One year full-time or two years part-time
Two evenings a week full-time or one evening a week part-time, October to June
Other entry years for this course2018
Drawing on Birkbeck's position as a world-leading centre in the field of 19th-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, images, objects, 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 19th century, and offer you the chance to develop new critical approaches to Victorian studies. These compulsory courses are supplemented by a range of option modules, which allow you to pursue your own interests in the field of Victorian Studies and beyond. Options include The Victorian Supernatural; Victorian London: Literature, Culture and the Urban Experience; Victorian Cultures of Death; Victorian Emotions; The Victorian Fin de Siècle; Victorian Masculinites.
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 Bethlem Museum of the Mind, the Salvation Army Heritage Centre and Archive, and the Guildhall Art Gallery, and have developed their projects into funded doctoral research topics.
- Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 13th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2016-17 World University Subject Rankings.
- 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.
- Explore this fascinating period through a multidisciplinary approach, bringing together literature, visual art, history and cultural studies.
- 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'.
- Watch a video about the MA Victorian Studies.
You take two core modules, which will introduce you to different types of primary material and different approaches, and you choose two option modules from a range of topics.
In the final phase of your studies you research and write a 15,000-word dissertation.
To find out more, read our programme handbook.
Indicative option modules
- Colonialism and Modernity
- Death in Victorian Culture
- Race and the Victorians
- The Book Unbound
- The Victorian Fin De Siecle
- The Victorian Supernatural
- Victorian Emotions
- Victorian Literature and Disability
- Victorian London: Literature, Culture and the Urban Experience
- Victorian Pasts, Presents, Futures
- Victorian Poetry
Option modules change from year to year - the list here is indicative.
We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.
Normally a good degree 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.
International entry requirements
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.
If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.
Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.
Fees and finance
We offer advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay your fees interest-free by direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for all Home/EU students.
FeesPart-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa
Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 7225 pa
Full-time overseas students: £ 14450 pa
Teaching and assessment
Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.
The core modules consist of lectures, seminars and workshops. Option modules are taught in seminar groups. For your dissertation, you will be allocated a personal supervisor.
Staff teaching on this MA include:
Assessment is by coursework essays and a dissertation: one piece of work for each of the two core modules; a 5000-word essay for each of the two option modules; and a dissertation of up to 15,000 words.
Careers and employability
To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.
Careers and employability
Graduates go on to careers in education/academia, editing and the creative arts. Possible professions include archivist, academic librarian, or editorial assistant. This degree can also be useful in becoming a primary/secondary school teacher, information officer, arts administrator, or writer.
Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.
We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.
Application deadlines and interviews
We recommend you apply as early as possible. Later applications may also be considered, subject to availability of places.
Life at Birkbeck
Birkbeck offers a unique combination of evening study and a matchless central London location, right in the geographic and academic centre of the city, giving you exceptional opportunities.
Accommodation and living costs
Most of our students live in private accommodation, but we also offer student accommodation and access to the professional services of the University of London Housing Services.
The Birkbeck experience
Birkbeck is different: our classes are held in the evening, so your days are free - to study, work, volunteer or just do your own thing.
Financial support and postgraduate loans
Birkbeck offers advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay loans by interest-free direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for all Home/EU students. Find out about the support we provide.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck. We can give you the advice and support you need.
Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research universities. Discover more about our vibrant, intellectually challenging and exciting research culture.
Boost your career
Discover how Birkbeck's unique evening teaching, coupled with our comprehensive careers and employability services, can help you get ahead in a highly competitive job market.
Fees and payment
With government loans for undergraduate and postgraduate study, fantastic financial support packages and flexible payment options, there’s never been a better time to study at Birkbeck.
There are lots of ways to come and visit us and meet our staff and former students, including Open Evenings, Open Days and guided campus tours. Discover more here.
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