Master of Arts [MA] (English Literature) - Course Overview




    2 YEARS




    Post Graduation

    Master of Arts [MA] (English Literature) Course Admission, Colleges, Books, Syllabus, Jobs 2020-21

    Atrisa Dutta Atrisa Dutta
    Content Curator

    MA English Literature is a 2-year PG course which is offered by almost all of the Arts universities and colleges across the country. Through this program, the students are offered education regarding Literary Theory and Criticism, Movements in Literature, Linguistics and Semiotics, etc in addition to various genres of British literature as well.

    The minimum eligibility to pursue this course is that the students must have completed graduation in English from a recognized institute.

    CheckMA English Literature Syllabus in detail.

    Admissions are granted based on the aspirants’ performance in their graduation and mostly on a first come first serve basis.

    Key Highlights for MA English Literature 

    • Full Form: Master of Arts in English Literature
    • Duration: 2 years
    • Minimum Eligibility: Graduation (BA) with honours in English/English Literature. 
    • Admission Process: Mostly Merit Based, but few colleges take entrance exams of their own
    • Top Entrance ExamsJNUEE, DU Entrance Exam 
    • Top Colleges: Presidency College Chennai, PSGR Krishnammal College For Women Coimbatore, Sri Krishna Arts and Science College Coimbatore. 
    • Distance Education or Correspondence: Yes
    • Universities Providing courses in distance learning mode: IGNOU, Madhya Pradesh Bhoj Open University. 
    • Top Career Prospects: Editor, Web Content Writer, Teacher. 

    The MA English Literature course is designed to give due emphasis on American Literature, African/African American English Studies, British Literature, Commonwealth Literature, Methods of Teaching English, and Indian Writing in English.

    The table below lists some of the best MA English Literature colleges in India, along with their ranking and fees.

    NIRF College Ranking 2020College NameAdmission Process Average Fees (per annum)Average Salary 
    5Presidency College, Chennai Merit-basedINR 900INR 1,56,000
    10PSGR Krishnammal College For Women, Coimbatore  Merit-based INR 1,478INR 3,50,000
    29Sri Krishna Arts and Science College, Coimbatore Entrance testINR 8,000INR 4,10,000
    101-150Sri Ramakrishna College of Arts and Science, Coimbatore Merit-based INR 41,000INR 2,00,000
    151-200Kristu Jayanti College, Bangalore Merit-based INR 77,000INR 5,70,000

    The average fee charged by MA Colleges in India varies from INR 8,000-1,50,000 for 2 years. The average fees are based on the college, its ranking, placements, etc, and hence differ from college to college.

    Alert: The admission process for most of the MA English Literature colleges and Universities have been postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The application process for most of the colleges is to start in June.

    MA English Literature specializations include Indian Literature, British Literature, Contemporary Literature, Translation Literature, etc.

    After completing the post-graduation course from a recognised university or college, the graduates can start getting a handsome starting salary. The average annual MA English Literature salary offered in India to the successful graduates of the course varies from INR 2.5-5, based on their expertise in the field.

    Top MA English Literature colleges in Uttar Pradesh Top MA English Literature colleges in Tamil Nadu 
    MA English Literature Admission Process

    MA English Literature Admission Process

    • The admission process for MA English Literature program starts mostly in February and March when universities start releasing their application forms.
    • Most of the universities conduct their own examination for offering admission to the MA program in English but there are a few universities that take admission based on the merit-list as well. 
    • The process generally varies across colleges.
    • Post qualifying the entrance exams, the shortlisted students are accepted for the course offered by the colleges offering MA English Literature course.
    • Besides the regular MA English course, many universities such as IGNOU and Madhya Pradesh Bhoj (Open) University also offer this course in distance education mode.

    The following steps are involved in MA English Literature admission. 

    Step 1: Apply for an entrance exam

    The students planning to do this course need to apply for the course and check the kinds of entrance exams conducted by the college to shortlist the students. The students can apply for those entrance exams by filling the application form online or can visit the college as well during Feb or March.

    Step 2: Give the entrance exam

    Step 3: Shortlisting Process

    The Arts colleges consider the eligible students for the course based on the scores achieved in the entrance exams in addition to their performance in graduation. The cut-off list will be announced by the colleges and the shortlisted students will be informed about their admission.

