English / English and Film Studies MA (Hons)

  • For Entry: September
  • UCAS Code: Q300
  • Duration: 4 years
  • College: Arts & Social Sciences
  • School: Humanities

If you enjoy reading and writing, want to develop skills in independent and imaginative critical thinking and have a lively interest in culture and creativity, then English at Dundee is for you.

It has been said that English aims to help students 'develop the insight of an artist, the analytical precision of a scientist and the persuasiveness of a lawyer.' We agree.

Why study English at Dundee?

We are a medium-sized team with an atmosphere of friendly informality. We work hard to make students feel at home so that you can achieve your very best. Our teaching is varied and lively, and we've recently received the highest ratings for Teaching Quality Assessment.

Our programme mixes traditional and innovative approaches to English and we develop our courses with a consciousness of today's student needs and preferences, while reflecting our commitment to the cutting-edge ideas in our field. We not only teach the traditional topics of English Literature but also the literatures of America (North and South), of Scotland, and of many other parts of the English-speaking world as well as looking at digital poetry and graphic novels.

Exciting new developments include the growth of Film Studies, with two joint Honours degrees possible, and the introduction of a new joint Honours degree in English and Creative Writing.

Dundee has become a world leader in Comics Studies, providing innovative courses on comics and graphic novels and considering their relationship to literature and Film. Comics Studies is supported by the Scottish Centre for Comics Studies, and a comics studio.

Who should study English?

Do you enjoy reading stimulating and worthwhile books? Then come and study literature: four years is a long time to study something you don't enjoy. English is both a challenging and engaging subject, which gives great opportunities to debate issues in stimulating ways.

English offers the opportunity to develop your own enthusiasms within a structured programme which will teach you to think about a range of personal, cultural and historical topics.

What's so good about English at Dundee?

Erasmus Exchanges

English also offers Erasmus exchanges with three European Universities: Salzburg, Freiburg and Thessaloniki.

JOOT Theatre Company

The JOOT Theatre Company is a drama group run by Dr Jodi-Anne George which specialises in medieval and early modern theatre. The company is largely comprised of current English students and was invited to perform at the Sorbonne in Paris in 2008.

Departmental activities

The Department itself is home to an annual Literary Festival which regularly attracts high profile writers to Dundee. There are also Literary Salons, as well as a Comic Art Forum, featuring talks by comic artists and writers, and an annual Comics Conference. In addition, there is a lively undergraduate Literature and Film Society, and a student arts magazine, DURA, whcih welcomes contributions.

My course is globally recognised (which is great for my career prospects), and attracts students from all over the world - I've really enjoyed taking part in group study sessions in the library during the pre-exam periods. This course is also spot on for students who can't decide whether to choose International Relations or Politics as a course.

Degree Combinations

  • English and Creative Writing MA
  • English and European Studies MA
  • English and History MA
  • English and Mathematics MA
  • English and Philosophy MA
  • English and Politics MA
  • English and Psychology MA
  • English with French MA
  • English with German MA
  • English with Spanish MA
  • Film Studies and English MA
  • Film and Philosophy MA

Related Courses

This course is taught by the English team based in the School of Humanities.

Our methods aim to be both lively and innovative. Consequently, English and Film Studies has received the highest ratings for Teaching Quality Assessment. We employ a wide range of methods, from lectures, seminars and film screenings to small-group teaching.

The learning experience of Dundee's English and Film Studies students is greatly enhanced by the research expertise and passion each of our English lecturers bring to the classroom. Indeed, many staff members are leading figures in their fields who have led research projects, and who edit academic journals and organise major international conferences. This research focus ensures that the teaching is informed by the latest debates and a deep knowledge of the subject. At Levels 1 and 2 students will be immersed in the history and critical debates of the subject, and this will deepen at Level 3. At Level 4 students will undertake modules that draw more directly on staff research specialisms.

Dundee also has a long tradition in supporting creative writing; former creative writing fellows have included John Burnside, Don Paterson, Collette Bryce and Tracey Herd. English's chair in Creative Writing is the award winning novelist, Kirsty Gunn.

We are very proud of the fact that our teaching scores very highly in national student surveys for student satisfaction and believe that this stems from the close attention we are able to give to each student, and the enthusiasm and expertise we bring to the classroom.

