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Masters Degrees (Gothic)

We have 33 Masters Degrees (Gothic)

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Introduction. Read more


Contemporary culture is characterised by nothing if not a reawakened interest in the Gothic, be that in the form of the current vogue for horror film, in the heightened preoccupation with terror and monstrosity in the media, the extraordinary success of writers such as Stephen King and Stephenie Meyer, or in manifestations of an alternative Gothic impulse in fashion, music and lifestyle.

As the countless adaptations and retellings of texts such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818; 1831) and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897) in our own day attest, the Gothic, though once relegated to a dark corner of literary history, has assumed a position of considerable cultural prominence.

The MLitt in The Gothic Imagination at the University of Stirling provides students with the unique opportunity to steep themselves in the scholarly appreciation of this mode, providing a rigorous and intensive historical survey of its literary origins and developments, and charting its dispersal across a broad range of media and national contexts. In so doing, the course equips its graduates with the necessary theoretical vocabulary to address, and critically reflect upon, the Gothic as a complex and multi-faceted cultural phenomenon, while also preparing them for further postgraduate research in the rich and vibrant field of Gothic Studies. In addition to these subject-specific objectives, the MLitt in The Gothic Imagination also provides its graduates with several invaluable transferable skills, including critical thinking, theoretical conceptualisation, historical periodization and independent research.

Key information

- Degree type: MLitt, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate

- Study methods: Part-time, Full-time

- Duration: Full-time; MLitt-12 months, Part-time: MLitt-27 months,

- Start date: September

- Course Director: Dr Timothy Jones

Course objectives

- The MLitt in the Gothic Imagination consists of four core modules, two option modules, and a dissertation. Across these components, the course aims to provide students with a rigorous grounding in the work and thematic preoccupations of the most influential Gothic writers, both historical and contemporary. Supplemented by relevant historical and theoretical material throughout, the course aims to provide as rich and varied an exposure to the academic study of the Gothic as possible.

- The first two core modules seek to provide a searching historical overview of the genesis and development of the Gothic aesthetic, taking students systematically from the circulation of the term ‘Gothic’ in the political and aesthetic discourses of the late seventeeth and eighteenth centuries, through the late eighteenth-century writings of Horace Walpole, Ann Radcliffe, Matthew Lewis and Charlotte Dacre, and into the nineteenth-century fictions of writers such as Charles Maturin, Mary Shelley, Charles Dickens, the Brontës, Sheridan Le Fanu, Robert Louis Stevenson, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde.

- The second and third core modules, on Gothic in modern, modernist and postmodern writing, include texts by authors such as Gaston Leroux, Algernon Blackwood, H.P. Lovecraft, Djuna Barnes; Mervyn Peake, Shirley Jackson, Stephen King, Anne Rice, Joyce Carol Oates, Toni Morrison and Patrick McGrath.

- Option modules vary from year to year, depending on student interest and demand. Recent option topics have included the Gothic on the Romantic Stage; Nineteenth-century American Gothic; Transmutations of the Vampire; The Gothic in Children’s Literature; Monstrosity; The Female Gothic; Queer Gothic; and Gothic in/and Modern Horror Cinema.

- At the dissertation stage, students are encouraged to undertake independent, supervised research on any particular interest within Gothic studies that they might wish to pursue. Subject to the agreement of the course director, a creative writing dissertation may be undertaken at this stage.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

- IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill

- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C

- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C

- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component

- IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Delivery and assessment

Two hours of seminars per module per week, plus individual consultations and supervisions with members of staff. Assessment is by means of a 4,000-word essay for each core module, and a variety of skills-based assessments (such as presentations; portfolios; blog-entries) for optional modules. All students complete a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of their choice once optional and core modules have been completed.


With course-work assessed solely by means of independently devised, researched and executed essays, the MLitt in The Gothic Imagination equips students with a number of the skills and abilities that are prized and actively sought after by employers across the private and public sectors. These include the ability to process and reflect critically upon cultural forms; the ability to organise, present and express ideas clearly and logically; the ability to understand complex theoretical ideas; and the ability to undertake extended independent research.

Previous graduates of the course have gone on to pursue successful careers in such fields as teaching, publishing, research, academia, advertising, journalism and the film industry.

The 15,000-word dissertation that is submitted towards the end of the course allows students to devise, develop, support and defend their own academic ideas across an extended piece of written work; addition to the skills of independence, organisation and expression fostered by this exercise, the dissertation also provides an excellent point of entry into more advanced forms of postgraduate research, including the Doctoral degree.

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*New for 2017, subject to final approval. The MA Crime and Gothic Fictions will introduce you to the advanced study of two popular genres that have entertained and informed culture from the nineteenth century to the present day. Read more
*New for 2017, subject to final approval

The MA Crime and Gothic Fictions will introduce you to the advanced study of two popular genres that have entertained and informed culture from the nineteenth century to the present day. You’ll explore the ways crime and Gothic enrich each other, focusing on both equally during the taught element of the MA. We’ll give you the opportunity to specialise for your final dissertation, if so desired.

The programme is deliberately international and interdisciplinary. You’ll study an imaginative choice of texts from Britain, Europe and the Americas, as well as investigating cutting-edge research and relevant theory.

The MA is particularly suited to individuals who are interested in developing their critical and research skills in preparation for further study. It can also be pursued as an end in itself, if you’re interested in investigating crime writing and Gothic at taught postgraduate level.

