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MA in English: Course, Syllabus, IGNOU, Eligibility, Distance Education, Full Form, Jobs

Master of Arts in English is a 2 year post graduate course that deals with the study of English Literature and Language all over the world. MA in English deals with various novels, stories, poetry and epics written by prominent writers. MA in English help student to have a better grasp of the English language, and develop analytical skills, and critical thinking ability. MA in English Full Form is Master of Arts in English. 

MA in English Admission is ongoing and the most common ways of getting admission are through entrance exams or through merit-based. Top colleges like JNU, Calcutta University, St Xaviers College Kolkata, Delhi University and Presidency College all take entrance exams for MA in English Admission 2023.

MA in English is also available in distance mode. MA in English IGNOU is the most popular destination for MA in English Distance Education. The course fees for MA in English IGNOU are INR 13,200. The duration is 2 years and the course fee is INR 13,600. 

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MA in English syllabus consists of subjects like English Poetry from Chaucer to Milton, Eighteenth-Century English Literature, Language and Linguistics, and works of Shakespeare and Indian Literature.   

M.A English: Course Details 

MA in English Full Form Master of Arts in English
MA in English Course Duration 2 years
MA in English Average Course Fees (INR) 40,000 - 50,000
MA in English Admission Process Entrance Exams
MA in English Eligibility Should clear BA in English with 50% aggregate from a recognised university
MA in English Top Colleges Miranda House, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Hindu College
MA in English Average Salary (INR) 3.5 - 4 LPA
MA in English Job Scope Journalist, Teacher, Editor, Script Writer etc

What is MA in English?

MA in English extensively covers topics from English Literature which primarily focuses on  Poetry, Prose, Drama and Linguistics. Considering the fact that Literature itself is a vast subject, students are given the opportunity to select electives and opt for a specialization of their choice. After completing an MA in English, one can choose to pursue PhD in English or can start working in various sectors such as Teaching, Journalism, Language Translator etc.

Why MA in English?

One can argue several reasons for choosing an MA in English, such as it gives an immense career boost for people seeking jobs in teaching or journalism fields, it opens a plethora of opportunities for people who are interested in making their careers in Writing or working as a translator at various international agencies.

Below mentioned are some of the reasons why MA in English should be taken up as a career course by students,

  • It can take you down a number of career paths: An MA in English degree can open innumerable professional doors. Which some of the conventional career options include editing, journalism, teaching and writing. However, of late students pursue MA in English to land a job in content marketing and content writing, or land a position in a community college or university. It is estimated that a professor in a University makes about INR 80,000 - 1,20,000 per month.
  • Prepare for International Job Markets: While seeking a job abroad, education qualification matters to a great extent. MA in English will not only help you in landing your dream job but will also help you to grow considering the grasp you have over the subject.
  • Improve your own language skills: An MA in English will improve your vocabulary skills to a huge extent. No matter how good you are, you will notice that words come to mind more easily and that you think in English more often than before.
  • A highlight in your CV: The fact that you have graduated with your Masters's in English, will automatically mean that you have a command over the language. Students with English speaking skills are always preferred in every industry not only in India but globally.

Who Should Pursue MA in English?

  • Students who wish to make their career in the field of Journalism, Editing and Writing should take up MA in English. 
  • Students who want to pursue Literature can take up MA in English as their core subject
  • MA in English aggravates the fact that it leads to immense job opportunities abroad, so students who wish to work abroad should definitely pursue MA in English

MA in English Admission 2023

Students who are seeking admission to in MA in English, have to sit for various entrance exams that are conducted by Universities and Colleges across India. Colleges like Hindu College, Annamalai University enroll students on the basis of merit. 

  • The online registration for Lady Shri Ram College for Women for MA in English will close by the 2nd week of June 2023. 
  • The last date for registration for St. Stephen’s College and Miranda House is on June 2023.
  • There are several entrance exams that are conducted for enrolling students for MA in English courses, such as JNUEE, DUET, IPU CET etc.
  • The application fees ranges from INR 1,000 - 1,700

MA in English Eligibility

The Eligibility criteria for MA in English courses are almost the same in all colleges and universities. Below mentioned are few of the major eligibility criteria one should adhere to,

  • Students should clear their Bachelor’s degree, i.e. BA in English with 45% - 50% aggregate marks or equal CGPA
  • They should have their Bachelor’s degree from a recognized college / university 

After fulfilling the eligibility criteria students have to take the admission test or are selected on the basis of merit depending on the college / university.

