Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies MA
Year of entry 2023
- Start date
- September 2023
- Delivery type
- On campus
- 12 months full time
- 24 months part time
- Entry requirements
- A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in English, postcolonial literature or a related subject.
Full entry requirements
- English language requirements
- IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components
- UK fees
- £11,250 (total)
- International fees
- £22,750 (total)
Postcolonial studies is an intellectually dynamic and politically urgent field. It takes the pulse of contemporary societies and cultures in the context of an increasingly interconnected yet deeply complex world.
Our Masters degree allows you to look critically at problematic histories whose legacies remain with us: the history of slavery; the history of apartheid; the ongoing histories of colonialism itself, which cut across different languages and cultures in different parts of the world.
You’ll discover the richness and diversity of Anglophone postcolonial cultures, their social and historical contexts, and the theoretical but also practical issues they raise. An understanding of these issues will also allow you to gain an in-depth knowledge of how creative outputs like literature, film and music engage with race, place and identity across a variety of contexts – from the stereotyping of Turks and Jews in the Renaissance, to the global ‘migration crisis’ and Black Lives Matter movement of present times.
The scope and scale of our academic expertise will help you to examine postcolonial societies and cultures from a broad range of perspectives. This flexibility will give you many opportunities to pursue your personal interests, while an independent research project will enable you to explore a topic of your choice in even greater depth.
Our academic staff have specialist interests in postcolonial ecocriticism, disability studies and medical humanities, decolonial thought and anti-colonial struggle, diaspora and cosmopolitan community, states of refuge and asylum, postcolonial theory, psychoanalysis and trauma, indigenous knowledges, postcolonial film, theatre and poetry, postcolonial prize cultures and reception histories.
The University of Leeds Library is one of the best research libraries in the UK, with holdings across the entire range of postcolonial literatures/cultures and special collections in a number of areas directly relating to the postcolonial field.
Our Special Collections offer a huge range of rare books, manuscripts and art, as well as microfilm collections of American, Indian and South African newspapers, US government and presidential files, the Black Power Movement archive, the Church Missionary Society archive, and documents relating to British imperialism, foreign affairs, and overseas policy.
Take a 360 tour around our libraries:
Edward Boyle Library
Our research culture
You will also be welcome to participate in a lively and inclusive postgraduate research culture in the School and beyond, as represented in such early career scholar-oriented bodies as the cross-disciplinary Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, the Leeds University Centre of African Studies, and the Postcolonial Research Group.
These collectives and others like them hold regular workshops, conferences and other activities and events in which you'll be actively encouraged to get involved.
The Postcolonial Masters is yours to build. A wide range of option modules will allow you to shape the programme to your own personal desires and interests, and as you progress through your studies, you will apply what you’ve learned to an independent research project, expertly supervised but also entirely of your choice.
If you choose to study part-time, the same modules will usually be available, but fewer of them will be taken in each year.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.
For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies MA Full Time in the course catalogue
For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies MA Part Time in the course catalogue
Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|The Long Poem: Self, Land, Witness||30|
|Caribbean and Black British Writing||30|
|Romantic Identities: Literary Constructions of the Self, 1789-1821||30|
|Africas of the Mind||30|
|Reading (with) Psychoanalysis||30|
|Writing, Archives, Race||30|
|Postcolonialism, Animals and the Environment||30|
|Fictions of Citizenship in Contemporary American Literature||30|
|The Magic of Mimesis||30|
|Victorian New Media||30|
|Writing Identities: Criticism, Creativity, Practice||30|
|War, Mourning, Memory: 1914-1939||30|
|Culture and Anarchy: 1945-1968||30|
|Turks, Moors, and Jews: Race and Identity in English Renaissance Drama||30|
Learning and teaching
You’ll have weekly seminars in each module where you discuss the themes and issues arising from your reading, and you’ll be able to enhance your learning by attending the wide range of research seminars and talks by visiting speakers that we arrange throughout the year.
However, independent study is a vital part of the degree, as it allows you to build your skills and explore your own ideas.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
Most of our modules are assessed by a single essay of around 4,000 words, which you submit at the end of the semester in which you studied the module. You may also be expected to submit unassessed essays to gain feedback on your work, or give presentations in your seminars.
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in English, or postcolonial literature, or a degree scheme that includes a significant proportion of English Literature content, or a related subject.
Applications from those with degrees in other subjects may be considered on an individual basis, along with a sample of recently written work.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).
We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. You could study a part-time online course starting in January, or a full-time course in summer. Find out more about online pre-sessionals.
You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.
How to apply
We don’t have a final deadline for MA Applications, and we’ll consider your application right up until the start date of the programme. However, we encourage you to apply before the end of July if possible, to make arrangements such as securing funding, accommodation or visas. Module enrolment will take place online in early September, so if you apply after that point you may have a more limited choice of modules.
You’ll also need to apply for a place before applying for any scholarships, so check the deadlines for available scholarships on our website.
The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Documents and information you need
You’ll need to upload the following documents when completing the online application form:
A transcript of your completed BA degree or grades to date
A personal statement of around 500 words in response to the questions asked in the supporting statement section of the application form
If English is not your first language, you’ll need to submit proof of your English language results (eg IELTS).
We do not generally request references, unless further information is required to support the assessment of your application.
Where further information to support the assessment of your application is needed, we may ask for a recent sample of written work.
We will decide whether to offer you a place based on your application form, personal statement, transcripts, predicted or actual degree results and, where appropriate, any additional documentation requested.
The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures receives very large numbers of high-quality applications and regrets that it cannot make offers to all of its applicants. Some particularly popular schools may have to reject many that hold the necessary academic qualifications.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2023
This course is taught by
UK: £11,250 (total)
International: £22,750 (total)
For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.
Read more about paying fees and charges.
Fees for part-time courses are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.
Additional cost information
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more at Masters funding overview.
The School of English also offers a range of scholarships for taught postgraduate study. Find out more on our Scholarships page.
This programme will equip you with a wide range of high-level transferable skills which are valuable in a wide range of careers.
You’ll be a confident researcher who can work independently as well as within a team. You’ll be a strong communicator, both verbally and in writing, and be able to think critically and analytically. In addition, you’ll have a strong level of cultural and critical awareness, and you’ll be able to look at a situation from different points of view.
All of these qualities are attractive to employers across sectors, and you’ll have the skills to pursue a career in fields including teaching, journalism, publishing, advertising, broadcasting and law.
This degree also provides essential groundwork for doctoral study and a unique opportunity to develop strong PhD applications in consultation with potential supervisors.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
Student profile: Anisha Gamblin
At Masters level, you can choose essay topics and decide what academic research you will undertake which, for me, has allowed my research interests to flourish and grow in ways that I never imagined.Find out more about Anisha Gamblin's time at Leeds