    Step 4: Final Admission Round

    Sometimes the colleges conduct different rounds aiming to test the individual’s ability and skills as well which include Personal Interview (PI) and Counselling. However, these tests are not mandatory and the students can get direct merit-based admission as well.

    MA English Literature Eligibility

    The minimum eligibility to pursue MA English Literature is:

    • The students must have completed graduation from a recognized university.
    • Delhi University offers direct admission to students who have completed their BA English Literature from any of the Colleges affiliated with Delhi University.
    • The students need to have at least 60% or more marks in their graduation (in case belonging to General category).
    • The candidates belonging to OBC/SC/ST/PwD category can apply in case they have obtained 54% marks as well in their graduation candidates. 50% of the total seats are reserved for direct admission.
    • The minimum marks of admission for this course vary from college to college so the students are advised to cross-check the minimum marks required at the time of applying.

    The candidates in the final year are also eligible to apply, but they need to produce their exam scores at the time of counselling (with at least minimum marks required).

    MA English Literature Entrance Exams

    All the major MA English offering universities take their own entrance exam for granting admission to the students interested for this program. The students will have to apply to the entrance exam of the respective university wherever they are seeking admission. 

    Some of the popular entrance exams are discussed below:

    • DU Entrance Test: This entrance exam is conducted by DU every year in order to grant admission to the various PG courses offered by the university. The candidates are allotted not only the in-house PG seats of DU but also the seats offered by various colleges affiliated to DU. 
    • JNUEE : This entrance exam is conducted by NTA every year for granting admission to the various courses offered by JNU
    • Jamila Millia Islamia University Entrance Exam : This entrance exam is conducted every year to grant admission to the various PG courses offered by Jamia Millia Islamia University
    Entrance ExamExam ModeApplication PeriodExam Date
    Delhi University Entrance Test  OnlineApril 2020July 2020
    JNUEE Computer BasedMay 15, 2020July 2020
    Jamia Millia Islamia University Entrance Exam Computer BasedMay 31, 2020June 26, 2020

    How to prepare for the MA English literature Entrance Exams?

    One of the most important things that all the candidates planning to do this master’s course must understand is that they need to study dedicatedly as per the latest exam pattern and syllabus. Mainly, there are three topics covered in all the entrance exams, which are:

    • Language and Literature, General Awareness- Objective type questions
    • Essay topics from various issues related to literature and current affairs- Subjective
    • Poetry Comprehension- Subjective

    The syllabus of the entrance exams might vary but the entire question paper is designed to test the knowledge and skills of the candidate in literature and reading and writing comprehension. 

    • The test is taken in an offline mode.
    • Also, the Entrance Test conducted by Jawaharlal Nehru University is Subjective and prepared to judge the students’ analytical and original thinking skills about various issues related to literature. 
    • The entire duration of the test varies from 2 hours to 3 hours.

    What points must be kept in mind while starting preparing for the Entrance Exams?

    • The students planning to appear for the test can refer to the previous year tests so that they can understand the course content and why is the style of questions that are asked in the exam.
    • The syllabus of all the entrance exams is almost the same, the paper is designed to test the knowledge of a candidate in literature and reading and writing comprehension.
    • The students must revise the entire course content in a detailed way so that they know their weaknesses and strong points as well.
    • Make sure that you do enough written practice as well as many essay topics from various issues related to literature and current affairs can be asked in the exam.
    • The candidates need to stay focused, and continue preparing for the test a few weeks before the actual dates of the test.

    How to Get Admission in a College offering MA English Literature course?

    Only the students who have completed their graduation in English Literature are allowed to apply for the course.

    • The candidates need to have at least 60% marks in their graduation to apply for admission to the colleges offering masters in English literature courses.
    • Be prepared mentally and physically with further rounds which might take place in case you have cleared the entrance exam.
    • Keep track on the important dates of the entrance exams so that you can apply within time.
    • Stay updated with English Literature as it will help you to clear the entrance exam and the interview round.
    • Start preparing for the entrance exam a few months before and keep your target college in mind.

    Post clearing the entrance exam, the list of the shortlisted students will be prepared and the students will be asked to complete the admission formalities so that they can get a seat in their desired college.

    So stay focused and well-educated about the colleges that offer Master of Arts in English literature. Make sure that you follow a strong strategy to crack the entrance exam with a good score.

