• Faculty of Arts And Social Sciences
  • sastera@um.edu.my
  • +603-79675500

The Master of Arts (English Literature) programme is aimed at providing quality and in-depth postgraduate education in the field of literary studies. Courses offered in the MA programme by Coursework and Dissertation are comprehensive and range from Medieval Literature through to Cultural Studies. On the whole, the MA programme is designed not only to promote a love for English Literature and Language but also to enhance and increase the scope of research undertaken by staff and students.  Besides the MA by Coursework and Dissertation, candidates can opt to pursue the degree purely by research.

Students applying for the MA programme can choose from the following:
1. Mixed-mode MA (Coursework and Dissertation)
2. MA by Research

For the mixed-mode MA, the structure of the course is set out below.

IMPORTANT: upon admission to the mixed mode MA, candidates will be required to take a placement test set by the Department.

Those who fail the test MUST take the course Critical Strategies in Literature (AOA7003).

Those who pass will be exempted from taking this course.



  • Author
  • Editor
  • Journalist
  • Lecturer
  • Media Writer
  • Playwright
  • Screenwriter




  • AOA7001 (Research Methodology in Literary Studies) (3 credits)
  • AOA7004 (Theories in Literature) (3 credits)


Students are required to take:

  • BOTH compulsory courses
  • FOUR elective courses, as set out overleaf. 
  • Students exempted from AOA7003 (Critical Strategies in Literature) must take three electives from Part B, and one from Part C.
  • Students who have to take AOA7003 must take two electives from Part B, and one from Part C.

Students should also note that not all electives are offered every semester

Choose TWO OR THREE of the following  2-credit electives:

Part A

  • AOA7003 (Critical Strategies in Literature) Note: this is COMPULSORY for students who do not pass the exemption test

Part B (Those exempted from AOA7003 should choose THREE courses. Those taking AOA7003 should choose TWO courses)

  • AOA7006 (Literature of the Romantic Age)
  • AOA7007(Modernist Literature) 
  • AOA7008 (Literature of the Victorian Age)
  • AOA7009 (Drama of the Modern Era) 
  • AOA7010 (American Literature) 
  • AOA7012 (Perspectives on Malaysian and Singaporean Literature) 
  • AOA7014 (From Book to Screen) 
  • AOA7015 (Stylistics in Discourse Analysis)
  • AOA7016 (Medieval Literature)
  • AOA7017 (African Literature)
  • AOA7018 (Creative Writing)
  • AOA7019 (Global Shakespeares)
  • AOA7020 (Asian American Literature)

Choose ONE of the following 3-credit electives

Part C
AOA7011 (Postcolonial Theory and Literature)  
AOA7013 (Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice)

35 credits


  1.  Details of courses offered are subject to the Senate’s approval from time to time upon the recommendation of the Faculty. Candidates will be informed of course offerings at the start of each session.
  2. PART TWO consists of a research project leading to the submission of a dissertation of about 30,000 to a maximum of 40,000 words (35 credit hours).

Our Department offers expertise in a wide variety of literary fields, including Medieval literature, Renaissance literature, 19th century literature, Modernist and Postmodernist literature, Postcolonial literatures (with a strong interest in Malaysian literature), travel literature, ecocriticism, African literature, feminist literature, modern drama, literary theory and more.

You can find out more about the research and supervision interests of our academic staff under the heading “List of Expertise and Research Interests”.


A non-Malaysian applicant whose degree is from a university or institution of higher learning where the medium of instruction for that degree is not the English language and where the applicant wishes to follow a programme and/or write his dissertation in the English language shall be required:

  • to obtain a score of 550 for a paper-based total, a score of 213 for a computer-based total or a score of 80 for an internet-based total for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL); or
  • to obtain a band of 6 for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS);

Programme of study by Coursework and Research

• a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent; or

• a professional qualification from a recognised professional body; or

• any other qualification as may be approved by the Senate from time to time.

Last Update: 16/03/2022