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Languages, Literature & Cu…×

Birkbeck, University of London, Full Time Masters Degrees in Languages, Literature & Culture

We have 21 Birkbeck, University of London, Full Time Masters Degrees in Languages, Literature & Culture

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This research degree is ideal if you wish to engage critically with the study of comparative literature - or, indeed, other cultural forms, especially in the area of visual studies - across 2 or more linguistic, regional or national contexts. Read more
This research degree is ideal if you wish to engage critically with the study of comparative literature - or, indeed, other cultural forms, especially in the area of visual studies - across 2 or more linguistic, regional or national contexts. The focus of research in the Department of Cultures and Languages is on French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish-speaking cultures in a transnational context, and we welcome research proposals that focus comparatively on or across these areas. The Department has great expertise in a wide variety of themes both historically and geographically (in Europe, Japan and the Americas).

Indicative areas of research

Canon formation.
French language literature and culture.
German language literature and culture.
Japanese language literature and culture.
Literary and film history.
Intermediality, intertextuality and translation across genres andmedia.
Portuguese language literature and culture.
Spanish language literature and culture.
Transnational cultural theory and criticism in all the above languages.
Visual culture.

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This Master's degree offers you an opportunity to engage critically with the study of comparative literature. Read more
This Master's degree offers you an opportunity to engage critically with the study of comparative literature. The primary focus is on English-, French-, German-, Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking cultures, and while we welcome students able to work in these and other languages, you may work exclusively through the medium of English.

Students with a particular interest in French or German culture and/or with high-level French or German language skills are encouraged to apply, as it is possible to take a French or German pathway through the programme.

You will have the opportunity to develop your understanding of key critical concepts associated with the comparative study of literature and cultures, such as literary history and the canon, genre, theme, influence, intertextuality and translation across genres and media. You will gain practical experience of working with these concepts in your reading of texts. You will also be given a grounding in twentieth- and twenty-first-century literary theory, exploring its development in a cross-cultural context and investigating how it can change the way we read texts and the cultures that produced them.

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 literature from a comparative perspective and in the context of other cultural forms.
Examine the ways in which literary and cultural theories can change how we read cultures and the texts they produce.
Follow a pathway in French and/or German culture and language, if this is your specialist interest.
Courses taught in English by subject specialists from a variety of language areas.
Ideal if you wish to embark on doctoral research, further your career prospects (particularly in arts-related fields), or build on a personal interest.
You will have access to outstanding specialist libraries, including the collection of the Institute of Modern Languages Research at Senate House.
The departments involved in teaching this programme run a series of research events for both their taught and research postgraduates.

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At MPhil/PhD level we aim for students to make the transition into fully fledged, independent academic researchers, with the skills necessary to present their research orally as well as in writing, in addition to pushing back the frontiers of knowledge. Read more
At MPhil/PhD level we aim for students to make the transition into fully fledged, independent academic researchers, with the skills necessary to present their research orally as well as in writing, in addition to pushing back the frontiers of knowledge. Such independence is achieved on the basis of a full appreciation of the hallmarks of good scholarship, such as original thought, the proper use of references and background material, appropriate use of methodology and accountable reporting procedures, and it is these priorities that we aim to impart to our students.

Once equipped with the generic and discipline-specific tools for carrying out research, you pursue your particular research interests, supported by regular meetings with your supervisor and attendance at MPhil/PhD seminars.

We are able to provide supervision in most aspects of French language, literature and culture, including: the Renaissance; classicism; the Enlightenment; literature from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century; travel literature; the fantastic; literature and the visual arts; literary criticism; gender studies; history of French thought; contemporary literature; French linguistics; bilingualism; French cinema; colonial and contemporary French history. Supervision in interdisciplinary subjects is also possible.

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This Graduate Diploma is ideal if you wish to familiarise yourself with and understand the rich cultural histories of Portugal and Brazil, while also improving your Portuguese and your research and study skills. Read more
This Graduate Diploma is ideal if you wish to familiarise yourself with and understand the rich cultural histories of Portugal and Brazil, while also improving your Portuguese and your research and study skills.

The course has been designed for those who want to refresh their knowledge of Portuguese in preparation for a Master's degree, particularly if you've taken a break from studying and need to refamiliarise yourself, or if you have a degree in a different but relevant subject area. The course will also suit international students who want to deepen their knowledge of Brazilian and Portuguese language and culture while experiencing life and study in the UK, as well as teachers who want to refresh and deepen their knowledge, but who do not necessarily want to undertake a full MA quite yet.

