About this course
Explore postcolonialism and world literature with a master’s degree at the University of Southampton.
Our course gives you the chance to specialise in postcolonial and world literary culture, covering topics such as:
- legacies of colonialism and imperialism
- aftermath of decolonisation
- relationship between gender and nationalism
- fault lines in postcolonial national narratives
On completion of the course, you’ll be ready for a career in teaching, librarianship, museums and galleries, publishing or heritage.
You’ll get the chance to carry out advanced research and independent critical thinking, and to make effective use of archives, manuscripts, and research libraries.
This pathway is linked to the Southampton Centre for Imperial and Postcolonial Studies. This group brings together academics, writers and research students to explore the practices, experiences and legacies of imperial power in a global setting, from the early-modern period to the present. The centre also hosts events including seminars, workshops and conferences.
We offer a flexible module structure which is designed to give you an advanced understanding of cultural analysis, textual interpretation and theoretical method.
You’ll explore the interrelations of text, theory and culture across the field of English literary and cultural studies. We’ll work with you to:
- develop your knowledge of critical and research methods
- raise your awareness of the historical and critical reception of literature in various periods
- explore the role of literature in a contested cultural framework
If you prefer, you can apply to study this course as:
- a part-time master's - study the same course content over 2 or more years
Your modules and fees may vary if you choose a different study option.
Your course leader is Stephen Bending, Professor of Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture. Stephen has published widely on gender, identity and emotion in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Visit Professor Bending’s staff profile to learn more about his work.
We offer 3 other specialist pathways on our MA English Literary Studies degree:
If you'd prefer a more general approach you can choose individual modules from each pathway.
Learn more about this subject area
This course is based at Avenue.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the Course Description Document
The Course Description Document details your course overview, your course structure and how your course is taught and assessed.
You'll need a 2:1 degree in English literature or a related subject.
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
You will also need to provide a sample of written work for assessment. The sample should be approximately 2,500 words in length.
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need all of the following scores as a minimum:
IELTS score requirements
- overall score
We accept other English language tests. Find out which English language tests we accept.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
This is a full-time master’s course. You’ll study for 12 months, from September to the following September.
In the first 9 months (semesters 1 and 2) you’ll study the taught part of your course.
This is made up of modules that everyone on the course takes, and modules we’ll ask you to choose from a list of options. We’ll also begin preparing you for your independent research project and dissertation.
For the last 3 months, over the summer, you’ll work independently to research and write your dissertation. You’ll have one-to-one meetings with your supervisor during this time to discuss your progress.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
For entry in Academic Year 2023 to 2024
Learning and assessment
We’re committed to giving you a relevant, modern and above all enjoyable experience that will ensure you graduate with the skills and understanding you need for your chosen career or further research. Our module leaders are experts in their chosen fields and will engage you with their own experiences of research. Their teaching methods will challenge you intellectually and expose you to new ideas, approaches and perspectives.
The learning activities for this course include:
- small seminar groups
- student-led debates
- group work
- oral presentations
- individual consultation
We also offer additional opportunities such as exploring a unique collection of early women's writing at Chawton House Library, visiting a 19th-Century handpress printing workshop, and the chance to hear from visiting speakers from international universities.
A large part of postgraduate study is independent learning. This course will develop your critical awareness, encouraging you to reflect on the methodologies employed in further study and to apply these to your reading and research. Subject to availability, you may choose to take 2 special projects in an area of departmental expertise.
Depending on the modules you choose, we’ll assess you through a combination of:
- group presentations
- independent research project and dissertation
You’ll complete independent research, with guidance from a supervisor, to produce an in-depth, scholarly study of an aspect or body of literature which interests you. The 15,000-word dissertation is your chance to demonstrate the knowledge and skills you have developed throughout the course.
