Our taught MA pathway in Romantic and Victorian Literary Studies offers choice, flexibility and the opportunity to specialise within this field. You can learn from the rich variety of research expertise in the Department and you also have the chance to concentrate on a particular area of literary study within the field. Our commitment to research-led teaching means that students are able to explore the cutting edge of the discipline - from Romantics legacies to the representation of women in Victorian poetry and painting, to critical theory. We provide an intimate, dynamic and supportive environment for students of all backgrounds and nationalities.
Our programme offers up-to-date training in research methods and skills. You will choose three modules, at least two of which are from within the pathway, and you will write a dissertation on a subject related to Romantic and/or Victorian studies.
An MA in Romantic and Victorian Literary Studies is often the platform for further research at PhD level, as well as providing an excellent grounding for jobs in education, the arts and the media.
If you choose to take this named pathway, you will be expected to select at least two modules from those available within the pathway and to write your dissertation in an area related to it. Your third optional module may, if you wish, be chosen from the full list of MA modules on offer in the Department. Students may, with permission, take one module from other modules on offer elsewhere in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. All students must take the core Research Methods and Resources module and the dissertation alongside their three optional modules.
Typical modules might include:
Modules are subject to staff availability and normally no more than five of the above will run in any one year.
Please use the 'additional comments' section of the application form to indicate your choice of modules as well as to provide a personal statement.
One of the distinctive features of the Durham MA in Literary Studies is that it permits both a broad-based, eclectic study of literary topics from the earliest periods of literature to the present and the possibility of specialisation through designated pathways in such areas as Medieval and Renaissance Studies or Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Studies. All students take 3 optional modules, taught in small seminar groups of up to 10, with each module generating 18 hours of contact time (9 seminars x 2 hours) over the academic year. A strong emphasis is placed on independent research, and seminars usually involve a considerable amount of preparation, including short presentations and workshop activities. Assessment for these modules is usually by coursework essay.
All students also register for the Research Methods and Resources module, which generates an additional 20 hours of contact time over the academic year. Again, a strong emphasis is given to independent research. Both pieces of assessed written work for the Research Methods and Resources module involve significant preparation for the MA dissertation (and in some cases for doctoral study later on). The MA dissertation is supported by 3.5 hours of dedicated individual supervision time. Drafts of the dissertation are read and commented upon by the supervisor.
Each MA student is assigned an Academic Advisor who can guide and support her or his progress during the programme of study.
Throughout the taught MA degree programme, all students are strongly encouraged to participate in a lively series of staff-postgraduate research seminars, usually involving invited guest speakers from the UK and beyond.
The literature of the Victorian era offers an extraordinary range of styles, themes and intellectual ideas. This diverse and dynamic literary field reflects a period which witnessed rapid change in almost every area of existence.
Writers such as Dickens, Eliot, the Brontë sisters, Stevenson, Tennyson, Browning, and Christina Rossetti used their work to explore new developments in topics that ranged from religion to sexuality, evolution to imperialism, and mass culture to aestheticism. This programme offers you the opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of supervised independent research in your chosen area.
We are the oldest department of English Literature in the world, and at the last Research Assessment Exercise were awarded the highest research rating possible, of 5*A. We have one of the largest graduate programmes in this area in the country and a rich research culture covering all aspects of literatures in English.
We offer supervision in all areas of Victorian literature, and have particular strengths in social, historical and philosophical approaches to literature, in gender studies, and in the literary culture of the fin de siecle.
The research of staff has made valuable contributions to the areas of literature and philosophy, modernism/postmodernism, medieval and early modern literature, history of the book, romanticism, transatlantic studies and performance studies.
English Literature houses the Centre for the History of the Book and is one of the UK's leading forces in this area. It works closely with the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and with the National Library of Scotland. The latter's recently acquired Murray Archive is crucial for studies in Romanticism, Book History, Bibliography and Archive Studies.
The course includes a 15,000-word dissertation, completed under the supervision of one or more of the course tutors. Students will undertake a seminar based programme of research methods training in core research skills and subject specific methodologies. They will also take two option courses covering areas of Victorian literature and culture related to their chosen fields and will write two extended essays in relation to these courses.
The academic staff you will be working with are all active researchers or authors, many of them prize winners and leading scholars in their fields. As well as benefiting from their expert supervision, you will undertake a seminar-based programme of training in core research skills and subject-specific methodologies. You will also have the opportunity to develop other transferable skills through the University’s Institute for Academic Development
We encourage you to share your research and learn from the work of others through a vibrant programme of Work-in-Progress seminars, reading groups, visiting speakers and conferences.
Our postgraduate journal, Forum, is a valuable conduit for research findings, and provides an opportunity for editorial experience.
On hand are all the amenities you would expect, such as computing facilities, study areas and a common room and kitchen. Our location gives you easy access to the University’s general facilities, such as the Main Library and our collections, as well as to the National Museum, National Library and National Galleries of Scotland at the heart of the city.
In addition to the impressive range of resources available at the University’s Main Library (more than two million printed volumes and generous online resources) and the nearby National Library of Scotland, we host a number of collections of rare and valuable archival materials, all of which will be readily available to you as a postgraduate student.
