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MA Nineteenth Century Studies

Develop specialist research and writing skills as you combine the study of nineteenth century literature, history, cultural theory and digital humanities and apply your knowledge on field trips and work-based projects.

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    Covid-19 - Nineteenth Century Studies Essential Information

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    Course Length: 1 Year Full-Time, 2 Years Part-Time
    Start Dates: September 2021, September 2022
    Subjects: English
    Location: Edge Hill University

    Subject to validation.

    Devised by leading experts in the literature, history, cultural heritage and digital humanities of the nineteenth century, this interdisciplinary taught Masters degree enables you to explore a range of classic and less well-known texts to gain advanced skills in academic writing and research. From discussions of Romantic creativity to Victorian entertainments, as well as fin de siècle fears and horrors, you will investigate how contemporary debates and developments around the nineteenth century continue to shape popular culture today. You will participate in field trips and have the opportunity to work with local, national and international cultural heritage organisations to explore the lasting legacies of the period. Whether you are a graduate with an interest in nineteenth century literature and culture, a current or aspiring educational or cultural heritage professional, or seeking to develop expert knowledge in preparation for a PhD, this programme offers the study of an area of historical specialism that showcases how to apply a broad range of transferable skills to educational and cultural heritage settings and other employment environments.

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    In Depth

    What will I study?

    The programme introduces you to the key research skills and concepts required for nineteenth century studies. These range from developing referencing, writing and editing skills at a postgraduate standard to working with physical and digital archives and presenting the results of your research in an appropriate manner.

    Exploring a range of different periods and approaches to the literature and history of the nineteenth century, the programme examines theoretical perspectives on the Romantic period, engages you in close analysis of Victorian literature, and reveals digital techniques for uncovering forgotten fragments of late-Victorian popular culture and entertainment.

    There is also the opportunity to undertake a work-based project. This will enable you to enhance your employability by undertaking a work placement with one of our partner organisations, or by working independently, and encourage you to think about how to apply your research knowledge to careers in academia and beyond.

    The culmination of the programme will be the production of your own substantial independent research project in a focused area of study, supported by the guidance of leading experts in the field.

    How will I study?

    If you are studying the programme on a full-time basis, you will typically be required to attend two two-hour classes each week. These will usually take place in the afternoon and early evening of the same day. Part-time students will typically attend one two-hour session per week in the early evening.

    Teaching will comprise a range of short lectures, skills workshops, seminar discussions and tutorials. There will also be opportunities for independent work-related learning and independent study, both of which will be supported by one-to-one supervision from subject specialists.

    The programme will include field trips to established partners such as the Atkinson in Southport, the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, and the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth.

    In addition to this, you will be involved in organising an annual conference and participate in a critical reading group which has the responsibility of inviting speakers to the EHU Nineteen seminar series.

    How will I be assessed?

    You will be assessed through a combination of critical essays, presentations, primary source analysis, close readings, referencing exercises, critical reflections and a dissertation.

    There are no formal written examinations as part of the current assessment methods on this programme.

    Who will be teaching me?

    You will be taught by a team of specialist tutors who are active researchers and committed teachers. Their interests include Romantic period women’s writing, Victorian and neo-Victorian literature, nineteenth century periodicals, Victorian popular culture, gender theory, masculinity studies, children’s literature, reception theory, the Gothic, and digital humanities.

    More information on the programme team’s research specialisms is available on the EHU Nineteen Research Group website at

    You will also have the opportunity to attend talks from a range of external speakers, including collaborators from some of our heritage partners.

    A Great Study Environment

    Students gather in the foyer and reception area of the Main Building.The Department of English, History and Creative Writing is based in the Main Building at the centre of the campus, near the £26m Catalyst building which includes the University library.

    A prime example of 1930s architecture, the Main Building has undergone extensive refurbishment to combine a traditional setting with modern facilities, including the £15m Student Hub.

    The building includes lecture theatres, seminar and tutorial rooms, which are ideal for group discussions and one-to-one tuition, as well as IT resources and social learning spaces.


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    LIT4000Research Skills (30 credits)

    Research Skills serves as a practical and theoretical introduction to research methods in nineteenth century studies. The module introduces you to shared concepts and themes in studying the literature, history and culture of the nineteenth century. You will discover the variety of approaches and perspectives that you might employ in the study of nineteenth century culture and apply this understanding to critical and historical texts.

    LIT4004Dissertation (60 credits)

    Dissertation provides you with the opportunity to undertake an in-depth and extended study within a specific area of nineteenth century studies. Through consultation with an appropriate supervisor (or supervisory team), the module will enable you to develop a detailed and sustained line of analysis that is personal to your research interests. Developing both oral and written skills, you will foster expertise in guided independent inquiry that will culminate in a dissertation project.

    You will select three of the following modules:

    LIT4001Romantic Movements (30 credits)

    Romantic Movements engages you in cutting edge approaches to, and debates within, Romantic studies. You will examine globalising and interdisciplinary approaches to the Romantic period and its literature. These seek to decentre popular and academic canons, challenge the predominance of Romantic poetry and other texts, and explore new ways of close reading Romantic writing. The role of feeling and emotion in the period and its literature will also be explored, as well as the material culture of the period and the ways in which this culture has been remediated from the nineteenth century to today.

