The Department of Literature seeks to promote sensitive and intelligent responses to human experiences and aspirations that are created through imagination and language. The Master of Arts programme in Literature opens doors to rich, rewarding literary experiences that capture the diversity of literary genres, regional literatures, and modes of literary transmission. In the process, the programme is intended to produce literary scholars, teachers, and writers of diverse shades.
The current syllabus provides only one option, that is, all MA in Literature students take the same taught courses and undertake a project in the final semester. With the growing demands and diverse needs of the industry, it was felt that students should be given the choice to do a Research Project, as has been hitherto the case, or to work on a one year research-based thesis where the scope of their research can be broader and the student may go deeper in his or her area of interest.
In addition, the revised syllabus offers the student the opportunity to specialize in any of the following three areas: African Literature, Literature of the Global South, or European Literature. This will give an advantage to those who opt to teach, become journalists or literary critics and professionals in Kenya, at international schools, the African region and the Middle East or the rest of the world.
To ensure maximum use of human resources, Option 1 (Thesis) and Option 2 (Project) students will take their first year taught courses together (See Tables 1 and 2 on Course structure).
Since the introduction of the theory of comparative literature in the middle of the 20th century, the discipline of literary studies has experienced rapid progress in the formulation of competitive approaches to the analysis of literature in terms of its validity as social institution. Thus the programme is aimed at establishing the awareness of literature being a major social institution, which defines to a larger extent the standards of a given culture, as well as the culture of a human race as whole.
The Programme is geared towards meeting the expectations of the Kenyan society that require the institution of literature as one of its major cultural elements, and therefore the profound study of literature as one of the foundations of unity of modern Kenya.
The prospective candidates will be instructed to meet the whole range of needs expected from the specialists of their calibre in the educational/academic establishments in Kenya and beyond, in view of the fact, that their area of specialization is marketable worldwide. Thus, the Department endeavours to produce holistic graduates with requisite knowledge and skills to enable them navigate work environment with ease and confidence.
The goal of this syllabus is to produce good readers and good writers.
Programme Learning Outcomes
On the successful completion of this course the learner should be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of literary art and the theoretical postulates that have evolved with the art;
- Exhibit effective interpretative and writing skills in relation to literary texts;
- Undertake independent literary research;
- Relate developments in literature to the dynamics of historical and social change;
- Demonstrate an appreciation of the literatures of Africa and the African Diaspora;
- Demonstrate an appreciation of literatures from the rest of the world.
- The M.A. degree programme shall consist of coursework, examination and a Research Project or Thesis, and shall run for a minimum of four (4) semesters and a maximum of ten (10) semesters of fifteen weeks; and this maximum may be extended only with the prior approval of the Senate of the University of Nairobi.
- The M.A. degree programme shall consist of either one of two options offered and the student shall select one of these options.
- In addition, the student shall choose one of three areas of specialization, namely, African Literature, Literature of the Global South or European Literature.
Option One (Thesis)
- Option 1 shall consist of coursework, examination and a Thesis and shall run for a minimum of 4 semesters and a maximum of 10 semesters of 15 weeks each.
- Prior to embarking on thesis work, the candidate shall be required to successfully take 8 course units, of which 3 core units and 5 specialization units.
- The minimum course load in each semester shall be 2 course units; while the maximum load shall be 4 course units per semester.
- All courses shall be of 45 hours duration.
- The Thesis shall be done in the third and fourth semesters and shall be equivalent to 8 course units.
- Topics for the Thesis shall be identified by the student by the end of the second semester and in consultation with the supervisors, subject to formal approval by the Literature Department.
- Each student shall be assigned two supervisors after an oral presentation of the Proposal to the Department.
- At the end of the third semester each student shall be required to give an oral presentation of the draft of the thesis at a departmental seminar.
- Students shall be expected to submit 3 weeks before the end of the final semester a completed draft to the Faculty of Arts through the Department for examination.
Option 2 (Research Project)
- Option 2 shall consist of coursework, examination and a Research Project and shall run for a minimum of 4 semesters and a maximum of 10 semesters of 15 weeks each.
- Prior to embarking on the M.A. Project, the student shall be required to successfully take 12 approved course units, of which 3 core units, 5 specialization units and 4 elective units.
