The Masters of Research is a year-long course which offers the opportunity to carry out an independent research project in the field of English Studies. It is aimed at people who wish to extend their understanding of literature and explore a topic of their own devising under specialist guidance from staff in the department.

Students are given assistance at all stages of their project, from the shaping of a research question and the use of archives, to the delivery of conference papers and participation in academic networks. They are welcomed into a lively community of researchers in English and encouraged to participate fully in the activities of the Research Centre for Literature and Cultural History. In addition, they will also meet and work alongside postgraduates from across the Faculty – in Art, History and the Social Sciences.

The programme is designed in part as a preparation for doctoral study, and students who progress to PhD often acknowledge the important role it has played in their development. The advanced skills that it teaches – of research, analysis, reasoning and presentation – are also highly prized in many areas of employment.

For an insight into the MRes programme and the activities of the Research Centre from the perspective of past and current postgraduates see their research blog  and testimonials below. For details of the particular areas of specialism amongst English staff see individual research profiles. The department seeks to support a wide range of research projects: please do feel free to contact lecturers individually to discuss ideas prior to submitting an application.


What Our Students Say

I cannot stress enough the importance of the MRes course for my academic maturity. The unprecedented freedom and the excellent staff support offered by the MRes course offered me the chance to expand, merge, and refine my research interests into a cohesive whole that I find is still to this day yielding fruitful results.   The skills learnt during the course of the degree allowed me to continue my studies into PhD level, something that I had previously considered to be far beyond my abilities. By giving me the confidence and ability to approach universities in America and Australia, an appreciation of research methods, and an understanding of the more technical aspects of academic life the MRes course broadened my horizons by equipping me with the vital skills required to undertake a PhD.  I have found the transition from MRes to PhD to feel completely natural and cannot imagine myself working at PhD level without first completing the MRes course at LJMU.

(Sam Caddick, 2013)

The MRes programme at LJMU places modern research skills at the forefront of postgraduate development. Working to prepare students for professional careers in academia by offering practical research experience—the MRes enabled me to pursue and recover original archival material, as well as giving me the opportunity to disseminate my research through conferences and seminars. The MRes syllabus is committed to cultivating and promoting a progressive academic environment, in which postgraduate students are able to make a significant contribution to scholarship in their field.

(Philip Crown, 2010)

I was initially apprehensive about returning to academia after a two-year break but staff were extremely supportive and approachable. The other MRes students and I were welcomed into the research culture of the English department, allowing us to contribute to a thriving postgraduate environment within the School of Humanities and Social Science. I chose to study for an MRes rather than a taught MA due to the increased focus on research and because it offered me the chance to undertake an extended research project of 18,000 words. I believe that this decision was justified as the Research Methods and Professional Training modules honed my research skills and afforded me the opportunity to undergo a mock Viva and to prepare a funding application, giving me vital experience in these areas that other Masters courses do not cover. Furthermore, the subject-specific Research Proposition and Development module ensured that the process of writing my thesis was not too painful!

(Krystina Osborne, 2013)


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