- Discover how gender is portrayed in the 21st century, and compare this with literature from across the ages
- Explore implications and public discussions related to #metoo, diversity and inclusion, gendered and racial violence, representations of difference, and unequal power dynamics in culture, publishing, and literature
- Interact with professors and visiting academics in our Centre for Gender Studies, a research community in the UK that is active in feminist and inequality debate
- Discuss and debate texts with our widely published scholars – thought leaders and respected voices in literary criticism and gender studies.
- Debate contemporary social issues supported by experts who are leaders in gender and inequality research
- Prepare for a future fighting social inequality through engaging with feminist activists and literary academics in seminars and workshops
Want to deepen your understanding of gender inequalities alongside studies in English literature? Maybe you’ll develop your voice to challenge social injustices or help shape the way organisations and governments operate.
Gender, sex and bodily discrimination affects all areas of society. During this course you’ll explore these inequalities and their intersections with areas like race and disability. The expertise you develop in this degree will allow you to take a sophisticated approach to contemporary issues facing society.
You’ll also join our community at the Centre for Gender Studies. Some of the most highly respected names in feminist literature have been involved with this Centre including Sara Ahmed, Beverley Skeggs, Maureen McNeil, and Imogen Tyler.
Examine issues of gender and inequality in literature
Alongside gender studies, you’ll also explore both modern and historical literature, examining voices in inequality across the ages. Our department has a particular strength in modern literature, and we’ll encourage an understanding of current changes in how gender is portrayed in literature. However, the course is wide-ranging and, from post-colonial women’s writing, to the works of the Romantics, you’ll analyse a range of literary forms such as poetry, novels, essays, autobiography and travelogues.
By the time you finish this course you will have significantly expanded your understanding of literary art forms. Your expertise in gender studies will enable you to broaden your understanding and help shape change in both the private and public sectors.
This course will equip you for a range of exciting and impactful roles in areas such as journalism, publishing, marketing, social care, and politics.
Our graduates have gone on to work in organisations such as the BBC and UNICEF, as well as to positions such as:
- CEO of a women's organisation
- Youth engagement worker
- Innovation manager for a third sector organisation
- Production editor for a publishing company
- Social policy officer
- Domestic abuse team leader
You may choose to continue your studies at PhD level to deepen your knowledge and continue into an academic career. Graduates of this course may also choose to pursue their own writing career.
2:1 Hons degree (UK or equivalent) in Sociology, Gender Studies, English or a related field
We may also consider non-standard applicants, please contact us for information.
If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.
English Language Requirements
We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.
We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 7.0, and a minimum of 6.0 in each element of the test. We also consider other English language qualifications.
If your score is below our requirements, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language programmes.
Contact: Admissions Team +44 (0) 1524 592032 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.
Debates in Gender Research
This module introduces you to the practicalities and philosophies of doing interdisciplinary research in gender and women’s studies. You will learn to interpret, understand and explore the consequences of particular research methods. You will also be encouraged to critically consider the relationship between theories and methods in research. The module also provides scope for reflecting on the politics of knowledge, the ethics of research, and the relationship between disciplines and interdisciplinary fields such as gender and women’s studies. You will learn how some key conceptual frameworks within feminism (for example, sex and gender, body politics, sexual difference, queer theory) have been constructed over time through both research practices and theoretical arguments. This module will be useful as preparation for your own research later in the programme and particularly for your Master's dissertation.
Gender, Sex and Bodies
How are gender, sex and bodies understood in contemporary sociology and feminist theory? How do feminist theorists and social scientists address questions of difference, representation and performativity in their research? In this module, we engage with the work of particular theorists (enabling you to acquire skills in close reading and critical discussion), critically evaluate relevant empirical findings, and explore current issues of importance to sociology and feminism. Topics include medicalization and health, race and racism, sex and sexuality, bodily autonomy, and reproductive choice. The essays you write then give you scope to follow your own interests in more depth by using the reading lists provided and undertaking independent research.