You’ll have access to:
- sample anonymised dissertations from previous years
- research seminars and visiting lectures
- general guidance and support from your Personal Academic Tutor
- dissertation guidance from your supervisor
A master's in postcolonial and world literature is excellent preparation for a career in teaching, publishing and arts administration. Our graduates go on to careers in:
- writing (from journalism to fiction)
- international PhD programmes
- creative industries
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022). Our Careers, Employability and Student Enterprise team will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a thriving entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK students pay £9,250.
- EU and international students pay £24,200.
If you're an international student on a full-time course, we'll ask you to pay £2,000 of you tuition fees in advance, as a deposit.
Your offer letter will tell you when this should be paid and provide full terms and conditions.
Find out about exemptions, refunds and how to pay your deposit on our tuition fees for overseas students page.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and any exams.
Find out how to pay your tuition fees.
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton, you could be eligible for a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Southampton Humanities Postgraduate Global Talent Scholarship
Twenty scholarships of £5,000 are available to international students joining our postgraduate master’s courses at the School of Humanities in September 2023.
Find out more about the Southampton Humanities Postgraduate Global Talent Scholarship, including eligibility, deadlines and how to apply.
Southampton Arts and Humanities Deans Global Talent Scholarship
Ten scholarships of £10,000 each are available to international students studying for an undergraduate degree or a postgraduate master’s degree in Arts and Humanities.
Find out more about the Southampton Arts and Humanities Deans Global Talent Scholarship, including eligibility, deadlines and how to apply.
Other postgraduate funding options
A variety of additional funding options may be available to help you pay for your master’s study. Both from the University and other organisations.
Funding for EU and international students
Find out about funding you could get as an international student.
How to apply
- Use the 'apply for this course' button on this page to take you to our online application form.
- Search for the course you want to apply for.
- Complete the application form and upload any supporting documents.
- Submit your application.
For further details, read our step by step guide to postgraduate taught applications.
There are different deadlines for this course. Depending on which country you permanently reside in, applications are expected to close:
- Applicants permanently resident in China: Wednesday 29 November 2023 - midday UK time
- Applicants permanently resident in other countries: Wednesday 29 May 2024 - midday UK time
- Applicants permanently resident in the UK: Wednesday 3 July 2024 - midday UK time
We advise applying early as applications may close before the expected deadline if places are filled.
Our admissions process for this course means that we look at batches of applications together. We send offers to applicants on a continuous basis. Due to the high number of applications, we may not be able to make you an offer, even if you meet the course criteria.
Application assessment fee
We’ll ask you to pay a £50 application assessment fee if you’re applying for a postgraduate taught course.
This is an extra one-off charge which is separate to your tuition fees and is payable per application. It covers the work and time it takes us to assess your application. You’ll be prompted to pay when you submit your application which won’t progress until you've paid.
If you're a current or former University of Southampton student, or if you’re applying for certain scholarships, you will not need to pay the fee. PGCE applications through GOV.UK and Master of Research (MRes) degree applications are also exempt. Find out if you’re exempt on our terms and conditions page.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
You may also be asked to provide:
- a sample of written work
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We receive a high volume of applications for this course. This means you may not receive a response to your application for up to 12 weeks.
If we offer you a place, you will need to accept the offer within 30 working days. If you do not meet this deadline, we will offer your place to another applicant.
Unfortunately, due to number of applications we receive, we may not be able to give you specific feedback on your application if you are unsuccessful.
We may invite you to an interview, which will take place by phone if you live abroad. You'll get an email from the admissions tutor if we'd like to talk to you before offering you a place.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
- View all courses
- Taught postgraduate study
- Pre-sessional English courses
PhDs and research degrees
- Create your own research project
Find a PhD project
- A missing link between continental shelves and the deep sea: Have we underestimated the importance of land-detached canyons?