For information on How to Get Ahead before the course, please go to our course webpage: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-crime-and-gothic-fictions/


You’ll explore the ways crime and Gothic enrich each other, focusing on both equally during the taught element of the MA. We’ll give you the opportunity to specialise for your final dissertation, if so desired.

You’ll be taught the histories of the two genres, to ensure you have a good grounding, before moving on to consider contemporary and international examples from both genres. The programme will help strengthen your skills in comparison and criticism across genres, while allowing you to specialise in the genre of your choice.


In the first trimester, you'll study Research: Methods, Resources and Dissemination which will account for 30 credits. You'll also study Crime and the Gothic: Pasts and Presents with will account for a further 30 credits.

In the second trimester, you'll have two more modules to study, equating to a further 30 credits each. These will be International Crime and Gothic; and Crime Stories: From Page to Screen.

Finally, in the third trimester you will work on the Dissertation module, equating to a final 60 credits.


This is a deliberately integrated programme of study; you’ll often work with crime fictions and Gothic texts within the same module. This will develop cross-disciplinary and cross-generic awareness, while still allowing you to specialise in the subjects that interest you most.

Teaching will take place in relatively small seminar groups, and will involve a variety of activities including tutor-led discussion; small-group activities; individual and group presentations; consideration of non-literary texts, documents and artefacts; and possibly optional field trips to relevant exhibitions, screenings or lectures.


Modules are formally assessed primarily by essay, with the exception of the Research Methods module, which includes a bibliographical element.

Informal assessment may take the form of diagnostic essays, presentations and other exercises designed to enhance your research and presentation skills. The Dissertation module includes an assessed research proposal. There are no examinations.


Career opportunities for graduates with an MA in Crime and Gothic Fictions include:

• Working in cultural research and education.
• Academic and fictional publishing.
• Genre-related film, TV, and other media.
• Literary journalism.
• Dark tourism and the Gothic heritage industry.

For information on opportunities, facilities and resources please go to the course webpage: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-crime-and-gothic-fictions/

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This is a truly interdisciplinary programme on which you will benefit from the expertise of historians, literary critics, art critics, film theorists and ethnographers. Read more
This is a truly interdisciplinary programme on which you will benefit from the expertise of historians, literary critics, art critics, film theorists and ethnographers.

Why has the ‘Gothic’ been so prevalent in the fields of literature, art, architecture, film and music in the past 250 years? What does this tell us about ourselves, and the society in which we live? How has the genre changed, and how is it possible for us to define our identities within, and in relation to, the Gothic?

These are some of the questions you will be invited to consider on this course, which gives you the opportunity to study the fascinating subject of Gothic culture, in all its many forms, where it all began: on the site of Horace Walpole’s Gothic mansion in Strawberry Hill, South West London.

You will also be trained at postgraduate level in the research methods of these disciplines, preparing you for advanced study in the humanities disciplines.

Why St Mary's?

Students on this course have on-site access to the historic Gothic castle at Strawberry Hill, the birthplace of Gothic fiction and architecture.

There is also the unique resource of the Strawberry Hill Library, with collections relating to Horace Walpole, and to Gothic culture in general.

Taught by experts in the fields of literature, film, cultural studies, art and architecture, the course will encourage you to read and reflect on the tradition that starts with Horace Walpole and ends - for the time being - with True Blood and the Twilight saga.

Course Content

The course covers Gothic culture from 1750 to the present day, and also provides a grounding in critical theory and research methods suitable for advanced study.

Module Information
Semester One:
› Academic Orientation
› Researching Modernities
› Gothic Origins 1750-1850

Semester Two:
› The Modern Gothic
› The Contemporary Gothic
› Research Methods and Dissertation

Please note: All information is correct at the time of publication. However, course content is regularly updated and this may result in some changes, which will be communicated to students before their programme begins.

Career Prospects

The course is designed for those who have recently graduated in English, history, film studies, cultural studies, or a related discipline, as a sound route towards starting on doctoral studies and a career in academia. It is equally suited to those coming back to formal education after a period of time, and full support is given in the acquisition of the kind of research, analytic and writing skills you’ll need to succeed.

The content of this course makes it of relevance to those wishing to pursue careers in heritage and arts management - and of course the kind of research, evaluation and advocacy you’ll be practicing are essential skills in today’s jobs market.

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A Masters degree in English is a qualification that employers understand and respect. It is powerful testimony to your intellectual competence. Read more
A Masters degree in English is a qualification that employers understand and respect. It is powerful testimony to your intellectual competence.

Course overview

English MA combines the study of literatures, linguistics, critical theory and creative writing. The course is incredibly flexible and you can pursue your personal goals for intellectual enquiry and literary exploration, with inspiration and encouragement from our widely-published lecturers.

There is a very clear link between teaching and research on the degree with all the modules above drawing on publications by the module leaders (all of whom were recognised as ‘Internationally Excellent’ or ‘Internationally Recognised’ in the recent REF).

You will first undertake an innovative introductory module called ‘Approaching Literature’ which allows you to study applied literary, critical and linguistic theory as a basis to your whole degree. There is then a wide choice of modules based on the research specialisms of the staff including: 'Gothic', 'Late Victorian Gothic', 'Writing the Borders', ‘Language and Ideology in Children’s Fictions’, 'Early Humans in Fiction', ‘Irish Literature 1790 to 1831’, ‘Critical Theory and Creative Writing’ and 'Language and Ideology in Children’s Fictions’.

You will negotiate the topic of your Masters dissertation to reflect your personal interests. We like to push boundaries and develop modules that combine our research expertise with an awareness of your future career prospects.

