March 1, 2021

Master of Arts [MA] (English Literature) – Course Details & Overview

MA English Literature

MA English Literature is a 2-year post graduation course which is offered by almost all of the Arts universities and colleges in India.

What is the eligibility for MA English?

The basic eligibility for pursuing this course is that the student must have cleared their graduation in English from a recognized institute.

MA English Literature Course Details

Full FormMaster of Arts in English Literature
DurationCourse Duration of Master of Arts [MA] (English Literature) is 2 Years.
Minimum Percentage50%
Subjects RequiredBachelor’s Degree
Average Fees IncurredINR 4000 – 80,000 per annum
Similar Options of StudyBA (English Literature), BA (English) [Hons], BJMC, MJMC etc.
Average Salary OfferedINR 3.61 L per annum
Employment RolesContent Writer, High School Teacher, Editor, English Language / Literature Teacher, Primary School Teacher, Copy Editor, Technical Writer, Lecturer / Speaker, Sr. Instructional Designer etc.
Placement OpportunitiesPublishing, Education, BPOs and KPOs, Theatre, Media, and Entertainment, Corporate, Writing, Advertising and Public Relations etc.

MA English Literature: What is it about?

What is an MA in English? Many programs allow students to tailor the courses according to their preferences. Those wishing to apply for an MA often need a BA in English, and international students need high scores on English language tests. Major courses may include an in-depth look at English texts, study of world Englishes, as well as historical, political, and cultural contexts of English. Some programs even consist of focused internships and apprenticeships for those seeking careers in a specific field.

English exists as today’s lingua franca. Because the language is spoken around the world and used frequently worldwide in the fields of business, technology, and science, international students have the opportunity to gain a thorough knowledge of English that opens the door to many different careers. An MA can also help people who are already employed to advance in their careers or receive a raise.

The cost of an MA program varies greatly based on the institution and the country hosting the classes. Students should research and contact specific schools for detailed information about the price.

MA English Literature: Syllabus

Ideally, an MA English Literature requires a student to study 16 courses over the span of two years. Some universities also allow a student to select a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 courses from other departments of Humanities and Social Sciences. Some of the courses available at Universities are:

  • British Literature
  • American Literature
  • Indian Literature in English
  • Translation Literature
  • Literary Theory
  • Literary History
  • English Studies
  • Postcolonial Literature
  • Women Writings
  • Linguistics

MA English Literature: Eligibility

The basic eligibility for pursuing this course is that the student must have cleared their graduation. Students should have obtained their bachelor’s degree in English or any related subject only. The institute should be recognized by an approved authority like UGC and the student should have obtained a minimum of 50% marks.

Apart from this, there are certain universities which conduct entrance tests also for students to take admission.

MA English Literature: Scholarships

University Grants Commission has announced certain scholarships for meritorious students enrolled in MA English Literature programs in UGC approved universities.

ScholarshipDescriptionEligibilityTotal Number of ScholarshipsGrant Amount
Post-Graduate Merit Scholarship Scheme for University Rank Holders at Undergraduate levelThis Scheme has been in place from the academic year 2008-10. It encourages university rank holders at the undergraduate level both in general and honors courses to pursue higher studies. The duration of the scheme is 2 years.In General Courses, the scholarship is awarded to First and Second rank holders at University level. In Honors Courses, scholarship is awarded only to First Rank Holder. The Candidate must be enrolled in a Post-Graduate program. Age should not exceed above 30 years.1800 for General Courses. 575 for Honors Courses.2000 INR per month for a duration of 2 years (10 months in each year)
Post Graduate Indira Gandhi Scholarship Scheme for Single Girl ChildThis scheme has been started to promote postgraduate education among single girl child in non-professional courses.Female candidates enrolled in postgraduate programs in the institutes of higher studies. Only Single Girl Child enrolled in the 1st year of PG programs are eligible for the scheme. Age should not exceed beyond 30 years.1200 scholarships per year2000 INR per month for a period of 2 years (10 months each year)

MA English Literature: Admission Process

Admission to MA English Literature program ideally begins around the month of February and March when universities begin to release their application forms. Generally, universities conduct entrance examination for admission to the MA program in English but there are certain universities which take admission on the basis of merit.


Delhi University grants direct admission to students who have completed their BA English Literature from any of the colleges affiliated with Delhi University with an aggregate of 60% or more marks for General category candidates and 54% marks for OBC/SC/ST/PwD candidates. 50% of the total seats are reserved for direct admission.

All the major MA English offering universities conduct entrance exam for admission of students to the program.

The syllabus of entrance exam can vary but the question paper is designed to test the knowledge of a candidate in literature and reading and writing comprehension. Mostly paper-based, a test paper might contain the following parts:

PaperType of QuestionsTopics Covered
IObjectiveLanguage and Literature, General Awareness
IISubjectiveEssay topics from various issues related to literature and current affairs
IIISubjectivePoetry Comprehension

The Entrance Test paper of Jawaharlal Nehru University is completely Subjective and is designed to test analytical and original thinking of a candidate about various issues related to literature. The test duration can vary from 2 hours to 3 hours.

MA English Literature: Distance Education

Several universities in India also allow students to pursue a Master degree in English Literature in the distance or correspondence mode. The correspondence mode of study is ideal for such candidates who for some reason are not able to continue their education in the regular mode or have failed to get admission in any regular program. Some of the universities which offer MA English Literature through the correspondence mode are:

MA English Literature: Career Prospects


There is an ocean of opportunities for those who pursue MA English Literature. The students who complete this course get job opportunities in sectors like:

  • Education
  • Teaching
  • News Agencies
  • Corporates
  • BPOs

They can work on profiles like:

  • Writer
  • Publisher
  • Translator
  • Editor
  • Public Servant

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