MA in English Entrance Exams

Admissions to MA in English courses are done on the basis of both entrance exams and on the basis of merit as already discussed before. Some of the entrance exams for MA in English courses are tabulated below for your reference,

MA in English Entrance Exam Dates

Exam Name Application Period Exam Date
NPAT December 01, 2022 – May 21, 2023  January 04, 2023 – May 31, 2023
TISS BAT February 10, 2023 - March 12, 2023 May 21 – 31, 2023
IPU CET March 2023 – April 2023 April 2023
JNUEE To be Announced To be Announced
CUET PG Mid March 2023 – 3rd week of March 2023 June 1 – 10, 2023

MA in English Entrance Exam Preparation

Before appearing for the MA in English entrance exams, students should be aware of all the details regarding the entrance exams. Below mentioned are some of the tips that would help them clear their exams hassle-free,

  • Study the entire syllabus for the entrance exams, covering each topic and studying in details about them
  • Topics like Contemporary British and Indian Literature, Historical Coverage of English Literature, Contextual Readings of all ages etc should be studied thoroughly.
  • Prepare your skills on Quantitative Aptitude, English Comprehension, Analytical Reasoning, Data Interpretation etc.

MA in English Syllabus

MA in English syllabus covers topics such as Literary Criticism, Drama, Fiction, Poetry etc, along with a vast choice of electives such as, American Literature, Canadian Literature, Indian English Literature eyc.

Below mentioned is the syllabus for MA in English courses, 

First Year

Introduction to Linguistics Poetry 1
Drama Linguistics and English Language Teaching
Prose Fiction 1
Poetry Drama 2

Second Year

Literary Criticism Poetry
Drama Elective
Fiction Literary Criticism 2

MA in English Subjects

The subjects that are covered in the entire 2 year run of an MA in English course are tabulated in details for your reference, 

Semester 1 

The Structure of Modern English
Communication Morphology
Phonology Syntax
Morphology Semantics
English Fiction
Jonathan Swift: Gulliver’s Travels Henry Fielding: Joseph Andrews
Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice Charles Dickens: David Copperfield
George Elliot: Middlemarch -
Traditional English Drama
Ben Jonson: Volpone Christopher Marlow: Dr. Faustus
William Congreve: The Way of the World Sheridan: The School for Scandal
William Goldsmith: She Stoops to Conquer -
Indian Verses
Background to Indian English Poetry Nissim Ezekiel
Arun Kolatkar: Jejuri The Old PlayHouse and Other Poems
English Language and Literature Training
Methods and Approaches to Language Teaching Teaching of Grammar
Dimensions of Research in English Language and English Literature Teaching of Language Skills
Approaches to Teaching of Literature Teaching of Poetry, Drama, Fiction
Research Methodology
What is Research? Constructing Research Design
Research Process Dimensions of Research in English Language & Literature
Development, Hypothesis and Preparation of Research Proposal Research Process
Parts of Dissertation Presentation of Research
Major Concerns in the Thesis -

Semester II

The Study of Modern English
Language and Society Distinctive Features of British, American and Indian English
Pragmatics English in India
Introduction to Stylistics -
English Fiction
Thomas Hardy: Jude the Obscure Joseph Conrad: Lord Jim
D H Lawrence: Sons and Lovers Graham Greene: The Power and the Glory
EM Forster: A Passage to India -
Modern English Drama
GB Shaw: Candida TS Eliot: Murder in the Cathedral
Samuel Backett: Waiting for Godot Harold Pinter: Homecoming
John Osborne: Look Back in Anger -
Indian Prose Works
Background to Indian Prose Kanthapura
Lokmanya Tilak: Essays from Bal Gangadhar Tilak RK Narayan: An Astrologer’s Day
Rohinton Mistry: A Fine Balance -

