Birkbeck, University of London

Course Introduction

The course offers you the chance to take a genuinely interdisciplinary approach to studying the literature, culture and history of Victorian Britain. You will encounter a range of Victorian texts, contexts, themes and ideas; weekly seminars take you from the French Revolution to the Boer War and investigate topics such as: The discovery of geological time; movements for social and political reform; the aims and limits of realist fiction; the Great Exhibition; Darwinism; aestheticism; the religious imagination; the Gothic revival. You also have the chance to take part in our internship module, which we have developed in partnership with leading Victorian cultural and historical institutions across London. This allows you to develop a research topic while gaining first'hand experience of working in and with our partner institutions, such as the Dickens House Museum, the Salvation Army Heritage Centre and Archive, and the Guildhall Art Gallery. A schedule of visiting speakers and other events, organised by Birkbeck's Centre for Nineteenth'Century Studies , ensures that you have the opportunity to engage with leading Victorian studies specialists from around the world, and are welcomed into one of the country's liveliest research communities.

Course Modules

You take 2 core modules, which will introduce you to different types of primary material and different approaches, and you choose 2 option modules from a range of topics. In the final phase of your studies you research and write a 15,000'word dissertation. Core modules include: 19th century culture wars: Faith, doubt and disbelief; Victorian society and culture: Progress and anxiety. Option modules may include: Crime and society in Victorian England; cultures of death and bereavement in the long 19th century; Dickens; issues and institutions: Victorian art c1840'1870; men and women: Victorians and gender; 19th'century literature of loss; race and the Victorians; the book unbound; the Victorian Fin De Siecle; the Victorian supernatural; Victorian emotions; Victorian poetry; Victorians and romantics.

Course Additional Entry

Normally a good degree in a relevant subject such as English, history, philosophy or history of art, but a degree in other subjects will be considered, as will other qualifications. Prior to interview, you will need to submit a short piece of written work (up to 500 words) on any Victorian topic. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub'tests.

Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees
1 year
Full Time
MA (Postgraduate) £11,500  Academic year. First year overseas fees
1 year
Full Time
MA (Postgraduate) £5,375  Academic year. First year home fees
2 years
Part Time Evening
MA (Postgraduate) £5,750  Academic year. First year overseas fees
2 years
Part Time Evening
MA (Postgraduate) £2,975  Academic year. First year home fees