SYLLABUS FOR THE MASTER OF ARTS IN LITERATURE

Introduction

Literature, being an essential component of culture, is at the core of every nation?s development and identity formation.  It is a key manifestation of the spirit of humanity, that aspect of it without which it ceases to function as the ultimate form of creation.  The collapse of great nations has time and again in history been brought about by the drastic decline in morality; and a basic source for the sustenance of morality is literature.  Although at the primary level it is a spontaneous realisation of the aesthetic potentiality of man, literature requires for its full blossoming a deliberate systematic training in creativity.  As a discipline, Literature is concerned both with this training, and with the study of literary theory and criticism.

Justification

The body of literary works, both oral and written, created during the millennial history of existence of humankind, is vast and constantly growing.  The variety of forms, styles and methods of creative self-expression that have evolved over the same time is rich and open-ended.  Yet, ever since the formulation of the concept of world literature, the challenge to literary scholarship has been to arrive at a comprehension of the world literary process in its totality and complexity.  This can only be achieved through study and research within the discipline of Literature which moves from the level of satisfactory acquaintance with the major genres and major periods of world literature and the theory-based ability to handle these literary features effectively, to an in-depth understanding of past and present developments in creative writing, literary theory and criticism at the level of sustained conceptualisation and independent inquiry.  The latter is only possible within the framework of post-graduate literary practices.

Objectives

  • To equip students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to attain professional competence in the literary scholar?s and creative writer?s crafts;
  • To prepare the students to harness their critical insights for appreciation of literature, art and culture within the spheres of development and social change;
  • To nurture the students? creative talent so as to see them operate as creative writers at the level of world literature;
  • To facilitate the build-up of high calibre manpower needed for the national development process.

Admission Regulation

Applicants must hold at least an Upper Second Class Honours (BA or BEd.Arts) degree in Literature from Egerton University or equivalent qualification from other recognised institutions of higher learning.

Specifically, the applicants must have studied Literature at the undergraduate level and obtained a minimum average aggregate grade of ?B? in the discipline.

In exceptional cases, holders of Lower Second Class Honours degrees may be admitted to the Programme provided that such applicants have studied Literature as an option and can demonstrate ability to do literary research and/or creative writing evidenced by manuscripts, publications, and relevant work experience.

Loading and Duration of Study

The Master of Arts Programme shall extend for a period of at least eighteen (18) months but not more than thirty-six (36) months for full-time students.

Students enrolled into the Programme on a part-time basis shall complete it in a period not exceeding forty-eight (48) months.

The Master of Arts degree in Literature shall be taken by coursework, examinations and thesis/project. The coursework shall constitute at least 30 Credit Factors, and the thesis ? 15 Credit Factors.

The coursework and examinations shall be done in the first year of study. The thesis shall be written during the second year.

There shall be two options of the Masters degree in Literature: (a) Literary Theory and Criticism and (b) Creative Writing.

Students pursuing Option A shall be required to take courses leading to the writing of a Thesis in Literary Criticism.

Students pursuing Option B shall be required to take courses leading to the writing of a Creative Writing Project

Course Coding

 

All courses offered by the Department of Literature shall be coded LITT

This shall be followed by a course code consisting of three digits.

?  The first digit represents the year of the graduate level study

?      The second digit is the area of specialisation.

?    The last digit is the sequence of the course in the area of specialisation.

First-Year Coursework                                       7

Core Courses                                                      0

Critical Theory Courses                                      1

Creative Writing Courses                                    2

Second-Year Thesis                                            8

Examinations

Each course shall be examined by a three-hour paper at the end of the semester in which the course is taken.

Each candidate shall be examined by continuous assessment accounting for 40% and final examination accounting for 60% of the final grade.

Candidates shall be required to pass all courses taken. The common rules and regulations in respect to examinations for Masters degree as defined by the Senate of Egerton University shall apply.

Marks obtained in an examination shall be as follows:

A     70% - 100%                         Very Good

B     60% -  69%                          Good

C     50% - 59%                           Average

D     49% and below                    Fail

Candidates shall be expected to satisfy the Board of Examiners with regard to the Thesis/Project as stipulated in the University rules and regulations.

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