York vs Manchester vs Durham vs Glasgow for Master's in English

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dedalust
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I've got offer from 3 of these unis for their master's in english.(waiting for the 4th to come back) Primarily i'd like to focus on modern and contemporary lit. I'm actually looking for courses that have a heavier taught component - so ideally i'd like to have both foundational and specialised modules, esp gender and theory stuff. I'm also considering doing a PhD afterwards but obviously funding would be an issue..

Durham seems to have the strongest reputation as an English department but they only give u 3 taught modules and those modules look v 'niche'. not sure if it fits my purpose

The programmes at York, Manchester and Glasgow look quite similar in terms of the taught element. Have anyone studied their MA/MLitt before? Would be great if you could share with me the range of readings, the interaction with professors/tutors (esp cuz im also looking to do a PhD).. and how would you rank these three or compare them to durham.. Durham seems to have the most prestige esp for undergraduate studies but im not sure about grad school...
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Oblivid
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(Original post by dedalust)
I've got offer from 3 of these unis for their master's in english.(waiting for the 4th to come back) Primarily i'd like to focus on modern and contemporary lit. I'm actually looking for courses that have a heavier taught component - so ideally i'd like to have both foundational and specialised modules, esp gender and theory stuff. I'm also considering doing a PhD afterwards but obviously funding would be an issue..

Durham seems to have the strongest reputation as an English department but they only give u 3 taught modules and those modules look v 'niche'. not sure if it fits my purpose

The programmes at York, Manchester and Glasgow look quite similar in terms of the taught element. Have anyone studied their MA/MLitt before? Would be great if you could share with me the range of readings, the interaction with professors/tutors (esp cuz im also looking to do a PhD).. and how would you rank these three or compare them to durham.. Durham seems to have the most prestige esp for undergraduate studies but im not sure about grad school...
I'm not in the humanities but I don't know where you heard that Durham is the strongest of those four in English. According to QS rankings by subject, it ranks the last in English. Regarding overall reputation, Durham is indeed very well reputed but mainly according to people who are 1) British, 2) undergraduate-focused, and 3) relatively outside academia. It's similar with St Andrew's, but I guess at least this one is quite prestigious (for the wrong reasons such as tabloids and royalty) the US as well — unlike Durham. And have you been to Durham? It is a wonderful town but you get to know it quickly and get bored within a week. I've had students in their final year told me they regret having chosen Durham as a city to live in. It's very small, very. Beautiful and picturesque, yes... but too small. I think thay Durham Uni is a bit overrated, it doesn't even make it in the top 100 globally.

I would have suggested Edinburgh as they had the first course in English in the world and they are very well reputed in language and English, and also overall both locally and internationally. Not sure why you didn't apply there.

Regarding the other three you mention, Manchester or Glasgow would be the most reputed universities in my opinion (locally and abroad, and these things matter when it comes to postgraduate studies and PhD proapects; well at least in the sciences). York seems to do quite good in English though, according to QS. I would personally go to Glasgow because 1) fantastic and real campus experience (and great location), 2) oldest of them, 3) quite reputable, and 4) it's the most vibrant and student friendly city of all of them (perfectly sized). And 5) You'll be next to Edinburgh, Loch Lomond and the Highlands. The only drawback is that it rains quite a bit, but unless you're afraid of melting I'd pick Glasgow.

Manchester sounds good too, larger city and more industrial. Excellent university with a great reputation, one of the top ones in the UK (7th or 8th).

York seems like a cool place to live in. But never been to it and don't know much about the uni.

https://www.topuniversities.com/univ...age-literature
Last edited by Oblivid; 5 months ago
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Quick-use
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(Original post by dedalust)
I've got offer from 3 of these unis for their master's in english.(waiting for the 4th to come back) Primarily i'd like to focus on modern and contemporary lit. I'm actually looking for courses that have a heavier taught component - so ideally i'd like to have both foundational and specialised modules, esp gender and theory stuff. I'm also considering doing a PhD afterwards but obviously funding would be an issue..

Durham seems to have the strongest reputation as an English department but they only give u 3 taught modules and those modules look v 'niche'. not sure if it fits my purpose

The programmes at York, Manchester and Glasgow look quite similar in terms of the taught element. Have anyone studied their MA/MLitt before? Would be great if you could share with me the range of readings, the interaction with professors/tutors (esp cuz im also looking to do a PhD).. and how would you rank these three or compare them to durham.. Durham seems to have the most prestige esp for undergraduate studies but im not sure about grad school...
They're all good universities. You just need to check which department offers contemporary and modern literature modules. I know for a fact that York offers them. A friend of mine studied there and specialised in modern literature. He enjoyed from the sounds of it.

