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Course content

Our Eighteenth Century Studies course is co- taught with the British Museum in London and by lecturers from eight different departments across Arts & Humanities, making it a truly multi-faceted degree, looking at all aspects of the eighteenth century. 

You can explore the Enlightenment through race, gender, class, intellectual networks and material culture; analyse ideas, objects, texts and arts and have access to unique, diverse and rich collections in central London, all close to King’s, including the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Society, the Foundling Museum, and Sir John Soane’s Museum.

Key benefits

  • Joint degree with the British Museum
  • Unrivalled access to British Museum expertise
  • Unrivalled location for access to London's cultural collections
  • Located in the heart of London


Our Eighteenth Century Studies MA is offered jointly by King’s and the British Museum. This collaboration means that we can draw on the expertise of scholars from eight Departments in the School of Humanities at King’s, and senior staff at the British Museum to offer exciting opportunities to explore 18th century textual, material and visual cultures. This MA consists of a required module, adissertation and (normally) four modules chosen from a wide range of options, including modules taught by the Departments of English, History, Comparative Literature, French, German, Music and Philosophy. The required module is taught in part by experts from the British Museum, with special reference to the Enlightenment Gallery and its history.

The required module Representing the Eighteenth Century explores constructions of Enlightenment, then and now, through frameworks such as race, gender, class, the body and intellectual networks. You will learn about the ideas of the Enlightenment and how it has been regarded subsequently. We will teach you how to analyse ideas, objects, texts and arts of the 18th century and, thanks to our unique collaboration with the British Museum, you will have the opportunity to research a wealth of 18th century materials under the guidance of world-leading curators and experts.

Course purpose

Provides teaching and research training in a wide variety of disciplines relating to the study of the 18th century. As the course will be offered jointly with the British Museum special emphasis will be placed on relevant collections held by that institution. Includes opportunities for training in any of the basic technical skills necessary for those who wish to go on to study for a PhD in 18th century subjects.

Course format and assessment


If you are a full-time student, we will provide you with six to eight hours of teaching through lectures and seminars each week. We expect you to undertake an additional 34 hours of self-study each week.

If you are a part-time student, we will provide you with four hours of teaching through lectures and seminars each week in your first year, and two to four hours per week in your second year. We will expect you to undertake 23 hours of independent study each week in your first year and 11 hours in your second.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.


We assess our modules entirely through coursework, normally in the form of a 4,000-word essays. Your dissertation will consist of a 15,000-word essay.

Regulating body

King’s College London is regulated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England

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Visit the Eighteenth-Century Studies - MA page on the King’s College London website for more details!





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