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Being a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.


Program Structure

The Master of Arts (MA) in English may be completed in an intensive eight-month option (course work only) or in a one-year option consisting of course work plus either a Major Research Paper or the Professional Skills Option.

The department offers graduate courses in both English Literature and Film Studies. Each student has the flexibility to choose an area of concentration: either a single focus on English literature or a combined focus on English Literature and Film Studies. Students undertaking the Major Research Paper option also have the opportunity to customize their degree work according to their area of interest under the supervision of one of our dedicated faculty members. Students undertaking the Professional Skills Option have the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge acquired through coursework in literary and filmic studies in professional working environments.

The MA degree is offered on a full-time or part-time basis. Most full-time students complete the program in two terms (eight months) by choosing the course-work stream, which consists of seven one-term courses and a required course in Research Methods, Theory, and Professionalization (graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory).

Students who wish to pursue the three-term (12 months) degree may do so either by choosing to write a Major Research Paper under the supervision of a faculty member with the relevant expertise or by taking our new Professional Skills Option in the spring term.

Program Options

Course Work Option

We offer students the opportunity to complete the degree in eight months by choosing the course work option. Students who choose the course work option will complete seven one-term courses and EN600.

Major Research Paper Option

Master’s students in English and Film Studies who choose the Major Research Paper (MRP) option are required to take EN600: Research Methods, Theory and Professionalization), six half-credit courses, and EN695 (Major Research Paper).

  • The Major Research Paper (EN695) is shorter than a thesis (40-50 pp.) and provides a well-researched analysis of a research question that offers a fresh perspective on material in the discipline of English and/or Film Studies.
  • Successful completion of the MRP is equivalent to a one-term course: 0.5 credit.
  • Proposals for Major Research Papers are due Dec. 5 each year, and are subject to the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee.
  • There is no oral defence associated with this MRP; the paper is supervised and graded by a single professor with expertise in the area of focus. Should students fail to submit a passing MRP by Aug. 1, they must then complete the degree through course work.
  • Unlike a Directed Study (EN690), in which students meet weekly with a professor, the MRP (EN695) relies more heavily on independent research and writing.

Professional Skills Option

Our Professional Skills Option is designed to provide master’s students with a unique opportunity for supervised practical application of studies in English and Film.

In addition to providing direct experience and an opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge acquired through course work in literary and filmic studies, practicum placements bring candidates face to face with concrete situations and professional working environments. This work-integrated learning course is designed to improve students’ employment prospects and labour market outcomes.

  • This option is offered in the spring term (May to June) and cannot be taken with the Major Research Paper option.
  • Recent placements include our university's Communications and Public Affairs office, Library Archives, Grand River Jazz Society, and the New Quarterly Journal.

Directed Studies Option

Directed Studies courses are subject to the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee. They are reserved for exceptional circumstances. Proposals for Directed Studies courses for the fall term must be received must be received by Aug. 15; proposals for the winter term must be received by Nov. 15.

Contact Us:

Lynn Shakinovsky, Graduate Coordinator

E: lshakinovsky@wlu.ca
T: 519.884.0710 x3227

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