Master of English Studies
The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.
For secondary school english teachers wanting to undertake this program as part of their professional learning (fully accredited by the NSW Institute of Teachers) click on the following link: Postgraduate Study for Teachers of Secondary English
This course brings together contemporary critical theory with literary narratives to investigate how and why literature continues to enjoy particular resonance in a twenty-first-century environment. It focuses on four core critical approaches—critical reading, literary history, genre, and literary comparison (including the question of English as a world literature). Building upon the department’s established reputation in literary studies across a wide historical and geographical range, our scholarly experts teach in a broad spectrum of fields: medieval, early modern, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century, modern and contemporary, American and Australian literatures, as well as various aspects of cultural theory.
We offer more extensive choice than any other English department in Australia. This allows those returning to study for pedagogical or other professional purposes to update their skills in any given area of English studies. According to the 2013 QS world rankings, the Department of English at the University of Sydney is rated the best in Australia, the best in the entire Asia-Pacific region, and the twelfth best in the world.
Part of this program’s aim is to consider ways in which the study of literature in English works in a specifically Australian cultural context. In this sense, the program is aligned with the contemporary repositioning of Australia in relation to “the Asian century” and to global culture more generally. Building on Australia’s long-established international reputation in Cultural Studies, this program seeks to expand consideration of literary as well as cultural narratives across a broad transnational framework. It provides an excellent foundation for research students, both from Australia and overseas, who wish to reconsider literature in English within a dynamically expanding global field.
Synergies with the Master of Creative Writing also allows students to explore various forms of contemporary writing practice and to engage with a lively series of visiting speakers from the active community of writers in Sydney and abroad. Students in the Master of English Studies can, if they choose, take creative writing units of study in contemporary poetry, fiction and screenwriting.
Please note: The units of study listed below are subject to change and are to be used as a guide only.
Core units of study
ENGL6100 Approaches to Literary History
ENGL6101 Approaches to Genre
ENGL6102 Approaches to Critical Reading
ENGL6103 Approaches to Global English Literatures
Elective units of study
ENGL6040 Introduction to Old English
ENGL6041 Old English Texts
ENGL6105 Poetry of Meditation
ENGL6106 Idea of the South
ENGL6107 Sentiment and Sensation
ENGL6108 Modern Australian Poetry and Poetics
ENGL6110 18th Century Novel
ENGL6111 History Writing in English 1500-1900
ENGL6113 American Romance
ENGL6114 Language and Subject
ENGL6115 Reading Suburbia
ENGL6116 Life and Literature in the age of Chaucer
ENGL6936 Writers at Work: Fiction
ENGL6937 Major Movements in Contemporary Prose
ENGL6938 Literature and Desire
ENGL6944 Writers at Work: Poetry
ENGL6945 Major Movements in Contemporary Poetry
ENGL6960 The Cold War
ENGL6969 Writers at Work: Screen
ENGL6970 Australian Magazine and Print Culture
ENGL6991 Australian Literature and the Canonical Imaginary
ICLS6901 Literary Comparison: History and Methods
ICLS6902 Comparative Studies and Literary Debates
Capstone units of study
Master of English Studies students must complete either ENGL6935 or (ENGL6929 and ENGL6930). Students completing the Dissertation can count ENGL6929 towards their elective.
