5 Concentrations for a Master’s in English

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Updated August 4, 2020

Master's in English Concentrations

  • English Literature
  • English Writing
  • English Pedagogy
  • English Rhetoric
  • English Film and Media Studies

There are many reasons that people choose to go back and get their Master's in English. Some choose to go back to advance in a career that they already have while others use it as a stepping stone to an even more advanced degree where they are required to use communication skills. Still others choose to complete an internship during their master's program in a field that they would like to explore. Whatever the reason, the student needs to decide on their area of study.

Resource: Top 30 Most Affordable Online Master's in English

Master's in English Literature

Students pursuing English literature may grapple with the works of Hemmingway, Faulkner, Dickens and Tolstoy. They will also explore contemporary genres. Upon completion of the degree, they will know how to analyze texts, challenge assumptions, weigh competing considerations and reach effective conclusions. Many students completing this concentration choose to write a thesis allowing them to specialize in one area of literature such as British literature, American literature or children's literature. Some choose to specialize even further by studying just one author. This is a popular choice for people who are going to pursue advanced studies or who are already teaching these subjects in the classroom.

Master's in English Writing

Students choosing a writing concentration are often looking for an environment that is conducive to the writing process. Many students choosing the writing area have already taken coursework in other fields. During their studies, students learn about the work of other authors who have created great masterpieces by studying their writing styles. They also participate in writing workshops. Most work closely with a professor who has already had literary success. People who complete this degree often become professional writers or head writing workshops at universities. Others choose to use it as a springboard to more advanced studies.

Master's in English Pedagogy

The person completing a concentration in pedagogy wants to learn how to teach others the English language. Therefore, they concentrate on a little from many different areas. They may take coursework in literature to deepen their own skills, but also to learn how to teach it to others. They may also take coursework in creative writing, so that their skills are flawless. As the world becomes more technologically advanced, studies often focus on technical writing. Students also take coursework in education. Many students completing this area of specialization are current teachers or already have a teaching degree. One popular career choice for people with this degree is to teach English as a second language. The Bureau of Labor Statistics say that there will be an increasing demand for people with these skills.

Master's in English Rhetoric

The rhetoric concentration encourages students to consider how language helps people express ideas across culture and throughout history. While students choosing this area to specialize in will take coursework in literary theory and linguistics, they will also take coursework in psychology, philosophy and history. Students choosing this area often want to become political writers or work for the government. Some will choose careers with nonprofits.

Masters in English Film and Media Studies

Increasingly English jobs require some production experience. This concentration is designed to give students that experience. Students learn about cinema as art, complete philosophical studies about film and media along with understanding how great media has impacted cultures around the globe. Many programs also incorporate studies on how to plan a symposium. Often students choosing this area spend some time abroad. Students completing these studies often end up as screenwriters or in museums that feature films.

There are many things that you can do with an Master's in English, so choose the concentration that interests you the most and start pursuing it today.

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