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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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      • International Students Can Apply
      • Work Placement Opportunity


      Course Length: 1 Year Full-Time, 2 Years Part-Time
      Start Dates: September 2022, September 2023
      Subjects: English
      Location: Edge Hill University

      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 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 heritage settings.

      Student and Alumni Profiles

      • Roy Bayfield

        Roy Bayfield

        MA Nineteenth Century Studies
        By studying an interdisciplinary Masters I can really explore areas I'm passionate about in literature, culture and history - if I wasn't doing the course I'd be wondering 'what could I discover if I took this further?' Now I'm finding out, which is a real adventure.
        View Roy Bayfield's full profile
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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. You will also have the option to explore crime and the evolution of attitudes towards criminality through the nineteenth century.

      There is the additional 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 www.edgehill.ac.uk/nineteen.

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


      The Department of English, History and Creative Writing is based in the Main Building at the centre of the campus, near the £26million 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 £15million 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.


      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.


      Expand All

      Compulsory modules:

      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.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      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.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      You will select three of the following optional modules:

      HUM4058Crime, Criminal Justice and the City c.1840-1940 (30 credits)

      Crime, Criminal Justice and the City c.1840-1940 examines crime and the evolution of attitudes towards criminality, as well as society’s responses to it between c.1840 and 1940. The module will consider broad contextual changes such as the shift in penal options available to the courts and the influence of new technology on crime and policing, as well as include case studies of forms of crime that attracted particular public attention, including murder and car crime. In addition to this, you will explore the extent to which social representations of the menace of crime were perceived to be a product of urban spaces and their tensions.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      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.

      Assessment: Coursework: 70%, Practical(s): 30%.

      LIT4006Nineteenth Century Research Specialism (30 credits)

      Nineteenth Century Research Specialism offers you the opportunity to pursue cutting edge research with specialist support. The module will enable you to engage in independent research within a structure which provides a clear framework of support. You will be guided through weekly subject-based sessions to more independent, but supported, extended study in your chosen specialist subject. There will be considerable choice offered of the subject matter to research, within broad subject pathways, drawing on current staff specialisms. You will work towards producing a significant independent research project with specialist staff support.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      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.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      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.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      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.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      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.

      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 or one band lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course.

      Career Prospects

      What are my career prospects?

      The MA in Nineteenth-Century Studies equips you with the in-depth knowledge, skills and expertise required to pursue a wide range of postgraduate careers. These include teaching (further training required), arts organisation and management, the heritage industry, publishing, advertising, journalism, libraries and learning centres, and management/administration.

      In particular, the MA introduces you to advanced academic debates in the field of nineteenth century studies and equips you with the independent research skills necessary to progress to PhD level and pursue a career as a professional researcher.

      The programme also encourages you to apply your skills and expertise across 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.

      Your personal tutor will meet with you at the start of the course to discuss your career aspirations and identify the best way for us to support them.


      Tuition Fees

      Tuition fees for full-time study on this MA are £7,000 for UK students and £13,500 for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2022/23.

      Tuition fees for part-time study on this MA are £39 per credit for UK students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2022/23. This is equivalent to £780 per 20 credit module.

      180 credits are required to complete a Masters degree.

      EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, may be eligible for the UK tuition fee rate.

      Financial Support

      For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students joining postgraduate courses at Edge Hill University in academic year 2022/23, together with details of how to apply for potential funding, please view our Money Matters 2022/23 guide at www.edgehill.ac.uk/postgradfinance2022.

      EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be eligible to apply for financial support. Irish nationals should ordinarily apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). Please see www.edgehill.ac.uk/eufinance for further details.

      Financial support information for international students can be found at www.edgehill.ac.uk/international/fees.


      How to Apply

      There is an online application process for this programme.

      Please choose the application form for your preferred intake date and mode of study.

      Visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/applydirect for more information about the application process.

      Visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/applydirect to access the relevant online application form and to find out more about the application process.

      Further information for international students about how to apply is available at www.edgehill.ac.uk/applyinternational.

      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 www.edgehill.ac.uk/studentterms.

      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 www.edgehill.ac.uk/opendays.

      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 www.edgehill.ac.uk/visitus.

      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 www.edgehill.ac.uk/postgradprospectus.

      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 www.edgehill.ac.uk/international or email [email protected] with any queries about overseas study.

      Course Changes

      Expand All This tab 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. Future material changes will be added here as amends are made to course information.

      18th January 2022 - New Module Added

      LIT4006 Nineteenth Century Research Specialism (30 credits) added as an optional module.

      12th April 2021 - New Module Added

      HUM4058 Crime, Criminal Justice and the City, c.1840-1940 (30 credits) added as an optional module.

      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.

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