Where you can study
International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.
Specialise in English for your Master of Arts at Massey
Follow your interests further
A Master of Arts (English) at Massey gives you the chance to study important literary genres and periods in depth. You’ll also explore the complexities of literary language and rhetoric.
Study great texts from the past and present
Massey’s Master of Arts (English) offers you thorough coverage of great literature in English, from Shakespeare to the present day. Our courses are taught by active researchers who share your love of literature: they will introduce you to amazing writing and the reasons why it matters.
Get an applied edge
Choose from a range of courses that will extend your English skills in creative and applied ways. Expand the horizons of your degree by taking an elective course in creative writing, theatre studies or media studies.
Think deeply about the power of language
A Massey Master of Arts (English) helps you understand how language shapes the world we live in. You’ll explore the ethical and social power of imaginative writing and rhetoric, and think deeply about the world and your place in it.
A Master of Arts in English is a good fit if you:
- have a relevant undergraduate degree
- wish to develop your interests in English literature and writing
- want to investigate a particular aspect of English, rhetoric or theatre studies through independent supervised research at an advanced level.
If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.
Not all courses are available in each semester.
The Master of Arts (English) is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part, before moving to the second.
Grades achieved in the first 60 credits will determine eligibility for progression to Part Two.
- For the coursework pathway a minimum B grade average is required.
- For the research pathway a minimum B+ grade average is required.
If you enrol in a thesis, you commence with Thesis (90 or 120 credits) Part 1, followed by Thesis (90 or 120 credits) Part 2 in the next enrolment period. Both parts combine to meet the thesis requirements with a single grade assigned to each part.
If the thesis cannot be submitted at the end of the initial Thesis (90 or 120 credits) Part 2 enrolment, you must re-enrol in Thesis (90 or 120 credits) Part 2 and pay fees each semester until submission is made.
To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.
You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate Certificates.
For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.
In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.
Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.
Courses you can enrol in
Course planning key
- Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
- Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
- Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.
Part One: Coursework Pathway (120 credits) or Research Pathway (Between 60 and 90 credits)
List A: Subject courses
Course code: 139703 Critical and Creative Research credits 30
An introduction to practices of research with creative texts. Students will learn practical techniques for planning and producing research in critical and/or creative modes. Fostering a critical voice and debating the cultural and social value of aesthetic communication will be integral to the course.View full course details
Course code: 139710 Rhetoric, Composition and the Teaching of Writing credits 30
An advanced introduction to rhetoric and composition as a framework for writing research and writing instruction.View full course details
Course code: 139724 Literary Revolutions: Romantic and Victorian Literature credits 30
A study of literary culture in Britain and the Pacific during the Romantic and Victorian periods. This course explores relationships between poetry, novels, travel writing and political treatises in the period, focusing on the distinctive nature of literary engagements with contemporary social and political upheavals.View full course details
Course code: 139728 Early Modern Drama: Form and Performance credits 30
An advanced study of the drama of Early Modern England and the significant social, artistic, political and religious forces that shaped it. The course will examine plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, investigating their material and cultural contexts using critical approaches that highlight questions of dramatic production and reception.View full course details
Course code: 139750 Contemporary New Zealand Writers in an International Context credits 30
An advanced exploration of contemporary New Zealand fiction and poetry and its relationship to international aesthetic practices, in the context of globalisation and postcoloniality.View full course details
Course code: 139758 Postcolonial Theory and Writing credits 30
An advanced introduction to theories of postcolonial ethics and identity, and their relationship to selected works of literature from a range of postcolonial contexts.View full course details
List B: Subject courses
Course code: 139763 Community Theatre credits 30
What role does theatre have in the community? Is there a valid place for community theatre in a secular society? If so, what stories need to be told through theatre? How might we tell them? The exploration of these questions will involve, initially, the examination of a range of historical and contemporary models of community theatre. Students will then engage in exploratory workshops, in community research, writing, rehearsals and theatrical performance.View full course details
Course code: 139765 New Directions in Creative Writing credits 30
An advanced study and practice of creative writing in its myriad contemporary forms.View full course details
Course code: 154708 Modern Fiction, Popular Culture and the Media credits 30
An examination of major developments in approaches to fiction in the twentieth century, focusing on modern and postmodern trends, and on how these have impacted on the rise and alleged decline of distinctions between elite art and popular culture. Texts for analysis are selected from both literature and film and include examples of canonical as well as popular fiction.View full course details
Part Two: Coursework Pathway
Course code: 139873 Research Report English (60) credits 60
A supervised and guided independent study.View full course details
Part Two: Research Pathway
Course code: 139816 Thesis 120 Credit Part 1 credits 60
Course code: 139817 Thesis 120 Credit Part 2 credits 60
Course code: 139881 Thesis 90 Credit Part 1 credits 45
Course code: 139882 Thesis 90 Credit Part 2 credits 45
Course code: 139883 Thesis credits 90
Course code: 139899 Thesis credits 120
Admission to Massey
All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.