Among the literary treasures are the libraries of William Drummond, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Hugh MacDiarmid, Adam Smith, Dugald Stewart and Norman MacCaig, plus the WH Auden collection, the Corson Collection of works by and about Sir Walter Scott and the Ramage collection of poetry pamphlets.
Our cultural collections are highly regarded and include a truly exceptional collection of early Shakespeare quartos and other early modern printed plays, and world-class manuscript and archival collections.
One of the University’s larger modern language subject areas, German has earned its place as a significant centre for research, with half of our research ranked as internationally excellent or world leading in the latest Research Assessment Exercise.
The size of our graduate school means we are able to support a broad range of German and Austrian cultural and literary research themes, from the medieval period to the present.
Current interests include:
We promote the connection between language and culture through a number of extracurricular programmes, both formal and informal.
You will have the opportunity to take part in our annual play, which is commonly a collaborative effort with a noted German author or playwright.
We organise regular film nights, followed by Stammtisch, and gallery visits are also offered.
We maintain close links with the Scottish arm of the Goethe Institut and the Edinburgh German Circle, which both provide opportunities to make contacts and socialise with the city’s sizeable German community.
Testament to our breadth of research expertise and lively graduate school community, our RAE ranking also reflects world-class resources (such as our well-stocked libraries and the expansive Karin McPherson collection of GDR writing) and commitment to publishing, most notably through our production of the esteemed Edinburgh German Yearbook.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study English Literature at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
The MA in English Literature offers an exciting array of modules from the traditional core of English studies in the context of contemporary approaches to the subject.
The MA in English Literature allows you to range widely across English studies rather than confine yourself to a narrow field and draws on the individual research expertise of members of staff.
From the student’s point of view the MA in English Literature is openly structured. As a student enrolled in the English Literature programme, you define your own pathway through the Department’s MA provision. This means that as well as choosing modules from the MA in English, you can select modules in any combination from the other specialist MAs offered by the Department, such as the MA in Welsh Writing in English and the MA in Gender and Culture.
As a MA in English Literature student, you develop your dissertation project on a topic of your own choosing in consultation with a supervisor.
The full-time English Literature course comprises three modules taken in each academic semester (a total of six modules) and then a dissertation over the summer. The dissertation component draws on issues and themes developed throughout the year, or emerges from a topic of the student's proposing in English Literature. Part-time study is available for the MA in English Literature.
Students of the MA in English Literature will benefit from the College of Arts and Humanities' Graduate Centre. The Graduate Centre fosters and supports individual and collaborative research activity of international excellence and offers a vibrant and supportive environment for students pursuing postgraduate research and taught masters study. The Centre provides postgraduate training to enhance academic and professional development and facilitates participation in seminar programmes, workshops and international conferences.
Modules on the MA in English Literature typically include:
• Practising Ideas: Advnaced Research Skills
• ‘The Unsex’d Females’: Women Writers and the French Revolution
• Women Writing India
• The Romantic Sublime
• Gender and Culture: An Introduction
• The Modernist Novel: James Joyce
• Angela Carter
• Dylan Thomas and the Idea of Welsh Writing in English
• Locating Wales: Comparative Perspectives
• ‘American Wales’: Writing the Transatlantic
• Welsh Identities: Literature and Nationhood
• Saints and Sinners in Christian Late Antiquity
• Fin’Amor and Marriage in the Medieval English Secular Lyric
• Gender and Humour in Medieval and Early Modern Europe
• Lost in Europe: History, Biography, Ideology through the Short twentieth Century (1914-89)
• Neo-Victorian Mutinies: Gender & Racial Trauma in Neo-Victorian Fiction (& Film)
• Writing Poetry
• Writing the Self
Career expectations are excellent for English Literature graduates. Our Graduates enter careers in education, professional and creative writing, publishing, global marketing and advertising, media, international and national recruitment, heritage and tourism, and relief/humanitarian organisations. Some Graduates go on to pursue further postgraduate study leading to a PhD and a career in Academia.
The Department of English Language and Literature is home to three research centres and groupings:
• the Centre for the Research in the English Literature and Language of Wales (CREW)
• the Centre for the Research into Gender in Culture and Society (GENCAS)
• the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Research (MEMO)
All staff in the Department are research active and publish books and articles in their areas of expertise. Books published by staff in recent years include studies of medieval women’s writing, William Blake, Dylan Thomas, American fiction, Walt Whitman, narratives of the European border, Angela Carter, contemporary English language studies and many other areas. Regular research seminars
and lectures are run through these groups and also through the Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH) which students are encouraged to attend.
"The MA in English Literature at Swansea offers students a unique opportunity to expand their intellectual horizons in an environment that brings people together from across the globe. I've had the chance to study with people from Ireland, England, America, and Germany and the differing views and experiences that each of us bring to our classroom discussions have been an invaluable part of my education here. One of the other enormous benefits of studying in Swansea is its location. In few other places can a student read a poem by Dylan Thomas or William Wordsworth and then walk through the same streets and countryside that inspired that poet. At Swansea University a student can find a learning experience that breaks free of the confines of the classroom and that may lead them out into all the beauty and history of the city and its surrounding areas. To top it off the small class sizes create an intimate and informal atmosphere where passionate professors challenge you to make the most of your love of literature. In all I'd describe my time here at Swansea as an experience that has both deepened my love of literature while allowing me to come to view it from a more global perspective."
Robert Tretin, English Literature, MA