Capitalism and Crisis
In this module we consider a major theme in classical and contemporary sociology – capitalism and its crisis tendencies. Topics for debate will include: ? The history of capitalist development ? The nature of capitalism: its phases, varieties, and global articulation ? The nature of the contemporary crisis in capitalism, its periodisation and temporalities, differences in its dynamics across so-called varieties of capitalism, and its broader economic, political, and socio-cultural repercussions ? The question of whether capitalism is governable ? The relationship between racism, gender and capitalism ? Crisis management, and crises of crisis management
This module engages with a socio-cultural analysis of what has been called a ‘consumer society’, a society with increasing emphasis on marketisation, commercialisation and commodification. The module approaches a variety of topics that consumer society has intensified - such as promotional culture, advertising and branding - and students will have the opportunity to work with a range of conceptual resources to produce understandings of these issues and their impact on society. This module, therefore, offers you key resources with which to understand contemporary society and social change in a way which complements their other core and optional modules.
Contemporary Gothic: Text and Screen
This module addresses the ways that contemporary literature, film and television engage with the Gothic literary tradition. Focusing specifically on texts produced since 2000, it explores the continuing relevance of Gothic in contemporary culture. The module aims to demonstrate the diversity and increasing hybridity of contemporary Gothic and with this in mind, enquires what happens when Gothic cross-fertilises a range of other modes and genres including musical, soap opera, noir, documentary, comedy, science fiction and the historical novel. Indicative themes include: how traditional Gothic personae from vampires and ghosts to guilty fathers and disturbed children may find new life in the twenty-first century; how traditional Gothic spaces from the haunted house to the fairground may be refigured in postmodern British and American culture; what critics mean when they talk about Gothic and the ways in which the term is put to work in both popular media and in academic criticism.
Each seminar will be based around two parallel strands, covering literature and television/film from 2000 to the present day. Typically, screenings of the relevant films/programmes will be timetabled during the week preceding the seminar. You may find it useful to have some prior knowledge of Gothic literature and/or film, but this is not essential.
Critical Debates in Media and Cultural Studies
This module introduces approaches to critical analysis of key forms of contemporary media and culture such as commodities, celebrities, platforms and different media forms and environments.
We will read and discuss recent and formative writings in cultural and media studies, allowing you to develop an understanding of key concepts such as subjectivity, platform, materiality, commodity, difference, value and power, and how they help us make sense of contemporary social life. You will also engage with analytical work on specific media platforms, products and practices, ranging from photographs and search engines to newspapers and reality TV.
Topics we may explore include:
concepts of culture in relation to images, commodities and brands
popular culture, audiences and media practices associated with celebrity
contemporary digital media cultures, and their circulation and consumption
embodiment, differences, politics and identities amidst media change
Critical Methods in Media and Cultural Studies
This module is designed to introduce you to contemporary methodological issues, key approaches, practical techniques, and case examples relating to the study of media and culture.
Many different methods are used in media and cultural studies, and that variety is reflected in this module. To explore research practice in this discipline, we look at textual and discourse analysis, visual analysis, ethnography and participatory approaches, but place a strong emphasis on engaging with issues of identity, differences, power and experience in the hyper-complex media and cultural environments that we live in.
To give you a taste of particular research methods and approaches, we draw on recent examples of media and cultural research done here at Lancaster, and encourage you to explore their theoretical and practical implications.
We aim to have a number of invited guest speakers on this module, and you will have the opportunity to discuss and critically evaluate different methodological approaches and learn how to draw on these approaches as a starting point for your own research. It is our aim that you acquire a good understanding of the key elements in planning and carrying out independent research projects.
The module is led by the Politics, Philosophy and Religion department with input from colleagues in Computing Science, Sociology and Criminology. We aim to foster interdisciplinary teaching and learning across social sciences and computing sciences. PPR491 Cybercrime is a core module on the MSc Cybersecurity degree and an optional module for PPR students MA students as well as those in Sociology and Law, so has been designed with you all in mind.
The module is block-taught across an intense two-week period, through lectures and seminar activities in Summer Term. There will be an hour for lunch each day, and several comfort breaks. Each lecture examines a specific issue relating to ‘cybercrime’. In week 23 you will present the final findings from your group task to the whole class.
In the group task you will learn how to use evidence-based methods to explore a cybercrime topic. We will show you how to do this on day 1. Sessions/topics are delivered by experts in their field, and there will be plenty of time for questions and debate.