    MA English Literature: What is it About?

    MA English Literature: What is it About?

    • MA English Literature is a PG course that focuses on an in-depth study of different genres and the factors shaping literature from a particular era. 
    • On the successful completion of the course, the graduates are expected to analyze a work of literature in its historical, cultural, political and philosophical context professionally.
    • By doing this course, the learners will be able to get in-depth knowledge of Literature written in the English language across the world. 
    • Also they will be taught about the importance of English Literature and why studying it is important.
    • Some of the courses related to English Literature include British Literature, American Literature, Indian Literature in English, Translation Literature, Literary Theory, etc that are available at different universities in India.

    There is a pool of opportunity for the graduates post completing MA English Literature and they can start earning a decent salary post completion of their course.

    MA English Literature Course Highlights

    Given below are some of the main highlights of this program.

    Course LevelMasters
    Duration of the Course2 years
    Examination TypeSemester and Annual
    EligibilityGraduation with English as a core subject
    Admission ProcessMerit-based/entrance test
    Average Course FeeINR 8,000-1.5 Lakhs
    Average SalaryINR 2.5- 5 Lakhs
    Top Recruiting CompaniesAditya Birla Group, Amazon, Bengaluru International Airport, Cognizant, Goldman Sachs, HCL, Infosys, Schools, Educational Institutions
    Top Job AreasEducation, Teaching, News Agencies, Corporates, BPOs, etc.
    Top Job PositionsTeacher, Translator, Publisher, Writer, etc.
    Why study MA English Literature?

    Why study MA English Literature?

    There are numerous reasons for pursuing this course out of which a few reasons are mentioned below:

    • With the demand for content writers increasing day-by-day, MA English Literature is currently one of the most in-demand courses. 
    • The candidates completing this course will have job opportunities not only in the field of literature, but also in the field of content writing, SEO based writing, content editing, among others. 
    • As the content writing jobs are expected to grow further in future, the candidates will have ample job opportunities. 
    • The candidates will have lots of scope in the academic sector as well. The candidates willing to go for further studies can pursue PhD in English Literature. 
    • The candidates can also do a lot of research projects on the various types of literature present across the globe. 

    It will further open new doors of thriving career opportunities.

    MA in English Literature VS MA In English

    Course Comparison

    Beneath we are discussing few differences between MA in English Literature and MA In Creative Writing.

    CourseMA in English Literature MA In English 
    OverviewThis course is designed to offer an in-depth knowledge of Literature written in the English language globally. This course does not deal with grammar and comprehension. This course not only covers the literature portion, but also the grammatical, and comprehensive part of English Language. 
    Course duration2 years PG course2 years PG course
    Job RoleWriter, Author, Literary CriticsTeacher, Writer, Lecturer. 
    CostINR 8,000 – 1.5 lakhsINR 4,000 - 80,000
    Average Annual SalaryINR 2-5 LakhsINR 3- 8 lakh per annum
    MA in English Literature VS MA In English
    MA English Literature Colleges

    MA English Literature Colleges

    There are numerous colleges that offer master’s in English Literature to the qualifying students. Below tables lists some of the top colleges for this course:

    College NameAdmission Process Average Fees (per annum)Average Placement Package 
    Presidency College, Chennai Merit-based INR 900INR 1,56,000
    Sri Krishna Arts and Science College, Coimbatore Own entrance testINR 8,000INR 4,10,000
    Christ Church College, Kanpur  Merit-based INR 3,500NA
    Shoolini University, Solan Own entrance testINR 76,000INR 4,07,000
    Madurai Kamaraj University, MaduraiOwn entrance testINR 8,000INR 1,99,600
    Agra College, Agra Merit-based INR 3,200NA
    English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad Own entrance testINR 5,500INR 4,50,000
    Average Annual Fees for Top colleges INR

    Source: College Website

    College Comparison

    In the table below, we have discussed the major comparisons between the top three colleges providing MA English Literature course:

