Graduate Admissions

Students apply either to English Language (EL), English Literature (EN) or Theatre Studies (TS). Within each discipline, the department offers three graduate degree programmes: the Masters by Coursework, the Masters by Research and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Theatre Studies is the exception in that it does not offer a Masters by Coursework.

Admission Requirements

Masters by Coursework

The department offers two Masters by Coursework programmes:
MA (Language Studies) (for August 2015 intake and before) /
MA (English Language and Linguistics) (for August 2016 intake and after) and
MA (Literary Studies).

The admission requirements for both programmes are as follows:

  • An NUS Honours degree (Second Class and above) or equivalent (e.g. a four-year Bachelors degree with at least an average grade of B or equivalent in the subject or related field); or
  • A good Bachelors degree (at least an average of B or equivalent) in the subject or related field and successful completion of a placement test; or
  • In exceptional cases, other qualifications and experience subject to approval by the Board of Graduate Studies; and
  • TOEFL (85 for the internet test or 580 for the paper test or 237 for the computer test) or IELTS,(6.0) for students who have not studied in a university where the medium of instruction is English.

Masters by Research

The department requires:

  • Normally an NUS Honours degree (Second Class and above) or equivalent (e.g., a four-year Bachelors degree with at least an average grade of B) in a relevant discipline; or
  • In exceptional circumstances and case by case, a Bachelors degree in a relevant discipline with at least two years of relevant work experience, subject to approval by the Board of Graduate Studies; and
  • TOEFL (85 for the internet test or 580 for the paper test or 237 for the computer test) or IELTS,(6.0) for students who have not studied in a university where the medium of instruction is English.

PhD Degree

The department requires:

  • Normally a good Masters degree in a relevant discipline; or
  • In exceptional circumstances and case by case, an NUS Honours degree (at least Second Class Upper Division) or equivalent (e.g., a four-year Bachelors degree with an average grade above B) in a relevant discipline, subject to approval by the Faculty; and
  • TOEFL (85 for the internet test or 580 for the paper test or 237 for the computer test) or IELTS,(6.0) for students who have not studied in a university where the medium of instruction is English.

Further Application Requirements

  • The Department requires a writing sample related to the area of study (EL, EN or TS) to be submitted for all applications to its graduate programmes.
  • Masters by Research and PhD students are requested to provide a preliminary research proposal of 2-4 pages. Although this document should be as focused as possible, it is exploratory and admitted students are not required to work on the exact area proposed. However, the capacities to develop an interesting research question and approach are important indicators of a student’s ability and seriousness.

Deadlines

Unless there are special circumstances, we prefer that students begin their studies in the first semester in August each year.

For the Masters by Research and PhD programmes, students hoping to begin in the first semester in August must have completed their application by 1 November of the previous year

For the Masters by Coursework programmes, students planning to begin in August must have submitted their application between 1 November of the previous year and 15 January of the current year.

More Information

For more detailed information on the Research programmes, see the Faculty website.
For detailed information on Coursework programmes, see the Faculty website.