The MA pathway in Nineteenth-Century Studies is an interdisciplinary programme for the study of nineteenth-century British culture which draws on modules in literature, history, music, and print culture and has contributions from cultural historians, literary scholars, and musicologists.
The MA pathway in Nineteenth-Century Studies will give you the opportunity to specialise in the culture and history of the nineteenth century. It is taught by world-leading experts in the period who are as passionate about the subject as you are, and is linked to the Southampton Centre for Nineteenth-Century Research. It will empower you to conduct advanced-level research and independent critical thinking in the field; to make effective use of archives, manuscripts, and research libraries; and examine how nineteenth- century literature and print culture shaped our understanding of education, class, consumerism, sexuality, science, economics, and more. Not only will you emerge with an internationally-recognised masters degree from a top Russell Group university, you will also acquire the critical thinking and writing skills that will give you the competitive edge, either as a future scholar or as a professional in areas such as secondary school teaching, librarianship, museums and galleries, publishing and roles in the heritage industry.
Our pathway in the Nineteenth Century allows you to specialise in the literary culture and history of the nineteenth century. It is taught by leading experts in the field and has a unique link to the Southampton Centre for Nineteenth-Century Research .
The MA English Literary Studies (Nineteenth Century) will enable you to work independently in the field; to explore how genres, authors, and texts participate in wider public discourses concerning class, race, gender, print culture, science, empire, and sexuality; and to evaluate unique publications and archival resources specific to nineteenth-century studies. It will develop your knowledge and understanding of critical and research methods appropriate to the period; raise your awareness of the historical and critical reception of literature and culture in the long nineteenth century; and empower you to explore the nuances of literary meaning in the contested cultural field of nineteenth-century public culture.
An MA in English Literary Studies is excellent preparation for a career in teaching, publishing and arts administration. Graduates of our programme go onto professional careers in writing (from journalism to fiction), education, international PhD programmes, teaching, broadcasting, and varied work in the creative industries. Former graduates and alumni return to give talks throughout the year, and you will help you make the most of the opportunities here.
A number of our graduates have gone on to careers in teaching, journalism, media and found the year-long course invaluable in shaping and developing their voice.
Studying English Literature at postgraduate level opens up a whole host of vibrant and intellectually stimulating avenues to explore.
At this level, English literary texts from the medieval period to present day are studied in and alongside their many different contexts – historical, social, political and/or material – and approached from a multitude of theoretical and methodological perspectives, enabling you to develop new and highly skilled ways of reading and interpreting a wide variety of cultural documents.
Our innovative programme draws on the wide-ranging research expertise of our staff in order to develop your critical and analytical skills in the field of literary and cultural studies. The programme allows you to take a general route, choosing core and optional from a variety of literary periods, or take one of a number of pathways, each focusing on a different historical period from the medieval through to the contemporary.
This programme will provide a solid grounding in the key intellectual debates within the scholarship surrounding a range of period and context specialisms, introduce you to the latest research in the field, and support your development of the skills required for writing a dissertation.
It includes a mixture of core and optional modules taken across the autumn and spring semesters.
Alongside the programme you will also have the chance to participate in a bespoke MA conference and become part of the department’s thriving academic research community.
Your core modules will either be from the same pathway, if you are specialising in a literary period, or can be chosen from different pathways if you are taking a general route through the degree.
All pathways also include a compulsory ‘Research Skills’ module. For full descriptions, see 'modules' below.
You will choose optional modules from a range covering a variety of authors and themes from the medieval period to the 21st century. If you are following a pathway through the MA, one of your options can be taken from outside your literary period. If you are following a more general route through the degree you can pick optional modules from any literary period.
Most modules are assessed by written assignment although some also require a presentation.
Over the course of the year you will also complete a supervised 15,000-word dissertation, with support from a supervisor. In order to complete your dissertation you will undertake independent research which may be based on (but will certainly extend) work undertaken for previous modules in the programme. There should be some element of originality to the research and staff will support your research in this regard; work should also aim towards making some contribution toward the field of study.