- A seismic study of the continent-ocean transition southwest of the UK
- A study of rolling contact fatigue in electric vehicles (EVs)
- Acoustic monitoring of forest exploitation to establish community perspectives of sustainable hunting
- Acoustic sensing and characterisation of soil organic matter
- Advancing intersectional geographies of diaspora-led development in times of multiple crises
- Aero engine fan wake turbulence – Simulation and wind tunnel experiments
- Against Climate Change (DACC): improving the estimates of forest fire smoke emissions
- All-in-one Mars in-situ resource utilisation (ISRU) system and life-supporting using non-thermal plasma
- An electromagnetic study of the continent-ocean transition southwest of the UK
- An investigation of the relationship between health, home and law in the context of poor and precarious housing, and complex and advanced illness
- Antarctic ice sheet response to climate forcing
- Antibiotic resistance genes in chalk streams
- Assessing changes in astronomical tides on global scales
- Being autistic in care: Understanding differences in care experiences including breakdowns in placements for autistic and non-autistic children
- Biogeochemical cycling in the critical coastal zone: Developing novel methods to make reliable measurements of geochemical fluxes in permeable sediments
- Bloom and bust: seasonal cycles of phytoplankton and carbon flux
- British Black Lives Matter: The emergence of a modern civil rights movement
- Building physics for low carbon comfort using artificial intelligence
- Building-resolved large-eddy simulations of wind and dispersion over a city scale urban area
- Business studies and management: accounting
- Business studies and management: banking and finance
- Business studies and management: decision analytics and risk
- Business studies and management: digital and data driven marketing
- Business studies and management: human resources (HR) management and organisational behaviour
- Business studies and management: strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship
- Carbon storage in reactive rock systems: determining the coupling of geo-chemo-mechanical processes in reactive transport
- Cascading hazards from the largest volcanic eruption in over a century: What happened when Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai erupted in January 2022?
- Characterisation of cast austenitic stainless steels using ultrasonic backscatter and artificial intelligence
- Climate Change effects on the developmental physiology of the small-spotted catshark
- Climate at the time of the Human settlement of the Eastern Pacific
- Collaborative privacy in data marketplaces
- Compatibility of climate and biodiversity targets under future land use change
- Cost of living in modern and fossil animals
- Creative clusters in rural, coastal and post-industrial towns
- Deep oceanic convection: the outsized role of small-scale processes
- Defect categories and their realisation in supersymmetric gauge theory
- Defining the Marine Fisheries-Energy-Environment Nexus: Learning from shocks to enhance natural resource resilience
- Desert dune avalanche processes modern ancient environments
- Design and fabrication of next generation optical fibres
- Developing a practical application of unmanned aerial vehicle technologies for conservation research and monitoring of endangered wildlife
- Development and evolution of animal biomineral skeletons
- Development of all-in-one in-situ resource utilisation system for crewed Mars exploration missions
- Disturbance and recovery of benthic habitats in submarine canyon settings
- Ecological role of offshore artificial structures
- Effect of embankment and subgrade weathering on railway track performance
- Efficient ‘whole-life’ anchoring systems for offshore floating renewables
- Electrochemical sensing of the sea surface microlayer
- Engagement with nature among children from minority ethnic backgrounds
- Enhancing UAV manoeuvres and control using distributed sensor arrays
- Ensuring the Safety and Security of Autonomous Cyber-Physical Systems
- Environmental and genetic determinants of Brassica crop damage by the agricultural pest Diamondback moth
- Estimating marine mammal abundance and distribution from passive acoustic and biotelemetry data
- Evolution of symbiosis in a warmer world
- Examining evolutionary loss of calcification in coccolithophores
- Explainable AI (XAI) for health
- Explaining process, pattern and dynamics of marine predator hotspots in the Southern Ocean
- Exploring dynamics of natural capital in coastal barrier systems
- Exploring the mechanisms of microplastics incorporation and their influence on the functioning of coral holobionts
- Exploring the potential electrical activity of gut for healthcare and wellbeing
- Exploring the trans-local nature of cultural scene
- Facilitating forest restoration sustainability of tropical swidden agriculture
- Faulting, fluids and geohazards within subduction zone forearcs
- Faulting, magmatism and fluid flow during volcanic rifting in East Africa
- Fingerprinting environmental releases from nuclear facilities
- Flexible hybrid thermoelectric materials for wearable energy harvesting
- Floating hydrokinetic power converter
- Glacial sedimentology associated subglacial hydrology
- Green and sustainable Internet of Things
- How do antimicrobial peptides alter T cell cytokine production?