    College NamePresidency College, Chennai Shri Krishna Arts and Science College, Coimbatore Christ Church College, Kanpur 
    Overview It is one of the oldest colleges in India, established in the British era. It is currently one of the top ranked colleges in India. This college is known for excellence in the field of Science and Arts. It is one of the top 50 colleges in India. It is a private institute offering courses in Arts, Science and Commerce. This college offers a bulk majority of seats to its own students who completed graduation from the college itself. 
    Ranking and Recognition NIRF 2020 - 5NIRF 2020 - 29----
    Admission ProcessMerit-based Entrance examMerit-based 
    Average Fees (annual)INR 900INR 8,000INR 3,500
    Average Placement package INR 1,56,000INR 4,10,000NA
    Admission Process Merit-based Entrance testMerit-based 
    Top recruiting companiesITCInfotech, KPMG, Mahindra Comviva, Naukri Com, Trust, Saint Gobai, etc.Flipkart, IBM, Axis Bank, Federal Bank, Chegg, AccentaStaples, Swiss Re, Target, TATA Consultancy Services, Thomson Reuters, Wells Fargo, etc.


    Average Annual Fees Vs Average Placement package of Top Colleges

    Source: College Website and NIRF data. 

    MA English Literature Distance Learning

    Many universities allow students to do a Master degree in English Literature in the distance or correspondence mode. This kind of study is perfect for the candidates who are unable to join a regular college or have failed to get admission in any regular program.

    List of the universities offering MA English Literature through the correspondence mode are:

    MA English Literature Syllabus

    MA English Literature Syllabus

    MA English Literature prepares students to become teachers and creative English writers. All the aspects of the course include prose, poetry, and fiction. The subjects might differ from college to college, but the majority of the course concepts remain the same in almost all the colleges.

    An overview of the prospective syllabus for MA English program is mentioned below:

    Semester Topics Covered
    Semester 1 English Novel
    English Drama
    English Poetry
    English Prose and Essays
    Literature in the 17th century
    Literature in the 18th century
    Literature in the 19th century
    Romanticism, Neoclassicism
    Modernism and Post- Modernism
    Semester 2American Literature
    African Literature
    Australian Literature
    Irish Literature
    Canadian Literature
    Native-American Literature
    South African Literature
    Semester 3English in India: Sociological and Historical.
    Indian Writings in English
    Literature in Indian English
    Indian Writings Translated into English
    Semester 4History of English Language
    Phonology and Morphology of the English Language
    Syntax and Structure
    Linguistic Approach to Literature
    Stylistic and Discourse Structure

    Apart from these subjects, the students can choose from the courses that are available at universities including

    • Literary Theory
    • Literary History
    • English Studies
    • Postcolonial Literature
    • Women Writings
    • Linguistics as well.

    Read about English Literature syllabus in detail. 

    MA English Literature Books

    The following table includes the name of some important books that would be of great help to an MA English Literature student:

    Name of the bookAuthor 
    AntigoneJean Anouilh
    Beginning Theory: An Introduction To Literary and Cultural TheoryPeter Barry
    Paradise LostJohn Milton
    Theory of CriticismRaman Selden
    The Art of RhetoricAristotle
    MA English Literature Jobs and Career Options

    MA English Literature Jobs and Career Options

    The MA English Literature graduates can easily get employed within the organizations immediately after completing their studies. Some of the popular working sectors where the graduates can apply include:

    • Education
    • Teaching
    • News Agencies
    • Corporates
    • BPOs

    Besides the above-mentioned sectors, many other sectors hunt for the qualified English Literature graduates who have an in-depth knowledge of English Literature.

    The table below describes some of the few job positions that can be considered by the MA in English Literature graduates along with the Average Salary Scale:

    Job PositionJob DescriptionAverage Annual Salary
    Editor or Assistant EditorIt is one of the popular choices among English Literature students post completing their studies. A diploma degree in Book publishing can be helpful.INR 6 LPA
    Web Content WriterToday Web Content Writers are in high demand and their role includes writing catchy and informative articles for web pages and blogs.INR 6-7 LPA
    Academic WriterAcademic writers need to write research papers, journal writings, Statement of purposes etc.INR 5 LPA
    TeacherPost Graduates in English Literature get appointed as PGT. Having an additional degree in B.Ed. will help in getting a good job.INR 4-5 LPA
    SEOSEO or Search Engine Optimization has emerged as the most popular field of work and is perfect for the individuals having excellent English language skills.INR 4-5 LPA
    Public ServantAfter completing a Postgraduate degree, the graduates can also appear in competitive examinations for jobs in various Government departments.INR 6 LPA
    Average Annual Salary
    MA English Literature Future Scope