Emotional Geographies in Early Modern Literature
This module uses contemporary theoretical models to explore the relationship between emotions and place in examples of early modern English literature. It begins by looking at the ways space is mapped in written and pictorial records, with an introduction to items in the Rare Book Archive in the Library and the electronic archive Early English Books Online. Site specific studies of texts (e.g. in Lancaster Castle and Penshurst Place) combine with study of fantasy sites like More’s Utopia (no-place) and early science fiction and travel writing. The course can be taken as part of the early modern pathway or as a stand alone module for those interested in developing transhistorical understandings of politics and place.
Environment and Culture
Current debates over issues such as plastic and food waste, fracking, loss of biodiversity or climate justice – and the protest movements and campaigns that have arisen in response – provide tangible evidence that the relationship between society and the environment is a difficult and often controversial one. This module examines the role that sociology and social theory can play in helping us to understand that relationship better and explores the range of approaches that have been developed in environmental sociology. Studying the environment sociologically opens up a host of interconnected social, cultural and political issues. Whose knowledge counts? How can we handle unquantifiable risk? What role should technology play? And what about democracy, freedom, diversity and justice? Using lectures and seminar discussion, the module will lead you through the resources of sociology and social theory to enable you to think through these questions in relation to some of the most urgent environmental issues facing societies today.
Feminist Technoscience Studies
This module runs as an intensive workshop usually in the summer term... It offers an advanced introduction to feminist technoscience studies, focusing on theoretical and empirical developments, as well as key debates. It will ask what counts as ‘science’ and ‘technology’, how are they imagined and practised, and how scientific and technological knowledges are produced, circulated, and deployed.
Theoretical debates will be introduced and investigated through a specific empirical topic, chosen each year to reflect the particular expertise of tutors, for example, feminism encounters biotechnology; feminism and the non-human; bodies, cyborgs and prostheses; genomics, kinship and kinds; virtual and effective technologies.
This module is concerned with a range of wonderful texts from c.1919 to c.1980 that together suggest a line of broadly modernistic writing that has a fascination both with the city (primarily Paris, but also Berlin, Oxford, London, Zurich, and even that city of death which is the death camp) and with the mixing of genres - in particular, such genres as critical essay, philosophical treatise, poetry, comic dialogue, fragment, novel, anecdote, manifesto, autobiography, history, textual commentary, and travelogue. Featured authors currently include Walter Benjamin, Virginia Woolf, Hope Mirrlees, Mina Loy, Samuel Beckett, Paul Celan, and Jacques Derrida. Special attention will be paid to texts that blur the genre-boundary that, traditionally, separates critical writing from creative writing, and students will be invited, if they wish, to submit such texts themselves.
Making Research Count: Engaging with Quantitative Data
This module aims to develop students’ understanding of the ways in which social phenomena are conceptualised, defined and measured. The module will be a mix of lectures, seminars, and computer-based labs where students will get to play with real data. You will access data, explore data sets, generate and modify variables, frequency counts, cross tabulation, produce tables, bar charts and scattergrams, and test relationships between variables.
Mobilities, Society & Change
‘Reality is movement’ Henri Bergson observes in Creative Evolution (1911). This module explores how the im|mobilities of people, goods, money, information, resources, policies shape the individual and collective, human and more-than-human, local, global, planetary and interplanetary realities we experience.
Mobility capital, mobility justice, mobility transformations are some of the key concepts we will explore. The module provides opportunities for you to experiment with mobile methods and how they shape the study of physical, imaginative and communicative mobilities of, for example, migration, tourism, work, and love. Decarbonising transport, the need for a digital ethics to govern the im|mobilities of data, and the multiple refugee crises across the world are examples of the global challenges that we will address. We will also consider issues of creative inspiration for activism and ‘affirmative critique’.
This module will explore literary modernism as a multiple, or plural movement that, in truly modernist spirit, refuses any single definition of itself, just as one might expect of a movement that really is a movement, something that moves, and still moves and thus exceeds even itself, in particular the periodised, rationalised and generically limited version of itself, as institutionalised by the academy. The module will, then, explore a host of ‘other’ modernisms that might include: manifesto modernism, political modernism, trench-war modernism, surrealist modernism, philosophical modernism, Holocaust modernism, theatrical modernism, comic modernism, and even a modernism-for-now that incorporates a literary-critical modernism -- a modernism within literary criticism that might yet challenge the realist and, as it were, ‘Victorian’ conventions of conventional academic scholarship. You may, if you wish, submit just such experimental or, critical-creative work instead of a conventional essay for the module assignment.