This programme will develop your Portuguese language skills, enabling you to communicate fluently and accurately with native speakers in both informal and professional contexts. It will also develop your ability to critically analyse Portuguese and Brazilian language, linguistics and culture, including art, film, history, literature and urban studies. You will learn the latest theoretical approaches to cultural critique and explore a wide range of cultural forms within their social and historical contexts.

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.
Provides a 1-year qualification in Portuguese language and the cultural histories of Portugal and Brazil.

Enables you to improve your Portuguese language skills and increase your knowledge of Portuguese and Brazilian culture, while also developing the study and research skills you need for Master's-level study.
Ideal for international students who wish to study in the UK for a year and also for teachers who want to deepen their knowledge of Brazilian and Portuguese language and culture.

Designed for students who require further training to progress to an MA programme, such as Birkbeck's MA/MRes Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Cultural Studies.
You will be studying with a wide variety of students from all over the world and taught by world-class researchers.

Birkbeck is at the heart of a global capital city that is full of opportunities for those wishing to hear and speak Portuguese.

Our flexible evening study allows you to achieve your educational goals alongside your professional and personal ones.

Our School of Arts is in the top 5 in the country. Our Department of Cultures and Languages brings together research and teaching in French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish, making it an outstanding interdisciplinary department.
Ours is a community of scholars with shared interests in interdisciplinary topics and cross-cultural research. Our affiliated research centres, The Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (CILAVS) and the Birkbeck Research in Aesthetics of Kinship and Community (BRAKC), provides important platforms for this exchange.

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This Graduate Diploma is ideal if you wish to familiarise yourself with and understand the rich cultural histories of Spain and Latin America, while also improving your Spanish and your research and study skills. Read more
This Graduate Diploma is ideal if you wish to familiarise yourself with and understand the rich cultural histories of Spain and Latin America, while also improving your Spanish and your research and study skills.

The course has been designed for those who want to refresh their knowledge of Spanish in preparation for a Master's degree, particularly if you've taken a break from studying and need to refamiliarise yourself, or if you have a degree in a different but relevant subject area. The course will also suit international students who want to deepen their knowledge of Spanish and Latin American language and culture while experiencing life and study in the UK, as well as teachers who want to refresh and deepen their knowledge, but who do not necessarily want to undertake a full MA quite yet.

This programme will develop your Spanish language skills, enabling you to communicate fluently and accurately with native speakers in both informal and professional contexts. It will also develop your ability to critically analyse Spanish and Latin American language, linguistics and culture, including art, film, history, literature and urban studies. You will learn the latest theoretical approaches to cultural critique and explore a wide range of cultural forms within their social and historical contexts.

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.
Provides a 1-year qualification in Spanish language and the cultural histories of Spain and Latin America.

Enables you to improve your Spanish language skills and increase your knowledge of Spanish and Latin American culture, while also developing the study and research skills you need for Master's-level study.

Ideal for international students who wish to study in the UK for a year and also for teachers who want to deepen their knowledge of Spanish and Latin American language and culture.
Designed for students who require further training to progress to an MA programme, such as Birkbeck's MA/MRes Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Cultural Studies.
You will be studying with a wide variety of students from all over the world and taught by world-class researchers.

Birkbeck is at the heart of a global capital city that is full of opportunities for those wishing to hear and speak Spanish.

Our flexible evening study allows you to achieve your educational goals alongside your professional and personal ones.

Our School of Arts is in the top 5 in the country. Our Department of Cultures and Languages brings together research and teaching in French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish, making it an outstanding interdisciplinary department.
Ours is a community of scholars with shared interests in interdisciplinary topics and cross-cultural research. Our affiliated research centres, the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Vicual Studies (CILAVS) and the Birkbeck Research in Aesthetics of Kinship and Community (BRAKC), provide important platforms for this exchange.

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Our doctoral programme aims to respond to the needs and interests both of students seeking an academic career or other professional employment and of those who wish to pursue a line of intellectual enquiry for its own sake. Read more
Our doctoral programme aims to respond to the needs and interests both of students seeking an academic career or other professional employment and of those who wish to pursue a line of intellectual enquiry for its own sake. We aim to recruit both recent graduates and mature students who now have the time to pursue an intellectual enthusiasm, perhaps after a lifetime of professional work.

We offer supervision in most areas of German studies, including: baroque literature; eighteenth- to twenty-first-century literature, especially the novel; Anglo-German cultural relations; German literature in philosophical context; gender studies and women's writing; twentieth-century German history; history of German thought; German film and memory studies. There are also opportunities for supervision in interdisciplinary research, and candidates with such interests are especially welcome.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.

