The MA in Victorian Studies is an interdisciplinary course of study on the Victorian period.
A wide range of elective modules reflects the Centre staff's research interests in nineteenth-century literature, social history, history of art, the history of Pre-Raphaelites classscience, life-writing and much more. It is taught by members of the School of English, together with members of the Department of History of Art and Film, and the School of History (including the Centre for English Local History).
The taught element consists of two core modules, one on Approaches to Victorian Literature and Culture, and one on Victorian Society.
Bibliography, Research Methods and Writing Skills (Core)
This module is compulsory for all new postgraduates in the School of English and in the Victorian Studies Centre. It meets on Wednesday mornings from 10.00am to 12.00 noon in the first semester.
Victorian Society (Core)
We will study the Victorians by getting as close as we can to their own view of themselves. Our thinking, therefore, will engage with nineteenth-century ideas and feelings. In that sense Victorian Society will resemble a literature module. But we will also endeavour to see those ideas and feelings in their time and place. In that sense Victorian Society will resemble a history module. Throughout, the meaning of ‘Victorian’ will stretch beyond Queen Victoria’s reign. We will be concerned with what historians call ‘the long nineteenth century’ – 1790 to 1914.
Plus one option module
Approaches to Victorian Literature and Culture
The module takes three different approaches to the study of Victorian literature and culture. The first is to look at the oeuvre of a particular author, considering the development of an author’s ideas and literary techniques across their career, and examining their writing in different genres. The second is to consider a particular theme in Victorian literature and culture, tracking this concern in writing (and the visual arts) across the entire period, and examining how the theme is dealt with in radically different ways in a variety of genres. The third is to focus on a particular portion of the Victorian age, attempting to understand how literary texts produced in that historical ‘moment’ engaged both with contemporary events and with each other.
Plus one option module
Students will submit a 20,000-word dissertation by 15 September of the year in which they submit their proposal.
In addition to the core modules, you will take two optional modules chosen from the following (please note that the list of options offered will vary from year to year):
For the bibliography module, students submit a working bibliography of between 25-50 items and give an oral presentation of no more than five minutes in the last seminar of the module.
Each core module is assessed by an essay of 5,000 words, each option module by an essay of 4,000 words.
In addition, students must submit a dissertation of not more than 20,000 words by 15 September of the year in which the taught course is completed.
The course may be taken in one year (12 months) full-time or two years (24 months) part-time. Part-time students take the core modules in their first year and the optional modules in their second year. The core modules are taught on Wednesdays in the first and second semesters. The options are taught on other days of the week.
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Normally we would expect you to have an upper second class (2.1) Honours BA degree in English language or literature, or its equivalent.
You will be asked to provide a personal statement as part of your application; please note that this should be of up to 500 words and should include an explanation of why you have chosen a particular course.
You will usually also be asked to submit one or more samples of your critical writing - ideally, essays or papers that you have submitted as part of your earlier degree course.
We would advise you to apply by mid-summer at the latest for entry onto the MA course in September/October.
If English is not your first language, you will be asked to provide evidence of a recent English language qualification. We usually require an overall IELTS score of 6.5 or above; we will also accept TOEFL at 575/90 or above.
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