Nineteenth Century Literature: Place - Space - Text
This module offers an introduction to understanding and exploring ideas of space, movement and identity in relation to major writers and texts across the nineteenth century with a particular interest in reading and mapping. What can and cannot be mapped? What resists or exceeds acts of mapping? We will read key writers of place alongside a range of relevant spatial and philosophical texts and extracts for each of the thematic themes that are addressed across the module. As the title suggests the course is particularly interested in the challenges involved in moving across and between direct physical and embodied experiences and the representation of place in different literary forms.
The module focuses on three themes: walking and writing; mapping literary place and space; and interior and exterior spaces. We will use these themes to think about how place and space are constructed through movement, action and reaction, as well as to consider how the visual representation of place through literary maps bears upon verbal description within a text.
Postcolonial Women's Writing
This module – distinctive in its focus on the wider Middle East – explores twentieth and twenty-first century narrative texts by women writers, examining creative literary engagements with (post)colonial histories, societies and politics. Novels and memoirs are read alongside theory drawn from disciplines that might include literary criticism, history, geography, sociology and anthropology. The texts represent a range of responses to colonialism, national identity, patriarchy, Islam, migration and transnationalism. Indicative themes are: revolution; the female body in private and public space; violence; education; modes of resistance; memory; testimony; and the politics of representation.
Theories of practice are widely discussed in contemporary social theory and introduce new possibilities for overcoming classic distinctions (individual: social, agency: structure, mind: body) in dualistic thinking in sociology. Developed and applied in many disciplines, practice theories provides critical insights into current global issues including environmental sustainability and health. Normally taught in a week-long intensive format, this module is delivered by the Practice Theory group at Lancaster and is open to visiting, international MA and PhD students. It normally blends lectures and short provocative talks with in-class exercises and student reading and writing groups to introduce you to a new take on important sociological topics such as power, time, materiality, social reproduction and variation, and method. The aim of the course is to give you opportunities to undertake theoretical and conceptual training in theories of social practice and develop an understanding of the ramifications of adopting a practice theory approach that might be applied to future investigations across a range of substantive areas from management to education, sustainability and energy to health.
How are bodies configured in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century texts and how do we read them from a twenty-first century perspective? What cultural weight do bodies bear when represented as gendered; as icons of nationhood or mortality; as objects of desire - sometimes of violent desire - in literary texts? Is social identity inevitably shaped by corporeality or do the processes of bodily exposure and concealment offer ways of self-fashioning? This module addresses such questions by examining the ways in which embodied identities are contingently constructed in a period of religious and political and change.
Research Projects in Practice: From Design to Dissemination
This module provides first-hand experience of organising and undertaking a group research project on a subject of your own choosing. You will work through processes of research design and strategy, developing research questions, planning and carrying out fieldwork and analysis, and presenting and evaluating research. Working together in small groups, you will produce a research proposal, a journal article based on your project, and an oral presentation of your work. You are also encouraged to keep a research diary of the process. This will provide the basis for an individual reflective essay to be submitted after the module has finished. Although the module is essentially practical, it also provides an opportunity to learn about generic issues involved in doing social research and about the contemporary context of research policy and funding.
This module explores key theoretical, methodological, and ethical issues in researching migration, migrants’ experience, and the effect of migration on origin and receiving societies. Through the use of case studies, you will have the opportunity to examine, in-depth, several topics in contemporary migration research, and related methodological and ethical considerations. Topics covered may include: are we living in an 'age of migration'?; how do we define 'migrant' and why does it matter?; borders; citizenship; migration as a reproductive justice issue; ethical considerations when researching migration; the use of qualitative and quantitative methods in researching migration; and more.