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MA Renaissance Studies explores the question of what the Renaissance was and what approaches are best suited to understanding it. Read more
MA Renaissance Studies explores the question of what the Renaissance was and what approaches are best suited to understanding it. The programme considers different aspects of Renaissance culture, particularly the social and intellectual histories of England, France, Italy and Spain. You will study with Birkbeck's internationally recognised experts in Renaissance English literature and culture, history of art, French, history and Spanish, tailoring your module choices towards chosen specialisms. By the end of the course you will be able to demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the questions associated with the study of the Renaissance and will have had the opportunity to either specialise or work in an interdisciplinary way. From the start, you will undertake training in postgraduate research skills.

You begin with a core course which examines the way the Renaissance has been understood and then you go on to take 3 options in areas of specialist interest. You can see detailed descriptions of our core course and all the option modules below. Finally, you will be individually counselled in your choice of dissertation topic.

We are based in Bloomsbury in central London and the unrivalled resources both within and near to Birkbeck will enable you to develop advanced research skills, which will support your dissertation writing and provide a thorough preparation for PhD study. Many of our students progress to MPhil/PhD level at Birkbeck and other institutions, including other colleges of the University of London and the University of Oxford.

In addition to the core teaching and individual research support, students benefit from many Birkbeck Renaissance events. This includes the London Renaissance Seminar, which brings many internationally renowned academics to Birkbeck, and events specific to the Birkbeck Renaissance group, including our day on 'Researching the Text'.

To find out more, read our programme handbook.

What is special about this MA?

You decide how to use the MA. You can choose to work within a discipline (e.g. English literature) or explore the full interdisciplinary possibilities of Renaissance Studies.
We offer research internship placements at the Globe Theatre.
Students specialising - in Spain, Shakespeare, Rome or London, for example - benefit immensely from putting that specialism into a wider context by learning about a range of approaches to the Renaissance in the core module.
We are committed to personal tuition. Each student has many opportunities to discuss their work and plan one-to-one meetings with specialist tutors who are working at the cutting-edge of Renaissance studies.
You can decide as you study if you want to progress beyond your MA and undertake further, independent research.
Birkbeck's prestige in this area means it has an unrivalled range of Renaissance activities: join the early modern society, bring your friends to Renaissance events in Arts Week and take part in our 'Researching the Text' day, as well as attending the London Renaissance Seminar.

What our students say

'Deciding to undertake an MA in Renaissance Studies was one of the wisest things I have ever done. It gave me huge intellectual satisfaction and insight into curatorial and research skills that are essential to my role in running a national museum.' (Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group)

'I thoroughly enjoyed my course in MA Renaissance Studies, especially researching on the theme of women and Islam during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. I am very appreciative of all the help I was provided with during the MA and couldn't have developed my career without doing this course. When applying for jobs as an English teacher, my MA helped immensely during the application process, as well as continuing my professional development in this field.' (Maarya Desai, English teacher)

'Deciding to do the MA Renaissance Studies course at Birkbeck was one of the best decisions I could have made, especially as a student coming from the USA. The evening modules allowed me to explore London to its fullest during the day and to use the British Library for my research.' (Christeen Abee)

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As people involved in research, our prime concern is with producing top-quality work that in different ways questions the boundaries of the disciplines we work in and seeks to bring new materials, theories and methods into them. Read more
As people involved in research, our prime concern is with producing top-quality work that in different ways questions the boundaries of the disciplines we work in and seeks to bring new materials, theories and methods into them.

The research programme in Iberian and Latin American studies is both exciting and innovative. The expertise of staff ranges across the field - from Golden Age art to Luso-Brazilian imperial history and culture and the colonial literatures and cultures of Spanish America; from contemporary Spanish and Portuguese cinema and urban studies to Latin American literature, poetry, cinema and museum studies - and the research published by both staff and students is also ground-breaking.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.

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This programme supports original research projects across different disciplines, media, or practice-based research, encouraging new ways of thinking on how to historicise, bridge and transcend disciplines. Read more
This programme supports original research projects across different disciplines, media, or practice-based research, encouraging new ways of thinking on how to historicise, bridge and transcend disciplines. Working under the supervision of 2 scholars from different departments in the School of Arts, you will join a unique and innovative interdisciplinary graduate community working in literatures, languages, media and art historical studies, where new kinds of scholarship take their place in a larger academic conversation about cross-cultural transfer, cultural comparison and interdisciplinary interpretation.

Current supervisors on this programme include Silke Arnold-de-Simine, Andrew Asibong, Luisa Calè, Ben Cranfield, Patrizia Di Bello, Professor Esther Leslie, Ana Parejo Vadillo, Leslie Topp and Jo Winning. Further potential supervisors can be found via each department's pages.