Please note: this programme outline relates to 2017/18 and is subject to change in future years.
You will be supported by literature staff in the department who research, publish, and teach across the full chronological range of English Literature from Old English to the present day, helping you to explore your specific interests.
Support with academic writing
As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.
International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).
Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.
The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.
You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.
You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.
Postgraduate employability: English Literature
Birmingham's English Literature postgraduates develop a range of skills including presentation, communication and analytical skills, as well as the ability to work independently, think critically and develop opinions.
Over the past three years, over 94% of English Literature postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Many of our graduates go on to further study or academia, while others use their transferable skills in a wide variety of occupations including copywriting, PR, marketing, publishing and teaching.
The MLitt in German Studies is a one-year taught programme run by the Department of German in the School of Modern Languages. The programme is aimed at those looking to expand their understanding and knowledge of the literature, culture and history of German or to continue at PhD level.
The taught portion of the course consists of five compulsory modules involving literary theory, research skills, and German literature and culture. Classes are delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars and fortnightly tutorials, with class sizes ranging from individual one-to-one teaching up to 20 students. Modules are assessed through coursework; there are no final exams for this programme.
You will spend the summer months focusing on researching and writing a final dissertation of no more than 15,000 words.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry.
As one of the largest History Departments in the UK we are able to offer a depth of subject expertise rarely matched by other institutions. This means that we can offer a breadth of study with a large chronological range from medieval to modern covering global history from Britain, Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia. Our students have excellent access to top academics in specialist fields, including one to one supervision sessions.
Within the department we have experts in topics including economic and social history, political history and religious and cultural history, which link to our six dedicated research centres. There are distinct opportunities on this course including, a supervised independent study module to enable you to follow your own interests.
The University library has extensive holdings, audio-visual collections and medieval manuscripts in our Special Collections. Exeter Cathedral Library Archives and the Devon Heritage Centre contain further significant medieval manuscripts, documents and early printed books.
Exeter Historians have a diverse range of interests and we pride ourselves on our flexible approach to learning that includes part-time options and plenty of interdisciplinary collaboration such as with Classics, Theology, and Archaeology. You might for instance choose a Latin module or a module on Medieval Archaeology to complement your main path of study.
You will be taught mostly in small group seminars as we believe this is the best way to allow our students access and interaction with academic staff. In your seminars you will contribute to discussions and debates as well as present findings, research and interpretations of readings.
At the end of your programme you will complete a dissertation up to 25,000 words long on a topic of your choosing, something which may later form part of a PhD research proposal. Some of the topics our students have covered in the past include:
A wide range of optional modules are available which reflect the varied research interests of academic staff. These interests range widely from the early medieval period to the twentieth century and cover Britain, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. All aspects of the discipline are represented, from social, religious, cultural and gender history to the study of politics, economic development, international relations, and military conflict in a variety of contexts and eras. Particular areas of strength include early modern history, naval and maritime history, medical history, and the history of the connections between war, state and society.
Your choice of optional modules may include subjects as diverse as ritual in the Middle Ages; witchcraft and the supernatural in the 16th and 17th centuries; maritime and naval history; sexuality; health, medicine; gender and the body; party politics and international diplomacy; and the impact of modern wars on culture, economy, society and memory.
- offers an excellent education in a very wide range of historical subjects and geographical locations over a broad time-span from Anglo-Saxon England to modern Western and Eastern Europe, some parts of Asia, North and South America, and Africa;
- produces graduates who are highly competent in subject-specific, core academic, and personal and key skills that are both relevant and transferable to employment;
- draws on the expertise of a number of highly respected research centres which are at the forefront of their respective disciplines;
- participation in joint seminar programmes offering insights into a very wide range of research cultures and specialisms;
- excellent preparation for students intending to continue on to doctoral-level research with a good track record in obtaining funding for further study.
Research is at the heart of History and our students are encouraged to come to Departmental Research Seminars and become an active part of wider research community. Our research centres regularly hold seminars and other research events which MA students are welcome to attend.