All staff profiles »

Honours Degree

An honours degree normally takes four years, full time, you study levels 1-4, as described below.

Advanced Entry Honours Degree

It is possible to study for most of our honours degrees in three years if you have the required grades and subjects as listed in the Entry Requirements section. You study levels 2-4 below. There are definite advantages to considering this route as the time needed to study is reduced by one year which enables you to start working and earning earlier.

Typical Degree Programme

Visit the MA overview page for general information on our MA degree programme.

Level 1

Level 1 English modules give you a basic critical and theoretical understanding by analysing a wide range of examples of literature (or literature and film), from the earliest available texts to the present day.

For a degree in MA English, you study a total of 6 modules including the following core modules:

Introduction to Literary Study: EN11001
Semester 1, 20 credits


What makes a novel a novel? What is distinctive about poetry? How do you analyse a play in performance? The course explores a diverse range of drama, fiction and poetry in order to suggest answers to these questions.

Read more about EN11001

Early Modern Literature, 1564 - 1740: EN11006
Semester 2, 20 credits


This module surveys the development of English Literature from the Early Modern period to the middle of the Eighteenth century in relation to the ideas of the Enlightenment and the emergence of modern culture, with its concerns about identity, gender, religion, and power. This module will explore Early Modern drama, including texts by William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlow, John Webster; metaphysical poetry including work by John Donne, Andrew Marvel, John Milton and the rise of the novel form, including work by Daniel Defoe or Samuel Richardson.

Read more about EN11006

Plus 4 other level 1 modules from other MA subject areas – see the range available

Level 2

Level 2 applies the knowledge gained at Level 1 to particular aspects of literary or film history, surveying texts from key genres and periods.

For a degree in MA English, you study a total of 6 modules including the following core modules:

Romantic to Victorian Literature, 1789 - 1901: EN22002
Semester 1, 20 credits


The texts studied in this module form an introduction to one of the most appealing, varied and accessible phases in the recent history of English Literature.  The work of the great Romantic poets is read along with a series of 19th century novels which link closely with the themes and moods of the poetry.  These novels bring out, in fact, the powerful strand of Gothic Romanticism which is the counterweight to the social realism of the Victorian novel.  At the same time, the module helps strengthen still further the reading skills students have been developing.

Find out more about EN22002

Modernist to Contemporary Literature, 1901 - Present Day: EN21004
Semester 2, 20 credits


This module examines 20th and 21st century writing, paying particular attention to the way fiction, poetry and drama develops out of earlier traditions and tendencies and how they break from earlier movements. It examines how the forces of modernity - industrialisation, urbanisation, technological changes, war, empire, migration challenges previous ways of structuring and making sense of the world through a range of 20th and 21st century texts.

Find out more about EN21004

Plus 4 other  level 2 modules from other MA subject areas – see the range available

Level 3

At Level 3, you begin your detailed study of specific genres, styles and themes and periods choosing from a wide range of options.

You study a total of 4 modules (2 modules for joint Honours). Modules currently on offer include:

Level 4

At Level 4, the modules on offer reflect the research specialisms of members of staff. The result is an extremely varied range of choices, often based on interdisciplinary topics using a wide range of approaches. These modules will continue your in-depth studies and you will also have the option to carry out a personal research project in the form of a dissertation.

You study a total of 4 modules (2 modules for joint Honours). Modules currently on offer include:

Honours Degree

An honours degree normally takes four years, full time, you study levels 1-4, as described below.

Advanced Entry Honours Degree

It is possible to study for most of our honours degrees in three years if you have the required grades and subjects as listed in the Entry Requirements section. You study levels 2-4 below. There are definite advantages to considering this route as the time needed to study is reduced by one year which enables you to start working and earning earlier.

Typical Degree Programme

Visit the MA overview page for general information on our MA degree programme.

Level 1

Level 1 modules give you a basic critical and theoretical understanding by analysing a wide range of examples of literature (or literature and film), from the earliest available texts to the present day.

You study a total of 6 modules, including:

Introduction to Literary Study: EN11001
Semester 1, 20 credits


What makes a novel a novel? What is distinctive about poetry? How do you analyse a play in performance? The course explores a diverse range of drama, fiction and poetry in order to suggest answers to these questions
.
Read more about EN11001

Early Modern Literature, 1564 - 1740: EN11006
Semester 2, 20 credits


This module surveys the development of English Literature from the Early Modern period to the  middle of the Eighteenth century in relation to the ideas of the Enlightenment and the emergence of modern culture, with its concerns about identity, gender, religion, and power.

