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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.

Some of the top institutes offering this course are:

  • Presidency College, Chennai
  • Jaipur National University, Jaipur
  • Madhya Pradesh Bhoj (Open) University, Bhopal
  • Christ Church College, Kanpur
  • Career Point University, Kota
  • Agra College, Agra
  • Chaudhary Charan Singh Post Graduate College, Etawah

Though admission to most of the universities is based on the cut-off or first-come-first-serve-basis, there are many universities which conduct entrance tests for admission to this course. Other than that, there are universities like IGNOU and Madhya Pradesh Bhoj (Open) University, which also offer this course in distance education mode.

MA English Literature provides in-depth knowledge of Literature written in the English language across the globe to the students. It includes specializations like Indian Literature, British Literature, Contemporary Literature, Translation Literature, etc. The average tuition fee for this course ranges from INR 8,000 to INR 1.5 Lakhs.

The students who complete this course get job opportunities in sectors like Education, Teaching, News Agencies, and can work on profiles like a writer, publisher, translator, etc. The average starting salary for this course students ranges from INR 2.5-5 Lakhs.

Top Colleges for Master of Arts [MA] (English Literature)

  • Master of Arts [MA] (English Literature) in Tamil Nadu
  • Master of Arts [MA] (English Literature) in Rajasthan
  • Master of Arts [MA] (English Literature) in Uttar Pradesh
  • Master of Arts [MA] (English Literature) in Maharashtra
  • MA in Delhi-NCR
  • MA in Maharashtra

MA English Literature: Highlights

Course LevelMasters
Examination TypeSemester-wise/Year-wise
Eligibility for the programGraduation with English as a core subject
Duration of the program2 years
Number of students enrolled in Arts ProgramsOver 70 Lakh
Average Tuition FeeINR 8,000-1.5 Lakhs
Average Salary (per annum)INR 2.5-5 Lakhs
Job ProfilesTeacher, Translator, Publisher, Writer, etc.

MA English Literature: What is it about?

MA English Literature focuses on in-depth study of different genres and the factor shaping literature from a particular era. On completion of the course, a student is expected to be able to expertly analyze a work of literature in its historical, cultural, political and philosophical context. The course provides in-depth knowledge of Literature written in the English language across the globe to the students. It includes specializations like Indian Literature, British Literature, Contemporary Literature, Translation Literature, etc. 

MA English Literature prepares students for teaching and creative English writing. It includes all aspects of prose, poetry, and fiction. 

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

To know in more detail about the syllabus, click here.

Scheme of Assessment

Almost all universities assess students on the basis of their performance in Internal Assessment and a Theory Examination at the end of an academic year or semester. The basic assessment structure is as follows:

Type of AssessmentMaximum Marks
Theory Examination70
Internal Assessment30

The Internal Assessment in MA English Literature program consists of the following criteria:

  • Class Participation
  • Tutorials
  • Assignments
  • Individual and Group Presentations

Some Universities also require students enrolled in MA English Literature program to write and submit a dissertation at the end of the second year or last semester. The dissertation carries a weightage of 100 marks. The dissertation topics can be selected from the various genres and authors from across all branches of literature.

MA English Literature: Books

The books for the course are not fixed and can change from university to university but below are mentioned some of the books which will be beneficial for MA English Literature students.

  • Antigone (Jean Anouilh)
  • Beginning Theory: An Introduction To Literary and Cultural Theory (Peter Barry)
  • Paradise Lost (John Milton)
  • Theory of Criticism: Raman Selden
  • The Art of Rhetoric (Aristotle)

MA English Literature: Top Institutes

Institute NameLocationAverage Fees (per annum)
Presidency CollegeChennaiINR 900
Shri Krishna Arts and Science CollegeCoimbatoreINR 8,000
Madhya Pradesh Bhoj (Open) UniversityBhopalINR 6,900
Christ Church CollegeKanpurINR 3,500
Career Point UniversityKotaINR 15,000
Shoolini UniversitySolanINR 76,000
Madurai Kamaraj UniversityMaduraiINR 8,000
Agra CollegeAgraINR 3,200
Chaudhary Charan Singh Post Graduate CollegeEtawahINR 4,000
English and Foreign Languages UniversityHyderabadINR 5,500
Jagran Lakecity UniversityBhopalINR 75,000

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:

    • Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)
    • Madhya Pradesh Bhoj (Open) University

    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

    To know more, click here.

    Higher Studies

    Those who want to study further also have lots of options such as:

    • M.Phil. in English Literature
    • M.Phil. English
    • Ph.D. Linguistics

    To know more, click here.

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