Our current research centres include:
As well as our History specific research centres you are also welcome to get involved in of the other research centres across the College of Humanities or the University. You can find out more about our Academic Staff and their research interests on our Research pages.
This programme welcomes you to a lively intellectual and cultural scene, at a university ranked in the world’s top 50 for English Literature (QS World University Rankings 2017). You will study with world-class experts in Victorian literature whose interests range across many aspects of literature and culture. You’ll be able to draw on the extraordinary resources of Glasgow’s museums and libraries and have the opportunity to meet with visiting scholars from around the UK, Europe and the United States.
You’ll also write a 15,000 word dissertation.
Find out more about core and optional courses.
Teaching will be by a combination of 90-minute seminars for the core and option courses and 45-minute supervisions for the dissertation. You will also be given the opportunity to attend relevant lectures in the undergraduate programme, particularly where your first degree has not given you a wide background in Victorian literature. There may be occasional workshops on humanities computing in the STELLA laboratory. The teaching sessions will be designed throughout to maximise student involvement, and there will be a range of opportunities for informal contact among staff and students outside teaching hours.
You’ll develop a wide range of skills sought by many employers, including:
The programme also provides an excellent platform for PhD studies.
Hone your writing and expand your opportunities for publication. Our workshops will help you to develop your self-editing and refine your work using feedback from your peers and tutors. Get advice from our team of specialist lecturers, study classic and contemporary authors, and learn about the modern publishing industry.
Course duration: 12 months full-time or up to 3 years part-time (September starts); 15 months full-time or up to 3 years part-time (January starts).
Semester 1: Monday 18:00 - 20:00 (part-time)
Semester 2: Monday or Thursday 18:00 - 20:00 depending on module choice (part-time).
If you’re a practising writer, this course will allow you to develop your craft in a supportive literary environment.
You’ll get the chance to work on your existing projects or try out something completely new, working across a range of styles and genres. Your first modules will focus on novels and short stories, while Special Topic and dissertation projects can range from drama and screenwriting to graphic novels and performance poetry*.
You’ll share your work with, and get invaluable feedback from, our experienced teaching team as well as your fellow students, giving you a unique perspective on how your work is read by different audiences.
All your writing will be supported by a close study of the most distinguished writers and works in each form. You’ll learn to reflect critically on other people’s writing, and through this discover new ways to understand and improve your own.
If you want to get published, you can get advice from our team of specialists, led by Laura Dietz, Una McCormack and Colette Paul, as well as our current Royal Literary Fund Fellows. We’ll introduce you to the writing industry through talks, masterclasses and networking opportunities with agents, publishers and established fiction writers. Our past tutors and speakers have included writers like Rebecca Stott, Toby Litt, Shelley Weiner, Martyn Waites, Julia Bell, Chris Beckett, Graham Joyce and Esther Freud.
You can choose to study this course in Cambridge (full- or part-time) or Chelmsford (part-time only).
This course will prepare you for a career as a creative writer or in related areas such as publishing and the media, but will also give you critical and analytical skills valued by many employers.
For an idea of how past students have moved from MA study to careers as published authors, read more about Kaddy Benyon, Penny Hancock and Kate Swindlehurst.
On each core module, you’ll show your progress through one or more pieces of writing. For the Patterns of Fiction module, this will be a single critical essay including samples of your own writing. For the other three modules you’ll submit one creative portfolio of up to 4,500 words, plus a critical reflection on your work and writing process.
You can also take several optional modules from our MA Publishing or MA English Literature courses.
The major project at the end of the course will allow you to present up to 15,000 words of your chosen writing project, including a critical commentary.
In addition to our Creative Writing and Publishing events series, the department organises many extra-curricular activities, like the annual three-day trip to Stratford-upon-Avon, poetry and writing evenings, and research symposia and conferences.
You’ll also be able to join the Anglia Ruskin Literary Society, which arranges trips to local plays and poetry readings, organises workshops, and hosts guest speakers and performance evenings.
As a founding member, we also host events for CAMPUS, Cambridge’s only publishing society.