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M.A. in English

Masters Coursework Option | Masters Thesis Option

The M.A. degree in English will provide students with the theoretical and practical tools involved in advanced literary studies in English. Graduates of the M.A. program will be prepared for a variety of professions that value strong communication skills and a facility in writing and textual analysis—such as education, journalism, professional writing, publishing, law, consulting, or marketing—or for Ph.D. research. The M.A. will emphasize a breadth of knowledge in the form of course work, and also encourage students to produce original, publishable research. Our mission is to train students to be successful scholars, who are capable of contributing to important literary and cultural knowledge, both within our field and within the culture at-large, and of disseminating their skills and knowledge widely. MA in English offers graduate studies in English within a stimulating and flexible environment, with the opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary work. Courses in English and interdisciplinary approaches, historical periods and movements, genre, author studies, national and international literatures, and diversity facilitate a range of focuses and options as well as the potential for exciting intersections with Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies programs and courses.

The degree draws on the expertise of 19 faculty with national and international publications in every period of English literature from medieval to postmodern. Research focuses include: Medieval and Renaissance studies; 17th-century women’s writing; contemporary women’s writing; Restoration and 18th-century theatre; developments in the novel; Romanticism and the gothic; national and international literatures including American, Canadian, British, African, South Asian, New Zealand and South African; studies in the suburban culture of North America; modernity and postmodernity; diaspora studies; Indigenous writing in Canada; women’s literature; postcolonial studies; holocaust studies; life-writing; film and media studies; critical and literary theory; feminist and gender theory.

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There are two ways to fulfill the requirements for an M.A. in English: the Masters Coursework Option and the Masters Thesis Option.

Masters Coursework Option

To complete a coursework option M.A. English, students are required to take 30 credits. Twenty-one (21) credits are attained through course work:  English 501, English 502, English 503, and four additional courses normally chosen from the English 520 series.  Nine (9) credits are achieved by completing English 590, the Independent Research Paper (IRP).   On February 21 of the second semester of the program, the student will submit an IRP Proposal of 1500 words with a 3-page bibliography to the Graduate Programs and Planning Committee (GPPC). This proposal will have been developed in consultation with the supervisor.  Once approved, the student writes the IRP, a work of 7500-10,000 words.  Most students complete the coursework MA English in one year.

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Masters Thesis Option

To complete a thesis option M.A. English, students are required to take 30 credits.  Eighteen (18) credits are attained through course work: English 501, English 502, English 503, and three additional courses normally chosen from the English 520 series.  Twelve (12) credits are achieved by completing English 599, the thesis.  On February 21 of the second semester of the program, the student will submit a Thesis Proposal of 2500 words with a 4-page bibliography to the Graduate Programs and Planning Committee (GPPC).  This proposal will have been developed in consultation with the supervisor.  Once approved, the student writes a thesis of 15,000-20,000 words.  The thesis requires an oral defense administered by the College of Graduate Studies.  While it is possible but difficult to complete this program in 12 months, most students remain in the program for two years. 

Graduation Requirements English M.A. coursework and thesis (30 credits) of the following:

  • English 501, 502 and 503
  • Three of English 521, 522, 523, 524, 525
  • One additional course (coursework option students only), which may be chosen from English 521, 522, 523, 524, 525, or from other graduate programming in Critical and Creative Studies.*
  • Graduate Colloquium

Additional requirements for M.A. coursework:

English 590: Independent Research Paper (9 Credits)

Additional requirements for MA Thesis:

English 599: Thesis (12 credits)
A defense will be held within 6 weeks of submission.

NB: * Coursework students, at the discretion of their supervisor, may enroll in up to one IGS graduate course outside Creative and Critical Studies, if their research program would benefit from further interdisciplinary work.

In keeping with the mandate of the University of British Columbia Okanagan to foster interdisciplinary research, each student will be required to complete at least 3 credits in interdisciplinary study by successfully completing English 502: Cultural Theory, which is a mandatory course. However, coursework option students may broaden the interdisciplinary component of their programs, by enrolling in a further 3 credits in other graduate programs or in other courses offered by IGS (Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies).

View the Graduate Course offerings in FCCS including course descriptions. 

Last reviewed shim6/28/2016 3:35:08 PM