    LIT4002Victorian Decades (30 credits)

    Victorian Decades engages you with the literary and cultural developments of the nineteenth century, taking a decade-by-decade approach to explore the key cultural shifts of the period and to build subject knowledge across a range of Victorian texts and discourses. From the optimism of the 1830s, the ‘Hungry forties’, and the sensation novel of the 1860s to the Realist movement, New Imperialism and Gothic anxieties of the fin de siècle, the module will take an interdisciplinary approach to the Victorian period. You will gain a detailed subject knowledge and discover a range of critical and theoretical approaches to the primary material.

    LIT4003Entertaining the Victorians (30 credits)

    Entertaining the Victorians examines the history of nineteenth-century popular culture, with a particular focus on Victorian leisure and entertainment practices. You will use digital archives to research a wide range of activities that the Victorians did for fun and discover the roots of modern leisure. The module covers topics such as sport, music hall, drinking, dancing, comedy, and popular periodicals.

    LIT4005Working on the Nineteenth Century (30 credits)

    Working on the Nineteenth Century engages you with workplace practice to establish a direct connection between your research in nineteenth century studies and your plans for a postgraduate career. You will work on an independent project as agreed with your tutors or a project agreed with one of our various partner institutions. These might include schools, museums, heritage organisations or charities. Academic supervision and assessment is provided by the Department of English, History and Creative Writing while support is also available from the University’s Careers team.

    Optional modules provide an element of choice within the programme curriculum. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by timetabling requirements.


    You can expect to receive your timetable at enrolment. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day or evening of the week.


    Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

    Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

    Entry Criteria

    Entry Requirements

    You should have a degree equivalent to UK first-class or second-class honours (2:2 or above) in a relevant subject.

    Alternative professional qualifications and experience will also be considered, together with full and well-argued responses in your online application.

    An interview may form part of the selection process.

    English Language Requirements

    International students require IELTS 6.5, with a score no lower than 6.0 in each individual component, or an equivalent English language qualification.

    If your current level of English is half a band lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course.

    Recognition of Prior Learning

    Edge Hill University recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual’s professional and employment experience (also referred to as ‘experiential learning’). This may include credit or learning undertaken at another university.

    Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please consult the University’s academic regulations (sections C7 and F3.1) or contact the faculty in which you are interested in studying.

    Career Prospects

    What are my career prospects?

    The programme has been designed to equip you with the in-depth knowledge, skills and expertise required to pursue further study at PhD level.

    The programme also encourages you to reflect on using your skills and expertise in a range of professional settings, from primary, secondary and further education to working in, or with, cultural heritage organisations such as art galleries, museums and archives.


    Tuition Fees

    Tuition fees for full-time study on this MA are £5,580 for UK students and £13,500 for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2021/22. Exemptions apply for EU students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, who may be eligible for the UK full-time tuition fee rate.

    Tuition fees for part-time study on this MA are £31 per credit for UK students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2021/22, i.e. £620 per 20 credit module. 180 credits are required to complete a Masters degree. EU students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, may be eligible for the UK part-time tuition fee rate.

    The University may administer a small inflationary rise in part-time postgraduate tuition fees in subsequent academic years as you progress through the course.

    Financial Support

    For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students joining postgraduate courses at Edge Hill University in academic year 2021/22, together with details of how to apply for potential funding, please view our Money Matters 2021/22 guide at

    EU students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be eligible to apply for financial support. Irish nationals should apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI).

    Financial support information for international students can be found at


    How to Apply

    This is a new course currently in development. Online applications for this programme will open once the validation process has been completed. Please keep checking this page for updates.

    Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at

    Visit Us

    If you are considering applying to study at Edge Hill University, the best way to gain an insight into student life is to discover our stunning campus for yourself by attending an open day. You can view dates and book your place at

    Alternatively, if you are unable to attend an open day, you can find out more about our full range of events for prospective students, including campus tours and virtual activities, at

    Request a Prospectus

    If you would like to explore our full range of taught Masters degrees, MBA awards and our Masters by Research (MRes) degree before you apply, you can order a postgraduate prospectus at

    Get in Touch

    If you have any questions about this programme or what it’s like to study at Edge Hill University, please contact:

    If you would like to talk to the programme leader about the course in more detail, please contact:

    International students should visit or email with any queries about overseas study.

    Course Changes

    Expand All This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years.

    This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years. No material changes have been made to the information for this programme in that time. Any future amends will be tracked here.

    Covid-19 - Nineteenth Century Studies Essential Information

    Teaching and Learning at Edge Hill University in 2020

    In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, answers your questions and explains how teaching will work when you join us at Edge Hill University in September.

    Campus Facilities at Edge Hill University in 2020

    In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, explains how we’re preparing the campus for your arrival in September and the facilities that will be available.