Semester III 

Literary Theory and Criticism
Aristotle: The Poetics Philip Sidney: An Apology of Poetry
Dr. Johnson: A Preface to Shakespeare William Wordsworth: A Preface to Lyrical Ballads
Matthew Arnold: The Study of Poetry -
English Poetry
John Milton: Paradise Lost Book1 John Donne: The Sun Rising
Andrew Marvell: To his Coy Mistress Alexander Pope: The Rape of the Lock
William Blake: From Songs of Innocence -
American Literature
Background Topics Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter
Mark Twain: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Poetry
Thoreau: Civil Disobedience -
Research Methodology
What is Research? Constructing Research Design
Research Process Dimensions of Research in English Language and English Literature
Development, Hypothesis and Preparation of Research Proposal Research Process
Parts of the Dissertation Presentation of Research
Writing Styles Major Concerns in the Thesis
English Language and Literature Teaching
Methods and Approaches to Language Teaching Teaching of Grammar
Relationship between Psychology and Teaching of Language Teaching of Language Skills
Approaches to the Teaching of Literature Teaching of Poetry, Drama and Fiction

Semester IV 

Literary Theory and Criticism
TS Eliot: Tradition and the Individual Talent FR Leavis: Literature and Society
Northrop Frye: The Archetypes of Literature Ronald Barthes: The Death of the Author
Elaine Showalter: Feminist Criticism in the Wilderness -
English Poetry
ST Coleridge: The Rime of Ancient Mariner William Wordsworth Poetry
Alfred Tennyson Poetry Robert Browning Poetry
WB Yeats Poetry -
King Lear Macbeth
Julius Caesar Measure for Measure
Tempest -
American Literature
Background Topics Arthur Miller: The Death of a Salesman
Edward Albee: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf John Steinbeck: Of Mice and Men
Poetry -

MA in English Colleges in India

India is home to some 760 universities and 38,498 colleges, out of which some are government colleges and some are private colleges. Out of these are a total number of approximately 15,000 arts colleges that offer MA in English courses. Some of these colleges are situated in top metropolitan cities while some are located in smaller cities and towns. 

Below table will elaborately show the top colleges spread across 5 metropolitan cities in India,

MA in English Colleges in Delhi

Delhi alone is home to around 580 arts colleges that offer MA in English, some of the top colleges in Delhi offering MA in English are,

Name of the Colleges Average Fees (INR)
Miranda House 25,060
Lady Shri Ram College for Women 30,407
St Stephen’s College 10,299
Hindu College 36,020
Gargi College 24,162

MA in English Colleges in Mumbai

There are a total 260 arts colleges in Mumbai, some of the top colleges offering MA in English in Mumbai are, 

MA in English Colleges in Kolkata

Kolkata is home to 124 arts colleges, of which some are government colleges and some are private colleges, Below mentioned table states the top MA in English colleges in Kolkata, 

Name of the Colleges Average Fees (INR)
Jadavpur University 4,940
St. Xavier’s University 2,23,000
Lady Brabourne College 27,174
St Xavier’s College 50,500
Presidency University 4,800

MA in English Colleges in Bangalore

There are 175 total Arts colleges in Bangalore who offer MA in English courses, some of them are tabulated below 

Name of the Colleges Average Fees (INR)
Christ University 20,000
Kristu Jayanti College 70,000
Jain University 50,000
Jyoti Nivas College 40,000
Garden City University 94,500

MA in English Colleges in Pune

Pune is home to a total of 123 arts colleges, some of the top colleges offering MA English courses are, 

MA in English Distance Education

Apart from the regular MA in English courses, there are colleges like IGNOU, Annamalai University etc that offer admissions to MA English courses through distance education. The eligibility criteria for pursuing Distance MA in English courses are,

  • Students should clear their undergraduate or bachelor courses from a recognised University
  • There are no specific marks criteria, however one has to pass in all subjects to get admitted in a MA in English Distance Education courses

The average fees for pursuing MA in English correspondence range from INR 10,045 - 21,488. MA in English IGNOU is one of the most popular destinations for MA in English Correspondence. 

Some of the top universities / colleges offering MA in English Distance Education are as follows

MA in English IGNOU

IGNOU is the most popular Distance Education institute in India. Students wanting to do a MA in English degree from IGNOU must have a valid Bachelor’s Degree from a recognized University/ College. The fees for MA in English IGNOU is INR 13,600. The admission takes place directly on the basis of marks obtained in graduation. Students are required to have 64 credits to complete the course. Each year has 32 credits.     