I don't know about the other departments and their modules.

Don't worry about their reputations; again, they're all great. Your biggest priority should be the content, teaching hours and student satisfaction.
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dedalust
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(Original post by Oblivid)
I'm not in the humanities but I don't know where you heard that Durham is the strongest of those four in English. According to QS rankings by subject, it ranks the last in English. Regarding overall reputation, Durham is indeed very well reputed but mainly according to people who are 1) British, 2) undergraduate-focused, and 3) relatively outside academia. It's similar with St Andrew's, but I guess at least this one is quite prestigious (for the wrong reasons such as tabloids and royalty) the US as well — unlike Durham. And have you been to Durham? It is a wonderful town but you get to know it quickly and get bored within a week. I've had students in their final year told me they regret having chosen Durham as a city to live in. It's very small, very. Beautiful and picturesque, yes... but too small. I think thay Durham Uni is a bit overrated, it doesn't even make it in the top 100 globally.

I would have suggested Edinburgh as they had the first course in English in the world and they are very well reputed in language and English, and also overall both locally and internationally. Not sure why you didn't apply there.

Regarding the other three you mention, Manchester or Glasgow would be the most reputed universities in my opinion (locally and abroad, and these things matter when it comes to postgraduate studies and PhD proapects; well at least in the sciences). York seems to do quite good in English though, according to QS. I would personally go to Glasgow because 1) fantastic and real campus experience (and great location), 2) oldest of them, 3) quite reputable, and 4) it's the most vibrant and student friendly city of all of them (perfectly sized). And 5) You'll be next to Edinburgh, Loch Lomond and the Highlands. The only drawback is that it rains quite a bit, but unless you're afraid of melting I'd pick Glasgow.

Manchester sounds good too, larger city and more industrial. Excellent university with a great reputation, one of the top ones in the UK (7th or 8th).

York seems like a cool place to live in. But never been to it and don't know much about the uni.

https://www.topuniversities.com/univ...age-literature
WOW! Thank you so much.. This is very helpful! i didn't apply to edinburgh because i'm paying overseas rate and it's charging almost £4k more than the other programmes.. and for Durham, I got that impression of their reputation from my parent and uncle who used to study in the UK (and one graduated there). and you are right - they are v much outside the academia so they just talked about how durham is viewed favourably amongst students & employers in the UK.. Thank you so much for this!
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dedalust
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(Original post by Quick-use)
They're all good universities. You just need to check which department offers contemporary and modern literature modules. I know for a fact that York offers them. A friend of mine studied there and specialised in modern literature. He enjoyed from the sounds of it.

I don't know about the other departments and their modules.

Don't worry about their reputations; again, they're all great. Your biggest priority should be the content, teaching hours and student satisfaction.
yeah! York has a dedicated pathway for contemporary and modern lit.. and the town is gorgeous!
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missbooradley
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(Original post by dedalust)
I've got offer from 3 of these unis for their master's in english.(waiting for the 4th to come back) Primarily i'd like to focus on modern and contemporary lit. I'm actually looking for courses that have a heavier taught component - so ideally i'd like to have both foundational and specialised modules, esp gender and theory stuff. I'm also considering doing a PhD afterwards but obviously funding would be an issue..

Durham seems to have the strongest reputation as an English department but they only give u 3 taught modules and those modules look v 'niche'. not sure if it fits my purpose

The programmes at York, Manchester and Glasgow look quite similar in terms of the taught element. Have anyone studied their MA/MLitt before? Would be great if you could share with me the range of readings, the interaction with professors/tutors (esp cuz im also looking to do a PhD).. and how would you rank these three or compare them to durham.. Durham seems to have the most prestige esp for undergraduate studies but im not sure about grad school...
I spent my undergrad at Durham and absolutely loved it, and am returning to do a master's in politics in September. I can't comment on the english for master's so I would say go with the university that has the course you're looking for regardless of reputation. Re the reply above about Durham being boring - it depends what you're looking for. I wanted a smaller town where you really get to know it so I loved it, but if you want a bigger city then the others might be better.

Also Durham is unique out of those in that it has a college system so it's very community focused - depends if that's something you'd be interested in! So in that sense I would say don't focus on reputation so much because they're all good - think about what you want to study and what kind of experience you're looking for.
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