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Full time & Part time October MA 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

About the course

Drawing on Birkbeck's position as a world-leading centre in the field of nineteenth-century studies, our MA Victorian Studies 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 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. 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

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Entry Requirements

Normally a second-class honours degree or above in a relevant subject such as English, history, philosophy or history of art, but a degree in other subjects will be considered, as will other qualifications.

Prior to interview, you will need to submit a short piece of written work (up to 500 words) on any Victorian topic.

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each sub-test.

Course Content



Where is Birkbeck, University of London


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Studying MA Victorian Studies at Birkbeck

Student Profile(s)

David Waller

4094.jpg In his day job David looks after the media and helps to promote his company's corporate brand.
'I've got to get my head around financial markets and the investment industry. It's all very complex and fast moving,' he says, ' and I've got to read and listen a lot to keep up with it.'

When the credit crunch hit and the global markets imploded, David was in a previous role at the sharp end, advising the London arm of the Lehman Brothers on how to handle the media. Over the years David has held similar roles for large financial institutions, and was also an advisor to the UKFI (UK Financial Investments), the entity which owns the UK government's stakes in the banking industry. Before that he was a journalist on the Financial Times for the best part of 10 years and was deputy head of the Lex column.

Having graduated from Balliol College, Oxford in 1984, David decided to enrol on Birkbeck's MA Victorian Studies because 'he wanted to study a subject that was intellectually enriching and had no relevance to my day job – which was running a small PR business at the time. I deliberately undertook a course that was not calculated to make me more employable. I have found however that colleagues and clients value a person in the round, so indirectly it has been good for my career.

'I chose Birkbeck because nowhere else was offering this kind of course in a way that really fitted in with my job,' he adds. 'I can only recommend going back into formal education as a mature student. It teaches you how to learn again and this is an enriching and positive experience.'

As a result of his knowledge of the 19th century David gained at Birkbeck, he got the chance to view the archive of materials on which his well received historical biography of the unsurpassed London hostess, Gertrude Tennant, is based. The resulting book, The Magnificent Mrs Tennant (Yale University Press, 2009) became a Daily Telegraph Biography of the Year last year and was a runner-up in the Biographers' Club Prize. David has also published two business books (an account of a big merger and a company history of a stockbroking firm).


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