- How do calcifying marine organisms grow? Determining the role of non-classical precipitation processes in biogenic marine calcite formation
- How do neutrophils alter T cell metabolism?
- How well can we predict future changes in biodiversity using machine learning?
- Hydrant dynamics for acoustic leak detection in water pipes
- If ‘Black Lives Matter’, do ‘Asian Lives Matter’ too? Impact trajectories of organisation activism on wellbeing of ethnic minority communities
- Illuminating luciferin bioluminescence in dinoflagellates
- Imaging quantum materials with an XFEL
- Impact of neuromodulating drugs on gut microbiome homeostasis
- Impact of pharmaceuticals in the marine environment in a changing world
- Impacts of environmental change on coastal habitat restoration
- Improving subsea navigation using environment observations for long term autonomy
- Information theoretic methods for sensor management
- Installation effect on the noise of small high speed fans
- Integrated earth observation mapping change land sea
- Interconnections of past greenhouse climates
- Inverse simulation: going from camera observations of a deformation to material properties using a new theoretical approach
- Investigating IgG cell depletion mechanisms
- Is ocean mixing upside down? How mixing processes drive upwelling in a deep-ocean basin
- Landing gear aerodynamics and aeroacoustics
- Lightweight gas storage: real-world strategies for the hydrogen economy
- Long-term change in the benthos – creating robust data from varying camera systems
- Machine learning for multi-robot perception
- Machine learning for multi-robot perception
- Mapping Fishing Industry Response to Shocks: Learning Lessons to Enhance Marine Resource Resilience
- Marine ecosystem responses to past climate change and its oceanographic impacts
- Mechanical effects in the surf zone - in situ electrochemical sensing
- Microfluidic cell isolation systems for sepsis
- Microplastics and carbon sequestration: identifying links and impacts
- Microplastics in the Southern Ocean: sources, fate and impacts
- Migrant entrepreneurship, gender and generation: context and family dynamics in small town Britain
- Miniaturisation in fishes: evolutionary and ecological perspectives
- Modelling high-power fibre laser and amplifier stability
- Modelling soil dewatering and recharge for cost-effective and climate resilient infrastructure
- Modelling the evolution of adaptive responses to climate change across spatial landscapes
- Nanomaterials sensors for biomedicine and/or the environment
- New high-resolution observations of ocean surface current and winds from innovative airborne and satellite measurements
- New perspectives on ocean photosynthesis
- Novel methods of detecting carbon cycling pathways in lakes and their impact on ecosystem change
- Novel technologies for cyber-physical security
- Novel transparent conducting films with unusual optoelectronic properties
- Novel wavelength fibre lasers for industrial applications
- Ocean circulation and the Southern Ocean carbon sink
- Ocean influence on recent climate extremes
- Ocean methane sensing using novel surface plasmon resonance technology
- Ocean physics and ecology: can robots disentangle the mix?
