Drawing on our long-standing reputation for producing distinguished critics and poets, this programme's creative-critical intersections make it suitable for a new generation of poets and critics alike. Students will be joining an academic environment with a world-leading expertise in the critical appreciation, writing, and understanding of modern poetry.
English - Poetry highlights
World Class Facilities
- Poetry is, quite simply, the activity for which Queen’s University is best known around the world. Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney was both a student and lecturer here at Queen’s, and other famous poet-alumni of the university include Ciaran Carson, Paul Muldoon and Medbh McGuckian. Heaney was a founding member of the famous ‘Belfast Group’ in the 1960s: a forum in which young poets came together with critics to discuss their work and the craft of good poetry more generally. The fruitful interaction of creative and critical activity is at the heart of what this unique MA offers.
- You will be joining an academic environment with a long-standing reputation for the writing and critical appreciation of poetry from Ireland, Britain and the United States, and will also benefit from the literary activities and resources of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s – the first centre of excellence for poetry in Ireland. Poets and poetry critics in the Centre include Leontia Flynn, Ciaran Carson, Fran Brearton, Edna Longley, Gail McConnell and Stephen Sexton, along with annual visiting international poetry fellows.
Compulsory Modules Structure and Serendipity
Reading and Writing Poetry
The Poetry Collection
Course Details Students take 3 taught modules in each semester (the core ‘Reading and Writing Poetry’ module in semester 1 is a double module) followed by the dissertation/portfolio. In semester 1 students explore a range of writings – both poetry and criticism – through concepts and themes such as: Conflict; Politics; Death; Sickness; Things; Animals; Nonsense; Confession; Work. Poets studied in the seminars include Yeats, Plath, Auden, Eliot, Bishop, and Heaney. Students are introduced to the form and language of poetry, as well as to the historical dimensions of, and contexts for, various poetic forms – both traditional and experimental. The writing workshops involve detailed discussion of students’ own poetry, which they can bring to class for feedback from the tutor and other students. In semester 2 students study contemporary poetry collections, focusing on the ways in which the structure of a given poetry collection contributes to the overall meaning of the work, as well as choosing from specialist options which include Irish poetry, American poetry, and writing workshops. The optional module list is indicative only. Dissertation Dissertation of up to 15,000 words or a poetry portfolio on an agreed topic for the MA. Optional Modules Irish and Poetry
The Poetry Workshop
Fulbright Scholar special option
People teaching you
Graduates of the programme have a good employment record, entering professions such as publishing, journalism, arts administration, events organisation, the media, public relations, teaching, advertising, business and industry. The programme has an excellent track record of student success in publication, and of graduates continuing their studies into (funded) PhDs in modern poetry or creative writing (poetry).
Learning and Teaching
Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:
A 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in English, or joint or combined Honours with English as a major subject. In addition, applicants are required to submit a piece of literary-critical written work which will be assessed to determine if an offer of admission can be made.
If applicants wish to pursue both critical and creative forms of assessment in the programme, they are required to submit both critical work and a sample of poems.
Applicants who wish to pursue creative writing-only assessment require a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in any discipline and are required to submit a sample of original written work (poems) which will be assessed to determine if an offer of admission can be made.
Exceptions may be made in the case of applicants with a strong track record of publication, prize-winning, or relevant professional experience. The University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy provides guidance on the assessment of experiential learning (RPEL). Please visit http://go.qub.ac.uk/RPLpolicy for more information.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) £5,900 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £5,900 Other (non-UK) EU £5,900 International £16,400
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2019-20 and relate to one year of study only. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs. If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
English - Poetry costs
There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.
How do I fund my study?
The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.
A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,609 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How to Apply
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2019 Entry.
Fees and Funding