This programme supports PhDs in comparative studies (e.g. French and English literatures, Japanese and American film), multidisciplinary studies (e.g. English film and literature; photography and book history), theoretical approaches that cut across disciplines (e.g. cultural studies) and practice-based research. If your thesis involves studio-based, audio-visual or technological research, it may include a portfolio, exhibition or other audio-visual display. This must be original work, exemplifying and locating the ideas that are developed in conjunction with the written part of the thesis.

In addition to supervision, we support students’ work through a programme of critical theory seminars, and research skills and methodologies classes. In your first year you are encouraged to think about how to frame research questions, what happens when research subverts disciplinary boundaries, and how these might be seen differently through alternative or historical divisions of knowledge. From the second year, you will take part in research-in-progress workshops and a range of other activities, including conferences, student-led seminars and reading groups. Throughout, your work will be enhanced by and contribute to the School’s vibrant research culture and research centres.

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.

The School of Arts offers committed, enthusiastic and dynamic research-based teaching, with a constantly evolving curriculum sensitive to developments in contemporary culture. We actively foster the creation of a graduate intellectual community and our students' professional development.
A large number of our recent PhDs have successfully obtained permanent academic posts in leading universities in Britain, the United States and other countries.
Our research centres and institutes place your research in an international context, in which the best and most vibrant work is exchanged, discussed and developed.

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As people involved in research, our prime concern is with producing top-quality work that in different ways questions the boundaries of the disciplines we work in and seeks to bring new materials, theories and methods into them. Read more
As people involved in research, our prime concern is with producing top-quality work that in different ways questions the boundaries of the disciplines we work in and seeks to bring new materials, theories and methods into them.

The research programme in Iberian and Latin American studies is both exciting and innovative. The expertise of staff ranges across the field - from Golden Age art to Luso-Brazilian imperial history and culture and the colonial literatures and cultures of Spanish America; from contemporary Spanish and Portuguese cinema and urban studies to Latin American literature, poetry, cinema and museum studies - and the research published by both staff and students is also ground-breaking.

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.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.

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This degree offers the possibility of following advanced study in the histories of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American cultures in the light of contemporary theoretical developments in the fields of literature, cultural studies, cultural geography, film and the history of art and media. Read more
This degree offers the possibility of following advanced study in the histories of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American cultures in the light of contemporary theoretical developments in the fields of literature, cultural studies, cultural geography, film and the history of art and media. You may specialise in either Spain and Portugal or Latin America, as well as in different historical periods and media, or combine interests.

Birkbeck is a world-renowned centre of Iberian and Latin American Studies. Our work is distinguished by its innovative character, its engagement with other disciplines and its challenge to received ideas. We are committed to a continual rethinking of the fields we research and the subjects we teach, creatively and critically.

We are also known for our unique student population, including a high number of Spanish and Latin American undergraduates and postgraduates. This brings a particular richness and variety of experience and knowledge to our courses and seminars.

Our international staff specialise in diverse aspects of cultural history and critique, with a strong emphasis not only on the literary and linguistic but also the audiovisual expression of Latin America and the Iberian peninsula past and present.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Can be taken as a first step to doctoral research, to enhance your career prospects or simply for interest.
Our School of Arts is one of the best centres of Iberian and Latin American studies in the country.
Our work is distinguished by its innovative character, its engagement with other disciplines and its challenge to received ideas.
The department hosts the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (CILAVS), offering a unique environment in which to undertake collaborative, cross-disciplinary and comparative research on visual subjects in the Hispanic and Lusophone world, Latin America and the Caribbean.
The School has achieved notable success in obtaining external funding for research. In addition we have an excellent team of research students (just over 20 at present), several of whom attend MA modules out of interest, ensuring a high level of intellectual discussion and allowing you to benefit from being part of a lively postgraduate community. You are in turn welcome to attend Research Seminars and the Postgraduate Conference, as well as all talks and conferences organised by the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (CILAVS). As about a third of our students come from Spain, Portugal or Latin America, you also have easy access to native speakers of Spanish and Portuguese, socially as well as academically.
Postgraduate research seminars are held throughout the year, offering a stimulating forum for discussion among our research students, MA/MRes students, staff and invited speakers.
We offer a lively student experience, as well as student support and facilities.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.

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This interdisciplinary Master's degree explores critical and cultural debates across disciplines in the arts and humanities, offering you the chance to examine work in a diversity of media, including print culture, painting, film, new media and popular culture. Read more
This interdisciplinary Master's degree explores critical and cultural debates across disciplines in the arts and humanities, offering you the chance to examine work in a diversity of media, including print culture, painting, film, new media and popular culture. It combines a thorough exposure to contemporary critical methods and debates with a diverse range of advanced study options.

