English at Leicester

Applying for an MA

Things to think about

  1. Check that you meet the admission requirements (many MA courses, including our programmes in English, require a First or 2.1 degree, or equivalent. However, we recognise that people returning to study may have other skills and experiences, in lieu of a formal qualification. Contact the admissions team to discuss this in the first instance).
  2. Bear in mind that some MA programmes are very popular. This might influence when you decide to put in your application.
  3. Explore opportunities for funding and check the deadlines for these schemes.


The government offers a Postgraduate Master’s Loan scheme and various institution-specific funding opportunities are available, although some are competitive and have restricted places.

At the University of Leicester, students interested in Masters courses hosted by the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities can apply to the CSSAH Masters Excellence Scholarship scheme (providing a full fee waiver and £9,000 stipend).

In the School of Arts, we also offer two Waddington Scholarships annually (a one-off cash payment of £1,000).

Former University of Leicester undergraduates also benefit from the Centenary Alumni Discount, in the form of a 20% fee waiver.

The application process: what is required?

In order to apply for an MA course in English at the University of Leicester, you will need to provide:

Proof of academic qualifications and grade transcripts

For our current students in their final year: contact English-UG@leicester.ac.uk to request a letter, including (unofficial) Semester 1 results. A formal transcript is provided at graduation: update your application at this point.

Two references or contact details for referees; one must be academic

Ask people who have worked with you closely – preferably in ways relevant to the MA e.g. a special subject module tutor, dissertation supervisor, or personal tutor.

A Personal Statement

Your personal statement needs to provide the admissions team with evidence of your suitability, aptitude, commitment and motivations for undertaking the course.

Your statement should aim to answer three questions:

  1. Why is the course right for you?
  2. Why are you right for the course?
  3. Why that course at that university?

Top tips

Be specific in your personal statement. Give examples of the modules that you’re particularly interested in, based upon the information available online. Show connections with what you have studied previously (i.e. in your undergraduate degree), and illustrate what this course will allow you to do in the future.

Think about the skills and experience that you’ve gained via your undergraduate degree, which provide a foundation for postgraduate study (e.g. dissertation research, longer essays, autonomous research projects).

Don’t forget to include examples of any other experiences that provide evidence of your commitment to further study and research (e.g. ability to meet deadlines, to self-motivate, to work independently).

Tailor your statement by telling the admissions team what draws you to their department and MA course in particular (e.g. you might cite the names of particular lecturers and their subject specialisms, note library resources or archival holdings, or express an interest in their research seminar series).

Aim for a professional tone, while still conveying your personality. Use ‘I’, offer specific examples and evidence, and be enthusiastic (but not melodramatic) in framing your statement.

Here to help

Current University of Leicester students are encouraged to discuss their application with their personal tutor. External candidates can get in touch with any questions by contacting our staff and student ambassadors and admissions team.

Back to top