This module will explore Early Modern drama, including texts by William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlow, John Webster; metaphysical poetry including work by John Donne, Andrew Marvel, John Milton and the rise of the novel form, including work by Daniel Defoe or Samuel Richardson.

Read more about EN11006

Plus 4 other level 1 modules from other MA subject areas – see the range available

Level 2

Level 2 applies the knowledge gained at Level 1 to particular aspects of literary or film history, surveying texts from key genres and periods.

You study a total of 6 modules, including:

Romantic to Victorian Literature, 1789 - 1901: EN22002
Semester 1, 20 credits


The texts studied in this module form an introduction to one of the most appealing, varied and accessible phases in the recent history of English Literature.  The work of the great Romantic poets is read along with a series of 19th century novels which link closely with the themes and moods of the poetry.  These novels bring out, in fact, the powerful strand of Gothic Romanticism which is the counterweight to the social realism of the Victorian novel.  At the same time, the module helps strengthen still further the reading skills students have been developing.

Find out more about EN22002

Introduction to Creative Writing Practice: EN21005
Semester 1, 20 credits

Think of yourself as a writer? Either one who hasn’t necessarily written anything much so far but who has something to say? Or one who has already put together some poems or pieces of prose but isn’t sure how to take that work further? Or do you wish to improve the standard of your non-fiction work? Whatever kind of writing you are interested in producing, this introductory module, taught in a combination of intensive workshops, will make you more aware of the quality of the work you produce, helping you improve and refine it and build up a portfolio of writing by the end of the semester that you can be proud of.

Find out more about EN21005

Modernist to Contemporary Literature, 1901 - Present Day: EN21004
Semester 2, 20 credits


This module examines 20th and 21st century writing, paying particular attention to the way fiction, poetry and drama develops out of earlier traditions and tendencies and how they break from earlier movements. It examines how the forces of modernity - industrialisation, urbanisation, technological changes, war, empire, migration challenges previous ways of structuring and making sense of the world through a range of 20th and 21st century texts.

Find out more about EN21004

Plus 3 other level 2 modules from other MA subject areas – see the range available

Level 3
At Level 3, you begin your detailed study of specific genres, styles and themes and periods choosing from a wide range of options. You study a total of 4 modules, including 2 creative writing modules:

Other modules currently on offer include:

Level 4

At Level 4, the modules on offer reflect the research specialisms of members of staff. The result is an extremely varied range of choices, often based on interdisciplinary topics using a wide range of approaches. These modules will continue your in-depth studies and you will also have the option to carry out a personal research project in the form of a dissertation.

You study a total of 4 modules, including 1 creative writing module, Deciding on Writing - EN41004

Modules currently on offer include:

Honours Degree

An honours degree normally takes four years, full time, you study levels 1-4, as described below.

Advanced Entry Honours Degree
It is possible to study for most of our honours degrees in three years if you have the required grades and subjects as listed in the Entry Requirements section. You study levels 2-4 below. There are definite advantages to considering this route as the time needed to study is reduced by one year which enables you to start working and earning earlier.

Typical Degree Programme

Visit the MA overview page for general information on our MA degree programme.
Level 1

For a joint honours degree in MA Film Studies with another subject, you normally study a total of 6 modules including the following core modules:

Reading the Screen: An Introduction to Film Studies: EN11003
Semester 1, 20 credits


Reading the Screen provides an introduction to the study of film from a critical and technical perspective, exploring how films are put together, various different styles of filmmaking and a range of directors. The aim is to familiarise you with the vocabulary of film studies through an examination of topics such as directing, editing, mise-en-scene, costume, lighting, framing and composition, auteur theory, genre and representation.

Read more about EN11003


Perspectives and Movements in Cinema: EN12005
Semester 2, 20 credits


This module builds on Reading the Screen by focusing on examples from a number of distinct movements in the history of the cinema, such as Italian Neo-realism, the French New Wave, Japanese cinema of the 1950s, and British Cinema of the 1940s.