Romance and Realism
'This module explores the evolution of prose fiction from the late Romantic era through the first two decades of Victoria’s reign. A defining focus of the course will be on the ways in which the Victorian novel negotiates with Romantic legacies: the primacy of self, the necessity of intellectual and personal liberty and an ambivalence towards the past are crucial to the development of the form. The historical frame of the course allows us to move from James Hogg’s Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824) to George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda (1876) and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891). We will consider the shaping presence of other genres in the development of nineteenth-century fiction, including spiritual autobiography, the Gothic and the long poem.
Historical contexts will also be emphasised with particular reference to the religious and political debates of the period. We will explore the emergence of the novelist as a major cultural figure and interrogate the ways in which the writers under review both internalise and contest the ethical, spiritual and economic forces of their historical moment.'
The Byron-Shelley Circle
This module examines the work of three of the great writers of the Romantic period, the poets Lord Byron and Percy Shelley, and the novelist, Mary Shelley. Famously, these three writers lived and worked together during the summer of 1816, an episode that produced two of the dominant myths of modern literature -- Frankenstein (in Mary Shelley's novel) and the Vampire (in a story based on Byron by another member of the group, John Polidori) - both of which we will examine. Throughout their careers these writers were engaged in a creative and critical conversation with each other that addressed major themes including: conceptions of the heroic; the possibilities of political change; literary, scientific, and biological creation; the East; transgressive love; gender roles; and the Gothic. The module will provide an opportunity to study in detail these writers' works and to consider them within their historical, cultural and intellectual contexts.
The Philosophies of Social Research
This short course is an introduction to philosophical issues arising from and involved in methods and techniques of social research. The course will be taught in a traditional manner of lectures and related seminars with associated reading. Since it is intended to serve as an introduction to philosophical issues in social research, the course will concentrate on setting out and discussing the major lineaments of the philosophical bases and justifications of quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Of necessity some selection will have to take place but this will be guided very much by anticipations of the research methods to be discussed in following and related modules. The relatively short period of the course requires teaching methods which can cover a great deal of ground fairly quickly yet effectively; hence, the combination of lecture and seminar, and individual presentations. The module uses the classes for FASS507 (Introduction to the Philosophy of Social Science).
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research. Not all optional modules are available every year.
Fees and Funding
We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2024/25 entry fees have not yet been set.
There may be extra costs related to your course for items such as books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation, you may need to pay a subscription to a professional body for some chosen careers.
Specific additional costs for studying at Lancaster are listed below.
Lancaster is proud to be one of only a handful of UK universities to have a collegiate system. Every student belongs to a college, and all students pay a small College Membership Fee which supports the running of college events and activities.
For students starting in 2023, the fee is £40 for undergraduates and research students and £15 for students on one-year courses. Fees for students starting in 2024 have not yet been set.
Computer equipment and internet access
To support your studies, you will also require access to a computer, along with reliable internet access. You will be able to access a range of software and services from a Windows, Mac, Chromebook or Linux device. For certain degree programmes, you may need a specific device, or we may provide you with a laptop and appropriate software - details of which will be available on relevant programme pages. A dedicated IT support helpdesk is available in the event of any problems.
The University provides limited financial support to assist students who do not have the required IT equipment or broadband support in place.
Application fees and tuition fee deposits
For most taught postgraduate applications there is a non-refundable application fee of £40. We cannot consider applications until this fee has been paid, as advised on our online secure payment system. There is no application fee for postgraduate research applications.
For some of our courses you will need to pay a deposit to accept your offer and secure your place. We will let you know in your offer letter if a deposit is required and you will be given a deadline date when this is due to be paid.
Fees in subsequent years
If you are studying on a programme of more than one year’s duration, the tuition fees for subsequent years of your programme are likely to increase each year. Read more about fees in subsequent years.
Scholarships and Bursaries
Details of our scholarships and bursaries for 2024-entry study are not yet available, but you can use our opportunities for 2023-entry applicants as guidance.
Check our current list of scholarships and bursaries.
English Literature and Creative Writing
- Creative Writing PhD
- Creative Writing (Distance Learning) MA
- Creative Writing (modular) MA
- Creative Writing with English Literary Studies MA
- English Literary Research MA
- English Literary Studies MA
- English Literary Studies with Creative Writing MA
- English Literature PhD
- English Literature and Creative Writing PhD
The information on this site relates primarily to 2023/2024 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.
The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.
More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.
Our Students’ Charter
We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.