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This is a two-year, part-time MSt degree in interdisciplinary studies in literature and arts. The course takes place over four five-day residences and two online modules. You will select two options from each of three periods of British history. Assessment is based on four essays and a dissertation.

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This literature and arts course brings together the creative, intellectual, and manufactured output of people in the past. It has a twofold aim: to explore the past through the lens of human creativity, and to inform our understanding of that creativity by studying the context within which it emerged. It is therefore an interdisciplinary programme which encompasses literature, art and architectural history, history, philosophy and the history of ideas. 

Based in Oxford, and taking full advantage of the remarkable human and cultural resources which this university has at its disposal, the literature and arts course is designed around three sequential periods of British history, from Early Modern (c. 1500) to the early twentieth century (c.1914).

By studying each period through a range of disciplines, you will have the opportunity to acquire a broad and multi-faceted picture of the past. In this framework giant achievements such as Milton’s poetry or Wren’s architecture can be understood not only as products of their times but also in so far as they stand as uniquely inspired statements, or as harbingers of future developments.

The MSt in Literature and Arts is a part-time two-year course. In year one there are three compulsory five-day residences and one online module consisting of 9 units. In year two there is one compulsory residence and one online module. Although the online modules are not assessed it is a requirement that you engage with the online modules to the satisfaction of the course director. The online modules are fully supported by a dedicated Virtual Learning Environment.

After taking a broad view of British culture in a global context at the first residence, the three subsequent residences enable you to choose from a range of subjects, from different humanities disciplines, which relate to the historical period assigned to the unit. The options are taught in the mornings and afternoons, and represent a range of disciplines, specifically literature, history, visual culture and philosophy/history of ideas.

You will choose two options out of four offered. The periods studied are ‘Early Modern’, ‘The Long Eighteenth Century’ and the ‘The Long Nineteenth Century’. Please note due to timetabling constrictions it is not always possible to allocate you to your first and second choices.

In keeping with the Oxford ethos of tutorial instruction, individual tutorials and supervisions will be an integral part of the programme, most notably with regard to the dissertation. Individual supervision will be undertaken both face-to-face and by email.

Assessment is through four 4,000- to 5,000- word assignments, each assignment following a residential session, and an 11,000-word dissertation. The four assignments contribute 40% of the final mark and the dissertation contributes 60%.


Visit the MSt in Literature and Arts (MLA) page on the University of Oxford website for more details!

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