MPhil in English Literature

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All About MPhil in English Literature

Masters of Philosophy in English (MPhil English) is a two-year Postgraduate research course that generally follows a Master’s degree in English Literature. A transition course between Masters and PhD, MPhil prepares students for undertaking research in specific fields of English Literature at the Doctorate level. An MPhil English degree is usually a combination of taught courses and a closely supervised research project. Students gain a concrete understanding of the history of English literature, genres, transcending cultures, and major literary debates along with theoretical frameworks and research methods.

What is MPhil in English Literature?

An MPhil scholar closely engages with an array of writings including novels, non-fiction, poetry, and drama, to explore emerging areas of research and contemporary literary debates. Through intensive discussions in small seminar groups, supervised by a Professor, students build on their individual research projects. If you are an excellent academic with strong persuasive and critical thinking skills along with a deep interest in the study of English Literature, then an MPhil English degree is just the right course for you. Know everything you must, about what an MPhil English degree entails, by reading through this comprehensive guide to the course.

Why Pursue MPhil in English? 

Pursuing an MPhil degree in English provides students with a firm grounding in methods of research, critical analysis and trains them to develop their arguments concerning literary texts of their choice. There are many reasons why you should pursue MPhil in English. Some of them are:

  • An MPhil English is a relatively shorter research degree, as compared to PhD which requires 3 – 5 years of intensive coursework. 
  • Students learn to stretch the limits of existing knowledge on literary debates and hence, come up with unique interdisciplinary ideas of their own. 
  • With an MPhil English, students can influence literary, cultural, and folk studies, besides gaining a stronghold on their research area. 
  • As an independent qualification, MPhil English opens up several well-paying employment opportunities. These include, Assistant Professor, School Teacher, Editor, Content Specialist, Journalist or an Independent Researcher.
  • It helps students build real-world interpersonal skills such as, critical thinking, analysis and argument, logical thinking and intellectual abilities. 

Eligibility Criteria

The specific requirements for pursuing an MPhil in English vary from university to university. However, students must fulfil certain minimum eligibility criteria for securing admissions at the best universities for MPhil English. A prospective student must have:

  • a Master’s degree in English Literature or related subjects.
  • at least an overall aggregate of 55-60% at the Master’s level.

English Proficiency Requirements

Type of ExaminationRequired Score
Cambridge EnglishC1 Advanced -169
C2 Proficiency – 185

Application Process

The application process for MPhil English Literature normally takes place by separately applying to universities. While the specifications might vary from one University to the other, students must checklist the following common steps to apply for an MPhil English degree abroad

Step-1: Shortlist a University

When planning to apply to a foreign university for an MPhil English degree, the first step is to select a suitable University. Specific universities offer selected specializations for MPhil English. As such, shortlisting universities will depend upon your research interests and the availability of faculty to supervise your research. Also, students must ensure that they meet the MPhil eligibility requirements to the University that they are applying. 

Step-2: Gather the Documents Required.

Once you have shortlisted a University, the next step is to compile all the documentation. This will include test scores such as IELTS or TOEFL as proof of English proficiency, Research proposal, SOP, Letters of Recommendation and so on. Students are advised to get their test scores and documentation ready well in advance of starting their MPhil applications. 

Step-3: Get Started with Your Online Application

After compiling the necessary documents, students can begin their online applications by filling in the required details including Personal, Academic and Professional background. Finally, pay the required application fee to complete the online MPhil application. 

Confused about applying to an MPhil in English Literature degree abroad? Connect with our counsellors at Leverage Edu now to know and simplify every step of the application process and documentation in a one-on-one session.

Documents Required

Selection Process

In addition, students must also be required to appear for an entrance examination and a personal interview round. While the entrance exam tests student’s knowledge of the subject, the interview is meant to evaluate the applicant’s potential and skills for undertaking research in the specified field. In the interview round, students are generally asked to discuss their research interests, and how they intend to build on the existing knowledge in the field. 

MPhil English Literature Syllabus

An MPhil degree usually comprises four semesters. The initial semesters consist of taught portions, where students undertake courses in theory, and research methodology and engage in close reading of literary texts. This coursework is followed by an individual research project that might include a thesis or a dissertation under the supervision of an assigned Professor. The specific syllabus for MPhil in English varies according to the University you pursue it from, but consists of the following core courses:

  • Research Methodology
  • Modes of Writing
  • Documentation and Citation
  • Theoretical Frameworks
  • Literary Theory and Criticism
  • Dissertation

Towards the end of the degree program, students must be required to deliver an oral presentation of their research project to a panel of Professors and Academics.

Top Universities Abroad for MPhil in English

According to the QS World University Rankings 2022 the following are named the best universities for English Literature and Language:

Name of UniversityQS World Ranking 2022
University of Oxford2
University of Cambridge3
University of Edinburgh16
Columbia University19
University College London8
University of Liverpool189
University of Glasgow73
Anglia Ruskin University
University of Lincoln801-1000

Cost of Pursuing MPhil in English

The tuition fees for an MPhil degree in English Literature can vary depending on the University and the location from where you pursue the degree. The following is a country-wise average cost of pursuing an MPhil in English Literature.

UniversityTuition Costs in INR
University of Oxford 28.70 lakhs
University of Cambridge29 lakhs
University of Liverpool18.54 lakhs
University of Lincoln12.46 lakhs
The University of Edinburgh23.46 lakhs

Curious how much studying MPhil English Literature abroad will cost? Use our Cost of Living Calculator to budget your studies abroad.

MPhil English in India

English Literature forms a significant component of the Universities in India that offer Humanities courses. In fact, research scholars from India have produced pioneering theories and ideas in the field of English Literature. Check out the details of pursuing an MPhil English in India below.

MPhil English Eligibility Criteria in India

  • A Postgraduate degree in English or affiliated subjects from a recognized institute.
  • An aggregate of at least 55% marks or equivalent grade in the UGC 7-point scale.

In addition, students from the reserved categories are granted a relaxation of 5% marks or equivalent grade. If a student has qualified NET JRF or NET LS, then they are further immune from appearing for the entrance tests conducted by universities. However, all students must appear for the personal interview round.

Top Universities for M Phil English in India

  1. University of Delhi, New Delhi
  2. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
  3. Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
  4. Ambedkar University, New Delhi
  5. University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad
  6. Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi
  7. Jadavpur University, Kolkata
  8. Christ University, Bangalore
  9. Amity University
  10. Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune
  11. Panjab University, Chandigarh
  12. Tata Institute of Social Sciences
  13. Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad
  14. Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
  15. Presidency College, Chennai
  16. Loyola College, Chennai
  17. Stella Maris College, Chennai
  18. University of Calcutta, Kolkata
  19. University of Mumbai, Mumbai
  20. Ashoka University, Haryana


Can we do MPhil in English?

Yes, you can do a Masters of Philosophy in English, provided you meet the basic eligibility, which is a first-class Masters degree in English Literature or related subjects.

What can I do after MPhil in English?

The popular job profiles after completion of MPhil in English are Assistant Professors, Content Writers and Editors, Librarians, Advertising Copywriter, Publishing Professionals, Arts Administrator, School Teachers, Academic researchers and more. 

How to prepare for MPhil in English?

Preparing for an MPhil English degree requires students to brush up their knowledge of subjects up till the Master’s degree. Students must also prepare for the interview round where they will be assessed for their critical thinking, analytical and intellectual potential. 

Are you planning to pursue a MPhil English? Our Leverage Edu experts will provide you with end-to-end assistance from application to visa process. Call us at 1800 57 2000 to book a FREE 30-minutes counselling session today!

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