In consultation with tutors, you will be able to build a dynamic programme of study that allows you to follow themes and issues across different disciplines, and develop your interests accordingly.

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.
Flexible interdisciplinary programme, which allows you to assemble a course of study suited to your individual needs.
Gives you the chance to cross disciplines and explore topics in literature, film, other media, history, and cultural and critical theory.
Aimed at people with wide-ranging, interdisciplinary interests in the humanities and those interested in contemporary theoretical debates.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), English Language and Literature at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 91% of eligible staff submitted research, of which 75% was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.

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This Master's degree in modern and contemporary literature begins with an investigation of literary and theoretical conceptions of modernity in early twentieth-century literature, focusing on topics such as urbanisation, technology, mass culture, individualism and subjectivity. Read more
This Master's degree in modern and contemporary literature begins with an investigation of literary and theoretical conceptions of modernity in early twentieth-century literature, focusing on topics such as urbanisation, technology, mass culture, individualism and subjectivity.

You will also have the chance to analyse the historical transformations of literature and cultural thought from 1945, using the contexts of post-war reconstruction, decolonisation, the fate of avant-garde art, and theories of postmodernity and globalisation. The emergence of international literary paradigms during the twentieth century is reflected in the choice of texts from British, American and post-colonial contexts.

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.
Enables you to gain a thorough grounding in the key concepts of modernism, modernity and the contemporary.
You will be introduced to key texts and paradigms that shape our conception of literature from the early twentieth century to the present.
Opportunities to join a number of graduate seminars and reading groups, and occasional discussions with practising novelists and poets.
Birkbeck is at the geographical centre of London’s research library complex, a short distance from the British Library, Senate House Library and the Institute of Historical Research.
Senate House Library has an outstanding collection of literary periodicals of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, while the nearby University College London Library also has an important James Joyce archive. The Poetry Library at London’s South Bank Centre is rich in twentieth-century poetry.
Birkbeck's School of Arts hosts the internationally acclaimed Contemporary Poetics Research Centre, which regularly features visiting poetic practitioners.

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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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Birkbeck’s MA Contemporary Literature and Culture offers you the opportunity to specialise in twenty-first-century literature and culture, as well as exposing you to the most important literary and theoretical developments of the last few decades. Read more
Birkbeck’s MA Contemporary Literature and Culture offers you the opportunity to specialise in twenty-first-century literature and culture, as well as exposing you to the most important literary and theoretical developments of the last few decades. This MA considers the legacy of postmodernism, the effects of new technologies on narrative form, and the aesthetic, spatial and political coordinates of writing produced in an increasingly networked and globalised world.

Through a range of literary and interdisciplinary options, you have the opportunity to pursue your own interests, whether they lie in contemporary poetics; in fiction from Britain, the US, Europe or postcolonial nations; in the changing forms of the book in a digital age; or in historical approaches to issues like nation, race, gender and sexuality. The MA's programme of study opens up the aesthetic, historical and political dimensions of contemporary literature and culture.

Key staff teaching on this programme

Grace Halden (Programme Director 2016-2017)
Caroline Edwards
Anna Hartnell
Joe Brooker
Roger Luckhurst
Carol Watts
Esther Leslie
Joanne Winning
Mpalive Msiska
Stephen Clucas
Peter Fifield.

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.
Introduces you to the cutting-edge of contemporary literature and culture, offering the unique opportunity to specialise in the post-2000 period.
Provides grounding in some of the key concepts that shape understandings of the contemporary world, including consideration of terms like hybridity, performance, trauma, memory and the uncanny, as well as wider cultural conceptualisations like globalisation and postcoloniality.
Exposes you to a wider community of scholars and thinkers via a uniquely rich and diverse research culture, involving graduate seminars, reading groups, guest lectures - including those by practising writers - and the wider arts network accessible in Central London.
In particular, this environment is fostered by close links between the MA and the Centre for Contemporary Literature at Birkbeck, which runs a wide variety of talks and conferences in this field.
You will also have access to a host of other relevant research centres in the School of Arts, including the Contemporary Poetics Research Centre, the Centre for Contemporary Theatre and the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre.
The School is also actively involved in a number of College-wide institutes specifically designed to foster work across disciplines at Birkbeck and beyond: Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck Institute for Social Research, Birkbeck Institute for Gender and Sexuality Studies and the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism. These institutes are driven by the work of world-class scholars including Laura Mulvey, Slavoj Žižek, Lynne Segal and David Feldman.
Birkbeck is at the geographical centre of London’s research library complex, a short distance from the British Library, the University of London Library and the Institute of Historical Research.

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