- All courses shall each be of 45 hours duration.
- The Project shall be undertaken in the fourth semester and shall be equivalent to 4 taught course units.
- Topics for the M.A. Project paper shall be identified by the students in the third semester and in consultation with their supervisors, subject to the formal approval of the Literature Department.
- Each student shall be assigned two supervisors after an oral presentation of the proposal to the Department.
- At the end of the final semester each candidate shall be required to submit, with the approval of their supervisors, a duly completed project report for examination by the main supervisor and an independent internal examiner. This completed Project shall account for sixty per cent (60%) of the total marks.
- A student who fails in the Research Project shall be allowed up to two re-submissions.
- A candidate who fails in the second re-submission or fails to complete the course in the prescribed period shall be discontinued.
- Holders of a Bachelor’s degree of the University of Nairobi or any other equivalent institution recognized by Senate with at least an Upper Second Class Honours.
- Holders of a Bachelor’s degree of Lower Second Class Honours of the University of Nairobi or any other equivalent institution recognized by Senate, relevant to the courses offered in the Department of Literature, and with at least two years of work experience in a related field or with a Post-Graduate Diploma.
- Holders of a pass degree from the University of Nairobi or any other institution recognized by the University Senate and relevant to the courses offered in the Department of Literature with at least five years of work experience in a related field or with a Post-graduate Diploma.
Credit Transfer and Exemptions
A student admitted to the M.A. programme may, on acceptable grounds, apply for exemption from one or more course units, provided that no student shall be exempted from more than thirty per cent (30%) of the total number of course units that he/she shall be required to take in order to graduate.
Students who meet the following criteria may apply for exemption:
- A student who has followed the prescribed course of instruction in the relevant course unit or units and passed the applicable examination(s) for the semester(s) in question at the University of Nairobi;
- A student who has followed a course of instruction in a subject which subsumes the current content of the relevant course unit or units, and passed the applicable examination or examinations in respect of the whole subject or subjects at the University of Nairobi;
- A student who has followed the prescribed course of instruction in the relevant course unit or units, and passed the applicable examination(s) with a minimum of fifty per cent (50%) in each unit taken at any other University recognized by the Senate of the University of Nairobi;
- A student who has followed a course of instruction in a subject which subsumes the current content of the relevant course unit or units, and passed the applicable examination or examinations with a minimum of fifty per cent (50%) in respect of the unit or units taken at any other University recognized by the Senate of the University of Nairobi.
Intermission of Studies
A student may intermit his/her studies at any time, for a valid cause and with documentary evidence conveyed in writing to the Academic Registrar through the Dean and may resume later after duly notifying the Dean and the Academic Registrar.
During the entire period or intermission the student shall be required to keep his/her registration current by paying such intermission charges as the Faculty may from time to time determine. The period of intermission shall not exceed two (2) consecutive academic years.
Mode of Delivery of the Programme
- Instructions shall be given in the form of lectures, lecture-discussions, class presentations, seminars, demonstration, fieldwork, student-lecturer consultations, supervised independent research, or any combination of these.
- Students shall undergo continuous assessment in each taught course in each semester, which shall take the form of written tests, term paper, oral presentations, field assignment, or any combination of these.
- The programme is offered on full time, part time, school-based and distance learning modes. The part-time, school-based and distance learning programmes are designed to accommodate the special needs of those in full time employment or those who have other demands on their time.
Fees and Funding
|EXAMINATION (PER UNIT @1000)||1,000|
|MEDICAL FEE (PER YEAR)||6,500|
|ICT SERVICES - (PER YEAR)||7,000|
|CAUTION - (ONCE)||5,000|
|LIBRARY (PER YEAR)||5,000|
|ACTIVITY-( PER YEAR)||2,000|
|REGISTRATION (PER SEMESTER@2250)||2,250|
|ID CARD ( PER YEAR)||1,000|
|STUDENT ORGANISATION(PER YEAR)||1,000|
|Sem2 ,3,5 or 6||1 unit||24,250|
|Sem4, 7, or 10||1 unit||46,750|
|Project in sems 4 or 7||142,750|
|SUMMARY OF TOTAL FEES|