ENGL6929 Dissertation Part 1
ENGL6930 Dissertation Part 2
ENGL6935 Research Essay
Exchange units of study
ENGL6940 English Exchange 1
ENGL6941 English Exchange 2
ENGL6942 English Exchange 3
ENGL6943 English Exchange 4
Units of study
For full information on Units of Study available in this course, please visit the Sydney Courses website
Full units of study list
- ENGL6040 - Introduction to Old English
- ENGL6041 - Old English Texts
- ENGL6100 - Approaches to Literary History
- ENGL6101 - Approaches to Genre
- ENGL6102 - Approaches to Critical Reading
- ENGL6103 - Approaches to Global English Literatures
- ENGL6105 - Poetry of Meditation
- ENGL6106 - The Idea of the South
- ENGL6107 - Sentiment and Sensation
- ENGL6110 - The 18th Century Novel: Theory & Example
- ENGL6113 - American Romance
- ENGL6114 - Language and Subject
- ENGL6115 - Reading Suburbia
- ENGL6116 - Life & Literature in the Age of Chaucer
- ENGL6929 - Dissertation Part 1
- ENGL6930 - Dissertation Part 2
- ENGL6935 - Research Essay
- ENGL6936 - Writers at Work: Fiction
- ENGL6937 - Major Movements in Contemporary Prose
- ENGL6940 - English Exchange 1
- ENGL6941 - English Exchange 2
- ENGL6942 - English Exchange 3
- ENGL6943 - English Exchange 4
- ENGL6944 - Writers at Work: Poetry
- ENGL6945 - Major Movements in Contemporary Poetry
- ENGL6960 - The Cold War
- ENGL6969 - Writers at Work: Screenwriters
- ENGL6970 - Magazines and Australian Print Culture
- ENGL6991 - Aust Lit and the Canonical Imaginary
- GCST6905 - Gender in Cultural Theory
Further course information
Candidates for the Master of English Studies are required to complete 72 credit points including: (a) a minimum of 24 credit points of core units of study; and (b) a maximum of 42 credit points from elective units of study (c) at least 6 credit points of capstone units of study.
Course outcomes and further study
The Master of English Studies offers graduates opportunities to pursue or advance careers in any vocation or area that demands intellectual flexibility and versatility, critical thinking and the ability to communicate such as teaching, the media, public and community service, and academia.
Employers value our graduates because our program is designed to promote qualities of personal and intellectual autonomy, skills in research and inquiry, and a capacity for both information literacy and effective communication. Some students pursue Masters degrees as a prelude to further advanced doctoral study, often with a view to an academic career; others, particularly school teachers, see it as an opportunity to upgrade existing skills for purposes of professional enhancement; still others are motivated primarily by a particular interest in the subject.
Admission to candidature for the Master of English Studies requires:
(a) a bachelor's degree with a major in English Literature and a minimum credit (65%) average calculated over the whole degree, from the University of Sydney, or an equivalent qualification; or
(b) completion of the requirements for the embedded Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in English Studies with a minimum credit (65%) average, or an equivalent qualification.
If you commence your course after 1 January 2014, the indicative fee is $19,500 for domestic students or $28,800 for International students per year of full-time study of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL).
How to apply
How to apply
Australian citizens, permanent residents, New Zealand citizens, and holders of a permanent humanitarian visa, apply through the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - click on the 'Apply now' icon on this page to proceed with your application.
How to apply
Overseas applicants may apply:
(i) directly to the University, via the International Office. For information about closing dates and application procedures, visit the International Office website; or
(ii) through a University overseas representative (education agent).
Indicative postgraduate student contribution amount
This student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2014 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol. If you are a Commonwealth supported student and was enrolled in a University course before 1 January 2013 your student contribution may differ.
Annual review for postgraduate student contribution amount
Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.
Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee
This 2014, tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student represents the fee that is payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2013 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.
Annual review for postgraduate domestic tuition fee
Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.
Additional incidental fees
For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.
Potential for inaccuracy
Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information in this prospectus, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.
The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Faculty Handbook and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents
Please note that if you are classified by the University as a Research Training Scheme student in accordance with the Other Grants Guidelines (Research) 2010, you will be exempt from the payment of any SCA or tuition fees for courses undertaken as part of a Research Masters degree and Research Doctoral degree. More information about your eligibility for this Scheme is available here.
International tuition fees for postgraduate students
This 2014, tuition fee for international postgraduate students represents the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2014, for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.
Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.
Additional incidental fees and health insurance
For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the tuition fees. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. The University's Future Students' webpage has further information about these additional incidental fees for postgraduate coursework students and postgraduate research students.
In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.
Potential for inaccuracy
Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.