Read more about EN12005
Plus 4 other level 1 modules from other MA subject areas – see the range available

Level 2

For a joint honours degree in MA Film Studies with another subject, you normally study a total of 6 modules including the following core modules:

Classic Hollywood Cinema: EN21003
Semester 1, 20 credits


This module examines the Golden Age of Hollywood from 1920-1960 looking at the role of the studio system alongside social, political and historical concerns across a range of genres. From screwball comedy and the western to crime, war films and science-fiction, this module will explore this rich and lively period of film-making in its creation of an apparently seamless, unambiguous cinematic narrative (the Hollywood style). Some of the very best films which have ever emerged from Hollywood are studied here.

Find out more about EN21003

Film Noir: The Dark Side of the Street: EN22004
Semester 2, 20 credits


The phrase “Film Noir” conjures up images of moody crime thrillers shrouded in shadow, with gun-toting femme fatales, vicious hoodlums and hapless private detectives, but as this module shows, Noir is much more complicated than that, representing a counter tradition within Hollywood and reflecting the cultural climate of repression and paranoia engendered by wartime and cold war policies. This module will analyse the distinct visual style and aesthetics of Film Noirs of the classic period (1941-1958), and Neo-Noirs in the decades that followed. Of central importance will be the influence of emigre filmmakers, who brought with them the influence of German Expressionism and French Poetic Realism when fleeing Nazi tyranny.

Find out more about EN22004

Plus 4 other level 2 modules from other MA subject areas – see the range available

Level 3

You study a total of 4 modules normally including the following Film Studies modules:

Plus 2 other modules from your other Joint Honours subject area

Level 4

You study a total of 4 modules including 2 of the following Film Studies modules:

Plus 2 other modules from your other Joint Honours subject area.

Coursework can consist of essays, or oral introductions in seminars, or a course diary, or a quiz, or a number of other possibilities. The formal examinations are either two hours long, or three. Several of our courses make no use of a formal exam; no course is assessed by formal examination alone. The weightings given to examinations and coursework vary from course to course.

English is an adaptable subject, opening a flexible range of career options. Employers are often drawn to English graduates as they possess good written and spoken communication skills and a broad understanding of the world. They have also received rigorous training in working independently and thinking critically. Indeed, statistics show that students of English are often better at securing 'graduate-level' posts than comparable humanities graduates.

The joint degrees with Film Studies or Creative Writing add another dimension to this. A wide-ranging knowledge of the arts, literature, and popular culture, produces wellrounded individuals with a broad frame of reference, which is valued by employers, and creative writing skills are extremely marketable.

Teaching is a regular occupational choice of our graduates but by no means their only available career path! Many enter publishing, journalism, library and information science, general management, consultancy, the civil service, as well as research and, increasingly, creative industries, especially the media. In fact, our graduates find themselves prepared for a wide variety of occupations.

The following are the minimum requirements, please note qualifications have to be obtained at the first sitting of examinations.

Please note that the entry requirements in our printed prospectus may be subject to change. The entry requirements listed below are up to date and should be referred to in case of any discrepancy.

Courses starting September 2015

Level 1 Entry

Qualification Minimum Grade Typical Grade
SQA Higher BBBB AABB
GCE A-Level BCC BBB
ILC Higher AABB
IB Diploma 30 points (including 5, 5, 5 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects English/English Literature at SQA Higher, GCE A-Level, ILC Higher or IB Higher Level, and check requirements for other Joint Honours subjects
EU & International Visit our Your Country webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country
Other Qualifications
SQA A relevant HNC with grade B in the Graded Unit
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with CC at Advanced Higher
SWAP Access Relevant subjects with ABB grades to include English Literature/Language at SCQF Level 6 and Communication 4 plus Literature 1
EDEXCEL A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM
Advanced Diploma Grade B with ASL-A Level at B
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A Levels at BB
European Baccalaureate 70% overall with 7 in English

Courses starting September 2015

Advanced Entry (to Level 2)

Qualification Grade
SQA Advanced Higher AB (Advanced Higher) + BB (Higher) in different subjects
GCE A-Level ABB
IB Diploma 34 points (including 6, 6, 5 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects English/English Literature at SQA Advanced Higher, GCE A-Level or IB Higher Level, and check requirements for other Joint Honours subjects
EU & International
Other Qualifications
SQA A relevant HND with grade BB in the Graded Units
Scottish Baccalaureate Distinction with AB at Advanced Higher
SWAP Access
EDEXCEL A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDD
Advanced Diploma Grade A with ASL-A Level at B
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A Levels at AA
European Baccalaureate 75% overall with 7.5 in English

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will, in most cases, depend on your current country of residence.