The market for places on postgraduate teaching qualifications is becoming increasingly competitive. Many of our students enrol on the MA to improve their subject specialism, thereby giving them a greater chance of success at securing a place on one of these courses. With this in mind, we are attentive to developments in the GSCE and A Level curriculums, in order that our students have relevant, research led subject knowledge to bring to bear on applications.

Through the channels of Spectral Visions Press students are invited to submit their work for publication. If selected original work will be published in one of our professionally assembled annual anthologies the last two of which are currently available on Amazon. Furthermore, many of our students have written articles, reviews and interviews for organisations such as the International Gothic Association; An International Community of Gothic Scholars; and other scholarly networks such as the Open Graves; Open Minds project, Sibeal, and Feminist Studies. These networking opportunities give our students valuable access to the wider academic community, and aid in employment and progression opportunities.

Your training in research skills, together with Masters-level critical thinking, will be transferable to many different types of employment.

We also offer a part-time English MA of this course, which may suit you if you want to combine studying for a Masters degree with other commitments. For more information, please view this web-page: http://www.sunderland.ac.uk/courses/educationandsociety/postgraduate/english-part-time/

Course content

The course mixes taught elements with independent research and supportive supervision. At MA level, responsibility for learning lies as much with you as with your tutor. Modules on this course include:
Core modules
-Approaching Literature (30 Credits)

Choose three optional modules from a list that may include the following modules
-Gothic (30 Credits)
-The 1790s (30 Credits)
-Late Victorian Gothic (30 Credits)
-‘What Ish My Nation?’: Postcolonial Irish Literatures (30 Credits)
-Language and Ideology in Children’s Fictions (30 Credits)
-Reading ‘Ulysses’ (30 Credits)
-The Global City: Modern to Postmodern (30 Credits)
-Orientalism: Representations of the East in Western Travel Literature and Arab and Iranian Novels (30 Credits)
-‘Strange Country’: Irish Literature 1790 to 1831 (30 Credits)
-Critical Theory and Creative Writing (30 Credits)
-Early Humans in Fiction (30 Credits)
-Reading the Anglo-Scots Borders (30 Credits)
-Reading and Writing the Fantastic, the Marvellous and the Gothic (30 Credits)
-Irish Literature and the Supernatural (30 Credits)

Plus the compulsory dissertation
-Dissertation on a topic that you negotiate with your supervisor (60 Credits)

Teaching and assessment

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include seminars and discussion groups. We often have visiting speakers and a range of research seminars to enhance your learning opportunities. This includes our widely acclaimed Spectral Visions event, held annually at the University.

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters course requires a higher level of independent working. Assessment methods include mainly essays. Some options require oral presentations.

Facilities & location

The University of Sunderland has excellent facilities that have been boosted by multi-million pound redevelopments.

Course location
The course is based at the Priestman Building on City Campus, just a few minutes from the main Murray Library and close to Sunderland city centre. It’s a very vibrant and supportive environment with excellent resources for teaching and learning.

University Library Services
We’ve got thousands of books and e-books on topics related to English and literature, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles. Some of the most important sources for your course include:
-Early English Books Online, which provides digital images of virtually every work printed in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and British North America during 1473-1800
-Eighteenth Century Collections Online, which provides 136,000 full-text publications from 1701-1800
-Periodicals Archive Online, which provides digitised literary journals
-Project Muse, which provides over 180 full-text humanities and social sciences journals

IT provision
When it comes to IT provision you can take your pick from hundreds of PCs as well as Apple Macs in the David Goldman Informatics Centre and St Peter’s Library. There are also free WiFi zones throughout the campus. If you have any problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

Employment & careers

This course is relevant to a wide range of occupations because it sharpens your skills of analysis and persuasive communication. At the same time it advances your intellectual development. A Masters degree in English is a qualification that is well-recognised by employers across all sectors. Past graduates have gained employment in areas such as:
-Media and journalism
-Civil Service
-Freelance writing
-Arts and creative industries

A Masters degree will also enhance opportunities in academic roles or further study towards a PhD.

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This course offers a flexible, challenging Master’s programme, delivered by a team of tutors with internationally recognised academic expertise in specialist areas. Read more
This course offers a flexible, challenging Master’s programme, delivered by a team of tutors with internationally recognised academic expertise in specialist areas.

There are three routes: you can choose a specialised pathway in Contemporary Literature, Film & Theory or The Gothic, and a general English Studies route where students can build their own bespoke programme, choosing units from either pathways to create a Master's level experience reflecting your own interests in the further study of English.

Features and benefits of the course

Taught in small groups, you will benefit from the expertise of research active staff, rapidly developing your specialist subject knowledge and acquiring professional levels of research skills and conference presentation skills.

Research in the department has been rated highly in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise with some rated as world leading.

You will benefit from regular seminars by visiting speakers as well as a thriving conference schedule.

A personal tutoring system is in place, ensuring that all students have a tutor with whom they can discuss any aspect of their academic developments.

The Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies was launched in 2013 to capitalise on the expertise of a high number of internationally renowned Gothic scholars housed in the Department of English. Founding Centre Head, Linnie Blake along with Xavier Aldana Reyes and Sorcha Ni Fhlainn form the Centre’s core members.

About the Course

There are three routes: you can choose a specialised pathway (MA English Studies: Contemporary Literature, Film and Theory or MA English Studies: The Gothic) or a general route (MA English Studies), selecting from the range of units to construct a Master's level experience reflecting your interests in the further study of English.