MA in English Abroad

Every year thousands of students go to abroad countries for higher education. Similarly, there is quite an impressive number of students who travel abroad to pursue MA in English courses. The eligibility criteria generally demand students to clear IELTS or TOEFL apart from maintaining a consistently good academic record.

What After MA in English?

There are several courses that one can choose to pursue after completing an MA in English. Students can take up PhD in English or can also prepare for various government exams. Also if someone wants to opt for a more specific career choice, they can choose to study Linguistics or Comparative Literature. There are endless possibilities that can be taken up.

Courses After MA in English

After completing an MA in English, the most attempted choice that students opt for is PhD in English. There are several colleges and universities that offer PhD in English across India, such as JNU, Calcutta University, Mumbai University etc. 

The eligibility criteria for pursuing PhD in English are,

  • Students should complete their Post Graduation or Masters degree in a relevant subject from a recognized university with a minimum of 50% aggregate marks or equal CGPA
  • Students from SC / ST category will get a relaxation of 5% from the total aggregate marks

Some of the top colleges offering PhD in English are tabulated below for your reference, 

Name of the Colleges Average Fees (INR)
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) 856
University of Calcutta 10,000
Mumbai University 15,000
Delhi University 12,555
IGNOU 6,600

MA in English Jobs

There are several job sectors and profiles for students who complete MA in English courses. Considering English is one of the major official languages globally, students with a degree in English can get placed at several international job sectors.

Below mentioned are few of the top jobs and jobs profiles students can be offered post completing MA in English.

Top Recruiters

Some of the top recruiters in this field of study are as follows, 

The Telegraph The Times of India British Council
TCS Infosys IBM
Deloitte MSL Group Weber Shandwick

Top Job Profiles 

Job Profiles Job Description
Editor or Assistant Editor A popular choice among English Literature Post Graduates. A diploma degree in Book publishing can be helpful.
Web Content Writer A fast-growing career option for English for English Graduates. Web Content Writer’s job is to write catchy and informative articles for web pages and blogs.
Academic Writer Academic Writing is also a popular choice among English Graduates. An academic writer basically has to write research papers, journal writings, Statement of purposes etc
Teacher Post Graduates in English Literature can be hired as PGT. An additional degree in B.Ed. helps secure a good position
Translator A translator’s job is to translate a given document in English. A diploma degree in translation is advised.
SEO Analyst SEO or Search Engine Optimization has emerged as a fast-growing field of work and is perfect for people with excellent English language skills.

MA in English Salary in India 

Job Profiles Average Salary (INR)
Editor or Assistant Editor 3.5 - 5 LPA
Web Content Writer 3 - 4.5 LPA
Academic Writer 2.5 - 5 LPA
Teacher 3.5 - 6 LPA
Translator 4 - 6 LPA
SEO Analyst 4 - 7.5 LPA

MA in English FAQs 

Ques. What is the career scope of the MA in English course in the Private Sector?

Ans. There are many career opportunities available for MA in English students in the Private Sector. After completing their Master’s in English literature studies, students can apply for a trainee position, as corporate managers, communication HR, a journalist for many news channels or can apply for content development positions. Some of the other fields besides this are Freelance Writer, Copywriter, Editor, Jobs with BPO and KPO firms, Novelist, Technical Writer, Reporter, and Teacher.

Ques. What is the career scope of the MA in English course in the Government Sector?

Ans. Graduates of English literature or to be specific MA in English can apply for government jobs in literary critics, online publications, or government media & communication departments. Apart from this, there are many public service areas where they can get jobs. Some of the job profiles are Insurance Agent, Civil Service Officer, Interpreter, Decoders, Librarian, Teachers, Tourist guides, and Translators.

Ques. How is the MA in English course useful?

Ans. English Literature is a wonderful subject. It helps students to learn about life and overcome the English communication barrier. A student can get advanced knowledge about the world of literature and enrich his speaking and writing skills. With the deep learning of prose, poetry and fiction, and poetry, it will make your learning a more joyous one. You will also learn about the beliefs, traditions, mindset, and culture of some popular countries like Britain or America.

Ques. What can one do after completing a course of MA in English Literature?

