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MA ( 1 year Full-time / 2 years Part-time )


Our new MA in Poetry provides the unique opportunity to study historical and contemporary poetic practices while studying in London, the heart of the nation’s creative industries. The programme offers a distinctive mix of specialised attention to the genre of poetry, the chance to develop your own poetic practice, and arranged work placements within the cultural and creative sector.

Drawing on the resources and expertise of Queen Mary’s Centre for Poetry, the programme is flexible and genuinely interdisciplinary. You will be able to pursue your own analytical and creative projects, driven by the work you’ll do on an extensive list of optional modules from Schools across the College. Modules allow you to pursue topics as diverse as modernist poetry; sociolinguistics; or art and the geography of the city. The programme’s flexibility prepares you for doctoral study, allows you to gain insights and contacts in the cultural sector, and deepens your own poetic practice.

On this pathway you will:

  • Explore historic and contemporary theoretical and critical approaches to the study of poetry
  • Pursue interdisciplinary approaches to poetry through choosing from a selection of modules offered in English, Languages, Linguistics, Film, Geography, and History.
  • Undertake a placement with a literary or cultural organisation, a publisher, an educational institution, or a community group
  • Work alongside leading academics and contemporary poets
  • Develop advanced skills in argumentation, analysis, and independent inquiry.


You will take three compulsory modules: one assessed module and two unassessed research training modules. You will take 90 credits’ worth of optional modules, and also complete a 15,000 word dissertation.

The compulsory assessed module, ‘Introduction to Poetics’, will introduce major theories of poetry and poetics through close readings of a selection of significant historic and contemporary poets.

One compulsory unassessed training module, ‘Resources for Research’, provides instruction and guidance in scholarly methods and in professional development. A second compulsory unassessed module, ‘Poetry at Work’, requires you to undertake a two week (full-time) or four week (part time) placement in an arts, cultural, educational, or community organisation, or a publisher, magazine, literary agency, or other related business.

You will also select from a wide range of modules offered in English, Drama, Comparative Literature, Linguistics, History, and Geography. Modules on offer will either include the study of some poetry, or the opportunity to develop professional skills or theoretical knowledge which could be used in a career related to the practice, promotion, publication, or performance of poetry.

In addition, you will complete a 15,000 word dissertation (either a single critical essay, or a combination of your own poetry accompanied by a critical commentary).


Confirmed details of timetabling will appear in 2016. The following are provisional details.

Full-time students take ‘Introduction to Poetics’ and ‘Resources for Research’ in your first semester and ‘Poetry at Work’ during your second semester. You then select your optional modules in Semesters 1 and 2, and complete your dissertation over the summer.

Part-time students take ‘Introduction to Poetics’ and ‘Resources for Research’ in your first semester, and ‘Poetry at Work’ in the second semester of either your first or second year. You can select optional modules in the second semester of your first year, and the first two semesters of your second year. You are encouraged to begin work on your dissertation at the end of the first year, and will submit it in August of your second year.

Timetables are likely to be finalised in September but you may be able to get an idea of the teaching hours if you contact the course convenor.

Compulsory modules

  • Introduction to Poetics
  • Resources for Research (non-assessed)
  • Poetry at Work (non-assessed)

Optional modules

You may choose 90 credits’ worth of optional modules. We are developing exciting new modules for the programme launching in 2016, but existing modules that might be on offer include:

From the School of English and Drama:

  • Romantic Manifestos
  • Selfhood and Enlightenment in the Long Eighteenth Century
  • Sociability: Literature and the City, 1660-1780
  • Aestheticism and Fin-de-Siecle Literature
  • Forms of Modernism
  • African Literary and Textual Cultures
  • Postcolonialism, Language, and Identity
  • Modernism and Ireland
  • Imagining the Modern Caribbean
  • Writing the East End
  • Cultural Legacies of the First World War
  • Narrative, Poetry, and Storytelling in the 21st Century
  • Peripheral Modernities
  • Writing and the Present
  • Being an Author, 1450-1550
  • The Spatial Turn: History, Literature, and Geography

From the School of Languages, Linguistics, and Film:

  • Documentary Film - Theory and Practice
  • Thinking Translation
  • Exilic Writing and the Making of World Literature
  • From the Sublime to the Trauma: Representing the Unrepresentable

From the School of History:

  • Cultural History: Europe and America

From the School of Geography:

  • Cultural Geographies in Practice
  • Art, Performance and The City
  • Empire, Race and Immigration
  • The Theory and History of Community Organising

For more information:

Visit the English and Drama website.


School of English and Drama
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8571

For informal enquiries and academic advice, please contact:
Professor Andrea Brady, MA Programme Convenor

Entry requirements

Most applicants will have an undergraduate degree with a first or good upper second class honours (or equivalent) in a Humanities discipline (for example Drama, English, History, or Philosophy). Where a North American marking scheme is used, applicants should have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.5.

Promising applicants who do not meet the formal academic criteria but who possess relevant credentials and who can demonstrate their ability to produce written work at masters level will also be considered. Applicants may be invited to interview or asked to submit examples of written and/or creative work. We welcome applications from mature and non-traditional students.

Learning and teaching

As a student at Queen Mary, you will play an active part in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. Teaching is primarily by small group seminars complemented, where relevant, with visits to museums, galleries, and archives in London. The seminars are designed to generate informed discussion around set topics, and will involve you discussing with your peers your reflections on a range of primary and secondary materials.

Independent Study

For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete further hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on, formal study sessions; reading; researching; producing written work; and completing projects.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding, and critical ability.

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.


Assessed modules will include different types of assessment, including written essays of 4,000 words, practical projects, and performances. You will be able to formulate your own projects in consultation with module convenors. These projects are worth 67 percent of your overall grade. You will also complete a 15,000 word dissertation (either a single critical essay, or a combination of your own poetry accompanied by a critical commentary), which is worth 33 percent of your overall grade.


Tuition fees

Fees are charged at a Home/EU rate for UK and EU nationals, and an overseas rate for International students - find out more about how your tuition fee status is assessed.


There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.

These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.

Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships

We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.

Find out more about QMUL bursaries and scholarships.

Alternative sources of funding

Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.

Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country on our country web pages.

Download our Postgraduate Funding Guide [PDF] for detailed information about postgraduate funding options for Home/EU students.

Read more about alternative sources of funding for Home/EU students and for Overseas students.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5079

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8717

Graduate Employment

Queen Mary produces independent researchers who can pursue careers in academia, the cultural sector, and a range of other professions.

Research training

The MA in Poetry includes compulsory research training elements. These will partly serve to give you an advanced understanding of the contemporary context within which poetry is composed, performed, and published. They will also equip you with the research and communication skills necessary to go on to pursue PhD study.

Professional development

Pursuing postgraduate study in Poetry will make you an excellent researcher and investigator. Many of our graduates use these skills to pursue careers in academia. Others find these skills useful for a range of complementary professions, including archivist, librarian, researcher, and journalist. Studying Poetry with us will also give you a range of higher-level skills in research, analysis, and communication that prepare you to pursue a wide range of careers.


Throughout your studies, you will have opportunities to establish formal and informal relationships with a diverse array of publishers, performers, libraries, archives, bookshops, community groups, and disparate other institutions.



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