Studying the MLitt in Women, Writing and Gender

The MLitt in Women, Writing and Gender offers students the opportunity to spend a year exploring the rich and varied output of women writers across history and considering critical issues surrounding gender and writing from 1500 to the present day. It provides an excellent foundation for anyone considering further research on women writers or issues of gender but also functions as a cohesive and fulfilling one-year degree. 

What you'll study 

The programme is structured around four core modules. Theories and Contexts 1 and 2 provide an introduction to key concepts and debates in contemporary feminist and gender theory alongside an overview of historical conceptions of women and gender.

The Semester 1 module Renaissance to Romanticism provides an opportunity to study the work of women writers and representations of gender from early modern writers such as William Shakespeare, John Milton, and Katherine Philips to Romantic writers such as Jane Austen and Maria Edgeworth.

The Semester 2 module Victorian to Contemporary continues the programme’s historical coverage, examining the work of nineteenth-century women writers such as Christina Rossetti and Kate Chopin through modernist women writers such as Gertrude Stein and Marianne Moore, and women writers of the First and Second World Wars, to contemporary writers who are experimenting with form and genre.

These modules draw on a wide range of experts from within the School of English. Consequently it may be necessary to alter a topic or text from year to year.

In both semesters students have a wide range of choice in terms of focus and assessment. They are encouraged to discuss potential essay topics and research projects with individual staff members and develop their own lines of interest and expertise.


School of English
University of St Andrews
Castle House
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AL

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2668

School of English

Student testimonials

"My overall experience at St Andrews was extraordinary. For the Women, Writing, and Gender programme I was able to study alongside the most inspiring lecturers. I am so grateful to St Andrews’ School of English for nurturing my love of literature and theory, for developing me as a person, but most of all: for introducing me to the greatest cohort and friends I have ever met."

- Eleanor (Canterbury, England) - 2019 

"The MLitt in Women, Writing and Gender is an exceptional postgraduate degree taught by some of the leading experts in the field. The MLitt involves a comprehensive examination of women’s literary contributions from the renaissance through to the present day, while the year is underpinned by a rigorous module in feminist literary theory. The ability to continue a class debate whilst sitting on East Sands beach is not to be underestimated! The choice to begin a career as a feminist literary researcher in St Andrews was the best decision of my life – an unforgettable experience."

- Michela (Dublin, Ireland) - 2019

"Studying on the Women, Writing and Gender course provided me the opportunity to fully integrate the study of literature with my pursuit of a feminist praxis. It was a unique pleasure to have women’s voices at the centre of each discussion, no longer pushed to the margins. I feel well prepared not only to undertake doctoral study, but to use what I have learned in the programme in my political and personal life."

- Taylor (Maryland, USA) - 2019

"After working at a non-profit for a few years, I came to the Women, Writing and Gender programme hoping to find a pathway back into academia and the time to explore my abiding interests in English literature and feminist theory. My studies in the English Department met and far exceeded these expectations. While working through four centuries of women’s writing in one year is no minor task, the care and close attention of a world-class faculty and the support of a small student cohort ensured that every challenge I faced yielded, in time, great rewards.

Academically speaking, I gained confidence and skills as a self-motivated researcher, reader, and interpreter of literary texts and critical theory. More personally, I made friends who I hope stay with me for life, those whose passions and views of the world have inspired me to be a better human. As a result, whether my readings drew from early modern needlework samplers or queer theory, Mary Wollstonecraft or bell hooks, I experienced what I can only call a continuous excitement to learn—which is largely why I decided to prolong my studies here with a research degree. But frankly, when your average Wednesday morning walk to class winds along Medieval castle ruins and the edge of the North Sea, you find that it’s truly all too easy to fall in love with postgraduate life in St Andrews."

- Alexa (Minnesota, USA) – 2016

Alexa went on to do the MFA in Creative Writing.

Women, Writing and Gender (MLitt)

Find out more about this course, including key information, modules and funding opportunities.