MA English Studies: Contemporary Literature, Film and Theory focuses on contemporary cultural practices and critical theoretical interventions. This pathway reflects research strengths in contemporary literary and film studies, critical and cultural theory, memory and trauma studies, the critical medical humanities and queer, postcolonial and cultural disability studies.

MA English Studies: The Gothic begins with the pre-history of the Gothic mode in the seventeenth century, explores its eighteenth and nineteenth-century incarnations and concludes with contemporary manifestations of the mode. Students study plays and novels, films and television, framed by socio-cultural perspectives and critical and theoretical analyses.

MA English Studies (general pathway) allows students to freely select units from the full range on offer.

Assessment details

The programme is examined mainly through written work, with an essay of around 6000 words (or equivalent) in each unit usually forming the basis of that assessment. All MA students submit a Dissertation of around 15,000 words. Each year, we run an MA Day when you will present your dissertation proposals to the teaching team and the rest of the group.

MA English Studies students submit all their written coursework online, and the Programme makes extensive use of easily accessible online provision of teaching and learning support materials.

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Explore your passion for contemporary literature and the way it can be used to help our understanding of society. You will examine current developments and critical issues in the past 30 years of literature on a course that provides an international and cross-cultural outlook. Read more

Explore your passion for contemporary literature and the way it can be used to help our understanding of society. You will examine current developments and critical issues in the past 30 years of literature on a course that provides an international and cross-cultural outlook.

Whether your interests lie in the postcolonial world or you have a fascination with women's writing or contemporary gothic literature, this challenging course will allow you to study recent volumes of poetry, research cultures and explore novels and films relating to current debates. You will use key theoretical models and concepts to gain a greater understanding of how we study literature and the motivations and historical events that have driven the authors you choose to read.

Taught by a team with an international reputation for their research in diverse areas, ranging from Caribbean culture, history and literature to cultural representations of the 2007-08 credit crunch across literature, stage and screen, this course will expose you to new ideas and will encourage you to question them.

Check out our twitter feed @BeckettEnglish for up-to-date information on staff and student events, short courses and fun happenings around the school. 

Research Excellence Framework 2014

Research Excellence Framework 2014: 38% of our research was judged to be world leading or internationally excellent in the Communication, Culture and Media Studies, Library and Information Management unit.

Course Benefits

You will learn how to use a range of cutting-edge theoretical approaches to texts, while you will be able to draw upon the course team's research and teaching strengths in contemporary women's writing, postcolonialism and popular fiction.

You will acquire a well-informed, critical understanding of current developments, questions and critical issues in the field of contemporary literatures and develop the transferable skills needed to undertake independent research into contemporary literatures and associated criticism and theory.

Core modules

  • Researching Cultures

Option modules can include*

  • Dissertation
  • Doris Lessing: Narrating Nation & Identity
  • Contemporary Genre: (Re)Presenting the 21st Century
  • Haunting the Contemporary: the Ghost Story in 20th & 21st Century Fiction
  • Post-Structuralist Theory: Foucault & Derrida
  • Neoliberal Fictions
  • Other Victorians: The Neo-Victorian Contemporary Novel
  • The New Yorkshire Novel
  • Contemporary Gothic
  • Poetry & Poetics
  • Translating Tricksters: Literatures of the Black Atlantic
  • India Shining: Secularism, Globalization, & Contemporary Indian Culture

*These modules rotate on an annual basis. Not all modules listed may be available in your year of entry.

Job prospects

You will graduate with the expertise and confidence to add your voice to the latest literary criticism. You could decide to explore your chosen area further, get your findings published and work towards an MPhil or PhD, and then pursue a career in academia. Having built on and developed a range of transferable skills such as advanced planning and critical engagement, you will also be well prepared for a variety of careers in the civil service, teaching, journalism or publishing.

  • Editorial Assistant
  • Press Officer
  • Reader Development Librarian
  • Marketing Communications Executive

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This programme explores the richness and complexity of artistic invention from the late thirteenth to the seventeenth centuries. Read more

This programme explores the richness and complexity of artistic invention from the late thirteenth to the seventeenth centuries. You will have the opportunity for deep engagement with art-making both in Italy and northern Europe (France, Germany, Low Countries, England and Scotland) and be encouraged to challenge orthodoxies about the influence of one upon the other.

Why this programme

  • You will learn from world-leading researchers and develop expert knowledge in this specialised area within History of Art.
  • Glasgow’s civic and university collections are some of the richest and most diverse in Europe and are of international standing.
  • You will have hands-on access to Renaissance collections of international significance in the University’s own Hunterian Art Gallery (paintings, woodcuts and engravings) and Special Collections (illuminated manuscripts, early printed books, emblem books), and Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (Italian, Dutch and Flemish Old Master paintings) , Burrell Collection (Renaissance art in many media, including tapestries and sculpture) and Museums Resource Centre (paintings, glass and ceramics). The city is also an excellent base from which to explore Scotland’s rich architectural heritage, including some of the most complete Renaissance palaces and noble houses in Europe.

Programme structure

The programme is comprised of a core course designed to give you an overview of methods and approaches as well as seminar opportunities to engage directly with original works of art; and optional courses, enabling you to create your own Masters programme.

It also allows you to work in an interdisciplinary capacity, selecting courses from across the College of Arts, according to personal interests. Language and renaissance palaeography study are among the optional courses available. The programme convenor will work with you to ensure a sensible portfolio of courses is constructed, according to your personal aims and objectives.

