Master of Education (MEd) in English Literature
Up to January 2017 intake

NIE’s Master of Education (MEd) in English Literature is the only postgraduate programme in Singapore designed to meet the professional needs of teachers of Literature in English. Students will undertake advanced studies in the theory and practice of literary education, informed by critical perspectives contextualized within the realities and possibilities of actual classroom practice.

The programme features a range of courses pertinent to the professional demands of English language and literature education in Asian contexts, and will encourage students to build on their academic knowledge and teaching experience towards an advanced degree that is at once professionally relevant and intellectually rewarding.

The M.Ed. (English Literature) specialization consists of:

  • 2 required courses on educational research methods.
  • 2 required courses on literary and critical theory in relation to educational practice.
  • 3 elective courses on a range of topics ranging from literature assessment to creative writing.
  • 1 open elective from any Master’s degree programme offered by NIE And either (i) 1 more open elective and a Critical Inquiry paper; OR (ii) a dissertation.

The specialization structure parallels that for other specialization, and totals 30 AUs.


The M.Ed. (English Literature) programme offers:

  • Flexible routes – completion by coursework or dissertation.
  • Accelerated and Part-time Courses.
  • Fee subsidies via MOE's Professional Development Continuum Model (PDCM).
  • Lecturers committed to Advanced Literature Education.
  • Lecturers actively involved in research in their fields of specialization.


Core Courses

These are two core requirements for all Master of Education specializations.

Required specialization courses

Three elective specialization courses selected from

Open Elective

This can be selected from any of the elective Literature specialization courses listed in this paper or from any of the Master's degree courses offered by NIE, plus either a dissertation or Critical Inquiry plus an open elective from any Master's degree programme offered by NIE.

Course Descriptions

MED 871 Educational Inquiry 1

The subject is designed to introduce participants to the theoretical foundations of educational inquiry. It aims to help participants:

  • understand what educational research is;
  • read, interpret, and reflect critically on research;
  • understand the process of conceiving research, and translating that
    conception into a research design, and
  • differentiate among alternative modes of educational research.

The main topics include the nature of educational inquiry, major modes of educational research, research design, and the ethics of educational research.

MED 872 Educational Inquiry 2

This subject is a continuation of MED871. It will focus more on technical aspects of conducting educational research, including how to develop and apply research instruments to collect data, how to analyse both quantitative and qualitative data, and how to report the findings from the research data. Statistical concepts and techniques on processing and analysing data (including the use of some statistical software), together with qualitative techniques such as participant observation and interviewing will be included. The use of Information and Communication Technology in educational research will be discussed. (Pre-requisite: Educational Inquiry I).

MLE 801 Developing Reading Skills in the Literature Classroom

This subject introduces teachers to reading strategies offered by contemporary literary-critical approaches. These may include raising awareness of a text's ideological situatedness; its constructions of identities and its intertextualities; its historical contexts; and a critical awareness of form - for example, of the meaning effects of certain modes of narration and of gaps and elisions in texts. Consideration will be given to how such reading skills complement a Language Arts approach to studying English language and Literature in English. The subject also examines ways of engaging such strategies in the Literature classroom.

MLE 802 Literature, Culture and Education

This subject explores the relationship between Literature Education and contemporary society. It will examine and draw together various paradigms of literary study as they 'express' society's varied expectations of itself and its value systems: for example, Literature as ideology; Literature as educational curriculum; and Literature as manifestation and agent of culture. Such areas of literary study may then be related to other topics in social and cultural studies pertinent to the challenges of developing effective secondary school Literature Education in the present 'globalising' context: for example, youth culture; capitalist consumerism; and cyber-literacy.

MLE 806 Texts in the Literature Classroom

The literary texts selected in this subject will be studied with a view to their respective social and historical contexts as well as their relevance in our classrooms. The texts chosen for the subject will include representative texts taught for the Singapore 'O' Level and 'A' Level syllabi. This subject will show how the study of Literature in our classrooms can go beyond the prescriptive.

MLE 807 Teaching Shakespeare

This subject considers various theoretical approaches to the reading and teaching of Shakespeare. Such approaches may include historical materialist, new historicist, feminist and post-colonialist understandings of texts. A range of the plays will be read, taking into consideration the conditions of production of these texts and the performance conditions in Elizabethan and Jacobean society. The implications of adapting Shakespeare into different cultural contexts and different media will also be examined.

MLE 808 Literary Theory and Teaching

The subject introduces participants to some of the key recent developments in literary theory as well as critical and cultural theories and examines how such theories have affected the way we understand Literature as a field of study and, more broadly, humanistic education in general. The subject will then investigate how such recent approaches may affect the manner in which the reading and teaching of Literature in larger context may be undertaken in the Singapore context. It will build upon the required subject 'Developing Reading Skills in the Literature Classroom'.

MLE 809 Creative Writing in the Classroom

The aims of this subject are two-fold: one is to deal with what might be considered 'creative writing' - the elements which are essential in the crafting of a story or a poem; the other is a focus on how 'creative' elements might be infused into the teaching of Literature and the teaching of writing in general.

MLE 810 World Literatures

This subject will extend and deepen teachers' understanding of present Anglophone writing and the issues that may be raised in relation to teaching such Literature. The subject may link the study of a diasporic society's Anglophone writing to influences from parent Literatures; or offer a platform for the comparative study of a post-colonial nation's various Literatures. It may also examine writing in English within the framework of non-Anglophone regional contexts.

MLE 811 Teaching Literature in the Digital Age

This subject approaches the many ways that the interaction between printed Literature and digital media - such as the Internet, music files, presentation applications and online 'classrooms' - can further the teaching of Literature. Topics may include how to find and evaluate sources on the Internet; printed versus digital texts; the use of hypertext and web-based writing; and distance learning.

MLE 812 Literature and Visual Culture in the Classroom

This subject will explore how visual culture can be used in the teaching of Literature. 'Visual culture' refers to a wide a range of materials, including but not limited to paintings; photographs; film adaptations of literary texts; digital media; and television programmes. Particular attention will be paid to the interaction between Literature and visual culture both as historical phenomenon and sociological representation.

MLE 813 Adolescent Literature

This subject looks at the Literature prescribed for and chosen by adolescents themselves. It considers the construction of identities and values created by such texts. Recurrent themes that are found in these texts include: the quest for identity; the exploration of personal and social ideals; and the awakening to their attendant complexities at this period of adolescents' maturity level. Canonical texts set in secondary and junior college syllabi, along with popular texts commonly read by adolescents will be discussed. The aim is to extend critical understanding of the forms of adolescent Literature and the issues related to this genre.

MLE 814 Literature Assessment: Issues in Approach and Design

This subject will explore traditional and contemporary philosophies and principles of Literature assessment in the classroom so that students will gain a wider perspective of curriculum, policy and political issues involved in school assessment practices. Strategies for designing Literature assessment for other specific purposes will be considered. These include assessment for the diagnostic analysis of students' needs and the formative evaluation of students' learning. The encouragement of diversity and multi-dimensional perspectives through alternative assessment modes such as portfolio assessment, rubrics-based assessment, authentic problem-based assessment and enquiry-based assessment will also be considered.