- Ocean-based Carbon Dioxide Removal: Assessing the utility of coastal enhanced weathering
- Offshore renewable energy (ORE) foundations on rock seabeds: advancing design through analogue testing and modelling
- Optical fibre sensing for acoustic leak detection in buried pipelines
- Optimal energy transfer in nonlinear systems
- Optimal energy transfer in nonlinear systems
- Optimizing machine learning for embedded systems
- Oxidation of fossil organic matter as a source of atmospheric CO2
- Partnership dissolution and re-formation in later life among individuals from minority ethnic communities in the UK
- Personalized multimodal human-robot interactions
- Preventing disease by enhancing the cleaning power of domestic water taps using sound
- Quantifying riparian vegetation dynamics and flow interactions for Nature Based Solutions using novel environmental sensing techniques
- Quantifying the response and sensitivity of tropical forest carbon sinks to various drivers
- Quantifying variability in phytoplankton electron requirements for carbon fixation
- Reconciling geotechnical and seismic data to accelerate green energy developments offshore
- Resilient and sustainable steel-framed building structures
- Resolving Antarctic meltwater events in Southern Ocean marine sediments and exploring their significance using climate models
- Robust acoustic leak detection in water pipes using contact sound guides
- Silicon synapses for artificial intelligence hardware
- Smart photon delivery via reconfigurable optical fibres
- Southern Ocean iron supply: does size fractionation matter?
- The Gulf Stream control of the North Atlantic carbon sink
- The Mayflower Studentship: a prestigious fully funded PhD studentship in bioscience
- The calming effect of group living in social fishes
- The duration of ridge flank hydrothermal exchange and its role in global biogeochemical cycles
- The evolution of symmetry in echinoderms
- The impact of early life stress on neuronal enhancer function
- The oceanic fingerprints on changing monsoons over South and Southeast Asia
- The role of iron in nitrogen fixation and photosynthesis in changing polar oceans
- The role of singlet oxygen signaling in plant responses to heat and drought stress
- Time variability on turbulent mixing of heat around melting ice in the West Antarctic
- Triggers and Feedbacks of Climate Tipping Points
- Uncovering the drivers of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease progression using patient derived organoids
- Understanding ionospheric dynamics machine learning
- Understanding recent land-use change in Snowdonia to plan a sustainable future for uplands: integrating palaeoecology and conservation practice
- Understanding the role of cell motility in resource acquisition by marine phytoplankton
- Understanding the structure and engagement of personal networks that support older people with complex care needs in marginalised communities and their ability to adapt to increasingly ‘digitalised’ health and social care
- Understanding variability in Earth’s climate and magnetic field using new archives from the Iberian Margin
- Unpicking the Anthropocene in the Hawaiian Archipelago
- Unraveling oceanic multi-element cycles using single cell ionomics
- Unravelling southwest Indian Ocean biological productivity and physics: a machine learning approach
- Up, up and away – the fate of upwelled nutrients in an African upwelling system and the biogeochemical and phytoplankton response
- Using acoustics to monitor how small cracks develop into bursts in pipelines
- Using machine learning to improve predictions of ocean carbon storage by marine life
- Vulnerability of low-lying coastal transportation networks to natural hazards
- Wideband fibre optical parametric amplifiers for Space Division Multiplexing technology
- Will it stick? Exploring the role of turbulence and biological glues on ocean carbon storage
- X-ray imaging and property characterisation of porous materials
- Funding your research degree
- How to apply for a PhD or research degree
- How to make a PhD enquiry
- Support while studying your PhD or research degree
- Exchanges and studying abroad
- Undergraduate study
Tuition fees and funding
- Postgraduate scholarships for UK students
- Undergraduate scholarships for UK students
- Competitive scholarships for international postgraduates
- Competitive scholarships for international undergraduates
- Merit scholarships for international postgraduates
- Merit scholarships for international undergraduates
Partnership scholarships for international students
- Scholarships, awards and funding opportunities
- Becas Chile Scholarship
