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

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 12th best in the world.

The Master of English Studies brings together contemporary critical theory with literary narratives to investigate how and why literature continues to enjoy particular resonance in a 21st-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, 18th and 19th-century, modern and contemporary, American and Australian literatures, as well as various aspects of cultural theory.

We offer a 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.

Part of the 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 Master of English 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 allow you 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.

Course outline


For an up-to-date list of units of study for this degree, please refer to the online postgraduate handbook.





Study plan



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.


Embedded courses

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

The Master of English Studies offers you the opportunity to pursue or advance your career in any profession 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 English graduates because the program is designed to promote qualities of personal and intellectual autonomy, skills in research and enquiry, and a capacity for both information literacy and effective communication. Some students pursue this degree 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. Other students are motivated primarily by a particular interest in this subject.

Admission

Admission requirements

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 percent) 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 percent) average, or an equivalent qualification.

How to apply

Domestic students

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. 

To be considered for a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), a completed application must be received by the 30th November for semester 1, 2015 and 30 May 2015 for semester 2, 2015. Please refer to the following link for application details: sydney.edu.au/arts/future_students/scholarships.shtml

International students

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).

Fee disclaimer

Domestic students

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 2015, 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 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.

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 students

International tuition fees for postgraduate students

This 2015, tuition fee for international postgraduate students represents the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2015, 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

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.