Ans. Any candidate can go either for an M.Phil. or can prepare for NET JRF, if they aspire to become a college lecturer. One can also apply for a Ph.D. or can apply for a trainer or Teacher position in High school. Apart from these a candidate may also open his coaching institution or may apply for the position of corporate communication manager or public relations employee in any suitable firm.

Ques. Which university is good for MA in English in India?

Ans. Some of the most popular universities and colleges in India which offer a Master of Arts in English course are Miranda House College, Presidency University, Lady Shri Ram College, St. Xavier’s College, Fergusson College, and many more.

Ques. What is the duration of a MA in English Literature course in India?

Ans. The duration for a Master of Arts in English Literature is generally 2 years. A student may pursue the course on-campus or through distance learning.

Ques. Which universities offer Distance Education for MA in English in India?

Ans. There are several universities in India, which offer students to pursue a Master’s degree in English in the distance or correspondence mode. Some of the colleges and universities are Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Amity University (Distance Learning), Annamalai University (Distance Education), and Madhya Pradesh Bhoj (Open) University.

Ques. What is the average annual fee for an MA in English course?

Ans. The average fee charged by MA in English Colleges ranges between INR 4,000 to 80,000 per annum. It can be higher or lower depending upon the institution which you have selected.

Ques. Which courses are studied in MA in English?

Ans. Some of the courses available at different MA in English offering Universities are British Literature, Indian Literature in English, American Literature, Translation Literature, Literary Theory, English Studies, Literary History, Women Writings, Postcolonial Literature, and Linguistics.

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

300 (Minimum Fee)PUBLIC COLLEGES2.15 L  (Maximum Fee)
19.74 K (Average Fee)
583 (Minimum Fee)Private COLLEGES10.14 L (Maximum Fee)
64.65 K (Average Fee)

Master of Arts [MA] (English) Fee Structure By state

Tamil Nadu

14.25 K
936Private COLLEGES2.59 L
45.63 K

Uttar Pradesh

16.94 K
2.88 KPrivate COLLEGES2.80 L
49.78 K


12.82 K
583Private COLLEGES1.96 L
49.65 K


14.87 K
5.96 KPrivate COLLEGES1.50 L
29.03 K

Delhi NCR

34.41 K
2.88 KPrivate COLLEGES10.14 L
1.46 L


26.10 K
7.22 KPrivate COLLEGES10.14 L
1.29 L


39.68 K
12.79 KPrivate COLLEGES1.51 L
57.22 K

West Bengal

18.39 K
61 KPrivate COLLEGES2.09 L
1.06 L


10.79 K
6.60 KPrivate COLLEGES2.09 L
71.10 K


35.68 K
8 KPrivate COLLEGES5 L
1.36 L

Madhya Pradesh

10.43 K
2 KPrivate COLLEGES2 L
62.91 K


16.56 K
1.64 KPrivate COLLEGES2.13 L
75.32 K

Andhra Pradesh

18.86 K
6 KPrivate COLLEGES1.50 L
47.25 K


14.55 K
14.76 KPrivate COLLEGES2.20 L
82.21 K


15.36 K
31.50 KPrivate COLLEGES1.99 L
1.13 L
29.24 K
19.32 KPrivate COLLEGES1.70 L
92.54 K
9.87 K
4.55 KPrivate COLLEGES18.70 K
10.41 K


5.29 K
10.50 KPrivate COLLEGES1.29 L
50.15 K


15.74 K
14.40 KPrivate COLLEGES50 K
36.46 K


21.18 K
2.42 KPrivate COLLEGES80 K
41.35 K

Himachal Pradesh

24.81 K
8.44 KPrivate COLLEGES80 K
51.10 K


30.39 K
12.79 KPrivate COLLEGES1.20 L
55.07 K


33.60 K
75 KPrivate COLLEGES4 L
1.45 L

Jammu and Kashmir

79.92 K
24.37 KPrivate COLLEGES24.37 K
24.37 K

Arunachal Pradesh

5.24 K
60 KPrivate COLLEGES92 K
79.20 K


6.60 K
1.05 LPrivate COLLEGES1.32 L
1.16 L


21.07 K
82.05 KPrivate COLLEGES1.13 L
96.26 K


13.27 K
77 KPrivate COLLEGES77 K
77 K


11.43 K
3.06 KPrivate COLLEGES3.06 K
3.06 K


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