Core teaching and research training are delivered during the first semester. Optional courses may be taken during the first and second semesters, followed by dissertation research. The dissertation provides an opportunity for you to identify an area of interest and to create a research project that allows in-depth critical exploration of it.

Core Courses

  • Defining the Renaissance: Objects, Theories, Categories
  • Research Methods in Practice

Optional Courses

  • Death and the Art of Dying in the Renaissance North
  • Masters of the Venetian Renaissance: Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese
  • From Gothic to Renaissance in Northern Europe
  • The Renaissance Palace as Portrait
  • Work Placement

Who will you work with?

You will be taught by a team of experts in different aspects of Renaissance art history based at the University of Glasgow:

  • Dr Debra Strickland – illuminated manuscripts, early printed books, monsters, images of non-Christians in Christian art, and the painting of Hieronymus Bosch.
  • Dr Tom Nichols - Venetian Renaissance art and the imagery of social outcasts
  • Dr John Richards – Humanism and the visual arts; ‘Gothic’/’Renaissance’ interface.
  • Dr Sally Rush - the visual and material culture of the Renaissance court

Career prospects

Object-based study sessions and field trips will introduce you to professionals working in museums and the heritage industry and you will have the opportunity to gain further experience of these sectors through a work placement. The dissertation will foster essential independent research skills and prepare you for doctoral research should you wish to pursue an academic career.

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The School of English and Journalism offers advanced research opportunities within the subjects of English and Creative Writing. Read more
The School of English and Journalism offers advanced research opportunities within the subjects of English and Creative Writing.

As a research student, you can benefit from a dedicated doctoral training programme designed for English students, which gives you the opportunity to develop the practical and critical skills necessary for investigation and study at doctoral level. Expert and experienced direction will be available from your supervisory team and you can benefit from the School’s research expertise in areas including contemporary literature, 18-19th century literature, early modern literature, women’s writing, Gothic literature, utopianism and American fiction.

Regular research seminars, symposia and conferences provide a lively research environment, in which students are encouraged to participate. An interdisciplinary research culture facilitates collaboration with colleagues across topics and strong links exist with the Schools of Film and Media, History and Heritage, and Fine and Performing Arts.

Research Areas, Projects & Topics

Research areas covered within the School include:
-21st Century literature and drama
-19th Century literature
-Life writing/testimony/memory studies
-Women’s writing 18-21st Centuries
-American literature 19-21st Centuries
-Renaissance literature
-Utopian studies
-Gothic literature
-Postcolonial literature
-Trauma studies

How You Study

Study at MPhil/PhD level takes the form of supervised individual research. You work on one topic of your choice for the duration of the study period. On a regular basis, you are expected to produce appropriate written work, submit it to your supervisors, then meet with your supervisors to receive feedback on your submission and agree the next stage of work.

Due to the nature of postgraduate research programmes, the vast majority of your time will be spent in independent study and research. You will have meetings with your academic supervisor, however the regularity of these will vary depending on your own individual requirements, subject area, staff availability and the stage of your programme.

How You Are Assessed

The assessment at this level of study takes the form of an 80,000 word thesis.

A PhD is awarded based on the quality of your thesis and your ability in an oral examination (viva voce) to present and successfully defend your chosen research topic to a group of academics. You are also expected to demonstrate how your research findings have contributed to knowledge or developed existing theory or understanding.

Career and Personal Development

A doctoral qualification may be regarded as the capstone of academic achievement and may mark the beginning of a career in academia or research.

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This course is to be an interdisciplinary programme enabling students to examine, by way of a thesis of the usual length allowed for Buckingham Master’s degree dissertations, aspects of Western Architectural History from the medieval period to the mid-twentieth century. Read more

Course outline

This course is to be an interdisciplinary programme enabling students to examine, by way of a thesis of the usual length allowed for Buckingham Master’s degree dissertations, aspects of Western Architectural History from the medieval period to the mid-twentieth century. Students will be encouraged to consider the interrelation of architectural history, art history and social history.

The seminar programme, which serves to complement the student’s individual research, will explore these themes in a series of twelve meetings, which will be addressed by some of the United Kingdom’s most distinguished architectural historians. These will be prefaced by a general introductory class led by the Course Director, offering an introduction to research techniques, relevant library resources available in London and through the University of Buckingham’s online subscriptions, to relevant museum collections and to the most recent academic approaches to the subject.

Each seminar will take place in central London in the early evening, followed by a 40-minute question-and-answer session with the seminar speakers, all recognised experts in their fields, and a dinner at which there will be further discussion with the speaker and a general conversation about the topic in hand. Six seminars will be scheduled for the period between October and December, and a further six in the period between the New Year and March.

After the course leader’s general introduction, there will be a series of twelve seminar papers which explore the architecture of the Western world: the medieval castle, the Gothic cathedral, Italian renaissance architecture, French and English baroque palace and country house architecture, European baroque church architecture, the inspiration of the Classical world, the Gothic Revival and historicism, Ruskin and Morris and the birth of conservation philosophy, industrialisation and the transformation of urban architecture, colonial architecture, Beaux-Arts architecture in America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, and the meaning of Modern architecture. Reading lists will be made available before each lecture to allow for background reading and discussion with the expert speakers.