    MA English Literature Future Scope

    • The demand for MA English Literature graduates is increasing day by day and they get wider employment opportunities to explore post completing their studies. 
    • Various departments like the Education department, Teaching, News Agencies, Corporates, MNCs etc hunt for the graduates in this field who can help in the growth of the company by using their expertise and educational skills. 
    • Pursuing a masters’ course in English Literature will help the graduates to get attractive job opportunities that pay them a decent salary as well.
    • Also, post completing MA English Literature, the graduates can pursue further studies by considering limitless options. 
    • The graduates can do an M.Phil. course in any of the branches of literary studies. M.Phil. is a Master of Philosophy Program which is a theoretical and research-based course. Doing M.Phil.
    • It is a perfect option for the graduates who want to start a career in academics and want to do detailed research in Literature.
    • Also, the graduates can give UGC-NET entrance test in English Literature to get direct admission in Ph.D. programs offered by numerous colleges and universities.
    MA English Literature FAQs

    MA English Literature FAQs

    Ques. What is the course content?

    Ans. The entire course is designed to lay emphasis on American Literature, African/ African American English Studies, British Literature, Indian Writing in English, etc.

    Ques. Which courses can I do after completing MA in English Literature?

    Ans. After completing MA in English Literature, the following options are available for a candidate willing to do further studies:

    • M.Phil. in English Literature
    • M.Phil. in Creative Writing
    • M.Phil. in Language and Literature
    • M.Phil. in Linguistics
    • M.Phil. in Comparative Literature
    • M.Phil. in Comparative Religion
    • M.Phil. in Translation Literature

    Ques. What is the scope of doing this program in India?

    Ans. There are tons of job opportunities that can be considered post completing this course from a recognized college or university. After completing the course, the candidates with skills can get a high salary for the jobs like Project Management, Writing, and Web Content Management etc.

    Ques. What careers can be explored post completing a Master of Arts English Literature course?

    Ans. The graduates are prepared to take up the challenging role within an organization. They can work as Writers, Publisher, Translator, Editor, Public Servant in addition to exploring other options as well.

    Ques. Which are the best Places to Pursue MA in English Literature?

    Ans. Some of the top colleges for this course are:

    • University of Delhi, Delhi
    • Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
    • Ambedkar University, Delhi
    • Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi
    • Loyola College, Chennai
    • University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad

    Ques. What are the minimum requirements of MA in English Literature?

    Ans. The candidates must have completed graduation in English Literature from a recognised board.

    Ques. What is the entire duration of the program?

    Ans. The Masters of Art in English Literature is a two years post graduate course.

    Ques. What are the Entrance Exams for doing a Master of Arts in English Literature?

    Ans. Some of the entrance exams for doing a Master of Arts in English Literature include:

    • University of Delhi Entrance Examination
    • Jawaharlal Nehru University Entrance Examination
    • Jamia Millia Islamia University Entrance Examination

    Ques. How can I Fill the Application Form?

    Ans. The application form can be obtained online by visiting the official website or the students planning to do this course can visit the college as well in which they are planning to apply.

    Ques. Can I get a job abroad post completing MA in English Literature

    Ans. Yes, you can. There are many companies from a variety of fields that look for graduates from English literature. You can start working as a proof-reader, copy editor, copywriter, etc. in an international firm. Also, you can opt for research-based work abroad.

    Master of Arts [MA] (English Literature) Fee Structure in India

    770 (Minimum Fee)PUBLIC COLLEGES1.49 L (Maximum Fee)
    25.23 K (Average Fee)
    1.38 K (Minimum Fee)PRIVATE COLLEGES1.47 L (Maximum Fee)
    37.09 K (Average Fee)

    Master of Arts [MA] (English Literature) Fee Structure by State

    Tamil Nadu

    12.61 K
    31.54 K

    Madhya Pradesh

    32.53 K
    43.39 K


    2.03 KPUBLIC COLLEGES23.96 K
    13 K
    29.17 K

    Uttar Pradesh

    15 K
    10.25 K


    10.46 KPUBLIC COLLEGES10.46 K
    10.46 K
    20.09 K


    5.89 K
    41.44 K



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