MA Program

Our MA degree is a fully-funded, one year program that emphasizes the close, critical study of literature and culture and the development of research, writing and analytical skills.

Applicants to the MA programs should hold an Honors BA in English or in English combined with another subject. They should have achieved at least an A minus average (80-84%) in the Honors English courses of their BA program.

Students with a general three-year BA are required to take enough courses at the undergraduate level in order to upgrade their degree to a four year Honors degree before applying to our MA programs. Students needing to do this should contact an Academic Counsellor in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities (or the equivalent at their home university) to determine the procedure and requirements necessary.

A candidate for the MA in English may select any of three programs: four full courses (or an equivalent combination of full and half courses); three courses and an independent research project of approximately 50 pages; or two courses and a thesis of approximately 100 pages. In any case, the program should be completed in three terms (one calendar year) of full-time registration.

MA students in the Department of English and Writing Studies have the opportunity to serve as teaching assistants or may be paired with faculty as research assistants. They can select from among diverse graduate courses offered within and outside the department; they have access to an excellent research library; and can expect close contact with their professors and fellow students. Our graduates have gone on to further study in Ph.D. programs at Western and beyond, to professional programs in law, education, and other specializations, and to careers in publishing, journalism, government, consulting, the arts, and more.

Our MA program takes twelve months to complete. Students in this program can select from among three options:

  • Course work: This involves the completion of four full-year (or equivalent) courses.
  • Course work and Independent Research Project (IRP): This involves the completion of three full-year (or equivalent) courses and the submission of a 50-page IRP, researched and developed in close consultation with a faculty supervisor.
  • Course work and Thesis: This involves the completion of two full-year (or equivalent) courses and the submission and oral defence of a 100-page thesis, researched and developed in close consultation with a faculty supervisory committee (supervisor and second reader).