Location for seminars: The Reform Club (104 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5EW) and the University of Buckingham’s London premises at 51 Gower Street (Bloomsbury, London, WC1E 6HJ)

Course director

Jeremy Musson has a distinguished reputation as an architectural and social historian. A former National Trust assistant curator, he was Architectural Editor of Country Life magazine in 1998-2007, and presented the BBC 2 series The Curious House Guest, 2006-2007. He is an author and historic buildings consultant, working with a range of clients including the National Trust and St Paul’s Cathedral.

He is a regular lecturer and supervisor on the Master’s in Building History course at the University of Cambridge, a second supervisor to the Buckingham Master’s in the English Country House, regular speaker and tutor on the Attingham Summer School and has been a course director for the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. He has also lectured The Royal Oak in the USA and at various US museums.

His books include The Country Houses of Sir John Vanbrugh, English Ruins, Up and Down Stairs: The History of the Country House Servant, English Country House Interiors and Robert Adam: Country House Design, Decoration and the Art of Elegance (2017). He recently contributed a chapter to the new monograph King’s College Chapel 1515-2015: Art, Music and Religion in Cambridge, 2014, and another to Fin de siècle Rediscovered. A Mosaic of the Turn of the Century, proceedings of a conference at the National Museum in Warsaw. He is co-editor with Sir David Cannadine of the forthcoming collection of essays The British Country House Revisited.

Associate students

For those wishing to attend the evening research seminar programme, but unable to devote the time to the coursework or to register for the MA degree, there is the option of becoming an Associate Student. This status will enable the student to attend the twelve research seminars and to meet the guest lecturers, in the first six months of the programme, but does not require the submission of written work. Associate Students are not registered for, and do not receive, the MA degree.

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Warwick is one of the only taught Renaissance MAs in the UK to offer students a Venice Programme, giving them the opportunity to spend a full university term in Venice and to study. Read more

Warwick is one of the only taught Renaissance MAs in the UK to offer students a Venice Programme, giving them the opportunity to spend a full university term in Venice and to study in situ the city’s art, history and culture. Students will have the opportunity to spend a further period of 3 months (usually in the Summer term) at the University of Venice, as part of our ERASMUS Exchange Programme.

Warwick’s long-standing and dynamic Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, and its unusually large staff of Renaissance specialists, provides the opportunity for students at postgraduate level to approach Renaissance art, history, religion and literature from a distinctively interdisciplinary perspective Warwick is well-placed to offer teaching and research programmes in Renaissance Studies, both because of its own staffing resources and library provisions (which offers excellent electronic resources such as ITER, BIHR, Early English Books Online and The Making of the Modern World), and because of its proximity to major research collections at Oxford, Birmingham, Manchester, Stratford-upon-Avon and London.  Warwick also has well-established links with other prestigious centres of Renaissance excellence, including the Warburg Institute in London, the Newberry Library in Chicago and the Folger Institute in Washington.

Warwick’s centre in Venice has been housed in the fifteenth-century Palazzo Pesaro-Papafava since 2007. This stunning building, in gothic style, belonged to a rich patrician family who exercised considerable political and economic power. Warwick’s Venice Programme offers unique opportunities for graduate study. The course opens with a term based in Venice studying Italian Renaissance art in situ, engaging directly with the city’s galleries, libraries, and museums, and exploring the history and culture of the Renaissance. There you will benefit from Warwick’s forty-year association with the city, and from the expertise of our specialists in Venetian art, history and culture. Seminars are combined with site-visits, study sessions in Venetian workshops (for example, in a traditional printing shop or bronze foundry), and behind-the-scenes visits to the warehouses of Venetian museums. We teach as much as possible in the presence of original objects, and within period settings. All teaching is delivered in English but Italian language lessons are offered to students as an optional extra at no extra cost.

During the Autumn term in Venice, students will take two modules examining the history and the art of the Italian Renaissance. Modules typically include: ‘Order and Disorder: Culture, Society and Religion in Early Modern Venice,’ ‘Venetian Art and its Histories’ or ‘Venetian Luxury & Display.’

During the Spring term in Warwick students take two further modules, both providing an opportunity to explore the dissemination of Italian culture in Renaissance Europe. There are a series of skills sessions on Palaeography and research resources which help students to acquire the skills necessary to undertake research and extended writing on the Renaissance and a weekly seminar in Renaissance Latin (post-beginners).

During the Summer term students work closely with their supervisor on researching and writing their dissertation which is on any topic of their choice related to the course. Work continues over the summer vacation and submission is due in September.

Previous graduates from this course have chosen to progress to PhD study at Warwick or another institution, and/or to pursue a career in academia (most recently at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore), museums or galleries, teaching and the armed forces.

Courses typically start in September/October of each year with a compulsory induction at Warwick before heading off to Venice for the first term. Further (academic) details may be requested from the Director of Graduate Studies, https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/ren/about_us/ ; or for more pragmatic queries, from the Centre's Administrator on

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Drawing on Birkbeck's position as a world-leading centre in the field of nineteenth-century studies, this MA offers you the chance to take a genuinely interdisciplinary approach to studying the literature, culture and history of Victorian Britain. Read more
Drawing on Birkbeck's position as a world-leading centre in the field of nineteenth-century studies, this MA offers you the chance to take a genuinely interdisciplinary approach to studying the literature, culture and history of Victorian Britain. You will encounter a compelling range of Victorian texts, contexts, themes and ideas on a degree course that does justice to the energy and variety of the Victorian period.

Two core modules, Progress and Anxiety, 1789-1859 and Modernising Victorians, introduce some of the most significant debates, ideas and events of the long nineteenth century, and offer you the chance to develop new critical approaches to Victorian studies. 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 and the Gothic revival.

