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Masters Degrees (Fin De Siecle)

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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. Read more

Research profile

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.

Training and support

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.

Facilities

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.

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This programme is intended to look at the representation of particular cultural issues across a range of texts. Read more
This programme is intended to look at the representation of particular cultural issues across a range of texts. You will be asked to consider the representation of a particular topic or concept in a range of texts across time and to ask how these representations respond to each other and to the changing political and social circumstances for the text. You will also be asked to consider how a range of texts from a short historical period respond differently to a shared set of historical circumstances. Modules ask you to engage with the major contemporary theoretical and critical issues in modern literary studies.

For the MA, you take three 30-credit modules, two 15-credit research methods modules, plus a dissertation (equivalent to four 15-credit modules). The Postgraduate Diploma requires three 30-credit modules (plus the research methods modules) and the Postgraduate Certificate requires two 30-credit modules. Assessment of modules is normally by coursework, either two pieces of about 2-3,000 words, or one piece of 4-5,000 words.

The English Literature subject group organises a range of literary activities including visits from influential speakers, a postgraduate research forum and conference, and a number of highly successful international conferences. These include the Open Graves Open Minds conference on the literary undead; Worlds Apart Science Fiction Conference, The Bram Stoker Symposium and the Locations of Austen Conference.

For details about the planned suite of modules please contact the Literature MA Co-ordinator, Dr Anna Tripp, on 01707 285654 or email

Why choose this course?

The MA in Modern Literary Cultures offers you the opportunity to explore culturally charged themes and critical debates across a diverse range of texts. You will be asked to consider the representation of a particular topic or concept in a range of texts across time and to ask how these representations respond to each other and to the changing political and social circumstances for the text. You will also be asked to explore how a range of texts from a short historical period respond differently to a shared set of historical circumstances. Modules ask you to engage with the major contemporary theoretical and critical issues in modern literary studies.

Careers

The advanced research skills the programme gives you are of value in a wide range of careers.

Teaching methods

Assessment is normally by coursework only. Taught modules require either two pieces of coursework of approximately 2-3,000 words, or one piece of coursework of 4-5,000 words. The dissertation is an extended piece of research, normally 15,000 words in length.

Structure

Modules
-Dandies, Decadents and New Women: Fin de siecle Literary Culture 1880-1900
-Earth Words: Literature, Place and Environment B
-Literature Dissertation
-Literature Research Methods 1: Critical and Theoretical Debates
-Literature Research Methods 2: Advanced Research Skills B
-Reading the Vampire: Science, Sexuality and Alterity in Modern Culture

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