- Chevening Scholarships
- China Scholarship Council Scholarships
- Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships
- Commonwealth Master's Scholarships
- Commonwealth PhD Scholarships
- Commonwealth PhD Scholarships for high income countries
- Commonwealth Shared Scholarships
- Commonwealth Split-Site Scholarships
- FIDERH Scholarships
- Fulbright Awards
- FUNED Scholarships
- Great Scholarships 2024 – India
- Great Scholarships 2024 – Bangladesh
- Great Scholarships 2024 – Mexico
- Great Scholarships 2024 – Nigeria
- Marshall Scholarship
- Saïd Foundation Scholarships
- British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM
- Xiamen University PhD Scholarships
- Scholarship terms and conditions
- Southampton Canadian Prestige Scholarship for Law
- Southampton Presidential International Scholarship
- Short courses
- Lunchtime evening and weekend courses
- Summer schools
- Get a prospectus
- Choose your halls of residence
- Apply for accommodation
- Guaranteed accommodation
- Your accommodation options
- International and pre-sessional students
- Postgraduate accommodation
- Couples and students with children
- Renting privately
- Our accommodation areas
- Privacy notice
- Terms and conditions
- Fees and contracts
- Our cities
- Sports and gyms
- Our campuses
- Join our student community
- Support and money
- Our impact
- Research projects
- Research areas
- Research facilities
- Collaborate with us
Institutes, centres and groups
- Active Living
- Advanced Fibre Applications
- Advanced Laser Laboratory
- Advanced Project Management Research Centre
- Autism Community Research Network @ Southampton (ACoRNS)
- Bioarchaeology and Osteoarchaeology at Southampton (BOS)
- Bladder and Bowel Management
- Cell and Developmental Biology
- Centre for Defence and Security Research
- Centre for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
- Centre for Digital Finance
- Centre for Eastern European and Eurasian Studies (CEEES)
- Centre for Empirical Research in Finance and Banking (CERFIB)
- Centre for Geometry, Topology, and Applications
- Centre for Global Englishes
- Centre for Global Health and Policy (GHaP)
- Centre for Health Technologies
- Centre for Healthcare Analytics
- Centre for Human Development, Stem Cells and Regeneration
- Centre for Imperial and Postcolonial Studies
- Centre for Inclusive and Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CISEI)
- Centre for International Law and Globalisation
- Centre for Internet of Things and Pervasive Systems
- Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research
- Centre for Machine Intelligence
- Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Culture (CMRC)
- Centre for Modern and Contemporary Writing (CMCW)
- Centre for Music Education and Social Justice
- Centre for Political Ethnography (CPE)
- Centre for Research in Accounting, Accountability and Governance
- Centre for Research on Work and Organisations
- Centre for Transnational Studies
- Child and Adolescent Research Group
- Clinical Ethics, Law and Society (CELS)
- Computational Nonlinear Optics
- Data Science Group
- Economic Theory and Experimental Economics
- Economy, Society and Governance
- Gas Photonics in Hollow Core Fibres
- Global Health (Demography)
- Global Health Community of Practice
- Gravity group
- High Power Fibre Lasers
- Hollow Core Fibre
- Human Genetics and Genomic Medicine
- Infrastructure Group
- Institute of Maritime Law (IML)
- Integrated Photonic Devices
- Integrative Molecular Phenotyping Centre
- Interdisciplinary Musculoskeletal Health
- Laser-Direct-Write (LDW) Technologies for Biomedical Applications
- Law and Technology Centre
- Long Term Conditions
- Mathematical Modelling
- Medicines Management
- Molecular and Precision Biosciences
- Multiwavelength Accretion and Astronomical Transients
- National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC)
- National Centre for Research Methods
- National Infrastructure Laboratory
- Optical Engineering and Quantum Photonics Group
- People, Property, Community
- Physical Optics
- Product Returns Research Group (PRRG)
- Silica Fibre Fabrication
- Silicon Photonics
- Southampton Ethics Centre
- Southampton Health Technology Assessments Centre (SHTAC)
- Southampton Imaging
- Southampton Theory Astrophysics and Gravity (STAG) Research Centre
- Stefan Cross Centre for Women, Equality and Law
- String theory and holography
- The India Centre for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development
- Ultrafast X-ray Group
- Work Futures Research Centre (WFRC)
- Support for researchers
- Faculties, schools and departments
- Research jobs
- Find people and expertise