These compulsory courses are supplemented by a wide range of option modules, which allow you to pursue your own interests in the field of Victorian Studies and beyond. Recently offered option modules are listed below.

Students in their final year of study have the chance to take an internship module. Successful interns spend a term working with one of London's Victorian cultural institutions, gaining first-hand experience of working in the cultural sector and using their host institution's archives to develop a unique research project. Previous interns have worked with the Dickens House Museum, the Salvation Army Heritage Centre and Archive, and the Guildhall Art Gallery, and have developed their projects into funded doctoral research topics.

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.

Staff teaching on this MA include:

Professor Hilary Fraser
Professor Laurel Brake
Professor David Feldman
Dr Nicola Bown
Dr Carolyn Burdett (Course Director)
Dr Luisa Calè
Dr Julia Laite
Dr David McAllister
Dr Emily Senior
Dr Heather Tilley
Dr Ana Parejo Vadillo.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
Explore this fascinating period through a multidisciplinary approach, bringing together literature, visual art, history and cultural studies.
Our graduates have an impressive record in competing for Arts and Humanities Research Council awards for research degrees.
Our lively Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies organises a dynamic range of year-round events that showcase the research of Birkbeck's academics, researchers and students, including our annual Dickens Day and our Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies. The Centre also established, and for many years hosted, the London Nineteenth-Century Studies Seminar.
Read 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, our free, open-access online journal that celebrated its tenth anniversary in November 2015 with a special issue on 'The Nineteenth-Century Digital Archive'.
Read more about our Dickens's Our Mutual Friend project, which culminated in November 2015 as part of the tenth-anniversary celebrations of 19.
Birkbeck is at the geographical centre of London's research library complex, a short distance from the British Library, the University of London Library, the Warburg Institute and the Institute of Historical Research.
The University of London Library has an outstanding collection of literary periodicals of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

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The MA English by Research is your opportunity to conduct in-depth research on a topic of your choice from the field of modern literary studies, relative to an area of staff expertise. Read more
The MA English by Research is your opportunity to conduct in-depth research on a topic of your choice from the field of modern literary studies, relative to an area of staff expertise.

This piece of original research will usually be based on close study of the primary texts as well as engagement with critical, contextual and theoretical material as appropriate. You will conduct your research under the close supervision of a member of staff.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/292-ma-english-by-research

What you will study

Your research topic will be decided in consultation with a member of the English team. An individual supervisor will be assigned during the application and interview process and you will then work closely with them.

Dissertation supervision for the MA English by Research is available in the following broad areas:

- 19th Century Literature
- 20th Century and Contemporary Literature
- Women’s Writing
- Feminist Theory
- Welsh Writing in English
- Welsh Women’s Writing
- Gothic Studies
- Religious Poetry
- Postcolonial literatures
- Historical fictions

Learning and teaching methods

Once a research area has been identified and a research programme agreed, you can begin researching and writing your dissertation. You will determine its content, development and structure in regular consultation with your dissertation supervisor. You will produce a dissertation 25,000 words in length.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

The MA by research is an excellent qualification for further postgraduate study at MPhil or PhD level. Alternatively graduates will have developed the research skills needed for a range of careers in the arts, media, industry and public or private sectors, including teaching, public administration and publishing.

Assessment methods

The MA English by Research is assessed by a dissertation and a viva voce (oral examination). The dissertation should be 25,000 words in length.

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This exciting taught postgraduate literature course allows you to study the writers and literatures of the Highlands and Islands, in the communities to which they belong. Read more
This exciting taught postgraduate literature course allows you to study the writers and literatures of the Highlands and Islands, in the communities to which they belong. Trace the footsteps of these inspirational creatives, explore the literary heritage of the area and experience, first hand, the diverse culture of the region.

You will study three main themes throughout the course, namely:

landscape and identity
the literary and linguistic legacy for the modern period
the place of Highlands and Islands literature in the wider context

You will benefit from lectures and seminars by local writers, and the team at the Centre for Nordic Studies. Our small classes will give you a more personal study experience during this Masters course in Highlands and Islands Literature.

Special Features

• Loans for tuition fees are available from the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for eligible Scotland domiciled and EU students, and loans for living costs for eligible Scottish students.
• Lectures and seminars by local writers
• A creative writing module
• The chance to study and explore the Highland and Islands at the same time
• You can study individual modules for personal or professional development, or work towards the PgCert, PgDip or full Masters degree
• You can attend the course full time or part time or from a distance using our online and video conference technologies, which means you can fit your studies around your personal and professional commitments



Core modules are: The Gaelic Legacy; Writers and Place;Literary Iconographies


Core modules are:

Modern Scottish Gothic
A Tour of the Highlands

You will also choose one option module which may include:

Exploring creative writing
The North Atlantic World
The Highlands and Islands Story
Traditional Customs and Beliefs of the Highlands and Islands
Picts: revealing the painted past.


To achieve the award of MLitt Highlands and Islands Literature you must complete a research dissertation.


This course is available online with support from Lews Castle College UHI, Stornoway or Orkney College UHI, Kirkwall

Study Options

You will study this course through a combination of video conferenced seminars and learning via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors and student advisor.
International students requiring a Tier 4 visa to study with us must be based at Orkney College UHI during their studies. International students undertaking the course from their home country can study online and by video conference, in real-time or recordings.
All other students can choose to study at Orkney College UHI or Lews Castle College UHI in Stornoway, or from their own location studying online and by video conference in real-time or recordings.
An online induction will be offered at the start of your course.

