The Book Unbound;

Twenty'First Century Feminist Fiction and the World in Crisis;

Voiceworks: Collaborative Song Project .

Theory option modules:

Aesthetics and Cultural Theory;

Postcolonialism: In Theory;

Theory of Clouds .

Film and television option modules:

Film Festivals;

Global Television .

Art and photography option modules:

Exhibiting the Body .

Start Date:


Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
1 year
Full Time
MA £8,175 Home Fees
1 year
Full Time
MA £14,850 Overseas Fees
2 years
Part Time
MA £4,075 Home Fees
2 years
Part Time
MA £7,425 Overseas Fees

Qualifications required:

  • A good 2nd-Class Honours undergraduate degree in literature, cultural studies, history or another relevant subject. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.