MA English Studies (online)


Join staff and students from around the world in the School of English. The variety of fresh perspectives you’ll find here will make your masters a unique experience.

MA Biblical Studies Research

World-class teaching and facilities

This course is taught completely online, so you can study while working, wherever you live. Most class texts can be accessed electronically through the University libraries. You’ll complete one 30-credit core module, optional modules worth 90 credits and a dissertation worth 60 credits.

It will deepen your grounding in the field and provide ideal preparation for research study at MPhil/PhD level, if that is your goal.

Your future

This MA can help develop the range of transferable skills at your disposal, giving you a wide variety of career options. 

Students on the MA English Studies frequently use the MA to help them develop in their existing careers, e.g. education.

Fast facts

Title: MA English Studies

Award: Master of Arts

Duration: Part-time - 2 years

Entry: Minimum 2:1 honours degree, or equivalent. Overall IELTS grade of 7.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component, or equivalent.

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This is a 180 credit MA programme. You will complete the core module: Research Methods in English Studies and a 15,000 word dissertation as well as optional modules.

As part of the teaching component you’ll be set regular study tasks, which you’ll discuss online with your tutors and peers. You can post to discussion boards at any time within the duration of a task and tutors will give you regular feedback on your ideas.

To support your learning you’ll have access to a range of electronic resources, including scholarly journals, ebooks, the online Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and Early English Books Online.

This MA uses a range of assessment types, including:

  • Short written pieces derived from your online discussions
  • Longer essays and projects
  • Project proposals
  • Reflective writing
  • Dissertation

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Part-time structure

A part-time student will follow the model of study below:

Year one
Core module and plus an optional module.

Year two
Two optional modules and write a dissertation over the summer.


What do I need to bear in mind when reading these listings?

Modules are listed by semester, and compulsory modules are indicated.

These modules are for the distance learning MA English Studies.

Information relates to 2017-18 academic year: The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is current and relevant. Individual modules may be updated or withdrawn in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, curriculum review, staff availability, and variations in student numbers. In the event of a material change the University will inform students in good time and will take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

All students take for the 30-credit core module 'Research Methods' and the Dissertation, a 15,000-word supervised project.

You will then select further modules according to your individual interests:

Introduction to Literary Linguistics

Literature and the Mind

Pastoral Literature

Shakespeare and Early Women Dramatists

Contemporary Literature through the Man Booker Prize


Academic Requirements:

A minimum of a 2:1 honours degree (GPA 3.0) in English literature, language, linguistics, or a related discipline (e.g. history, philosophy, modern languages) is usually required. Find out more about EU and international student entry requirements.

English Language Requirements:

For applicants whose first language is not English, IELTS is the preferred test of language. You need an overall IELTS score of 7.5, with at least 6.5 in all the component tests. Further information can be found here.

English Language Support

The English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) provides language support and development for students whose first language is not English. See their services here.

Fees and Funding:

Find information on fees and the sources of funding including the Postgraduate Loan for masters degrees that can help you pay for your postgraduate studies.

Faculty of Arts & Humanities scholarships.

How to Apply:

Apply online

Applying to start in over 12 months time?

Please feel free to submit your application via our online system, however please note that we will not be able to process your application for this course until 12 months before your proposed start date.

Visit Us:

If you’re considering a postgraduate programme at Sheffield, you are very welcome to visit us. You can attend an open day or a visit afternoon, which will include a tour of the University campus and the department, or contact the department directly ( to arrange a personal visit to meet with the director of your chosen programme.

More information and booking.

Further Information:

If you have questions about the academic content of this course please contact Dr Tom Rutter.

For any other queries please contact Jane Lowe, or email, T: +44 (0)114 222 2900


Core Teaching Staff:

Staff profiles

Dr Tom Rutter: Shakespeare and Renaissance drama
Dr Sara Whiteley: stylistics, cognitive poetics and discourse analysis