Access routes

Students can access the programme from a range of UHI undergraduate programmes including:
BA (Hons) Literature
BA (Hons) Scottish History and Literature
BA (Hons) Culture and Heritage
And externally from humanities degrees generally


From 2017, eligible Scotland domiciled students studying full time can access loans up to 10,000 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).This comprises a tuition fee loan up to £5,500 and a non-income assessed living cost loan of £4,500. EU students studying full time can apply for a tuition fee loan up to £5500.

Part-time students undertaking any taught postgraduate course over two years up to Masters level who meet the residency eligibility can apply for a for a tuition fee loan up to £2,750 per year.

See Scholarships tab below for full details

Top reasons to study at UHI

Do something different: our reputation is built on our innovative approach to learning and our distinctive research and curriculum which often reflects the unique environment and culture of our region and closely links to vocational skills required by a range of sectors.
Choice of campuses – we have campuses across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Each campus is different from rich cultural life of the islands; the spectacular coasts and mountains; to the bright lights of our city locations.
Small class sizes mean that you have a more personal experience of university and receive all the support you need from our expert staff
The affordable option - if you already live in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland you don't have to leave home and incur huge debts to go to university; we're right here on your doorstep

How to apply

If you want to apply for this postgraduate programme click on the ‘visit website’ button below which will take you to the relevant course page on our website, from there select the Apply tab to complete our online application.
If you still have any questions please get in touch with our information line by email using the links beow or call on 0845 272 3600.

International Students

If you would like to study in a country of outstanding natural beauty, friendly communities, and cities buzzing with social life and activities, the Highlands and Islands of Scotland should be your first choice. We have campuses across the region each one with its own special characteristics from the rich cultural life of the islands to the bright city lights of Perth and Inverness. Some courses are available in one location only, for others you will have a choice; we also have courses that can be studied online from your own home country. .http://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/studying-at-uhi/international

English Language Requirements

Our programmes are taught and examined in English. To make the most of your studies, you must be able to communicate fluently and accurately in spoken and written English and provide certified proof of your competence before starting your course. Please note that English language tests need to have been taken no more than two years prior to the start date of the course. The standard English Language criteria to study at the University of the Highlands and Islands are detailed on our English language requirements page http://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/studying-at-uhi/international/how-to-apply-to-uhi/english-language-requirements

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The MA in English Language and Literary Studies is ideal for you if you would like to combine your studies of English Language with the study of literature and literary theory. Read more

The MA in English Language and Literary Studies is ideal for you if you would like to combine your studies of English Language with the study of literature and literary theory. This MA is taught jointly by the Department of Linguistics and English Language and the Department of English and Creative Writing, allowing a great deal of flexibility to follow your own interests.

It consists of six credit-bearing modules, including at least two from each department, at least one research methods course and a dissertation. Support for your studies is provided by the non-credit Postgraduate Academic Study Skills module, which runs in terms 1, 2 and 3.

Course Structure

You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.



Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.


Coursework and dissertation

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About the course. This is our most flexible course. It's designed to let you explore modules from across our degree programmes to create your own pathway from the below. Read more

About the course

This is our most flexible course. It's designed to let you explore modules from across our degree programmes to create your own pathway from the below:

  • American Literature pathway
  • Medieval and Early Modern pathway
  • Modern and Contemporary pathway
  • Film pathway
  • Literary-Linguistics pathway
  • Gothic Studies pathway

Your career

An English Literature masters from Sheffield is the mark of an independent thinker, a skilled researcher, someone who can bring complex projects to fruition. Our graduates go into teaching, management and consultancy, advertising, journalism, publishing, and all branches of the arts – especially theatre, film, and creative writing. Our courses are also excellent preparation for a PhD.

Cultural life

There is always something going on, and there are plenty of chances to get involved. We have extensive links with arts and heritage organisations including Arts Council England and Sheffield Theatres. Recent poetry readings featured Carol Ann Duffy and Ciaran Carson. Our Arts/Science Encounters events bring together musicians, writers, architects and academics to explore ideas. The English Society, run by our students, organises theatre trips, guest lectures, and seminars. Students also get the chance to take part in drama and readings.

First-rate facilities

We’re based in a brand new building at the heart of the campus. There are computer workstations especially for postgraduates and a DVD library with viewing facilities. Our theatre workshop is a fully equipped teaching/performance area with excellent film-viewing facilities and audio suites.

Specialist resources

The University Library subscribes to the major periodicals and full-text electronic archives, including Early English Books Online and Eighteenth-Century Collections Online. Special collections include an outstanding collection of Restoration drama, the Hope Collection of eighteenth-century periodicals, the Jack Rosenthal scripts collection, and papers of contemporary writers such as Anita Brookner, Marina Warner, Fay Weldon and Peter Redgrove.


There are a number of studentships and fee bursaries available, funded by the University. Deadlines for funding applications are usually in winter/early spring. For details, see our website.

Research training for PhD

If you intend to progress to a PhD, your course can be tailored to include essential research training. The same applies to students on the online course.

Part-time study

Part-time students usually take one taught module in each semester. In the second year, you’ll also take a dissertation module. For most courses, you’ll need to come in for one half-day per week. The MA Creative Writing is taught in the evening. Some modules, such as Theatre and Performance, may require greater time commitment. We try to be as flexible as possible to accommodate the different needs of our students.

Examples of optional modules

You may choose modules from any of the School of English MAs or pathways.

Teaching and assessment

Essays, 15,000-word dissertation.

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