The fee shown is annual, and may be subject to an increase each year.

Fee categoryFees for students starting September 2015
Scottish students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2014 entry). Fees for September 2015 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2015.
Rest of UK students £9,000 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants.
EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2014 entry). Fees for September 2015 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2015.
Overseas students (non-EU) £12,950 per year of study. See our scholarships for international applicants.

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.

The Dundee MA degrees follow the distinctive pattern of many Scottish universities by offering a broad-based education that requires you to study a number of different subjects in Levels 1 and 2 (Level 2 only for Advanced Entry Honours degrees). You do not have to finalise your choice of degree course until you are better able to appreciate both the nature of the subjects you are studying and the relationships between them. However, you must make an initial choice of course on the application form and we would expect you to provide some evidence of your enthusiasm for your chosen course and details of any relevant experience.

We use a range of learning methods at Dundee: you will be expected to respond to the information and advice provided by academic staff, especially in lectures; to prepare for and participate in tutorial discussion or to work in practical classes; to work individually or in groups on set assignments such as essays and projects; and to 'read round' the subject. Consequently, we are looking for evidence that you are capable of working systematically, of responding to the guidance of your teachers, and that you have both the ability and enthusiasm to successfully complete a degree programme.

English at Dundee gives you the opportunity to study writers and writing from a wide range of literatures in English, from across the world, and evidence of an interest in both standard English authors and also in (for example) American, European, Scottish or Post-Colonial writing would particularly help you. The same goes for indications that you have studied, or simply enjoy reading, pre-twentieth century writing, in all genres. Let us know, also, about any direct experience you may have of being involved in staging plays. We should also point out that it is a requirement for entry into the English Programme that you have attained at least a B pass in Higher English, or a C pass in A-Level English.

Film Studies

We all enjoy going to the movies, and many of us have a fairly wide acquaintance with recent films and with current film stars. In applying for the English and Film Studies course it is naturally appropriate to indicate to us that you are keen to keep up with current cinema and that you go to see films a lot. However, it would help you even more to be able to indicate a knowledge of, and interest in, film which goes beyond being up-to-date with what's on, and which suggests that you are interested in thinking about film, both in terms of its history and diversity, and in terms of the techniques and technologies involved in it. Do you read books about film? Do you read serious criticism of films? Are you as interested in films of the past as you are in films of the present day? If you can show evidence on any such points, it will help your application.

What is important to us, in your application, is the evidence provided by the grades you have attained, or are predicted to attain, in your examinations, along with whatever you and your referee can point to indicating both your special interest in any of our subject areas, and your general liveliness of mind.

Your personal statement is an opportunity to say why you should be offered a place to study in Dundee. We are looking for applicants with an ability to express opinions clearly with reasoned support and evidence, who are open to critical guidance, and who have a commitment to high standards of achievement in all they do. These qualities can be demonstrated through academic attainment, paid or voluntary work, and extra-curricular activities of all kinds.

Referees should concisely indicate your analytical abilities, communication skills, capacity for academic work, and commitment to your studies. We will be interested to hear about examples of initiative, leadership, and any evidence of organisational skills. Indicators of a positive outlook and engagement with social and cultural activities will be welcome, as will an assessment of your potential to develop in the university environment.

We will consider applications to one or more MA courses at Dundee: each application will be considered on its merits. We are looking for applicants who either have achieved, or will achieve, the published requirements in terms of Highers, Advanced Highers, A-Levels or acceptable alternative qualifications.

Please apply via UCAS

English and Creative Writing MA (QW38)

English and European Studies MA (QR38)

English and History MA (QV31)

English and Mathematics MA (GQ13)

English and Philosophy MA (QV35)

English and Politics MA (LQ23)

English and Psychology MA (CQ83)

English with French MA (Q3R1)

English with German MA (Q3R2)

English with Spanish MA (Q3R4)

Film Studies and English MA (QW36)

Film and Philosophy MA (VP53)