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We offer a wide range of courses and degree paths in literature, critical approaches to the literary, and literary theory. Our programs combine challenging and intensive study. You’ll have the opportunity to develop teaching, research, and professional profiles. You’ll graduate prepared for  jobs that focus on writing, research, and analysis inside and outside of and academia.

Degree programs offered

Our MA program provides advanced courses in literary periods, genres, methods, and theory. You'll gain a solid foundation in research through your coursework and a final long essay or critical project.

Our MA has three optional specialized concentrations: medieval and early modern studies (MEMS), nineteenth century studies (NCS), and cultural, social and political thought (CSPT).

This concentration is for MA and PhD students who are passionate about critical theory and its interactions with contemporary social and political phenomena. You’ll participate in the Cultural, Social and Political Thought (CSPT) Program, where you’ll engage with theory that transcends disciplinary boundaries and be part of a cohort of students from across the humanities and social sciences. You’ll take core courses in CSPT and complete a thesis or dissertation with a substantial theory component.

In our PhD program, you’ll pursue the most advanced, research-intensive degree our department offers. This program consists of courses, candidacy exams, and a doctoral dissertation. This degree will prepare you for a range of humanities careers.

You’ll work with distinguished faculty, in a department that has special strengths in medieval and early modern studies, Victorian literature, modernism, book and media studies, digital humanities, and literatures of the West Coast. We also offer an optional concentration in cultural, social and political thought (CSPT). Additional credentials are available through teaching, research assistantships, and collaborations with other programs.

Program Expected length Project and/or thesis Course-based
MA 1 year Yes No
MA (CSPT) 2 years Yes No
PhD 5 years Yes No

Quick facts

Program options:
Masters, Doctorate
Program delivery:
Dynamic learning:
Co-op optional

Areas of focus

  • British, Canadian, American and Irish literature
  • Postcolonial literature
  • Critical theory
  • Period-focused literature
  • Digital humanities and media studies

Find a supervisor

You do not need to identify a supervisor before applying to our master's program. We recommend you study our faculty listings and consider who you might like to work with.

Adrienne Williams Boyarin

Associate Professor Medieval literature

Alison Chapman

Professor Nineteenth-century literature and culture, Victorian poetry, women's writing, Anglo-Italian studies, Digital Humanities.

Allan Mitchell

Professor Medieval Literature

Andrew Murray

Assistant Teaching Professor

Christopher Douglas

Professor Contemporary American Fiction; multiculturalism; postmodernism

Eric Miller

Associate Professor Poetry; the lyric essay; Friedrich Hoelderlin; Ann Radcliffe; Elizabeth Simcoe

Erin Ellerbeck

Assistant Professor & Literature Adviser Renaissance literature; Shakespeare

Erin Kelly

Associate Professor & Academic Writing Program Advisor Rhetoric; Renaissance; Shakespeare; sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English drama

G. Kim Blank

Professor English Romantic poetry; cultural studies; theories of influence; university writing

Gary Kuchar

Professor Renaissance literature; seventeenth-century poetry and prose; intellectual history; Reformation culture; Shakespeare; Critical Theory

Iain Higgins

Professor Medieval English and Scottish literature; poetry; travel writing; utopian and dystopian fiction

James Dopp

Associate Professor Canadian literature; hockey

Janelle Jenstad

Associate Professor Shakespeare; Renaissance drama; London studies; bibliographical and print culture; digital humanities

Jentery Sayers

Associate Professor Media studies; American literature; critical theory; interactive fiction; prototyping; praxis and pedagogy

Joseph Grossi

Associate Professor Old and Middle English literature

Kim McLean-Fiander

Assistant Teaching Professor Early modern literature, book history, women writers, digital humanities

Lincoln Shlensky

Associate Professor Cultural studies; Film and media studies; Postcolonialism; Caribbean literature; Jewish and Hebrew studies

Lisa Chalykoff

Associate Teaching Professor Canadian literature

Lisa Surridge

Professor Victorian fiction and culture; illustrated Victorian serial fiction; legal writing

Luke Carson

Associate Professor & Honours Program Adviser Modern and contemporary American poetry; aesthetic theory

Magdalena Kay

Professor Twentieth- and twenty-first-century British poetry; Irish poetry; Polish poetry; comparative literature; poetics

Mary Elizabeth Leighton

Professor Victorian Literature

Michael Nowlin

Professor & Chair 19th - and 20th-Century American literature

Misao Dean

Professor Early Canadian writing on animals and the natural world; the Canadian novel; representation; contemporary critical theory; feminisms

Monika Smith

Assistant Teaching Professor Academic and Technical Writing

Nancy Wright

Professor Shakespearean drama; seventeenth-century English poetry; literature and legal history; literature, religion and film.

Nicholas Bradley

Associate Professor Canadian literature, American literature, literatures of the West Coast

Nicole Shukin

Associate Professor Theories of biopower; politics of nature and animals; cultures of globalization

Raymond Siemens

Distinguished Professor Renaissance literature; textual culture; editorial theory; Humanities Computing

Rebecca Gagan

Assistant Teaching Professor Romanticism; Pedagogy; Academic Writing; Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; Community-Engaged Learning

Richard Pickard

Assistant Teaching Professor & Acting Professional Communication Adviser Environmental humanities; composition; 18th C. poetry; BC writing; professional and technical writing

Richard van Oort

Professor Shakespeare; literary theory; generative anthropology; literature and anthropology

Robert Miles

Professor Romanticism; the eighteenth century; 19th century British literature

Samuel Wong

Assistant Teaching Professor

Sara Humphreys

Assistant Teaching Professor Digital Humanities, Rhetoric, Composition, Genre Theory, Narratology, Indigenous Editing Practice and Protocols, Indigenous Cyberspace, Video Game Studies

Shamma Boyarin

Assistant Professor Medieval Hebrew and Arabic literature; the Bible and literature

Sheila Rabillard

Associate Professor Modern drama and theatre criticism

Stephen Ross

Professor & Graduate Adviser Modernism; theory; the novel; digital literary studies

Suzan Last

Assistant Teaching Professor Academic and technical writing; curriculum development

Funding & aid

Graduate students registered in full-time programs are automatically considered for a fellowship. This is based on a qualifying GPA.

Individual award amounts may vary depending on the program.

UVic Fellowship Awards

  • Up to $17,500 per year (master's)
  • Up to $20,000 per year (PhD)

UVic Graduate Awards

  • Up to $10,000 per year (master's and PhD)


  • The minimum requirement for funding consideration is a A- average on the last two years of course work
  • Full-time registration (3.0 units) for UVic Fellowship holders and at least part-time registration (1.5 units) for UVic Graduate Award holders
  • Full-time registration for students registered with the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) is 1.5 units

You can also join the co-op program or work as a research or teaching assistant.

Funding opportunities

Tuition & fees

Visit our tuition calculator to determine the tuition and fees for your program.

When you apply you will be charged an application fee. Your application will not be processed until this payment has been received.

  • Application fee for documents from within Canada: $131.50
  • Application fee if any documents originate outside Canada: $169

Application deadlines

  • Canadian and International students: apply by January 15 for September entry.

This deadline includes referee letters, which can take weeks to process. Plan accordingly.

Admission & program requirements

You must meet the minimum graduate school admission requirements.

Review the graduate admission requirements and this program's admission requirements in the Graduate calendar.

If your first language is not English you must provide proof of language proficiency. Learn more about language requirements, including what exemptions and tests are allowed.

Ready to apply?

You can start your online application to UVic by creating a new profile or using an existing one.

Apply now    How to apply

Faculties & departments

Need help?

Contact the graduate secretary or 250-721-6331.

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