Our Courses

The Centre for Contemporary Literature is closely connected with six postgraduate taught Master's courses run by the Department of English, Theatre & Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London.



MA Contemporary Literature and Culture: 

This programme provides an introduction to the contemporary period via an overview of some of the historical transformations of literature and cultural thought from 1945, as well as providing a much more recent, post-2000 framework within which to understand contemporary literature and culture. This enables you to view the contemporary moment through a historical lens or to focus more exclusively on very recent cultural production.

See our MA Contemporary Literature and Culture prospectus


MA Cultural and Critical Studies:

Our MA Cultural and Critical Studies explores critical and cultural debates across disciplines in the arts and humanities, offering you the chance to examine work in a diversity of media, including print culture, painting, film, new media and popular culture. It combines a thorough exposure to contemporary critical methods and debates with a diverse range of advanced study options.

See our MA Cultural and Critical Studies prospectus


MA Modern and Contemporary Literature:

Our MA Modern and Contemporary Literature begins with an investigation of literary and theoretical conceptions of modernity in early twentieth-century literature, focusing on topics such as urbanisation, technology, mass culture, individualism and subjectivity. You will also have the chance to analyse the historical transformations of literature and cultural thought from 1945, using the contexts of post-war reconstruction, decolonisation, the fate of avant-garde art, and theories of postmodernity and globalisation.

This exciting programme has been running successfully for over 30 years, with staff committed to constantly changing and updating the course to reflect changes in literary culture.

See our MA Modern and Contemporary Literature prospectus


MA in Creative and Critical Writing

The MA in Creative and Critical Writing offers blended learning in the interconnected fields of creative writing and critical theory. Modules exploring critical debates on contemporary literature, media and popular culture give you the opportunity to develop your critical skills, while modules and workshops in creative writing enable you to develop and hone your creative writing skills (whether in fiction or non-fiction). In addition, modules that blend the two – putting the creative and the critical in dialogue – allow you to explore and try out hybrid forms.

See our MA Creative and Critical Writing prospectus


MA Creative Writing

The MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck is taught by one of the most diverse and vibrant departments in London. For 16 years we have been enabling dynamic groups of students to improve their creative work and develop as writers. We have a growing list of published and prizewinning authors whose work started life in our seminars.

If you have been writing creatively for a while and feel the need for professional support and feedback and the guidance of published authors and a cohort of like-minded people, then this course is for you.

See our MA Creative Writing prospectus


MFA Creative Writing

Our MFA (Master of Fine Art) in Creative Writing offers you the opportunity to write a full-length work of fiction or non-fiction to a standard where it may be offered to literary agents.

The course is initially taught through small, dynamic workshops and seminars. But the core of the MFA is a one-to-one mentoring relationship with a regularly published and produced award-winning writer. Together, these will help you strengthen and professionalise your identity as an author. A session of feedback from a London-based literary agent will also be offered.

See our MFA Creative Writing prospectus


MFA Theatre Directing

This MFA Theatre Directing offers professionally recognised training for theatre directors. The result of a collaboration between Birkbeck and the Arts Council England, Equity and UK Theatre, the programme provides a unique opportunity to work with theatre actors, writers and designers, while being introduced to the structural and financial realities of working as a director in the industry.

See our MFA Theatre Directing prospectus


MPhil & PhD Research in Contemporary Literature:

The Centre also offers a vibrant academic community for a large number of MPhil and PhD students at Birkbeck.

See our PhD homepage for more information on applications, teaching opportunities, funding & scholarships and research resources.


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