To enter the Master of Arts (English) you will have been awarded or qualified for:
a Bachelor of Arts degree (or equivalent) with a major in the intended postgraduate subject, with at least a B grade average across the 200/300 level major courses
a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) with a subject in the intended postgraduate subject or a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts with an endorsement in the intended postgraduate subject, or an equivalent qualification, with at least a B+ grade average across the 700-level courses for entry to the Research Pathway or a B grade average across the 700-level courses for entry to the Coursework Pathway.
If you have a BA (Hons) or PGDipArts from Massey University in the intended Master of Arts subject as outlined above, you may apply for credit towards Part One of the qualification.
You will need to provide copies of all official academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.
English language requirements
To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.
English language skills
If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.
Fees and scholarships
Fees, student loans and free fees scheme
Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.
There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.
- Get an estimate of the tuition fees for your qualification
- View a list of non-tuition fees that may be payable
Already know which courses you're going to choose?
You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.
Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme
You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.
The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.
Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.
- Student loans (StudyLink)
- Fees Free
- Student portal
Scholarship and award opportunities
- Lovell and Berys Clark Scholarships
- Margaret Richards Bursary
- Massey University Master's Research Scholarship
- The Centenary History of New Zealand and the First World War Heritage Scholarship
- William Broughton Bursary in New Zealand Literary Studies
This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.
Careers and job opportunities
Your love of literature and writing can take you into a range of professions where literacy, critical thinking and communication skills are highly valued. Employers appreciate the ability of Master of Arts (English) graduates to research effectively, analyse rigorously and communicate with style.
Through studying English you’ll develop a set of flexible interpersonal and professional skills that ensure you remain agile and able to take on future opportunities.
Our graduates have pursued careers in:
- teaching English, creative writing, theatre studies, and English as a second language
- publishing and e-publishing: writing, editing, researching, technical writing
- working as a literary agent /writing coach
- web content development
- freelance speech writing, travel writing, blogging and reviewing.
Related study options
Creative Writing – Graduate Certificate in Arts
With a Graduate Certificate in Arts (Creative Writing) you’ll examine inspiring creative writing and start developing your own.
Creative Writing – Bachelor of Arts
Unlock your imagination, expand your creative thinking and polish your writing.
Creative Writing – Diploma in Arts
With a Diploma in Arts (Creative Writing) you will examine inspiring creative works and explore your personal creative approach through poetry, life writing, scriptwriting, and fiction.
Creative Writing – Graduate Diploma in Arts
Examine great creative works and start writing your own. The Graduate Diploma in Arts (Creative Writing) will give you the equivalent of an undergraduate major in creative writing without completing a second bachelor’s degree.
English – Graduate Certificate in Arts
Understand how words shape our world with the Graduate Certificate in Arts (English).
English – Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
With Massey’s Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (English), you can take your undergraduate study of English further.
English – Bachelor of Arts
Develop your passion for literature. Understand how great writing has shaped identity, culture, and society.
English – Diploma in Arts
Do you have a passion for literature? The Diploma in Arts (English) will give you versatile and transferable skills that can open many career pathways.
English – Postgraduate Diploma in Arts
A Massey Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (English) will help you understand how language shapes the world we live in.
English – Graduate Diploma in Arts
The Graduate Diploma in Arts (English) will give you the equivalent of an undergraduate major in English without having to complete a second bachelor’s degree.
Master of Creative Writing – MCW
Use your passion for writing to transform yourself and the world through an intense exploration of language.
Useful planning information
Key information for students
Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions. Learn more on careers.govt.nz